Winter is usually associated with stillness, silence and cold. Winter also brings different colours, a changed view on the familiar. Snow covered shapes appear different, more mysterious. Ice build-up creates new shapes and adds to a new landscape, here just for the season. This cold landscape appears permanent but is anything but. This snowy mirage gives us a stage, a place to observe a different world and think of what comes next.
The great water that connects, divides, and provides. Great lakes have made adenturers out of all of us for millenia. As we make home of these accepting but rugged shores, admiration of this massive waterway just grows. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior,
H-O-M-E-S, is how school students remember them on their geography tests. Once you behold the water, though, there is hardly a way to forget. The big water that makes us all eternal voyageurs, hopeful adventurers.
Photographed at a variety of Great Lakes locations in period between 2010 and 2017 using Olympus Digital Cameras.
The great lakes are indeed the imposing inland seas. Lake Superior is the largest and most impressive in its vastness and quiet power. This lake has been known to overwhelm some of the largest of ships with its power and sudden weather shift. More often, it overwhelms with the majesty of its landscape. For centuries, this vital waterway has inspired travelers and artists. It is indeed a timeless place. Facing this great mass of unstoppable water, one can only marvel at the serenity and eternal dimension of this landscape. It’s Superior shore, a reminder that we are only visiting here.
Photographed near Sault Ste Marie, Ontario in May 2017 with Olympus PEN EP-5 digital camera.
St.John’s Newfoundland is the eastern most harbour on the continent. It is the port at the same time nearest and the farthest, depending on one’s perspective. A harbour shielded by the rocky walls, history inscribed in its fortifications and lighthouses. Once a fisheries center, now this city harbors tourists and memories. Colourful houses, lighthouses and repurposed fishing ports shelter life that moves at its own pace, human warmth amid foreboding nature and rugged sea.
Photographed on Kodak Ektar 100 film, St.John’s, NL September 2017
Processed in West Toronto, using Argentix/Unicolor C-41 kit
Montreal is where the Old World stops and the New World begins. This transition starts at Old Montreal. Icons of the old world with the new world background. Going up river from Montreal we find West, Great Lakes and the New World, a place where we can explore and reinvent ourselves without worrying about what our pre-ordained place in the world is. Old World is down river, across the Ocean, with all its habits, biases and unresolved issues. On a crisp Spring evening, the old and new combine into a comfortable in-between-place, a somewhat imperfect but workable blend. Old Montreal, meeting of the old and the new, in quiet harmony.
Woodbridge, an old rural community turned suburb is undergoing yet another transformation. Almost overnight, the change is taking place. Until recently, the stretch of Highway 7 between highways 400 and 427 was a picture of the suburban ideal. Here, recent generations of immigrants have fulfilled their Canadian dream. Home ownership, car based independence and a good, comfortable life. It was all possible and achieved here. As things change, Woodbridge is transforming into a next generation urban community. Recreational cycling and walkable neighbourhoods emerge as new trends amidst a rapid construction boom. Once dependably predictable, now on a path to a vibrant and new future. Woodbridge @ Transformation, to borrow from the late great Downie, is a perfect metaphor for this region of Toronto’s new chapter of growth.
Photography by Toni Skokovic
Ilford HP5 Plus and Delta Pro 400 film in Nikon FE Camera (135 format)
Sunday mornings are among the quietest times of the week. There is hardly any movement on the streets, only a glide of streetcars and tentative stumbles of the odd reveler finding their way home. Sunday morning stillness sets a stage for future adventures, celebrations and memories. St. Clair West, on a Sunday morning, is a perfect backdrop for the day ahead. Quiet and still, streetcars the only movement. A great time and ideal place to sit down for a coffee and wait for the sun to come up, start thinking about the day ahead.
The world around us truly mirrors our lives and habits.
Saturday morning this past April, I found myself sitting in an empty parking lot of a local box store, waiting for the doors to open, for a shopping ritual to start. Abandoned shopping carts, puddles and small garbage piles formed a perfect image of a tired and silly consumerist world. Old rental trucks, half-broken down carts, flat tires show a tired and done cliché. All this perhaps lays bare the ridiculous nature of our consumerist ways.
Earlier this Summer, a casual photo walk with Toronto Film Shooters spawned an idea. Walking and looking, definitely something I don’t do enough of.
Taking a closer look at doorways, I could not ignore the pull. Is it simply a symmetry or is it more mysterious? What are these – foreboding barriers or inviting gateways? Doorways and passageways can both divide and connect. The decision is ours, how do you see. Opportunity or challenge.
I feel a definite need to explore further, stop and look, look into it with more intent.