Humber River – Seeking Calm

There is something about Toronto’s ravines. Ancient rivers are the highways of commerce and bearers of bad news. In modern times, tucked away in parks and often buried for the sake of sprawling progress. Nonetheless, I keep coming back to ravines and rivers, looking at the water and trying to understand why it makes me stop and look.

Humber River, September 2016
Humber River, September 2016

This water has a calming influence. We all need this in our daily lives. In a way, standing at the river bank and looking at the water’s movement helps soothe our disappointments, relieves stress and help us reflect. I find myself looking at a few images from an outing this past September and try to evaluate what intrigued me about these, at a surface only, common spots.

Humber River, September 2016
Humber River, September 2016

Longer exposure lends water a different property. Shapes are formed that are invisible to the naked eye. A lively flow is slowed down into a more dreamy, somewhat surreal, shifting landscape. This is hard to ignore. Humber River is where I started experimenting with long exposure a few years back. It remains a place worth coming back to. The quest for the right length and exposure continues. I keep coming back in repeated attempts to capture what I see when I look at these rapids and cascades.

Humber River, September 2016
Humber River, September 2016

I find it hard to look at Humber and without considering its history. The river is a foundation for the city and was instrumental in shaping the ravine parklands. Still, it is a place full of surprises and possibilities of new insights. Slowed down, Humber transforms into a landscape far away from carefully managed waterway.

Extruded shapes of rapids and water gently flowing over the cascades form a reflection canvas. I get lost looking at these images. Stretched rapids provide departure into a different reality. Looking, thinking about the the past, flow of time and future it brings.

It may be this aspiration to imagine the future and possibilities ahead that gets me back me to the water, slowing the time down and preparing for the challenges ahead.

Humber River, September 2016
Humber River, September 2016

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