Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Where we launch #OneYearAgoToday

A day in the life
London, ON
January 31, 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I’m going to start something something new. Let’s call it #OneYearAgoToday, and we’ll keep it real simple:
  1. Wander through your photo archives.
  2. Choose a pic from exactly one year ago.
  3. Share it.
Why do this at all? I have a little thing for old pics. And on occasion, I’ll wander through my photo archives in a misguided attempt to find comfort in a sometimes-uncomfortable universe.

I also have a thing for dates that align.

And for dogs. And photos of dogs.

Like this one, which at first glance presents itself as an ordinary moment in the life of an ordinary dog.

But if you’ve hung around here for long enough, you likely know that things are a little different in my world.

Through my lens, the ordinary is always extraordinary. And moments are worth reliving. Just because.

I hope you’ll consider taking your own journey through the archives. Steal the hashtag while you’re at it. Let’s start something. Calli the Wonderschnauzer would approve.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #callitheschnauzer #callithewonderschnauzer #dog #dogs #actofdog #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #─▒nstagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
That Schnauzer stare, December 2023
Boop the snoot, October 2023
Extra spicy schnu, September 2023
Puppy pillow talk, January 2023
Dog in fog redux, March 2022

An extraordinary street corner

Moment of shadowy reflection
London, ON
December 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Stand in just the right spot and things that were once hidden might magically decide to show themselves.

Take this ordinary street corner, for example. Between taking the dog out to terrorize the neighbourhood or wandering further afield in the endless search for groceries, we must walk past here a dozen or so times a week.

Yet only on this night does the place decide to step out of the shadows, so to speak, and show a new side of itself.

I can’t explain the why. But that’s fine, because not everything needs to be explained.

Some nights, it’s entirely sufficient to stand and be wowed by the shadowy and largely unseen forces that surround us.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #tree #trees #fog #weather #wx #onstorm #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #night #light #shadow #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Into the night, November 2008
Playing with light, October 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Leave the grass alone

Blowing in the wind
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Sometimes we need to just let the grasses grow and see where they end up.

On second thought, this shouldn’t just apply to grasses.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #hyde #park #forest #tree #trees #grass #grasses #walkabout #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Monday, January 29, 2024

When fog clouds the journey ahead

We go, anyway
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We can’t always see where we’re going. This time it’s a snowy sidewalk disappearing into oblivion, but it can be anything, really. Or anywhere.

So when the fog - literal, figurative, whatever - rolls in, we can either stay where we are until the way is clear. Or we can get moving regardless.

I’ve always believed if we wait for the conditions to be absolutely perfect, we’ll never get anywhere. Every journey has its challenges, after all, and sometimes we have to push off without knowing exactly what lies ahead.

Embracing a bit of uncertainty feels like the right way to start the week.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #fog #weather #wx #onstorm #monochrome #perspective #highbury #walkabout #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #streetphotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Orange you gonna say banana?

The banana bunch is now in session
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The scene: I’m on a Saturday afternoon date with my lovely wife. Most folks would call this an ordinary trip to the grocery store, but nothing is ordinary with her.

The bananas are looking particularly fetching, so I race through the possibilities in my brain as I try to figure out some way to remember the experience.

The key is to compose and shoot quickly so I a) don’t get in the way of strangers, and b) don’t fall too far behind my lovely wife. We still have to eat, after all.

I settle on this weird still-life scene featuring some well-lit bunches in the foreground and rattle off a single frame.

It isn’t a studio-worthy shot by any stretch, but that was never the mission, anyway. Remembering how it felt to be with her, however, very much was.

We all have our own strange ways of remembering moments that matter. This is one of mine. Like I said: nothing is ordinary with her.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #loblaws #grocery #store #fruit #fruitography #bananas #yellow #color #texture #shopping #retail #random #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Bunched bananas, May 2022
Bananas in the round, February 2021

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Beautiful scars in the urban landscape

Ambivalence from on high
Toronto, ON
February 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Soon after takeoff from Pearson’s Runway 23 (east-to-west, north side of the airport), we come across the intersection of Highways 410 and 407.

Sitting in our fast-accelerating perch in the sky, it’s easy to feel ambivalent about the scene unfolding far below. The curving ribbons of road are either stunningly beautiful examples of modern concrete construction, and almost-abstract textures across the rolling southern Ontario landscape, or they’re grotesque wounds inflicted on a planet ill equipped to handle much more savagery in the interest of so-called progress.

I appreciate the irony that I’m having these musings as the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A turboprop engines on our Dash 8-400 spew out untold amounts of carbon emissions as they claw for altitude. Like it or not, our fossil fuel infrastructure, both in the sky and on the ground, will be something of a necessary evil for a while yet.

None of this means we can’t hang in the sky for a blink and take in the spectacle. There’s beauty in everything, and sometimes we have to find new and weird places from which to observe it.

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #throwback #pearson #international #airport #dehavilland #dash8 #q400 #airplane #aviation #photography #travel #travelphotography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Winging it, August 2023
Airport at rest, March 2023
Water always wins, December 2021

Friday, January 26, 2024

Road trip hoar frost

Dressed for the season
Dryden, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It’s a bitterly cold winter morning beside the Trans-Canada Highway, and the hoar frost has painted the frigid landscape a Frozen-esque shade of white.

This isn’t a day to be outside, but life rarely offers us choices about where we need to be, and when. So here we find ourselves about to hit the road amid a landscape that is as stunningly beautiful as it is dangerous.

All this comes with the territory when you’re Canadian, living in a land that figuratively takes your breath away around every corner, and attempts to do so literally if you aren’t paying enough attention.

So I shoot quickly before we finish loading up, then ease onto the road in between the semis and point the nose west. As we settle into the now-familiar road trip groove, the forests that crowd both sides of the twisting, icy road put on a show for us, each curve more blindingly gorgeous than the last. I make a note to myself to pick up a dashcam before our next visit here, as the photos I’m taking in my mind’s eye are epic, and I’d love to share them.

I’m reminded, though, that not every moment in life comes with its own photo album. Memories take many forms, after all, and a collection of pixels represents only one of them.

#dryden #ontario #canada #throwback #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #frozen #winter #weather #wx #onstorm #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Frosty the doorman, November 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2024

A tree emerges from the fog

Hush
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The clouds crashed into our corner of the planet again yesterday, so when I found myself on early morning carpool duty, I knew a spontaneous foggy walkabout was called for.

As I wandered around the busy intersection - Highbury and Oxford for you Londoners - I was having trouble seeing much of anything because the fog was so thick.

So I walked here and there in the hope that something might emerge from the murk. Eventually this tree decided to take pity on me, and I happily explored its softened form through the glass.

Soon enough the fog started to thin out and it was time to head for home. As I walked back to the car, I reflected on the power of patience and tenacity, and the things we do to succeed even when the playing field doesn’t seem ready for us.

The conditions around us are never within our control. What we choose to do, however, is entirely within our control.

And even if we can’t see a thing when we first get out there, we set ourselves up for success if we stick around and try every tool in our toolkit.

Maybe I’m talking about shooting photos in the fog. Maybe I’m talking about something else entirely.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #tree #trees #fog #weather #wx #onstorm #monochrome #highbury #walkabout #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #streetphotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Fog takes. Fog gives. December 2022
Highbury Avenue in fog, November 2022

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Swish...

Nature's power generator
London, ON
November 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


When fast-moving waters meet slow shutter speeds, we end up seeing things through glass that we’d never otherwise see on our own.

It’s an oxymoron of sorts, a reminder that differences can be advantages, and we create greater sums when we complement each other.

And as I stand on the riverbank and listen to the endless swish of the current, I think about the forces that create the light, cycle the water, carve this valley, and even bring me here to witness it all.

As chaotic as the scene before me seems, none of this is random. We’re all being shaped by forces that aren’t obvious to us - at least until we stop what we’re doing and pay a little attention to the waves.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #theowback #medway #valley #heritage #forest #thames #river #water #longexposure #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Porsche design on a Montreal street

Follow the curves
Montreal, QC
September 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Design is a funny thing. Most of the time it lurks in the shadows, quietly ignored by most of us as we go through the paces of living life.

But every once in a while, in between the heres and the theres, design will reach out from wherever it happens to be and gently tap us on the soul.

And so this Porsche 911 whispered in my direction as I walked along a busy Sherbrooke Street in downtown Montreal in search of takeout lunch for my lovely wife. We were here for a family wedding, and I soon found myself walking the familiar neighbourhood with a camera.

I was trying to cross the street when I spotted it parked near our hotel. And all I could do was stand there, transfixed, on the sidewalk and take in the complex curves of a vehicle whose mission has little to do with Costco runs or carpool pickups.

The first 911 hit the road in 1964, and its design roots stretch back even further. That the same fundamental recipe has been lovingly massaged for 60 years and remains an icon of sports car design is, frankly, unheard of. I admire the company’s ability to simultaneously touch the future and respect the past - without compromise.

As a subset of the design craft, automotive design exists everywhere we happen to be, with rolling examples of art showing up on streets and driveways and passing by when we least expect them. It’s one of the most democratic forms of design, because it isn’t stuck inside.

I had to shoot fast, because as I brought the lens up and started to compose, I could hear the engine fire up. Sure enough, I got off one shot before the driver pulled into traffic and disappeared, the brief encounter seared into my brain as I put the camera away and looked for takeout nearby.

Because we can look at beauty all we wish, but sooner or later we’ve all got to eat.

#montreal #quebec #yul #canada #reflection #urban #downtown #city #throwback #porsche #porsche #porscheclassic #porschelife #porschedesign #porschegram #car #carporn #automotive #opc #oldparkedcar #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded


Monday, January 22, 2024

Reflections in the woods

Shelter from the storm
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I call them smartphone photo walks.

They’re simple things, really: leave the big camera at home. Bring only the phone in your pocket and see what you see.

Because a funny thing happens when the equipment list gets simplified. It ceases to be about the equipment at all.

So that’s how I find myself leaving the house in the middle of a snow squall. Dragging myself through the woods with a camera bag hanging off my back seems a little excessive and silly, anyway. Not every photo needs to be a major production.

At one point I stand beside the burbling brook deep in the valley and focus on an unusually calm stretch of water. Amid the blustery winds and drifting snow, the reflections of the forest seem to jump out at me with astonishing clarity and calmness.

Soon enough the daylight fades and it’s time to return home. I tuck the phone away and trudge back through the snow.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #heritage #forest #tree #trees #thames #river #water #reflection #weather #wx #onstorm #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Take this coat and...

Really?
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Calli the Wonderschnauzer has a love-hate relationship with winter. As much as she loves bounding through the snow like a jackrabbit on freshly cooked meth, she despises the coat she must wear when the temperatures and wind chills get frightening.

We tell her it’s for her own good, but we’re pretty sure she a) doesn’t want to hear it, and b) is cursing us out every step of the way.

My insistence on a spontaneous photo shoot in the middle of a snow squall probably doesn’t help matters, hence the photo we see here. I believe this is the moment she crosses me off of her holiday gift list forever.

Be that as it may, we love Canadian winters in our family because they allow us countless moments like this one, where we feel the elements with every fiber of our being.

We love winters even more because we get to experience them with a dog who insists on telling her own stories, one walk at a time.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #callitheschnauzer #callithewonderschnauzer #dog #dogs #actofdog #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #weather #wx #onstorn #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #─▒nstagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
That Schnauzer stare, December 2023
Boop the snoot, October 2023
Extra spicy schnu, September 2023
Puppy pillow talk, January 2023
Dog in fog redux, March 2022

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Shadows across the river

Winter in the valley
London, ON
February 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Note to self: spend more time deep in the woods where the water runs cold and the bare trees cast endless shadows across the freshly fallen snow.

Now seems like a reasonable time to start.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #heritage #forest #tree #trees #thames #river #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:

Friday, January 19, 2024

One leaf. One zoo.

Like my veins?
Winnipeg, MB
July 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


A while ago, I went to the zoo. So of course I had to come home with an abstract-ish photo of a leaf.

It didn’t make sense then, and it certainly doesn’t make sense now. Sometimes I see things and I decide in the moment that they need to be remembered in some way. Even if they seem out of place given where I happen to be.

Not to worry, as I did snag a fair number of animal photos that day, as well. But this is the one that seems to stand out in my mind, because every time we go on an adventure, one photo seems to emerge as a signature of the day.

None of this is easily explained, nor does it need to be. Perhaps it’s enough that each of us has a unique way of remembering our respective journey through this thing we call life.

And some of us are just a little weirder than normal. Whatever normal is.

In the meantime, enjoy the shot of colour. The planet could use it.

#winnipeg #manitoba #mb #canada #throwback #assiniboinepark #zoo #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #green #leaf #stilllife #photography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Just a leaf? June 2018
Large green leaf, January 2018
Giant green leaf, January 2018
Green canopy, September 2017

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Deli meat under glass

So. Much. Choice.
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The dictionary definition for “ordinary” may as well have an illustration of a grocery store beside it.

These temples of edible consumption are filled with shelf after shelf of increasingly expensive goods, laid out in an aesthetic that hasn’t changed much in decades.

We’d be forgiven for assuming we can’t have a little fun with a camera. I subscribe to the notion that we most certainly can.

Which explains how I found myself staring down the length of the deli meat display. Kinda looks like a funhouse, doesn’t it?

Which is kind of why I’m so enamoured by the process of squeezing the extraordinary out of the ordinary, of looking at things from a different angle, my eyes scrunched up just so.

Because in the end nothing is truly ordinary. Not if we don’t allow it. Not if we keep poking around the fringes in search of new ways to see.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #grocery #store #metro #cheapside #adelaide #shopping #retail #random #glass #perspective #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

A moment at the Town & Country Motel

Empty for now
Dryden, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It’s a bitterly cold Monday in January in a motel just off the highway that feeds this town.

The parking lot is deserted, the folks who are staying here presumably off in an office somewhere or working in the bush.

Wisps of snow drift in lazy circles, the empty windows reflecting a desolate scene that’s played out countless times over the decades this otherwise ordinary building has stood here.

It isn’t the kind of place that draws attention to itself, but maybe it should. There’s a certain grace in unassuming motels that stand ready to welcome those far from home. There’s beauty in these oases from the cold, in their promise of safe shelter from the worst Mother Nature can cook up outside.

Soon enough the unseen visitors will return from wherever they’ve been for the day, the light from inside casting a pale glow on the wispy snow outside. And tomorrow the cycle will play out again, just as it always has.

#dryden #ontario #canada #throwback #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #urban #city #walkabout #monochrome #streetphotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Broken window theory, October 2022

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Still-life steampunk memory

Forever analog
London, ON
February 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


No pressure.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #industrial #steampunk #stilllife #monochrome #photography #google #pixel #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Caption This 132, August 2009
Caption This 104, January 2009
Stripped, August 2007

Monday, January 15, 2024

Fleeting echoes in the sky

Don't blink
London, ON
November 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We all leave some kind of mark on the planet, some evidence that we were here, that we mattered.

But even memories, like contrails and clouds, are fleeting.

Soon enough, the winds will blow, or some other cocktail of forces - or simply the passage of time - will erase even these echoes of what once was. Or of whom.

And the brilliant blue sky? It’ll be some other color or shade or texture before the light fades for good.

Doesn’t make what’s here, now, any less meaningful or precious, mind you.

Just reminds us to hold onto them - the memories, and the people who make them - even more tightly for as long as we have them.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #blue #sky #clouds #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Party of birds, September 2023
Storm's coming, July 2023

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Retail ruinporn redux

No frames for you
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I am not an urban explorer, as I lack the guts to physically enter abandoned properties to shoot ruinporn-type photos.

I’m also rather allergic to breaking the law, getting arrested, or otherwise doing something that puts me on the wrong side of the moral curve. Boy Scouts and all that.

But every once in a while, the appeal of this kind of photography gnaws at my imagination. So when I come across an empty building, a dead business, or any other example of poignant abandonment, I can’t resist the urge to record it somehow.

The smartphone-against-the-window trick comes in handy here.

It isn’t quite an urbex thing, but if it helps me remember the places no longer able to tell their own stories, then it’s a relatively minor risk I’m willing to take.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #hydepark #retail #retailapocalypse #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #ruinporn #geometry #monochrome #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Sunny ruinporn, April 2022
Retail ruinporn, January 2021
A window of warmth, November 2006

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Silver Star on a stick

Permanently grounded
London, ON
December 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


This photo pairs with the smeared-windshield abstract I shared earlier today. Same general scene, different focus.

We’re looking at a CT-133 Silver Star. Once used as the primary jet trainer for Canada’s air force, this particular example now serves as gate guard at London International Airport.

(Fun fact: it was built in an historic factory just a few blocks away from my old high school - albeit years before I was born.)

It feels somewhat inglorious for a once-mighty aircraft to be mounted on a pylon at the edge of a parking lot so pigeons and seagulls can have their way with it.

But even vaunted technology comes with an expiry date, and it’s always a comforting moment when we return from far away and see “our” plane waiting for us in its customary spot just outside the terminal.

We should all have certain somethings - and someones - to watch over us no matter where we may be headed. Because guardian angels aren’t just found at airports.

#ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #flyyxu #yxu #canadair #ct133 #winter #onstorm #weather #wx #onstorm #flight #aircraft #aviationphotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Airport at rest, March 2023

Abstraction at the airport

Only distorted for some
London, ON
December 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


When we’re parked beside the airport and it’s raining/snowing so hard that the windows get all squiggly, at least one of the photos we take should focus on the window instead of on what’s beyond.

Maybe there’s meaning in that. Or maybe there isn’t. Not everything needs an explanation. It’s OK for abstract to simply be abstract.

[1/2 - Next photo will be more real. Promise.]

#ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #flyyxu #yxu #winter #onstorm #weather #wx #water #droplets #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Wet parked car window, September 2021
A single drop, May 2020
After the rain falls, January 2010
Stare out the window, October 2006

Friday, January 12, 2024

Scene from a Snowpocalypse

Bracing against the storm
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


As the Snowpocalypse descends on the region, the puppy and I step out into a landscape of intensifying snow, shifting winds, and even thunder and lightning.

So we pause briefly to remember what a Canadian winter can feel like.

Perversely, we’re thankful.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #tree #trees #winter #weather #wx #onstorm #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #night #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Treed lightning, December 2021

Minivan memories in teal

Haulin'
London, ON
March 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It’s March 31, 2020, the early, panicky days of the pandemic.

We’re all still getting used to lockdowns, Zoom calls, eerily empty streets, and fraught visits to grocery stores where we mask and glove up as we do our best to maintain social distancing - all without freaking out when strangers forget to do the same.

I’ve already loaded the car when I come across this time capsule Ford Aerostar, an early example of FoMoCo’s first attempt to catch up in the minivan wars.

In a world seemingly dominated by chaos, I revel in a moment of bizarre clarity as I take in the spectacle of an ancient-yet-fairly-well-preserved vehicle that once clogged the streets where I grew up.

I’m odd like that, as carspotting has always been a grounding activity for me, and I remember learning the subtle differences as models were updated year to year. Even now, I see it as a way to measure society’s inevitable march forward, as automotive design, like fashion, seems to have become one of the ways we define chapters in history.

Yet in that parking lot in the earliest stages of a bewildering global event, I experienced a moment of unexpected inner peace as I reconnected with the vehicular equivalent of comfort food.

We don’t have to understand the why of it all. The only thing that matters is that each of us needs an Aerostar or Aerostar-equivalent, and we should always be both willing and able to stop and take them in whenever they present themselves to us.

I find it fascinating how an old, indifferently-parked rear-wheel-drive minivan can spark such clarity in the midst of so much uncertainty.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #ford #aerostar #minivan #american #car #carporn #automotive #opc #oldparkedcar #photography #google #pixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded


Thursday, January 11, 2024

Guardrail in the shadows

Straight lines
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I keep coming back to the mundane.

And in the pantheon of photographic interest, a guardrail bathed in sodium vapor light behind a big box store certainly qualifies as mundane.

It’s 13 minutes after sunset when I take this, but it wouldn’t have mattered either way because the sky has been uniformly grey for days.

I could probably wait for conditions to improve, but I decide not to. I’m here, now, and the steady stream of cars taking the shortcut behind the store encourages the weird little voice in my head that tells me to take the shot.

Scenes like this never seem to merit mainstream attention. Hundreds of people probably pass this point over the course of a given day, and I’m reasonably certain nobody is giving the guardrail much thought. Or any.

But as I walk the path between the perfectly straight lines of a forgettable-commercial-architecture structure on one side and a riotously overgrown woodlot on the other, it occurs to me that entire slivers of our built environment are likely never recorded. At least not deliberately.

And it isn’t as if I should make it my mission to photographically document every square inch of this often dreary-looking city. But I can at least find ways to capture the occasional spot that seems to speak to me.

And this one does. I think it’s the lines. I have a thing for clean lines. Weird light cast across indifferently constructed textures? Even better. Monochrome? Of course!

There are no rules in any of this. Just a little voice that talks to me whenever it sees something it likes. If only the rest of our existence could be so simple.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #urban #city #hydepark #canadiantire #retail #streetphotography #monochrome #geometry #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Stairway to not-heaven, February 2023
I'll be out back, June 2021

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

A storm repaints the airport

A wintry moment
London, ON
December 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Scene from an airport - landscape photography edition.

I’m here for a few brief minutes, another errand among the many that dot the typical family’s calendar. As I often do when I head out, I’ve brought a camera because I figured the airport might offer up a creative moment or two.

Unfortunately Mother Nature is having none of it. The steel-grey skies have opened up with a pelting mixture of snow and sleet. Relentless winds sweep across the parking lot and drive the wet stuff diagonally against the windows.

None of this is helping my original mission of shooting optically precise pictures. The air is filled with fast-moving flecks that sap colour and detail. The turbulent air softens edges and dulls contrast. This isn’t a day for realism.

I suppose I could be disappointed by the lousy conditions, but there’s little sense raging against things we can’t control. It makes more sense to shift gears and figure out what other stories get to be told today. And how they should be told. Perhaps today’s the day I try digital impressionism for the first time.

So I park in a spot I think will offer up the most promising compositions, calculating distances and angles in my head as I slowly move the car into just the right position.

In the few minutes that I’m here, I shoot from inside the parked car, windows down. It limits my options, but it keeps the lens clean and dry - and the guy using it from being cold and miserable.

I shoot around a dozen frames before it’s time to go, and whisper a quiet wish to myself as I exit the parking lot that I end up with a keeper or two.

In the end the result doesn’t matter as much as the fact that I carved out some photographic time in the first place. The photo itself isn’t a final artifact as much as it is a marker of a moment I wish I could replicate - in various places and forms - more often.

Experiences like this represent core memories. For me, anyway. Getting to share them after the fact is an added bonus, and I’m already counting the days until my next unplanned, imperfect, and somewhat tangential photographic adventure.

Where should I go? I’m taking requests.

#ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #flyyxu #yxu #tree #trees #fog #winter #weather #wx #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Snow dusted, January 2022

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Shopping cart hell

No sale
London, ON
October 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Can a wayward shopping cart in a nearly empty parking lot outside a similarly forlorn big box electronics store in the fading evening light make a worthwhile still-life subject?

I’m going to suggest it can. I’m also going to suggest anything else can, as well.

Or at least it can if we choose to pause for a moment and wonder about the wonder of an otherwise forgettable thing in a forgettable place at a forgettable time.

Indeed, nothing is forgettable. At least it shouldn’t be.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #masonville #hyland #staples #retail #shopping #cart #parking #street #streetphotography #geometry #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Green buggies in a row, December 2020
Rust in peace, June 2020

Monday, January 08, 2024

Ribbons of steel

Switched
London, ON
June 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The ribbon of steel stretches to the horizon and beyond, connecting communities and lives and giving life to stories not yet written.

London is a city of rails, with tracks criss-crossing streets and neighbourhoods. So it’s inevitable that we’ll come across a railroad right of way or two as we move through day-to-day life.

Most will see it as an annoyance, an unnecessary interruption in the efficient flow of a modern city. A small minority feels otherwise, preferring to see these crossroads as opportunities to stop, think, and maybe even breathe. I’ll let you guess where we land on this.

When the kids were still in car seats, we’d celebrate whenever we were stopped behind a level crossing. We’d roll the windows down as the trains passed, cheering them on as we felt the ground rumble under our wheels.

We were late to the dentist at least once, and I’m pretty sure we missed the first few minutes of class one day, too. But we’ll call it a reasonable trade-off for an indelible memory.

Besides, the world can always wait. Trainspotting is an art, and I never want to regret finding myself at some crossing and not finding some way to squeeze some magic out of the experience.

Wherever you’re going and however you’re getting there, I wish you safe travels.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #viarail #train #track #perspective #downtown #ridout #travel #urban #street #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
No humping, March 2020
Headed home by train, January 2019

Sunday, January 07, 2024

Too many lemons to count

Surplus of citrus
London, ON
September 2013
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Lemons. Lemonade. You know where I stand.

What about you?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #loblaws #grocery #store #fruit #fruitography #lemon #yellow #color #texture #shopping #retail #random #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Orange crush, January 2024
Green pepper musings, January 2024
Bunched bananas, May 2022
Peachy! August 2021

Saturday, January 06, 2024

Orange crush

I come bearing fruit
London, ON
January 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The skies have been relentlessly grey here for months. Perhaps they’re reflecting the general state of the world.

So maybe it’s subconscious or maybe it’s deliberate, but I seem to be seeking out subjects that suggest light and color.

Like yesterday, as my wife and I were on a quick grocery store date at the nearby #FarmBoy. The pile of oranges seemed to draw me in, and I stood beside them and quietly took in the color and texture before it was time to move on.

Later, as we finished at the checkout and headed back to the car, the skies overhead were still relentlessly grey, the other shoppers in the parking lot seemingly ashen and muted, as well.

But the memory of those oranges was a persistent one, and I started thinking about where our next everyday date would be, and what sources of light and colour and inspiration we’d come across as we ventured out again.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #farmboy #grocery #store #fruit #fruitography #orange #color #texture #shopping #retail #random #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
You say tomato... November 2021