Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour results

Lets start this off with saying... I like living in Toronto, but because of its horrible transition through the years, its become a bit of a travesty in terms of architecture, land planning and what not. Last night I got a glimpse of how sadly true this is when i went out on a photographic adventure.

If you are familiar with Cherry Street, then you are probably aware of some of the buildings down there. The most poignant of which, that demonstrates my point is currently occupied by "Quantex". I am not sure what this building was once used for, but it appears to have been a Bank - built at least in the 30s? I imagine there was good cause for it to be built there (as a bank for longshoreman?)

Now, it stands vigilante, amongst a sad and pathetic industrial backdrop. If anything, this building is definitely a gem amongst boulders and slag. Kudos to
Quantex for reappropriating this building for their office. From what I saw in the two windows, it looked extremely modern inside and well appointed. [Note: After reading their website, their choice of location makes a lot of sense given the history of that area (side note: if anyone knows a better link in regards to pollution in the portlands, please let me know!)]

Other examples of forgotten history can be found through out Toronto - two good examples being on Yonge, just north of Queen.

Having said that... The portlands are an interesting area filled with industrial goodies for the urban explorer/modern archaeologist armed with a camera.

The only reason why I was actually down there last night was to take skyline photos. I would've gone down the Leslie Street Spit, except that's a bird sanctuary and it smells bad down there (at least during the day it does, i'm not going to find out if the night is bad too)

Anyhow... here are some of the results of my exploration.

This one was taken at Ashbridges Bay, from the little "lookout point" on the side of the road, opposite the bay to the Sewage Treatment plant (pictured). Sewage is hardly a beautiful thing, but when the plant is lit up at night and you view it from that point, it's gorgeous.

This here, was taken about... 8:40-ish, on Lakeshore Blvd, just west of Leslie. I parked at Cdn. Tire and walked over to the median to catch this one. It's a neat picture because under normal circumstances, you would see the skyscrapers from here. They were all observing Earth Hour, and so, were not lit up like usual. Only the navigation warning lights flickered on the CN Tower.

Sadly... this one was taken at 9:27. YES, 9:27!! I missed my opportunity to catch the downtown core from this angle (Traintracks over Cherry Street)

Actually, truth be told. I was hoping to get a pic of the CN Tower lit, and the other skyscrapers still off. I lucked out that the CN Tower was fired up ahead of schedule.

This is somewhat disappointing if this was done unintentionally. The CN Tower is supposed to be a communications tower and what not. The poor timing of lights-on shows that they aren't communicating very well with the outside world. That, or any report of what the real time is from them... should be ignored.

At the tone, it will be 2:00pm.

beep beep

This freighter was docked at one of the piers just off Cherry Street. I thought the lighting was rather interesting, so i'd grab a few shots.

I was rather unaware that the sky was overcast at the time, so the colour is a bit strange. This is the true colour as far as I can discern, based on the white balance of the Forecastle of this freighter.

That, and other pics are similar.

Interesting note: there is a disturbance in the water to the right in the frame there. That was a duck. Because this was a long exposure (i think 20secs?) the duck turned into a blob.

A Stalwart of the oldways. I dunno if it's modern technology that has done away with them, or if it's a matter of Toronto harbour being relatively easy to navigate large ships into... or even, a matter of modernized replacements, but every now and then, you see a poor creature of the tubboat kind sitting on drydock, rusting the rest of its life away.

It appears that Kenneth A has sat here for a while. How long? I do not know... at least a few months - at least longer than this past winter.

It's been a few weeks since i first spied this guy from the Gardiner, and thought "that'd be a cool pic to take". Last night, i took the chance.

At this point, I was no longer alone... about 50 feet away was a creature that I have seen in the past in rare occasions... however, in the past, I never saw one of this size. A Red Fox. I mean... this guy (or girl) was big. Really big. About the size of a Springer Spaniel or so? Foxes i've seen in the past have been more the size of a Cocker Spaniel or so. Sadly, i could not take a photo of it as it was dark and I don't have a fast telephoto. I was working with my 50mm prime (f/1.8)

This is the external staircase of the Essroc [Italcementi] Elevator-type building/edifice/concrete monolith. I liked how the light played off the support beams, so i snapped this one. It kinda looks blurry which is strange, because i was focussed fairly well - I may've bumped the tripod but i cannot be too sure of that. It's possible that despite being on solid concrete and soil, vibrations from vehicles passing by on Cherry street actually affected this shot in a negative way.


Rounding out the night, my last stop was RC Harris Filtration. However, due to construction and what not, I opted not to take any photos of that beautiful example of Art Deco. Perhaps another time, eh?

So... the parting shot. These photos were taken using 3 of my 4 lenses. The shots on Lakeshore were taken with my 35-80mm [a lens that i rarely use cause... it sucks], Skyline was taken using 50mm F/1.8 and 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6.

I did use my Lensbaby, however not for any of these shots. Night-time use is not something i've been able to do with that lens effectively. Given that it is a F2.0, it requires a steady hand for shots longer than say... 1/50th of a second. If i had the Control Freak, this would be a non-issue.


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