Category : Reader Friendly

Midnight Conversations

Venice is an astounding city. Every nook and cranny is full history; everywhere you look, beautiful architecture and art abounds. Yet with a romantic pedigree that could easily find a home nested somewhere within the pages of the Iliad. On top of that, the city is sinking! With all this drama enveloping the city, one can easily forget people here are still have to buy groceries, walk their dogs and generally just continue on living. 

It is only after you make a point to walk away from the tourist areas, say towards Dorsoduro to the south where you find Venice’s local population. By that I mean, the neighborhoods, where you find the small local stores and the grandpas hanging out their front doors, chatting up with other grandpas while watching their grandchildren playing tag.

This photos for example. Taken on a dark, rainy day… pouring actually, yet a perfect slice of life. There was a party indoors and these people had stepped out to chat and smoke a few. They were in a hall, the music escaping outward as my boat sped by. I really enjoyed this capture. A different and simple perspective from what we are used to seeing from the Venetian ideal of grandeur palaces, squares and labyrinthian alleyways. Which in fairness, Venice has a LOT.

A town full of everyday people surrounded by the memories of the Renaissance. Partying.

This photo was taken with a Nikon D700, using a 50mm @ f2.0.

Red & Misguided

Red & Misguided by The Torontonian
Red & Misguided a photo by Mauricio Alas. A larger version can be seen on Flickr.

As part of my first set of classes teaching photography, I took my small class through a quick tour of the inner city. Hoping the vibrant urban quality of Kensington Market and a few graffiti laden back-alleys to serve as a unusual type of inspiration for my students.

Going through the basics can be fun as you might actually remember the ‘WHY’ something is done, which may help, especially if you are a seasoned photographer to tweak your style, even if it is temporarily. As once everything is mastered or any habit becomes second nature, most of us don’t usually revisit they ‘why’ of doing things because we get comfortable and one less thing to worry about on assignment. 

So after a few hours walking the city, they managed to take some nice photos and increased their grasp on photography plus hopefully discovered something new about self expression. 

Now this particular shot was taken in Graffiti Alley Toronto using a D700.

A Bulb

A Bulb by The Torontonian
A Bulb a photo by The Torontonian on Flickr.

A relaxing Sunday walk through Toronto’s parks can yield awesome photography. Running dogs, scared wildlife, refreshingly luscious & large botany. At the same time, a tiny little bulb. Stretching into the sky, just waiting for more sun to bloom, can give tell a story all its own. Simple photography can be as interesting as major world events if caught at the right moment. Just as loud, flashy subjects can be as entertaining and share a moment of our lives as small, solemn things.

I am a fan of simplicity as generally it seems that we tend to like complexity while at the same time complain about how complex our lives are. Failing to take stock on the fact that we push ourselves into that corner. 

This was taken in Cabbage Town at the Riverdale farm. Using a Nokia D700 and a simple 50mm 1.8 lense.

Just Chillin’

One of the strange things about loving photography is that you feel naked going anywhere without a camera. As you just never know what mundane thing will present itself in front of your lenses that might be worth catching.

This capture was taken while one my good friends Dmitry took me to his friend’s apartment to walk her dog. He quite the good friend, isn’t he?

I enjoy this shot for it’s natural and relaxed composition, I like that ‘Saturday Afternoon vibe,’ what do you think? You would think I had them pose this way for me when it fact it was just to relaxed creatures lazing around. How convenient, no?

This shot was taken with a D700, with 17-35mm lenses at f4.5 and 28mm. Monochromed during the work-flow process.