Comfort levels

If you’re an adult male like me, there are certain circumstances where pointing your camera -even in the general direction of a small kid, can get you in shit. (One time, I was approached by a mother, I assume, just for having a camera around my neck.) Helicopter moms trying to protect their little snowflake from exploitation by a big scary man, with obvious ill-intent.

Or, maybe they secretly know that their issue is just as hideous in appearance as they are, (‘got a face like the end of a hockey stick’ we used to say) and so they decide to make a scene by conveniently creating a bullshit scenario implying that someone, anyone,  would want to take an image of their ‘little precious’ for nefarious purposes in the first place.


It’s pretty rare that I have a child in a shot I’ve taken. For starters, they don’t really interest me. Adults are far and away more interesting, and complex in their activities, and believe me, seeing an adult act like a child, is a sight to behold.

Secondly, I really don’t like children/kids. Stunted, smelly, and stupid little things, that are usually covered in filth, and are regularly hell-bent on destroying your peace of mind.

The above picture is one of those rare exceptions. I was actually taking pictures of the stairs at Union Stn., (There’s a picture w/o the kid in a post I did concerning perspective, a while back) and the little shit just ran into the frame as I tripped the shutter release. Grudgingly, I’ve got to admit that having a kid in the frame helps with the scale, and (arguably) improves the image.

…I’ll swear up and down that the ‘Odessa Steps’ scene from Eisenstein’s ‘Battleship Potemkin’ never crossed my mind…

Local distractions

I’ve been putting together a group of images to create another gallery for Toronto, the city where I live. I figured it wouldn’t be too hard, as I’ve amassed a ton of shots of my city over the years, so all I’d have to do was choose the ones that I liked, edit them for the web, and presto! New gallery.

Not really. 

It’s true that I’ve got a lot of shots taken in and around Toronto, but shockingly, at least to me, I don’t have much that really represents the city. Technically speaking, probably 95% of the shots I have ever taken were shot here, but probably about 99.5% of them don’t inherently represent Toronto. Filtering out the anodyne, the boring, and the shitty ones from those, leaves me with very little.

It got me thinking, ‘what makes an image representative of a city?’ The skyline? Tourist areas? Famous landmarks?

My conclusion? What makes an image representative of a city is usually something, or somewhere that I have no interest in.

Toronto isn’t a particularly pretty city like Vancouver, it doesn’t have the history of Rome, the art and culture of Paris, the drama and excitement of New York, or the architecture of Chicago. It’s just a big city, and like us Canadians, kind of boring, really. But I can see how, to a first-timer, especially one visiting from a smaller city, it might seem a little exciting. Oddly enough though, a local like me is probably the worst person to ask about things to do and see here. (I kinda’ suspect that that might be the case from those living in other ‘great’ cities around the world) I mean, I could tell you how to get to certain places; where to find the cheapest food and cigarettes, etc., and I’m pretty good with directions, but quick reviews about a few of the big  attractions? Nah. Never been. I think that for a lot of the ‘locals’ that stuff is tourist shit. Stuff for outsiders.

Sure, I’ve been to the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Art Gallery of Ontario (regularly), hell, even the aquarium, but to the top of the CN tower? Nope. And major shopping centres, and streets? Hell no. Been there, but you’ve practically got to threaten me with death to return.

I guess that’s why my pictures of Toronto don’t have much that makes them very Toronto-ish. My Toronto shots are exactly what they should be: My perspective -for better or worse… 

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