Blank Sky

One of my favourite images from Toronto this summer.


Sunken City: Tread Softly

Last night I had a conversation that led me to think about the similarities between the "Sunken City" landslide in San Pedro, where my father and stepmother live, and "The Brickworks" in Toronto where I am. They're both urban blights that have fallen into disuse and decay. They're hangouts for kids who want to do things that shouldn't be seen. Both are very dangerous to those who are careless and demand respect if they're to be visited safely. Authorities attempt to keep people out, which is continually challenged by the people who want to get in. And they're my favourite places to photograph, always changing and full of possibilities.

I've had a very photogenic couple of months, and I'm in danger of missing photos that I like simply because they're older. Rather than let these accumulate electronic dust, I've decided to gather my favourites and present them all at once. You can see all of my photos on one page by using the search toolbar to find the term "sunken city".

"Sunken City" Landslide, San Pedro, California.

Sunken City: Where the Sidewalk Ends

I loved Shel Silverstien's book of poems as a child. The idea of a place where the sidewalk ends was unimaginably exotic to a kid growing up in the master-planned Don Mills community. (The second book, "A Light in the Attic", didn't resonate with me since I grew up in apartment buildings.)

"Sunken City" Landslide, San Pedro, California.

Sunken City: Untitled

Every photographer I asked has hated this photo.

I no longer ask questions if I don't care about the answer.

I've always hated photos called "Untitled". If the photographer can't be bothered to name it, why should I be bothered to think about it?
As Brad Fraser wrote, Life's a barter system.

"Sunken City" Landslide, San Pedro, California.

Sunken City: Movable Feast

Cruise ships are floating buffet tables. Gulls need to be a little more resourceful.

"Sunken City" Landslide, San Pedro, California.

Sunken City: Streetscape to Landscape

My photograph titled "Sunken City" draws more traffic to this site than any other. I took this from the other end to be a companion to it.

The original "Sunken City" photo was taken from the rim of the landslide. Look for the place where the pavement projects slightly over the lip in this photo. The pavement in foreground of this photo is the large slab that's visible below the right-most hoodoo on the left-hand side of the older image. Once that makes sense, you can see both the full extent of the area and how much a photographer can change the appearance of a place by making different choices.

"Sunken City" Landslide, San Pedro, California.

Sunken City: Broken Ground

In the climate I live in, this kind of damage could only be caused by freezing and tree roots heaving the pavement up. Here it's being caused by the ground underneath falling and being washed away.
It's not just the surface, but the entire structure of the ground that's broken.

"Sunken City" Landslide, San Pedro, California.

Sunken City: Palm Tree

I like this tree. It's the same one that I turned into a firecracker in blown palm.

"Sunken City" Landslide, San Pedro, California.

Sunken City: Sponsorship

There was a hardware store that sprayed "We Sell Krylon Paint" on its back wall in the Queen West alleyway. They were a lot more subtle than this.

"Sunken City" Landslide, San Pedro, California.

Sunken City: Tagger

Taking a break from Wal-Art.

"Sunken City" Landslide, San Pedro, California.


Life In Prison

A charming moment from the Santa Claus Parade.

Jarvis and Front.



E-3 photo #136. iso3200, 1/30, 100mm, f/2.

The Don Valley Brick Works.


Sad Robot

This panel hasn't changed since 2005. But this time, I thought it was funny.


Big Blue Baby

Back at the Brickworks again.

Testing the new Olympus E-3 at iso3200.


Sad Clown

At the end of a very long Santa Claus Parade.

The Argument

Sometimes I laugh when I take pictures.



Queen West Alleyway.


New Construction

Queen West Alleyway.



Queen West Alleyway.



Quickly and Safely, please.

Venice Beach, California



Memorial to the Great War, Toronto.



CNN doing what it does best.

Fallon, Nevada.


The Use of Red

Taken last spring at the "Wings and Wheels" show, I've held on to this picture until now.

I do, I am, and I hope so.



Practicing for greeting cards in the home studio.

My mother gave me "Popular Songs: The Best of Wynton Marsalis" for Christmas one year, and "Sunflowers" was my favourite song on it. I'm a sucker for any good jazz that lets my subwoofer contribute.


Dead End

Off of Maine street.

Fallon, Nevada.



Twilight on the main line.

This photo was a fun one to take. One hand held the E-1 with its battery grip and the 7-14 ultra-wide lens, a four-pound combination. The other was behind my back to direct the flash toward the graffiti. When I held the flash in front of my body, it caused flare in the 7-14's massive front element.

I have broken the links to hundreds and hundreds of photos, which will take a long time to repair. The workaround is to replace "photo.matthewpiers" in the link URL with "matthewpiers.smugmug". Awkward, but only temporary.

This is happening because I have revamped matthewpiers dot com. More of what I write and photograph will be going there, so check it out as well.

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