(948) Atmos

A Jaeger LeCoultre Atmos clock, which is powered by changes in the ambient temperature.

I actually have taken recreational photos this week, but like this one better.



Photos of padlocks and chains are a cliche, but it's fun to play with cameras that only do close-focus at wide angles. I'm so used to telephoto macros that it makes for a nice change - and working in IR is always interesting, too.


(947) Available Dark

The days are getting short again.


(946) Bronze and Blue

Proof that I don't only shoot straight lines, or straight ahead.

Olympus E-1 and 7-14mm lens.


Helvetica in Black on Orange

If your first thought wasn't that this photo is upside down, you may see text first - like I do.


The Bright Side

One of my articles has caught someone's attention, and so my review blog has had over 1300 hits in the past two days. (It got sub-3500 hits for the month of October.) I've had the somewhat surreal experience of reading people's comments, and even seeing myself quoted. My writing has been called interesting, fresh, practical and funny; my opinions have been called reasonable and even organized. (By someone who has never seen my desk.) I've gotten a few negative and/or misaligned comments as well, but for the most part it's been a positive bit of eavesdropping.

Not a single person has mentioned the photos that accompany the reviews.

It's good to know where I stand, neh?


(945) Red House, White Exit

I saw this fun shot in an idle moment, and it was a good lesson to always carry a camera.

(I had to come back and actually take the photo the next day. Lesson learned.)


Yonge & Helvetica

This week I went for a walk from the intersection of Yonge and Dundas streets to where I work on Yonge, a distance of about 200m and two side streets. I wanted to shoot as many instances of Helvetica as I could. I took thirty photos in twenty minutes, and missed a lot of the smaller print. These are some of my favourites.

Italics are letters that are sloped with a cursive stroke emphasis; Obliques are regular letters that are slanted. Helvetica has obliques, no matter what the font names say.

If a sign's been done in Helvetica, then it was almost certainly made on a Macintosh. Amusingly, the "Microsoft" wordmark-logo is in Helvetica, even though their OS family includes the cut-rate Arial in its place. Also amusing is someone complaining about Luke-warm Christianity.

Many businesses don't have a consistent look when it comes to their typography; a single sign can have a half-dozen different typefaces on it. In this case, the difference works well.

HMV is a mess of different typefaces, which is unusual for a company with a marketing budget. Here Helvetica really doesn't make sense, since it neither compliments HMV's logotype nor matches the space-invaders graphics.

American Apparel uses Helvetica quite consistently, and photographing their window displays is the dirtiest I've ever felt with a camera.

I mean, really, which store is more blatant and seedy?

And finally, we come to the thought that's been running through my head for the last couple of weeks: If you're being told what to do, you're probably reading it in Helvetica.


(944) Pumpkin

On November 1, Harbord St. shows off their pumpkins. They had lots of great ones, but this one with its too-close-to-be-coincidence resemblance to The Scream was one of my favourites.

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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