#103, Rhino

Motion blur isn't usually a problem with rhinos, but this was taken at 1/4 second.


#104, Rhino

Not the decisive moment.


#108, Orangutan

I like this photo, but it makes me sad.


#889, Pink, White, and Blue

Playing with the GX680 for close-up work is a challenge, but entertaining. This image is softer than I would like, but I'm not sure which of the many possible causes is to blame. (More specifically, I know that it's user error, but I'm not sure which error it is.)


#893, Hammer

One of my favourite tools - non-photographic ones, anyway.

This is a second-hand hammer that was given to me by a construction worker. Well, left behind more than given, but same difference. I don't think I've ever used it, but it's always handy in Penny's workbench.


#872, Spadina Station

Spadina station, southbound platform.


#876, Museum Subway

Every now and then I like to carry my little Fujifilm around with me.

Ideally I'll use it in places where I can sit down a lot.


New Colour (Portra 400)

I got a roll of a brand-new 35mm colour film when I was in New York back in October `10, and couldn't wait to get my hands on it for my medium format camera. Naturally, the week that it was first available found Toronto in a greyed-out snowy mood.

Fortunately for me, there's always construction sites.

I have now standardized on Ektar 100 in 135, Portra 400 in 120, and XP2 in both formats. Once the new Portra is out for 135 format I'll always keep a roll or two on-hand, but it won't be replacing Ektar as my general small-format colour film. The rare exception might be if I use both formats for a major project, but that's something that would take a lot of thinking.

There are solid reasons for using different film in different formats. My rangefinder is typically used at f/1.5-f/8, so iso100 film helps me keep the shutter speeds in check. My 135 cameras both have very accurate meters, giving me a lot of control over Ektar which changes its character when it's over-exposed. In contrast my medium format camera typically lives between f/11 and f/32, so even with a tripod the faster iso400 films are an advantage. Portra is also very forgiving with over-exposure, which makes a huge difference when I can only work in whole stops on a meterless camera. It still doesn't quite have the magic that the fickle Ektar does for me, but having negatives five times the size of 35mm supplies quite a bit of its own magic, and the colour of this latest Portra is beautiful. I can depend on it for great results from a single exposure in a way that I can't with Ektar or chromes.

And in case anyone wonders why I'm going into such detail here, this is a companion post to my Portra 400 article on Thews' Reviews.


#878, Yonge Closed

From Tuesday, the day after the fire.

By thursday they had taken down the top floor of the building, and fenced off the far side of the street to allow pedestrians to get past. The progress on the building has fallen out of the news, but I doubt that there'll be much left to see tomorrow, one week from when the building burned.



There was a bit of a delay getting the film back from the lab - while a little disappointing, my happiness at seeing my favourite lab with so much film to process more than compensated for it.

…that doesn't explain why it took an extra day between scanning and posting, though.

The 120 film that I shot the next morning is still waiting.


Empress Hotel, 1888-2011

One of the oldest remaining buildings on Yonge street caught fire early this morning.

Conservatively called "massive", the fire has completely gutted the building that has sat vacant since April 2010 after the north wall - formerly visible here - partially collapsed. The building was in danger of being declared a heritage property, which would have forced the landlord to repair it and bring it back up to standards. After this freak accident that seems unlikely to happen.

Out of respect for the age of the building, I also used my rangefinder for some black and white film. I'll see how it came out tomorrow - I could have had it this afternoon if the lab where I get it processed hadn't had the "Fire Line" tape tied to its doorknob.

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.

Older Photos by Month