Must Turn Left

Fortunately sun was behind the building so I was able to photograph the sign without it being backlit.

That's all of my New York photos for now… I still have a few – hundreds – to look through, but parade photos are rarely very promising. So it's entirely possible that I won't have any more photos of NYC for several months. That would make it around the two-year anniversary of my first time photographing the Flatiron building.


Coney Island

The afternoon on the boardwalk.

I had thought that my camera choice for next years' trip was already settled, but after seeing how many photos I like from just fifty exposures from my little rangefinder, the decision isn't quite so easy.


Ben Ash Deli

My little film Olympus XA does have a light leak, but that's actually the blur of someone walking past.

And for the record, there is such a thing as too much pastrami.


Bronx Worst White Van

I looked it up with Google, but still have no idea who it is.


Central Park Bike Rental

I'd like to say that Arial is an over-rated font, but it's really not. It is tremendously over-used, though.

Sundays at Eight, Seven Central

A photo strongly tied to a specific date and time.



Plastic is forever, but it's still odd to see it show such signs of wear.

I've recently been getting familiar with a new short macro lens, and taking my F5 and a roll of black and white film for a walk is part of that process. And the benefit of living so close to the University of Toronto is that there are many interesting signs to photograph, and since I've been doing this for a while, I get to try to find new ways to see them.

I'm not inherently a fan of monochrome images, but after spending an entire afternoon trying to scan and post-process just two colour photos, it certainly has its appeal.


One of the things that I like about film is that it's a physical thing. Its own existence changes what's captured in ways that aren't entirely predictable. For example, the lighter section at the top of this photo is beyond the official imaging area of the camera – the lettering has created an echo that extends into the unexposed film.

I know that I've photographed this sign before, and which camera I did it with. But for now I can't find it here… my titles aren't always strongly linked to the photographs.



Of course photographs look nothing like reality, even though we can recognize one in the other. This should be light yellow and dark red on silver-blue sheet metal.

In / Out

Two of my favourite signs, which I usually photograph in colour.


Crumpled Zone

Perhaps I lack imagination, but when I see something in black and white, I can't imagine it in colour.

Perhaps that's why I like using film.


Celebrate Landscaping

Landscaping and setup crews spent last week turning parts of Yonge street into hills and planter gardens for "Celebrate Yonge", which will run for the next four weeks.

This is a second edit, which I prefer to an earlier version that I shot on request for the National Post.


Words in Stone

These photos are simply quick sketches as I start to work on my second Lakefill series. I took them all with natural light in the space of just a couple of hours, and then processed them through Lightroom in an easy afternoon. The "for real" photos are going to be lit with strobes and run through three different programs. And I'll be taking lots and lots of them.

Of course the photographic process started six months ago, if not longer. All of the fragments that I'm photographing are the ones that caught my interest while I was on the Spit, and were small enough to collect. This explains why there are no large concrete blocks, and why so many of my subjects include words.


Larger Pieces

Sometimes I get ahead of myself: I picked up the "standard" brick and thought that it could be my lead photo for the project. (There are a few steps between here and there that I haven't quite done yet. Like decide on the format, lighting, and actually take some pictures.)

I don't know the significance of the F Price brick versus the much more common J Price marking; it's a phrase that has proven remarkably resistant to Google. In fact, there's a surprising lack of information about old bricks and their markings, so it's a bit of a history project ahead of me, not just a photographic one.


Small and Worn

I don't have an accurate count of the number of bits and pieces that I've collected from the Spit. I photographed two dozen in the afternoon that produced all of these photos, but skipped a number of the smaller bits. And there's the very good chance that I'll pick up a few more bricks before I'm done.


Scrap Metal

In addition to the abundant brick and concrete, there's a small amount of scrap metal on the Spit as well. Rebar, electrical conduits and junction boxes, and thin sheet makes up most of it, but occasionally there are small and photogenic pieces as well.


Half Price Brick

Somebody was bound to make the joke, so it might as well be me.

These are just quick edits of quick photos. I've been collecting interesting bricks from the Spit for the past several months, and decided to take a few hours and sort through them today. Even though I wasn't trying to, I learned a trick or two that I'll be able to use when I'm setting up the lighting for my next round.


Left or Right

This photo is likely to be only the second one that I've ever printed from my little Canon S100, out of 2777 photos taken with it to date. The first photo that I printed was actually a panorama stitched from eight or ten images, so I'm not quite sure how to score that one. My TS3 has taken 6370 photos, and I've printed none of them.

A much more lightly edited version of this photo is on my Five Thousand Photos blog.

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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