Snowplow working on northbound Spadina Crescent, February 8, 2013.

I really should have held on to this photograph for another day. Given that there's a two-day-long snowstorm forecasted to begin tonight, I would have looked like a Magnum-class photojournalist for capturing the storm on film and having it available so promptly. After all, the only thing I'd need to do to make it newsworthy is change the caption.

Iron Stairs

Still playing with perspective, this is the side-on view of stairs that I also photographed digitally. I took two different versions with my film camera, but I preferred this one to the photo with deep focus even though it didn't flatten space in quite the same way.

Sadly, the data back for my F5 doesn't imprint the shooting information the way it should, so I don't officially know what aperture this was taken at. I'm going to guess that it was at f/1.4. On the bright side, since the data imprint doesn't work, there's absolutely no downside to setting the aperture via the lens. Obviously this will only work on my AF-D lenses that I use on my F5, and not on the AF-S lenses for my D800, but I find that I have remarkably little psychic confusion between these two cameras, even when I'm using them both at the same time.


Monochrome and Snow

While it was the colour of this scene that caught my attention, I think I like the black and white film version better.

Mini Snowstorm

There's a huge difference in composition between this and the digital version, since one of the 50mm lenses had only half of the field of view of the other, but equally striking is the difference in how the city looks when colour isn't captured.



A Spadina streetcar, just two stops out of the station, turns away riders because it's full.


Getting Through

My film from the snow storm of February 8 is back and scanned.

It's hard to believe that on the tenth day after this storm hit I was walking up and down Spadina taking photos of vibrant colours. Some days it feels like winter will never end, and on others it feels like it never happened at all.


The last of colourful and happy photos from Spadina and Kensington for a while.

Good Luck With That

It's nice to see that some stores still sell film.

And casette tapes.


Colour Bar

This is my 1100th post, figuratively speaking.


A_48 of 4L500 18x24x2

Face Detection auto-focus didn't pick up on this one, but to be fair, I'm not sure that it's a face that's being depicted.



There's no way to know what will be on the sidewalk on Spadina Avenue.


Fashion Pants

Shopping bargains from the east side of Spadina, between College and Dundas.


Sidewalk Sale

A little digression into summer colours to break up the winter.


Iron Railings

Playing with perspective and depth in a snowstorm.


Yellow and Snow

Those who know me won't be surprised that I'm looking forward to seeing what this looks like in black and white.

My Olympus E-1, released in early 2003, is pretty tough for a digital camera; I took photos of it planted in three or four different snow banks just for fun. But I was also wiping snow from the status LCD of my F5 to see how much film was left. The Nikon F5 is from the fall of 1996 and 50/1.4D is a year older than that, but the XP2 Super film that I use is from 2008.

Snow Wheels

It can be tough leaving a bike on the street in Toronto.


Spadina Snow

One final photo of the traffic from Friday's excursion, although I do have a couple of sets of other subjects still to come.

It's hard to see through the graffiti in the lower-left corner, but my audio recorder is tucked unto the top of the pay phone, and that's the reason why this one is posted separately. The accompanying audio file is here.

Snowy Streets

Toronto had a bit of snow yesterday – apparently 25cm is the best we've managed in five years. It seemed like a good day to get out with the cameras again, which I don't do nearly as much as I used to. It took better than an hour to line up all of my gear for the excursion, since I hadn't used my winter boots or my Olympus E-1 in ages, but it all worked properly once I was outside.

First photo: Spadina Crescent, which is normally a broad three lanes with a fourth lane for the streetcar, reduced to a shadow of its normal self. Shortly after this photo was taken a plow truck and a grader came through, but still only cleared half of the road.

Second photo: Ordering food for delivery during a snowstorm feels like cheating, especially when the restaurant is just a block away. This is Spadina Avenue at Sussex.

Third photo: Lazily falling flakes is a completely different experience from wind-driven snow. Huron south of Sussex.

Forth photo: A Mini has a hard time with the loose snow that the graders had plowed across Spadina Avenue as they scraped along College street. It was cold enough that the traffic wasn't melting the snow, which would have produced very messy slush, but instead it was balled up until it gave less traction than loose sand. And yes, I did help out after I put the cameras down.

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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