Urban Landscape

As a young photojournalist in the early ’70s I would spend days shooting urban assignments. I loved this so much that in my spare time I would walk the same streets with Leica M3’s over my shoulder shooting people and cityscapes. The grittier the better.

When I returned to photography after a long absence I resumed my urban wandering. But, I quickly discovered the joys of landscape and nature work. Today I shoot very little in the city, but when I do find something that captures me it makes me feel like I did back when photography was a fresh new passion.

Shopping Cart Shopping Cart — Toronto, 1993

In 1993 I was just beginning to return to photography after more than a decade’s absence.  I bought a Nikon F4 and several lenses, and would wander the urban landscape looking for images.

One fall morning I came upon this abandoned shopping cart lying in a stream bed in one of Toronto’s numerous ravines.  Though the image satisfied me it was the beginnings of a thought process that lead me away from the urban landscape and into the natural world.

Photographed with a Nikon F4 and 85mm f/1.8 lens.

Paper Wall Paper Wall— Toronto, 1993

I’ve always been taken with the similarity between peeling walls and aerial views of the landscape.  In some strange way this image too brought me to later photograph the larger natural world.

Taken with a Nikon F4 and 60mm F2.8 Micro-Nikkor lens

Numbered Ship Side Numbered Ship Side, Ontario, 1994

The rusting hull of a ship moored in Toronto harbor creates a landscape of colour and pattern.

Photographed with a Nikon F4 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 lens.

Little Debbie Little Debbie — New Orleans, 1996

After a long day at a telecom trade show I spent an early summer evening walking some of the less touristy streets of New Orleans. TheLittle Debbiebread company had their logo on the corrugated metal side of a building.

Photographed with a Leica M6 and 90mm f/2.8 Summicron

Paris 29 — France 1997

I adore Paris and visit there as often as I can.  The strong graphic nature of this garage wall captured my attention.

Photographed with a Leica M6 and 35mm Summilux f/1.4 lens on Provia 100 colour transparency film and then converted into a Duotone in PhotoShop.

Tree & Eiffel Tower, Paris 1999

Paris again.  I was wandering along the Seine one rainy afternoon and ended up at the inevitable landmark. I was using the wide-format Hasselblad XPan, a replacement for my old Leica M6, but couldn’t bring myself to shoot the inevitable vertical. I walked for a while beneath the tower admiring its architectural grace and came across this wonderful old elm tree whose canopy matched the arch of the girders almost perfectly.

Windows & Benches, Toronto 1999

A walk through an abandoned factory while testing the then new Canon S10 digital camera produced this compelling study. I only do a few images a year of this sort, but it was gratifying to see that I could do so without fancy gear, in this case a hand-held digital point-and-shoot.