Parkdale Walk OR Parkdale Alleyways

Sadly, no one was able to answer the question I posed in my outing summery of the Parkdale outing for a free drink. The definition of a gladstone is a suite case with flexible sides on a ridged frame that opens flat into two compartments. Neither Pam nor Joanne won a free drink. Sorry guys. Joanne should, however, get brownie points for doing research on the history of the neighbourhood. Not only did she do the research, but brought a print out in a file folder.

According to Wikipedia Parkdale has a riches to rags story. Some of the most prominent families and what would be founders of Toronto lived here. However, the thing that’s causing so much headache and debate today was the neighbourhoods destruction in 1955. The Gardner Express. What we’re seeing now with condo’s happened then with block apartment buildings. Hundreds of homes were destroyed. And now the neighbourhood is no longer well to-do, but house working class families and new-comers to Canada. Although condos’s and new townhouses in this area are starting to be built up, it will take time for the area to become gentrified again.

We started a little too far east, but made our way west through side streets but found interesting alley ways that seemed to have the most interesting textures on fences, garages, garage doors and stone walls. I recommend to anyone to keep a folder of textures for any future Photoshop projects.

Something we’ve noticed was how neat and tidy these alleys were; not an inch of graffiti to be seen. There were however, dilapidated sheds that stuck out like a sore thumb among otherwise pristine properties. There was only one or two sad streets in need of the love and attention for someone to spruce up a house here and there. Parkdale is no longer what it was. It’s come a long way over the years. After I had a call from one of our clients who still believed Parkdale was still populated with druggies, I was even more interested in seeing the neighbourhood. I was quite delighted with it. Nestled in itself behind the train tracks divided from the hustle and bustle of Queen St.

We went into two vintage stores. One of which Pam was saying went downhill in the past three months. She said it use to be so organized. Now there were items in the isles. There was no rhyme or reason to anything. The second was full of stuff. Though I was disappointed with the lack of frilly dresses. Perhaps they were downstairs with the bolts of fabric I purposefully for another day when I had more time to look.

For lunch, Pam suggested as Tibetan restaurant. There was one that I ate at twice before called Tibetan House or something like that, but we say a cute little yellow place that served both Indian and Tibetan cuisine, so we decided to try that. We ordered four dishes to try between us. A veggie fried noodle dish, spicy pork, a beef soup, steamed beef dumplings, and our waiter gave us a free dish of rice to sooth the spicy food.

Every dish was quite different in taste and all very delicious. Our waiter was telling us the traditional meat was Yak. But since there is only one at the Toronto Zoo, and it would be expensive to import otherwise; what dishes would be yak are make with pork instead. I would defiantly eat there again. If you’re looking for something different, try Om Restaurant.

Although it was cold and blustery, and starting to rain, we decided to check out a lush community garden and another alley. One so different from the others we came from; it was an extension of Graffiti Alley, but further west at Roncesvalles. There were a few fantastic sections, my favorite, a wall painted in multiple shades of green with vines hanging over it. I’d call it the Hanging Garden, but the feeling was nothing like the movie. These graffiti artists are amazing!

On the way home there was much debate about going to Nuit Blanch that night. I don’t think anyone of us made it. We’ve endured the chill of the days wind, but I we shivered at the thought of how cold it would be that night.

Kelso Lake

Antoinette is a fellow member of Rob’s Casual Tuesdays or Photographers Anonyms. She and I have wanted to shoot together for some time now. We were drawn to each other’s style, methods and images we’ve seen from previous workshops. So I proposed to her a shoot based on what I did at the Bruce Peninsula with Amanda V. in the low level water.

Ironically, our model Monday night was also an Amanda, but my friend and co-worker. I signed up for Model Mayhem, posting a casting call asking for a young woman with long wavy or curly hair. Since I had no nibbles from the site, Friday night after work I practically begged Amanda P. to model for me. Surprisingly she agreed. I say surprisingly because this isn’t the first time I asked. Now she’s had this experience, I hope she will model for me more often.

Antoinette picked us up at 4pm. Amazingly we got out of the city within 45 minutes. Which is strange because we were really confused by the directions Google Maps was giving us; not really understanding where they were leading us. Relized it was navigating us around construction on the Gardiner, thus avoiding a crazy long line up. Thank you Google Maps. Since we made it to Milton in good time, we had supper at the Ivy Arms on Main St. Monday night is 55 cent wings. They were good, but a little dried out.

Well fed, we made our way to the lake. As I suspected, it was the lake you can see from the 401; the one at the bottom on the ski hill by the escarpment. The water level was deeper that than what I expected, but it still worked out well. Amanda P. was such a trooper even though it wasn’t crazy cold, but cold enough to get use to. I’m one to talk, I was wearing rubber boots.

Antoinette was a trooper as well. Not having brought her lights on an on-location shoot like this before. Best off all she had a battery pack ,which allowed us to move the stand into the water and NOT get electrocuted.

Just as I was getting into the swing of things, directing Amanda to do this or that or lamenting the fact that I didn’t have a ladder, a set of lights headed our way down the hill to the beach.

It was funny because we all felt like rebels for bringing the car down in the first place. If they told us we couldn’t photograph down there, then we would leave. As I walked towards the park ranger getting out of the Jeep, I explained we were photographers. He said, “ I don’t have a problem with you doing photography, but the car isn’t allowed down here.” So I told him we would pack up because I don’t think any of us relished the idea of carrying the equipment back up that hill without a car. He was so nice about it and cute to boot. Perhaps I should have batted my eyelashes asking him if could give us another half hour then we’d bring the car up. But I doubt he could see fluttering eyelashes in the dark. A soft seductive voice perhaps? A light touch on the shoulder? Please Mr. Park Ranger, just a half hour more?

It was Antoinette’s turn after all and what she did was really fun. She methodically figured out how to make the lights form the ski hill haze into round halos, to make in interesting backdrop for Amanda’s portrait. I didn’t see the result of these, but I hope to at the next Tuesday workshop. I especially want to see the portraits were we strung the battery operated twinkle lights around Amanda’s head and shoulders. There was the perfect gentleness of winds that blew her hair to the side that completed the image. I know Antoinette wasn’t too crazy about these one’s, ditching the lights in the end. But she captured some beautiful rim lit and silhouette shots with the beauty dish as her final shots satisfied with what she took.

I’m going to consider these test shots. Now that I know what the water level, lay out of the land etc. is, I defiantly want to go back, but our warm days are getting fewer and far between. Not to mention the water temperature will not always be comfortable enough for skimpy, lacy nightdresses.

All in all I was very pleased with the evening, especially pleased Antoinette was “there for the experience.” I felt bad that she didn’t shoot when there was more day light like she wanted to.

On this outing I tried to get together an on-location kit. I started with buying clear plastic drop sheets at Home Depot, but realized I needed so many more things like clamps, duct tape, flashlight. So below, I will endeavor to put together a list of things you need for a shoot like this. I looked online to try to get an idea of what other people use, but the list I found was all camera equipment which is all very important, but didn’t help me with the “just in case” items. Actually this is an article all in on it’s own so stay tuned as I’m going to do another collage of things you’ll need as well as a list and why you need them.