On my last trip to Toronto, which was about a month ago, I discovered that the sensor on my 20D was in desperate need of a cleaning. Well, I kind of knew this, but it was even worse than I remembered, so instead of using it to take photos, I used my old backup, which is a Kodak DX6490. Yeah...not exactly the quality that I'm used to! So these photos aren't my best, but I did manage to get some shots that I like while hanging out one Sunday afternoon in the Distillery District. If I have my facts correct, this an area in Toronto that used to be a working distillery, but they've since taken the beautiful red brick buildings and turned it into a fun area for shopping, dining, arts, and entertainment. Distillerydistrict.com proclaims it "Toronto's Hippest Address" and a lot of movies were filmed here during the 90s.

Distillery District

View of the main plaza in the Distillery. I don't know if this is an everyday thing, or just a weekend or Sunday thing, but there were tents set-up, art-show style throughout the plaza. Classy tents, though, with cool stuff and beautiful jewelry - most well out of my price range. I like the angle that the "Gooderham & Worts" sign cuts across the photo at, and I really like the reflection of the clock in the window. I took photos of the clock itself, but this is more interesting.

Distillery with Sky

My favourite part of this photo is definitely the sky. I like that it appears to be in motion, the colour of it, and the wispiness of the clouds. I also like the lampposts on the right. Please ignore the man on the left in the daisy dukes. I wanted to crop him out, but using 4x6 proportions, I would have had to sacrifice too much sky, so there he stays. I suppose he adds character.


I don't have any great close-ups of the buildings, but this is the best of the ones that I have. The green Victorian ironwork against the red brick is just fantastic. The sign in the lower righthand corner indicates the building's number. Since there are not streets here, just pedestrian walkways, all of the buildings are numbered.

Next: I really will start to highlight last week's trip. I had just forgotten that I had a few decent Toronto photos to share.


tulip time

Every May, the town of Holland, Michigan has its Tulip Time Festival. There's a carnival, parades, traditional greasy-yet-delightful festival food, dancers, and all kinds of other things that I didn't get to see because I was only there for a couple of hours one afternoon. What I did see was the spectacular array of tulips that adorn the downtown area. Holland is home to Hope College (let's not go into how they were mean to me when I visited it during my junior of high school and ended up deciding not to apply), and it's a lovely college town, with several picturesque streets of interesting shops. I went with Jules, and we found a really cool fair trade import store, but we were both feeling a bit broke, so we just browsed.

Here are some of my favourite shots from our visit. These were all taken with my Canon 50mm/1.8 lens, which is my lens that I use for everyday things. I wish I had the 1.4, but the 1.8 is such a bargain!

8th Street

8th Street downtown - one of the main streets for shopping and dining. Our visit to Holland was just before a storm blew in, so I really like how the sky is starting to take on a deeper blue colour. 1/1250, f/4, ISO 100.


I don't often see tulips in this maroon colour. I played around with a few different shots of these, but I ended up liking this one best. I used a small aperture so I could focus on the blooms and let the stems and leaves fade into the background. 1/100, f/4, ISO 100.

Pretty Pink Tulips

These were my favourite tulips! We found them at the intersection of 8th and one of the major streets. I love the happy pink colour, and I took quite a few shots of these. This was toward the end of our visit, and you can see that the wind is starting to pick up. 1/50, f/16, ISO 100.

More Pretty Pink

Same plot of tulips, but from more of an aerial angle. I wish I could have these outside my house. Maybe it would motivate me to go outside once in a while! Not long after this, we started getting rained on, so that's it for Tulip Time. 1/50, f/20, ISO 100.

Up next: I'll start chronicling last week's trip to Philadelphia and New York. I did have internet while I was there, but by the time we got back to the hotel in the evenings, I was usually so tired that I just couldn't make myself edit photos and blog.


hometown pride

I haven't posted recently because I've been dealing with a dirty sensor on my camera. When I say "dealing," I really mean "ignoring." I finally learned how to clean it and did that last night, so I'm all set for my trip to Philadelphia and New York tomorrow. Adorama kindly forgot to ship the lens I ordered last week, so it's supposed to show up tomorrow at my friend's house in Philly. Let's hope so - I'm anxious to try it out on my trip!

I'll have a lot of trip goodies when I get back, but for now, here are a few more Chicago shots from one of my trips home in May. Dirty sensor and all. I apologize. And this is just a quick post, since I have to leave my house in less than an hour to catch the bus to the airport.


Detail of a staircase banister in the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan & Washington. When I was in high school, I was a member of a youth orchestra that had concerts in the beautiful ballroom on the third floor in this building.

Pritzker Shell

Priztker Shell in Millenium Park on Michigan Avenue with tulips in the foreground. Please ignore the dust on my sensor. I hate to post it, but I also want to because this is supposed to be a learning, experience, right? And aside from the dust, I like the shot. No photoshopping whatsoever (besides cropping).

The Bean

Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate" in Millenium Park. It's "The Bean." Kind of a boring shot, but if you look closely, there's a row of pigeons sitting on top. And I really do love "The Bean."

Next time: I have some photos from the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, MI, and then I'll start posting trip things. Unfortunately, I don't expect to have much internet access during my trip next week, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to check in while I'm away. Maybe, though!