July was iffy, but now humid, hazy Montreal has its heat wave, the temperature marking 30C by the time of the final picture ("feels like 38"). I set this up today to see if it could tell us something about the build-up of smog over the course of days like this, but the brownish tinge one sees with the naked eye in the distance doesn't register in these photographs. Instead, just subtle differences in the play of shadows and light as the sun follows its arc.
As I work on my next Longform Travelogue (new feature here at Curves&Levels - see righthand column) for southern Thailand, I'll put up these photographs from Park Avenue in Montreal's Mile-End district taken last Friday night.
An unstated goal of this blog is to tell the story of a place through accumulation of detail. I almost said sheer accumulation, but that would be overstating; that is, I'm not averse to finding the One Big Shot. Every photographer looks for that, but the search can be distracting. Even misleading, if the gorgeous, amazing photograph hides the true nature of a place or situation. So wherever I go, camera in hand, even with one eye out for the grand view, I look for little things that might amuse or lend poignancy or give context or show history - the human touches that remain even as the architecture fades and crumbles.
Between the travelogues and the event coverage, this will be my mission, then: small stuff, half-hidden corners, uglyscapes, anti-photography. And a little commentary, even, done succinctly if we're lucky. Today it's signage and gewgaws.
I set out last night with a tripod to gather material for a look at Rue Prince-Arthur, a pedestrian-only stretch for bon vivants and casual strollers alike. Instead, I found myself wandering into byways looking for better light. The Prince-Arthur story will have to wait.
In the meantime here's a few unconnected by anything other than time and geography.
At the following link, two more, not from last night, but prepared as part of a related project.
Attention, shoppers! I'm changing computers, with all that entails, so posting has been sparse. Part of the process is digging through the files, re-sorting and re-burning, flushing away work that wasn't very interesting but was kept anyway. This is all in the interest of more portability and being able to process and edit on a single computer. Slow and tedious, but necessary.
I discovered these pictures whilst culling. They're from a visit I made to Montreal before I moved here, before I knew my way around. This is a building just a few blocks away from mine. It has now been repaired, refurbished and renovated, renting slick but tiny studio apartments. One-and-a-halfs, as they're called here.
Editor's Note: New sharper versions now posted. Update: Still looking soft. I'm using slightly different software and a different display. I hope to improve things in future posts
Between Rue Prince-Arthur and Avenue Du Mont-Royal*, you'll find these plaques embedded in the sidewalk marking the ages of the adjoining buildings. It is part of Heritage Canada's project designating the busy thoroughfare a National Historic District.
Even if you keep your eyes level, this is always a fascinating street.