Monday, June 12, 2006

Just the recent wanderings

About a week and a half ago I went with a couple of friends down to the nude beach on an overcast, drizzly Friday. It was a nice trip. The water was a little cool, but a good opening to the summer season.

It ain't exactly the Mayflower...
Taking the ferry over, first to Ward's Island, and then to Hanlan's point.

Blockhouse Bay
This is Blockhouse Bay, where the marina is. It's often full of the most pleasant sailboats.

The Road to Nudity
The boardwalk leading from the grassy area of the park through the screen of trees to the beach...

Entering Hanlan's Point beach
This is the end of the boardwalk onto the beach. It enters just the clothing side of the fence. Cross the fence and you can really frolic in puris naturalibus al fresco. :)

HDR IR The right side of freedom
This is a high dynamic range image compsed of three infrared images of varying exposures (pardon the pun); what I call "HDR IR". This was taken just inside the fence that separated the clothing optional side of the beach (where I'm standing) from the fabric side. The sign warns that you must be dressed on the other side of the fence.

HDR IR Rainy beach due
Another HDR IR image. This looks north over the fence towards the Humber Bay.

Hanlan's Point Nude Beach
This is a panorama of the beach, looking south (hi, Rochester!) from about where you enter the nudist side of the divider.

The obligatory cliche shot of the Toronto skyline
On the way back to the city from the islands. A stereotypical, but I think still lovely, shot of the skyline with a ferryboat in the foreground.

This is the start of Yonge Street
This is where Yonge Street, "the longest street in the world" according to Guinness, actually begins... a couple of yards behind the person standing on the sidewalk are the waters of Lake Ontario.

Looking up Yonge Street from its very start
Looking up Yonge Street from its very beginning. From here, you can drive all the way to the Dakotas, as memory serves. Along this stretch of sidewalk are mileage markers that tell how many kilometres to various Ontarian cities and towns along Yonge Street.

Last weekend I went down to the Distillery District with a couple of the guys to listen to blues music and drink organic beer. Yeah, it's that kinda town, what can I say. :)

HDR IR Canary Restaurant
HDR IR image of the Canary Restaurant to be found at Cherry Street (along which we're standing) and Front Street. As I understand it, this corner has been featured in any number of TV shows and movies for its rather authentic 1940s aspect. This restaurant is, amazingly, still a going concern.

An incidental note: I took the photo about five minutes after we were witness to a minor accident at Cherry Street and Eastern Avenue in which an SUV rear-ended a van at the intersection. No real harm done, other than that the van shed about 10 pounds of rust, I nearly shed 5 pounds of brown stuff in my jeans (I was standing less than ten feet from the vehicles at the time), and the guy riding shotgun in the van bailed clutching his neck and yelling "Whiplash!" That at least got a chuckle out of the guy in the SUV. They all seemed to take it pretty well. :)

HDR IR Toronto skyline
This is how the downtown looks from Cherry Street, but didn't not that long ago and won't, again, soon. The block was, till lately, an industrial site. It's been torn down to make way for condos. That's the fate of pretty much all the industrial lands downtown over the past 15 years or so. I suppose there are worse fates for a downtown than replacing over-carbonating heavy industry with over-oxygenated Yuppie hothouse flowers...

Famous gates
This is the entrance to the Distillery District on Mill Street (for which a still-resident brewery is named). I'm reliably informed that these gates appeared in the movies Cinderella Man (the looking-for-work scenes) and X-Men (the scene in which Magneto, as a boy in Poland, bends the steel with his mind).

HDR IR Blues
As we entered and made our way down the central drag, we passed the main band shell, where some blues musicians were tuning up. This is an HDR IR image.

HDR IR Distillery District alleyway
This is an HDR IR shot of an alleyway inside the District. It takes three shots to make an image like this; a woman entered the scene in the final shot. She comes out as a ghost in the left foreground. Kinda cool, actually. I still consider it rather ignorant to deliberately enter the field when someone is obviously compositing a photograph, however.

Ameri-- ahhh, Canadian Bandstand :)
From where we were seated, this was the view of the first live band, who were the self-proclaimed Lester McLean Band. They were just the thing to accompany a warm late spring afternoon and quality brew. :)

Yar, here be men!
Speaking of quality brew, here it is biting the dust.

My friend P-Doug consented to hold still long enough for my infrared camera to collect the requisite three images to compose this HDR IR portrait, which I believe is actually my first.

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