190524 Unassuming - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

One more from my evening at the Spit last weekend.

I genuinely can't tell if this is a good photo or not, but it has stuck with me. Sometimes photos do that, and only some of those times do other people pick up the same resonance that I do. I'm already looking forward to taking this to the Forum in the fall, but they occasionally read a significance that my photos don't contain, so that's not always a good test.

Campfire colours of yellow and orange accents against blue generally work, especially when it's the blue of twilight. The photo was taken about half an hour after sunset, facing mostly south. The subject being on the left of the frame always appeals to me, since this is how I see the world anyway. And I've removed some, but not all, of the trees that are coming up into the frame for simplicity and balance. There's good detail, and the wispy clouds are nice, so perhaps it is an okay photo. All I know for sure is that "Unassumed Road" is the first road sign I remember asking my mother to explain to me. The idea that there were roads that weren't owned and maintained by the city was staggering to me, and growing up in a centrally-planned suburb, it spoke of exotic and distant possibilities. The classic title "Where the Sidewalk Ends" carried the same incomprehensible mystique as well.

This was taken with both an angled ND grad to tame the sky and a polarizer to get past a reflective sheen in the sign. I've never had these things before, but they're surprisingly useful. It's a second-and-a-half at iso640 to stop the moon from blurring too much, at f/5.6 because sometimes I actually do use lenses at their optimal aperture. In this case, the lens is the XF 16-55 at 23mm – I end up at 23mm so often with the zoom that I'm occasionally thinking of replacing my 23/2 with the 23/1.4. Or owning them both for different occasions. Perhaps next time there's a sale.


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