190530 High Water Film - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

These photos were taken last Friday, 24 May 2019, and are just back from the photo lab.

They're already out of date, as today – the following Thursday – Lake Ontario reached the highest water level it has seen since before the Islands were islands.

I won't repeat myself too much; most of what I wrote in my High Water post last week applies to these too, with the caveat that now we know the current situation is even worse. But as I noticed back in 2017, even Toronto's natural disasters are fairly reluctant and mild-mannered, giving time for countermeasures if we're interested in taking them. Infrastructure will be damaged, and further lessons will be learned, but we're slowly getting better at this sort of thing. Hanlan's Point is not accessible any more, but the ferry is still running to Centre, which is a huge improvement over the effects of high water in 2017.

Olympic Island. Next time I'm here – another seven or ten days, with luck – I'm hoping to wear more water-compatible footwear so that I can explore a little more.

These photos are taken with my Zeiss rangefinder on HP5 film. The first is with the ZM 35/2 and an orange filter, while the rest are with the ZM 50/1.5 through a yellow filter. Probably. I can't always spot the focal length difference, especially since these have all been cropped.

Five little ducks. This is on Centre, west of the main path, with the channel past the scrub trees on the far right of the photo. The water here is accumulation more than overflow, but is substantial enough to make the waterfowl very happy.

I have Raffi's rendition of Six Little Ducks on my various music players, and enjoy it unironically. It even makes me like ducks better.

I'm just a little too old to have caught Raffi's music when I was a kid. I'm trying to make up for that now, as my youngest niece is giving me another chance to hear his work, but she's not who introduced me to Raffi's music. No, I sought it out as an adult after meeting his brother, who is a profoundly talented photographer. He made such an impression in person that I wanted to learn more about his work and background; connecting with Raffi's music is just one way that has enriched my life and prompted me to know more and be better.

Little things, small moments, can make a difference. Like little ducks.


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