190619 Olympic - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

Here are a few photos from Olympic Island, taken on the weekend of June 8, when the lake was near its highest level. They're ones that inexplicably didn't make it in to the Olympic Island project, but are still among my favourites. Like a pinhole photo taken on Kodak Tri-X that I was given when I was in New York City on my honeymoon almost nine years ago. Pushed two stops.

Two panoramas from the Theta. This little camera is the main reason why I went back for a second day, and sooner or later these will end up on Google Maps. The photos with the chairs is actually the same image file as the curved image from the Olympic Island project page, but it hasn't yet been put through the spherical projection software.

These are, without question, the biggest fish I have ever met on their own turf, so to speak. There were only a few carp splashing around when I was on the island on Friday, but by Sunday they were everywhere. While they're not the most elite of fish, I'm still impressed to see something this size living in and around Toronto harbour.

"About two foot tall; long, slender neck; orange and black bill… well, it's a swan."

My personal opinion is that Hot Fuzz is one of the best movies ever made, and no, you won't convince me otherwise.

While my taste in movies is fixed and immutable, I'm still figuring out which films I like. These are on Ilford Delta 100, which is very nice but might be a little too fine-grained for web use. At these small sizes it doesn't really have the bite that I'd like to see. Ilford HP5 might be more of an everyday film for me, but I'll need to compare prints before I make any real decisions. 

Three ways to leave the island: ferry, water taxi, and airplane. 

The ferries are Toronto icons in the same league as the tower or streetcars, and like those others their inclusion is required by the Toronto Photographer Ordinances whenever possible. It also helps that they run every fifteen or thirty minutes on warm summer weekends, meaning that one is almost always in view. Like the streetcars used to be before the new, bigger Bombardier cars came along.

The water taxi is my new favourite way to get to the islands, being quicker, more conveniently located, less crowded, and only a smidge more expensive. But the ferry is free on the return trip, so the icon wins that round and the taxis – as it is here – almost always run back empty.

The DHC Dash 8 – formerly the Bombardier Q400 – is the biggest plane that operates out of the island airport, but not usually the loudest. The Pilatus PC12 that runs the occasional air ambulance service seems to beat it, as do a few other small planes. But the low drone of the passenger turboprops is an unmistakeable soundmark for the Toronto harbourfront.


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