191008 401 - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto
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Highways are their own worlds of speed and noise. "Interstitial" is an overused word, in certain circumstances, but here it applies. And to be on it is vastly different from being near it – the difference between being in a car and being in a city. These photos are from a recent weekend road trip, the kind of journey I usually take by train or bus, but just this once was done with a car. To be on the highway at night is an extremely rare event for me, so hopefully these carry some of that experience.

Photographing around the 401 Expressway has been on my list of things to do for a while, but it's such a hostile barrier that I haven't made the trip up to it since doing some sound recording for Mechanism back in 2013. There are other highways downtown that I explore from time to time, but there's nothing quite like the breadth of a suburban highway that has had the city grown around it. I really should take the time, especially as my methods and equipment have changed.

These were taken with some of that recently changed methods and equipment, using my Osmo Pocket for hand-held long exposures. (One second duration for the first photo, three seconds for the others.) It takes twelve megapixel photos which become 10Mpx at my favourite 1.6 aspect ratio. I meant to use raw/DNG for these, but somehow only came away with jpegs, which I then pushed around unconscionably. Even after all that – and the analog 'dirty windshield' filter that I had applied when taking them – I still had to add noise in post processing to make them grittier.

I've printed the middle one, now titled "a linear experience of speed and noise", and have to say that it looks pretty good.