Actually, it’s Sugar Beach in Toronto. Personally, I find it hard enough to get into the beach-going spirit in man-made sunning spots, where the sand is kept within a neat patch of land surrounded by sidewalks and large buildings. It doesn’t exactly scream “day at the beach.” However, when there’s a large rusty tanker dominating the view from your Muskoka chair it completely kills the illusion.
The image of people at the beach with the tanker in the background evokes a post-apocolyptic city — a manufactured urban landscape, synthetic, even toxic. The funny thing is, the adjoining park and boardwalk near the Chorus entertainment building, and the building itself, is quite nice. In a city where condo developers (or more recently, enterprising casino builders) circle around empty patches of waterfront like birds of prey, it’s not a bad place to visit on a sunny afternoon. Just don’t turn your head to the right.
This is a shot I took for a client last summer on the beach in Toronto. The models, Brandon Wickens and Rachel Sellan, and I spent the afternoon shooting in the water, on the sand and atop the rocks that line parts of the shoreline. It was one of the most enjoyable shoots I’ve conducted because a) let’s face it — a day taking pictures in the beach is hard not to enjoy and b) the models were pro’s and did a great job.
The above shot is one that didn’t make the cut for the client. I remember asking Brandon and Rachel to lay ont he towel and just sort of goof around. It worked out that Brandon decided to tickle her and I loved her very natural, almost infectious reaction. I can’t look at the image without smiling and I think that’s completely due to the realism of what’s going on in the shot. I had the easy job of literally just snapping a shot of it.
The other day I revisited the image and edited it to look a little more funky and vintage. It may not be for everyone but I like how it turned out. Let me know if you agree or if I should head back to the drawing board.
Yes, with the rainy and chilly weather in Toronto over the last few days (and with more coming this week) this photo is a bit of a tease. I’ve just been re-editing some photos I took last year since I have much better editing software than I did then. So don’t view this photo as a tease. As the raindrops keep falling on the windowsill, think of this image of a sign of things to come soon enough.
Today, in Toronto, the temperature rose to the mid-teens and people were out on the sidewalks and patios eating, drinking and generally just being merry. One friend took to Facebook to declare that “Patio season has begun.” Indeed, with the weather forecast calling for mild, albeit a bit rainy, weather in the near future, the days of blowing snow and shoveling out your car every morning look to be behind us for another few seasons. Days like today inspire smiles and activities and the belief that beach scenes like the one above are just around the corner.
Of course, this is Canada, so who knows what our weather will do next. Be kind, Mr. Weatherman, be kind.
This photo is from a collection I photographed in southern Ontario called At The Beach. With between 20-30 centimeters of snow forecast for Toronto in the next day or two, I couldn’t help my mind from wandering back to sunny summer trips and enjoying warm sand and blue waves. You may not believe it, but those days will return.