Double Exposure: Cyclists of Toronto (2017)

 

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Arrangement of books in bicycle toast rack

Now that the project is just about finished I have a limited number of books available for sale. Cost is $15 and you can email me at beltonaine@gmail.com for more information on making an order. More information can be found below or if you click here.

About the book:

This photography book features 35mm film double exposure portraits of 16 cyclists and their favourite places to cycle in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. I am indebted to the 16 wonderful people that you will meet in this book.

Portraits of the 16 participants:

 

 

Book launch June 9th at bikeSauce

It is my pleasure to announce….
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You are invited to bikeSauce for the launch of “Double Exposure: Cyclists of Toronto” on June 9th, 7-10pm.

This book features 35mm film double exposure portraits of 16 cyclists & their favourite places to cycle in Toronto and the GTA. The book is about cycling and the meaning of memory and space. Portrait sessions resulted in a series of unique double exposure portraits taken at select locations. Together, as photographer and participant, we created these portraits that blend and embed person and place together.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards the fundraising event “No Bici, No Fiesta”, organized by bikeSauce and volunteers. Vegetarian food will be served and there will be creative activities to get involved in. Please note that bikeSauce will not be doing any bike repairs on this evening.

Here’s the facebook event link 🙂
https://www.facebook.com/events/1319851878122542/?notif_t=event_description_mention&notif_id=1495052399197963

 

Best wishes,

Áine Belton

Assembling and scanning negatives

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The last few weeks have been very busy with getting all the processed negatives of my 16 participants digitized. I’ve special cotton gloves for loading and unloading the filmstrip holder – it takes 6 negatives and I pass the strip through an OpticFilm 7300 scanner. SilverFast has been a great program to work with, I’ve been able to spot any dust or scratches and balance the tones between the layers of images on film. I didn’t want to have to use Photoshop other than for repairing any deep scratches and changing the CMYK color profile for print. SilverFast has given me more control with the balance of light and gradation with these strips of film. In total, I spent more time scanning the negatives and perfecting the light more than any other task in the project.

Here’s a photo of a test negative I’ve stuck to my living room window. It inspires me to move positions and re-frame the image in the negative 🙂 Lots of ideas have come about since having this little reminder at my desk.

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Just a little outside of Toronto…

Scarborough is an area I’ve been to maybe once or twice. Myself and my wife have been to the golf club for a Christmas party in 2016 in the night time only accessing the area by motorway. When I met Kathleen first I had heard that she lived and commuted from Scarborough. I know maybe one other friend that lives in this area. Both of them are very enthusiastic about the trail path called the “Waterfront Trail”. I believe that this trail is divided into three sections East being Scarborough, Toronto being Central and Etobicoke being West. You can enjoy the scenery of Rouge Beach, Rouge Bridge and views of the lake and Toronto.

Here are come connections for the trail paths stretching across from East to West:

Unfortunately for me I had a flat tire just after I cycled from Kingston Road. I spent as much time as I could in the sun at Rouge Hill taking photographs for Kathleen’s portrait. I will return and enjoy more of the trail again. The lookout post is definitely a picnic friendly area!

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At Rouge Hill GO Station with my flat tire…

Queen Street Bridge was Steve’s location. Recently I posted about Shellie’s choice of the Humber Bay Arch Bridge – a meeting point that is used for catching up with her husband Steve when they have cycling excursions. Also known as the Queen Street Viaduct, the bridge is one of the few steel Truss bridges in the city. I’d no idea what this meant, so when I read about it I decided to quote Wikipedia as it best explains what kind of bridge this one is:

“A truss bridge is a bridge whose load-bearing superstructure is composed of a truss, a structure of connected elements usually forming triangular units. The connected elements (typically straight) may be stressed from tension, compression, or sometimes both in response to dynamic loads. Truss bridges are one of the oldest types of modern bridges.”

Eldon Garnett created the artwork of the clock and quote on the bridge – “this river I step in is not the river I stand in.” (Heraclitus, philosopher). This is part of a three site art piece, I plan to visit the remaining sites. I understand that the clock no longer works, in 2010 the mechanism and hands were removed.

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Queen Street Bridge

As you can see there are four lanes of traffic, there is never a dull moment on this bridge! I tried many times to stand in the middle of the road to take a photo in the late afternoon of a Wednesday a few weeks ago. I think only once could I get into the middle and take some photos. Taxis honking, TTC streetcars advancing…. and a few pedestrians that gave me very strange looks as I dared to stand still and adjust my lens!

Exploring the Don Valley

Erica’s location took me on the trail paths of the Don Valley not too far away from the Prince Edward Viaduct (about a 20min ride). I’d been there previously with Marcus for his location photos. Both sites on the Don Valley were quite different from each other. Marcus’ location included scenery of apartment buildings which were built on land that he played on as a child. Erica chose the Elevated Wetlands (I was later to hear of a different title – Taylor Creek Park) as it is part of her commuting life. The trail path along this route has charming artwork of fish, streams and bicycles with words of encouragement. You’ll see some of the Don River making it’s way into my photographs. You wouldn’t think that this scene of natural beauty has a mixed soundtrack of the passing vehicles on the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) as well as the gushing motion of the river.

Don Valley Trail Path/Taylor Creek Park

What I enjoyed most about this visit (back in late April) was coming off of the path to get closer to the stream. I couldn’t see very much in the water, it moved so swiftly but I can only imagine that the fish, amphibians and insects are moving in sync with the cars on the DVP.

 

 

Many kilometres later….

I can share with you some images taken on my phone from the last few meetups with my Double Exposure participants. The marvelous sights I’ve seen as a recent immigrant to Toronto….I am delighted! I am very grateful for the time given to the preparation of the book – such generous and passionate cyclists have I met 🙂

Brian and I cycled from Etobicoke to his location of Riverside Cemetery & Cremation Centre for his photograph. He captured me in my cycling gear layering the remaining location photography on top of his portrait. I must admit that shooting in overcast weather has been most effective. The sun can cause funky flares on my lens that I may not notice until after processing.

imagePhotograph by Brian Neary

Closeby to Brian (well, almost….on my way to Etobicoke) I passed what was to be Shelley’s location – Humber Bay Arch Bridge at the mouth of the Humber river. This site is a decent 30min cycle from Downtown Toronto. Using the Martin Goodman trail (pedestrian and cyclist friendly) makes it a very easy journey. There are lots of opportunities to stop, park your bike and enjoy the view of the lake. When you get to the bridge you go up a slight hill and then are suddenly in view of the stunning white supports that frame this bridge. There are some quirky features too – see the images below. What adorable sculpted characters that are embedded into the bridge side! There are carved symbols marking the native heritage of what was the “Toronto Carrying Place” trail. I had no idea about the meaning of the bridge at all before arriving here. The trail is an ancient aboriginal trading route leading north.

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Geometric patterns that line the curve of the bridge – Designed in 1994 by Montgomery Sisam Architects of Toronto and Delcan Corporation (thanks Wikipedia!).

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View from the path just under the bridge at the mouth of the river.

Just off of Dundas Street East near Yonge Street it Victoria Street Lane where there is a vibrant bicycle mural. This is where I shot the location photographs for Ali. The first time I visited it there had been an added artwork of Donald Trump! Fortunately, the Trump remark/image had been cleared away in time for Ali’s photographs. If you are a Ryerson student you may be familiar with the mural as it’s a very good shortcut to the library and Ryerson Image Centre. I think the mural is around 10 years old, it’s looking great for its age. Ali’s portrait was taken only about 100m from this location. He organizes a group bicycle ride on the last Friday of every month (starting in April), this is when I photographed him and joined his group.

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Double Exposures: Stage 2 location photography

I finished up the last round of portrait photography in the middle of March and now I’m meeting participants one on one to talk about their chosen location. My bicycle has been taken on 4 journeys around Toronto. We’ve been very lucky with the weather for some photo shoots whilst other times needed to be rescheduled. IMG_20170318_124706782_HDR.jpg

On the first weekend of April I journeyed with Lee to Kensington market nice and early on Sunday morning. Lee’s shots consisted of the colorful street art and alleyways of Kensington. We took some snaps of the sculptural gardens and installations along the way too. That same afternoon I travelled to Dundas West to meet Jess and photograph the bike trail that she lives near and also taught a friend to cycle on. Regardless of where you travel to in Toronto there’s been some outstanding, funky graffiti.

I’m fresh from a beautiful trip to the Don Valley with Marcus, we visited the bridge near to where he had many adventures as a child. Marcus pointed out parts of the landscape that has since been redeveloped into housing. The nature hasn’t changed too much, one could find deer footprints along the path by the water. Later in the afternoon I met Andrew, aka Pie and we cycled all the way out to the charming lighthouse at Leslie Spit. The view of Toronto was remarkable, you could see Hamilton, Mississauga and even a bit of the Scarborough Bluffs.

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Yesterday, Christopher met me at Cherry Street BBQ and we cycled through the marina area to get a view of the CN Tower, skyline and boats in the water. Tina and I met in Jack Goodlad park where she showed me the trail that she enjoys that was part of her childhood. The were some beautiful lilac snowdrop close-ups beside the metal bridge over the railway that were a stunning surprise. We also flipped the camera over to take some unusual compositions of the landscape.

Friday the 14th is when I’ll meet John next 🙂 We’re heading to another bike path that is just 20min away from where I live, shame on me for never having been there before!