Toronto street portraits

Shot from the hip: B&W Toronto street portraiture

Capturing a natural urban pose on camera often requires no more then, as the saying goes, "being in the right place at the right time." The subjects are, and often remain, almost as unaware that the capture has taken place as the photographer themselves were, moments before the snap was taken. Unexpected, uncanny, and often times unaware, the image created is ideal — a representation of the way things simply are.

I never go out seeking to capture this kind of imagery, and yet over time, they seem to 'appear' throughout my collections. Each shot is its own story, yet when pulled together they seem (in my mind) to create an interesting look at city life in Toronto, and indeed urban life in general.

In an alley near Dundas Square... *(subsequent captions go above each image)

Toronto street portraits

Dundas Square proper, a skateboarder impresses his lunching audience...

Toronto street portraits

Outside of a popular bookstore, a customer steps past "the locals"...

Toronto street portraits

After assisting an officer at the scene of a petty crime, a sudden change of heart takes place...

Toronto street portraits

Pedestrians, using their new four-way crossing...

Toronto street portraits

Bay Street overlay, while eating a hot dog...

Toronto street portraits

Lower Bay Street, 5pm,

Toronto street portraits

sullen faces...

College Park, a man walks by as I am sitting in the now emptied fountain...

Toronto street portraits

A young Parkour enthusiast practices his skills near the Atrium on Bay...

Toronto street portraits

A young man looks through an outlying fence near the airport...

Toronto street portraits

Waiting for a green light at King and Church...

Toronto street portraits

An odd staring contest unfolds on a TTC bus...

Toronto street portraits

Dogs sleeping on Roncesvalles early in the morning, as their owners buy groceries...

Toronto street portraits

A young woman playing in a fountain in a corporate art-park...

Toronto street portraits

Approaching the derelict remains of the old Kodak facility...

Toronto street portraits

A friend stops to take a quick snap under the Bathurst bridge...

Toronto street portraits

An unusual sign is found in an alley...

Toronto street portraits

An older gentleman puzzles at a construction site through a fence near Yonge and College...

Toronto street portraits

what are they building in there?

A talented young musician strums at a street corner on Yonge...

Toronto street portraits


A man crosses a bridge at Queen's edge...

Toronto street portraits


All of the images shown here represent simple, innocent, random acts. Beyond capturing the acts themselves, I am allowed no more insight, nor do I require any.

The use of the black and white format further emphasizes this, as well as my relationship with the people in the shots. The isolation and concentration of light and shadow in the black and white image allows a kind of anonymity, a distancing from the observer (unfortunately) disallowed at the time the snap was taken. But hey, how much time do you really have for analysis in 1/300th of a second? *Click*

(To see the rest of the photos in this series, as well as high-resolution versions of those above, you can see my flickr slide-show below...)


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