Toronto through the lens of Ryan Raz
Toronto is a hub of photography. In addition to being one of the most photographed cities in the world, some of the best professional and amateur photographers out there can be found roaming our streets with camera in hand. To keep tabs on all this local talent, every Saturday we feature the work of a Toronto-based photographer in our series "Toronto through the lens of."
This week I chatted with photographer Ryan Raz.
How long have you been taking photographs and what made you to pick up
the camera in the first place?
After I returned to Toronto from Vermont in 2005 I was looking for a hobby, so I got myself a Canon XT DSLR. Before that I had an underwater point and shoot I bought for an extended beach bum vacation on the big Island of Hawaii. Too many years to mention before that time I had a Pentax SLR which I used to take Kodachrome shots of places like the interior plains of Iran (just weeks before the last revolution). I sold the camera in Brazil because it attracted too much attention in places where you don't want attention.
I hear that you currently have an exhibition at Mad Bean Coffee House? Can you tell me a little bit about the work you will be showing?
Yes, I have five works showing at the Mad Bean, one photograph 'Something New Something Old' was selected First Prize in the 1000 Words photography competition.
I find myself spending far too much time viewing images online, I would like to extend my invitation to everyone to come see my work in print. Part of the proceedes of every print sold will go to the Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre.
How do you feel about photographic mediums — do you prefer to shoot film or digital? why?
Ever since I traded a beer for a Canon EOS film camera I have been shooting more and more film. DSLRs are great for learning, doing experiments, quick snapshots and fast turn around work. However, film — especially medium format — suits me and my developing style more then digital. There is a somewhat Zen feeling to using a mechanical film camera.
While my technical side is occupied in reading the light meter, setting shutter and aperture, and focusing, my creative side does what it does best, it chooses the what and when. Digital with its auto everything and the incessant adjusting and reshooting seems to interfere with capturing what I'm instinctively seeing out there.
What are you favorite places in Toronto to shoot?
I like to shoot anywhere downtown, where there are tons of people and interesting light from reflections off the tall glass towers. At the right time of the year when the sun is at the right angle, morning or evening rush hour is my favourite time.
I tend to take mid-range street scenes where the buildings are backdrops for the endless motion of people. Alternatively you might find me at some local Toronto event taking close-up photographs of individual people in motion.
Previously in the series:
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