I’m going to have to start my latest blog with yet another weather report! Winter is now playing tricks on us. We here in Toronto had a week where the temperature climbed to single digits, below freezing! We thought Winter might finally have had enough of freezing our fingers, but no … next week our thermometers will be dipping down again, with a sweaty minus twelve being the optimal high. Guess I won’t be releasing my summer shorts from my wardrobe just yet!
Winter really likes to tease us as, despite the incessant chill, we still do get the odd day blessed with bright sunshine. It’s these kinds of days that makes the winter months a little bit easier to bear. It was on one of these days that I took my camera out for a walk, and ended up at the Toronto Music Garden. I’ve said before that I love it when one art-form inspires another, and in this case, music has inspired architecture. The Toronto Music Garden is said to be a “reflection in landscape of Bach’s Suite No.1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello”, and was jointly designed by cellist Yo Yo Ma (whom I’ve heard play and is amazing) and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy.
It’s wonderful that we have this beautiful homage to music in Toronto, which, you may be surprised to know has its fair share of notable musicians, some rather less talented than others (I’m thinking Justin Bieber here). Neil Young, Nelly Furtado, (Leslie) Feist, Bryan Adams, The Tragically Hip and the Barenaked Ladies are some of the more talented and better known artistes and bands who originate from Toronto, however there are many more. And when it comes to artistes and bands launching tours for their music, Toronto is like a bell-weather and launch pad for kicking off their world tours. I recall being very intrigued about that when I first came to Canada.
Moving back to photography, one of my favourite photography quotes comes from Henri-Cartier Bresson. He said the following:
Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.
That sums up photography so perfectly for me, in one neat nutshell. I once read a short story called “The Time Machine”. The time machine in question was not some H. G. Wells-style device, but a camera bequeathed to a boy by his grandfather. The boy’s grandfather explained how the camera “captured” time and preserved it forever, as once a moment has gone, it’s gone for good. Take my art photograph of the Toronto Garden for example – no one will ever see that moment, in that precise configuration, ever again. If I went back there today, and photographed the very same scene, it would look very different. The shadows would not be the same, and perhaps someone has brushed the snow from bench for a sit down. Whatever has changed, it can never be perfectly re-constructed in the way I photographed it.
Bresson truly was an inventive and versatile photographer, and I really do recommend you check out some of his most famous pieces, especially the one taken from the bottom of the spiral staircase (“Children on a Spiral Staircase”) with all the children’s heads poking out – you’ll soon understand what I mean!
Oh well, enough of my blogging for now. I’m actually itching to get out again and go hunting with my camera. Who knows what “one moment in time” I’ll be able to preserve forever next!