Monday, 4 November 2013

Evergreen Brickworks at Night

As many of you may or may not know I have done occasional volunteer work with the Toronto group Evergreen for a number of years now. To learn more about them just go to they are a fantastic organization. And if you go to either of my websites you know night photography is a major part of my work.

So this past Sunday night the opportunity came up to photograph the lighting of the chimney court at the Evergreen Brickworks. The Brickworks is a former industrial site that has been rehabilitated into an important cultural and natural educational center. Again please visit the Brickworks part of the Evergreen site, you will find it very interesting and you may see some of my photography used there.

I met Terry Queeley who is the technical director of Q ideas. Terry is a lighting guy who provided all the amazing colors to illuminate the Brickworks for the photographs. Although it was frosty night we managed to pull off a few great shots and it was a pleasure to work with him. If you need any corporate or event AV look Terry up.

As a first attempt I am quite pleased with the photos and have gotten some great ideas from this shoot. Please enjoy a few shots from the evening and if you have any questions drop me an email at at or visit my websites or Cheers.

Chimney Court in Purple

Chimney Court Rainbow

Chimney Court Red and Green

Teepee and Chimney Lighting

View of Chimney and Buildings

Aerial View of the Brickworks Illumination

Again thanks for the views and for event or corporate photography email me for rates and availability.

Couldn't resist taking a city view while I had the opportunity!
All photos copyright Robert Greatrix Photography 2013.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

SS Keewatin Port McNicol Ontario Part 1

I recently had the unique experience of touring the SS Keewatin a veritable floating museum currently docked in the small town of Port McNicol Ontario. The town was once home to a major Canadian Pacific Railway Great Lakes Port and many ships including the Keewatin sailed to and from here. The journey of the Keewatin and its history is fascinating and is best experienced and absorbed in person. To read more about the Keewatin please visit (after looking at my photos of course).

I was greeted on the day by the man instrumental in returning this marvellous vessel to its former home, Eric Conroy. His knowledge of the ship is extensive to say the least , having served as a waiter on the ship as a young man. So here in photos is what I will call Part 1 of my visit to the SS Keewatin as I will be returning again this year to continue my photography of this amazing piece of Canada's sailing history.

Barber Shop

One of my favourite rooms was the retired barbershop. here it is a journey back in history as you can almost experience a shave and haircut in the onboard shop.

Many of the staterooms are decorated with period costumes and items. The photographers suite obviously caught my eye. The Keewatin is a museum in more ways than one as all the items are authentic and are donated by the community and others.


The galley is as interesting as any place on the ship. The walk back in time is completed with utensils cookware and appliances from the time period the ship was in service.

The grand appearance of the dining room is stunning as one can imagine what it would be like to dine here. My host having worked as a waiter here had some very interesting insights to his experiences and has book based on them, titled "Steak in a Drawer". 

Chopping Block

A well used chopping block resides in the walk-in freezer located just off the Kitchen. One can imagine the activity that used to happen here.


I guess one would call this the main deck. I will try to clarify. One can see the room on the sides of this elegant hall and the beautiful open ceiling letting in light from the upper level. 

An incredible number of the staterooms are decorated in various themes and time periods. This room was occupied by the RCMP when on board and the authentic uniform was donated by them. I was astonished at the level of detail and the staging in each of them

This sign on the door reminds us that the classes were very much segregated in the times of these sailing ships and the paying customers would have little or no contact with those who toiled on the ship. 

As I said in the beginning I plan to return to the Keewatin in the near future and get much more information on this giant of a vessel. It is much larger than I ever imagined so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw her. My next visit I plan to visit more areas of the ship including the engine and mechanical rooms. In the meantime you can also visit my website and browse under travel where you will find a few more photos of the Keewatin and be sure to visit and check out as well. 

If you are interested in purchasing prints of my images from this blog or would like to license them for commercial purposes please contact me at

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Night Shots

Part of my portfolio and one of my favourite projects is Urban Night Photography. I find creating long exposure images is creatively rewarding in a unique way. As I look for images I find myself envisioning a scene that will feature rich colors and many times a sense of drama. With the long exposures at one's fingertips at night moving lights can become lasers or streams of color. If you can add in some unusual weather all the better. Rain and wet surfaces reflect colors brilliantly allowing the creation of images that remind me of early painters.

Equipment-wise shooting at night is similar to landscape photography. A tripod becomes a necessity if you want to shoot long shutter speeds and lower ISO's. I use a mid range Manfrottto tripod and ballhead. For triggering the shutter a remote release makes life easier although the same function can be achieved by using the self timer function found on most cameras. I prefer a remote shutter release to both time light trails and in some cases shoot between gaps in traffic to avoid them. Lens choice varies, for me it may be a 12-24mm ultra wide angle, a 20mm prime, a 50mm prime or my 70-200mm. Sometimes I may go out with just one lens, the camera and the tripod.

Nailing the exposure at night can be difficult and requires some practice and learning your camera. I don't get perfect exposures every shutter click but I read my histogram and take my observations from previous shots to judge what compensation is necessary. It never hurts to take several different exposures or bracket shots. I also do this quite frequently.

So when the sun goes down, grab your gear and fire up your creativity the results will surprise you.

Waiting for Your Call
I walked by this phone booth almost daily and it always seemed to grab my attention. Photographed at night/early morning it came alive and you can read a story into it. For me it brings a sense of loneliness and impending danger.

After the Rain Came


This shot came about as the tail end of Hurricane Sandy dumped rain on the city. The low angle and the wet surfaces give a lot of depth, color and drama to this image. The lines with the wide angle lens also gives an impression of movement and dynamics.

Rain and Street Meat

Another of my more popular images this was also shot during the same rainy night as above.  This time I used a 700-200 to crop in tighter on this guy waiting at a hot dog stand. I couldn't figure out why he was out on this night getting food but I am sure he might have wondered the same about me out with my camera. The wet pavement reflected the red lights providing brilliant colors and the light from the stand lit the subject perfectly.
Another wide angle shot this long exposure brought out the colors of the different lights in this scene creating a totally different scene than what would be available in daylight hours.

If you enjoy this blog please share and give some feedback. Much more of my Urban Landscape, Street and Night Photography can be seen at or

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Regent Park Farmers Market

I got a chance to visit the Regent Park Farmers today and it seems like the weather was cooperating. It is great to see local grown food available close to home for everyone and this is no exception. Farmers market seem add a great sense of community to an area.

In addition to some great photos I was able to pick up some fresh vegetables for the dinner table. If you want more info please go to Hope you enjoy the photos and please come out and support your local market.

Raptor Experience (Photographing Birds)

As part of a Sony Meet-up Group I got the chance to photograph at the Mountsberg Raptor Centre near Campbellville Ontario. See their website Mountsberg Raptor Centre.

The experience was incredible. The expert handlers at the centre brought out several of their residents for us to photograph and the combination of that and having a great selection of Sony Lenses on hand to demo made for a fantastic day. One thing I found that even though these Raptors were tethered and perched photographing them was still a task that required a great deal of concentration and positioning to get some unique views with little background distractions.

Most of the my shots were taken at around f4.0 so it was necessary to carefully pick focus points to keep most of the body of the birds in focus and maintain a soft non-distracting background. I also chose to shoot at an ISO of 400 to give me a shutter speed that would mitigate the lack of sharpness from movement. For shooting birds I would definitely recommend a faster lens with a focal length of at least 200mm. My shots were taken with a 70-200mm f2.8, a 300mm f2.8 and a 500mm f4.0.

I hope you enjoy these photos,they are what i feel are the best of many, many shots taken that day.

I cropped the shot above in Lightroom to get the version below. 

The last photo of a Kestrel grooming himself has proven to be one of my most popular works yet. I hope you enjoy these examples of Raptors and my photography. Please check back for more blog posts or subscribe to my email list below and please visit my website for some interesting new projects and old favorites.

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Shooting Street Photography

I am by no means what some would call a hard core street photographer, but some of my most satisfying works fit this category. Being a rather shy person I don't generally get up close and personal with my subjects, but instead I like to capture things very candidly from a distance and capture the environment as well as the person. I like the quote Seth Resnick used in a recent seminar I attended in  that "a great photo needs both an actor and a stage". It is something that is with me now as I am out shooting more consciously than it was before. I am now looking much deeper in my work.

That being said I usually prefer to shoot with a longer lens, a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 in my case, although I find lately my Minolta 50mm f1.4 is finding its way onto my camera more often.

Camera settings; I usually walk with the camera in aperture priority mode and set an ISO (400-800) and f-stop (f4) that will give me a decent shutter speed for a sharp picture if I need to take a shot very quickly. The rear dial on my Sony is set for exposure compensation so I can make a quick adjustment if warranted. If I am in fairly consistent light I use manual mode with the spot metering and adjust to bring the shadows about 3 stops underexposed.

In my opinion interesting street photography needs an interesting background. And to me I separate that from street  portraiture where the person becomes the focus and the photo brings out the depth and complexity of the subject. Two photographers that I follow on G+ epitomize this talent, Alan Shapiro and Mike Shaw, check out their work, it is amazing and inspirational . I am constantly working on reaching that level both in my skill and my relationship with my fellow men, but for now my work is more from a distance.

Some of my favourite street photography shots I have taken among many:

Taken in Kensington Market this gentleman was just enjoying the day with his dog. In this case I did ask him if it was okay for me to take his picture after I had already taken this more candid shot. The hard edged graffiti in the background provides a contrast to the calm relaxed nature of this fellow.

This shot was taken on one of my morning walks. I saw the subject in the scene on this cold morning and his posture portrayed a look of despair  and it added to the mood of the scene. Looking at this one can draw many conclusions about the story of guy sitting on the bench and his situation. Another photographer described some of my work as being a Slice of Life so I like to look for that perspective when seeking out shots.

I though this shot taken in Havana Cuba let the viewer into a moment in which this guy was enjoying a cigar waiting for transit after a day of work. Although not much of the background is in focus to indicate where this shot was taken the image says Cuba to me.

Generally I prefer my street photography to be in black and white, I find the lack of color creates a deeper focus on the details and complexity of a scene. In this case the city lights reflecting of the water provided some extraordinary color that adds to the scene. Taken during the storm that was the end of Hurricane Sandy as it passed through Toronto this lone guy out getting some street food was very interesting and it leads into a story.

On other thing I always try to do is keep my camera with me whenever I can. Great street photography scenes can happen any time, just like this moment I caught walking down to my local bank. Even though you can't see the faces the grasp on the shirt says so much and leads into a story. The great thing about photography is the capture of the moment, and a simple gesture can say so much, even if it is out of context and for me that is the art and essence of street photography. This scene really made me smile.

I hope you enjoy my photography and my blog. My If you want to see more of my street photography and urban landscape work please check out or My photography and my writing is constantly evolving so please stop by periodically to see what is new.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Repath Tall Ships Toronto

I got a quick chance to visit the Toronto waterfront yesterday and got a glimpse into our historic past. One can only image the scene when sailing ships like these were the norm in the Toronto Harbours. These floating beauties are in town for the Redpath Tall Ships Tour.  See for more on the festival.

I arrived mid-morning and didn't have the best light available but I hope you enjoy a few photos from my visit  and get down and visit the waterfront yourself if you are in or near Toronto this weekend. There is a lot going on, despite the construction in the area, and it is always a great area to visit.

Toronto Photograph
 Some of the ships moored along the Toronto Waterfront. Could you image this scene in the 1800's or early 1900's?
Colourful flags decorate one of the masts on this ship. The intricate rigging is amazing and it must take a great deal of knowledge to get everything up and running.
Dinghies all arranged on a row  on one of the waterfront docks.
 Gangway to one of the ships which you can visit while down at the Tall Ship festival.
View from the bow with a wide angle capturing the majesty of the Tall Ships.

All photography is copyrighted by Robert Greatrix Phototgraphy and cannot be used without permission. If you like my photography please visit for my full portfolio or if Urban Landscape and street photography is more your thing. I am always looking for subjects for photography and blogs so please contact me if you want to be featured or have an interesting idea.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Food and Travel

One of the things I love about travelling is the opportunity to sample new food from various locales and countries. Unfortunately sometimes my love of the food and wine takes over and I don't remember to photograph or even take notes. Getting caught up in a culinary moment is not always a bad thing. So I thought I would try and breathe some life into my blog and show a few examples of the gastric delights I have remembered to shoot and my thoughts. 

A trip to Italy last year was definitely a highlight and kick-started my interest in approaching photography from a more commercial aspect (an ongoing struggle for future posts). The start to the Italy adventure was Naples and there is no better spot to get pizza. For almost two days all our meals in Naples were Neapolitan Pizza. 

A short walk through the streets almost anywhere in Italy will show you why the food is so delicious. The fresh produce looks so good and seems so plentiful.

This photo (not the best) was what I think was the best Pizza I had time to sample in Naples. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant and couldn't find it again other than I know it's in an out of the way Piazza called Piazza Portanova. We happened to stumble upon it during the height of the afternoon heat when most places were closed but it was delicious.

Again the Agritourismo we stayed at on the Amalfi Coast besides being Michelin Certified was absolutely fabulous in their preparation of fresh food making simple dishes truly gourmet. 

We had many great meals in this region including restaurants on the island of Capri where fresh Caprese Salad and a Local Seafood salad were highlights. And in the stunning town of Ravello the food matched the views and scenery. 

As we travelled to the Umbria Region in the Medieval City of Perugia one of the most highly rated restaurants was an Argentine one. I don't know wether the food or the service was the star. Located on one of the cities walls this establishment had a stunning view as well. Immediately upon being seated were greeted by two glasses of complimentary champagne and a hot appetizer. An additional order of Prawns and Beef Carpaccio did not disappoint. A cleanse of the pallet with some lemon Sorbet led to this dish of truffled Argentinian Beef. Coupled with a bottle of the Umbrian Sagrantino Montefalco that could be described as one the fullest most robust red wines known this dish was outstanding. 

And no meal is complete without dessert and the plating of this was incredible. This was of course the heart of the Umbria International Jazz festival. For any fan of Jazz the festival in Perugia is not to be missed and the food here is also must. If you ever get the privilege of tasting a Sagrantino vintage letting it decant is a must but the experience is divine. We also had the privilege of joining Mark from Gusto Wine tours who with two other guests took us to some outstanding wineries in the region where we sampled some great Sagrantinos and Pissitos. Lunch at another Agritourismo Mark took us to was simply incredible.

Amore recent bout of travel found me in South America where I had the fortunate surprise of finding Molita restaurant which is in a trendy artsy kind of Bohemian along Calle Lastarria (?). I came in by myself and ordered a greta bottle of 2011 Chilean Malbec. My appetizer was this delicious seafood Carpaccio. It was outstanding in both taste and presentation. Again despite my bad Spanish the service was incredible. 

My entree this day was a Lamb Risotto and the picture does not do it justice. It was perfect match with wine and made the experience unforgettable. It is a place I would definitely return if a stay in Santiago presents itself . 

And again what would a meal be without a great dessert to finish it off. I didn't even read the dessert menu, I saw this beauty travelling to other tables nearby and ordered it immediately. It was the perfect compliment to a great Cappuccino. 

I am looking forward to keeping resurecting my blog from its well intentioned but inconsistent start and experiencing some more amazing food and travel.  I will try to share some more local experiences as well.

If you like my photography please visit for my full portfolio or if Urban Landscape and street photography is more your thing. I am always looking for subjects for photography and blogs so please contact me with any suggestions. 

Buen Provecho.