Troy Smith's post-industrial rebar furniture designs

A hot summer day among the lush foliage of Chorley Park in Rosedale Toronto.  A pick-up truck rolls in, stacked to the top with hundreds of pounds of highly polished, vibrantly colored, rebar steel furniture. The next few hours have us trekking through the city, fighting mid-day traffic, from mid-town to Cityplace, to Corktown in the east end. The end result, a catalogue shoot displaying the pieces in settings most appropriate to their source of inspiration, the newly developing high-rise, glass steel and concrete portions of the central city.

 Portrait I took while visiting their Rosedale residence. Study.

Portrait I took while visiting their Rosedale residence. Study.

 Azure Feature description

Azure Feature description

I met Toronto interior and furniture designer Troy Smith through a mutual acquaintance, a man who was my mentor at the time and who back my first few ventures in the art world. The fruits of our efforts from that day hopefully served to boost the profile of an emerging Toronto artist, his work receiving first mention in the Azure Dispatch from the Interior Design Show.

Deep Dive With Deep Space Helsinki

High impact graphic design for record label based in Helsinki, Finland.

The beginnings of my collaboration with Deep Space Helsinki has the makings of a social networking fairy tale. An unanticipated phone call from the fiance of an acquaintance of an acquaintance who felt impressed by what they saw at a gallery show of mine, forever and a half ago.

Enjoying the artistic freedom brought on by this distant connection, let's take a deep dive into a delightful cover art assignment for electronic music label Deep Space Helsinki.

Behind the scenes with Content for Social

Braving steely temperatures in late October, we join Content for Social for a lifestyle photoshoot at Cityplace in Toronto to promote the newly minted Rejoice Shoes, specializing in fine italian leather imports.

Toronto Urban Photography Festival

As a contender and second place winner of the 2013 edition of the Toronto Urban Photography Festival, (http://tupf.ca/about-tupf/) I had the privilege of participating in my first gallery exhibit, displaying fine art urban photography pieces to interested art buyers and fine art aficionados.

 

In their own words

The first festival ran from March 9-23, 2013 and had work in 7 galleries, 6 urban talks, 5 workshops, and 5 photo walks. There were collaborations with Crossing Lines (UK), Humans of Toronto, Toronto Photo Walks, and Lomography Canada, and our original projects—The Disposable Camera Project (which became its own entity), and the TO Neighbourhoods Project. Our call for works had over 45 entries from all over the world including the UK, Germany, Unites States, Italy, and Canada.
— http://tupf.ca/about-tupf/

Below, you will find a selection of the original pieces submitted for competition, as well as additional theme-related digital photographs taken in subsequent years. 

Candid Visual - Launch Party
 

Join me at the launch of Candid Visual, on Thursday, November 11 for a night of networking, art and wine, in the beautiful upstairs gallery at 296 King Street East, at Lab Studio Design.  The evening begins at 7 pm and runs to 11. Musical ambiance provided by Dj Shado - Valentin Coman.

Candid Visual is a joint project of two dear friends, a natural partnership between skill and talent. To see them on their journey, I will contribute a painting I've created just for this occasion. 

 The latest piece, from Michael Victor Studio Toronto to Candid Visual, with love. 

The latest piece, from Michael Victor Studio Toronto to Candid Visual, with love. 

The painting will be donated to Candid Visual to be won by a ticket holder in attendance. Tickets are $20 for one and $40 for three, to become available during the evening, with a portion of the proceeds serving to bolster the Candid Visual war chest.  

The partnership between Michael Victor Studio and Lab Studio Design lasts until November 13. The summer series will be on display at 296 King Street East until then.

 
 
2016 Summer Series - Opening Night

The photos are up, special thanks to Radu Caracaleanu

A warm evening in October to celebrate the completion of my first summer series, accompanied by the exquisite presence of friends, family and our very special guests. Thank you all once again for coming.

For the mood of the evening, special acclaim goes to the very talented DJ Shado.

The series, presenting an archaeology of cognitive content within a certain sliver of time, will be on display at Lab Studio Design, 296 King Street East, for the remainder of the month.

Monday Morning in Kensington Market

Originally published for the Friends of Kensington Market community association.

Morning coffee in Kensington Market. 

As the fuzzy sunshine melts away my hangover and the last vestiges of Pedestrian Sundays are either swept up or power-washed away, it gradually becomes apparent that a different kind of life takes place in the market on a weekday morning.

Delivery truck in Kensington Market.

A rolling stream of vans and trucks flows slowly through the narrow streets, while the staff unceremoniously go to work. Not young, not hip, not hipster, these are the men and women who make Kensington what it is, the 5% of that Sunday crowd who go to bed and wake up here, the underbelly of the daily show that is Kensington Market. 

Not young, not hip, not hipster. 

Fresh fruits and veggies pile up on Delivery Truck Mondays in Kensington Market. 

Bike courier vs delivery truck in Kensington Market, Toronto. 

All is quiet in the market.

Meanwhile the streets are quiet.  The crowds, which a few hours prior filled them to the brim with booze and laughter, now safely tucked away in cubicles a few blocks over, scanning the azure horizons of lake Ontario from the 47th story glazed blue corner office window. Or something of that nature. 

Whereas for me, this it, my last and final day in Kensington, having fulfilled a long-standing wish to someday live here. That someday was today, and soon it will be yesterday. I'm happy and grateful for such a lovely experience. Onward. 

 

 

How to make good use of light

In my humble opinion, as far as I can tell from the feedback I've gotten on my photography, as well as by observing the reactions of the people viewing my photo work, one major characteristic that separates winning photographs and photographers from the rest of the pack is a deliberate and strategic use of light. 

I won't go into any details regarding the actual techniques, since there is an astonishing amount of content on the web on the strategic deployment of light. What I give, instead, is a way to bridge the gap between theory and practice. 

There is a level of anxiety and pressure that comes with taking every exposure. Beginners tend to believe that taking more shots is better, because at least a few will turn out good. I advocate the opposite approach. Take your time, get very familiar with what you see through the viewfinder, and then move around. See how the geometry of shadows change. See how in some positions you create lens flare, and how in others you do not. Shoot against the sun. Watch how the position of the light source can cause the light to wrap around certain objects.


That's really the key. Take your time and move around. I'll leave you with this photo as a parting example.