Writing with Light

Posts tagged “theatre

Getting the Shot

It was unfortunate that when shooting at the Toronto Centre for the Arts we weren’t able to get into the main stage. That evening they were setting up for an upcoming show. We were however granted access into the George Weston Recital Hall. While not quite elaborate it was still fin to set up and shoot in there. Now I know that some people are getting tired of selective colour and thrush be told I was actually going to clone out the photographer in the image but I thought that including him provided a bit more of a compelling story. The decision to bring back the color was just me playing with the image to see what worked well. I think the red jacket just makes the image pop a bit more. What do you think?

I used Topaz Black & White Effects to convert the image to black and white and selectively bring back the colour. Don’t forget you can always use the code ELPHOTO to get a 15% discount on all Topaz Products.

Toronto Performing Arts Centre, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre, sets, row, black and white, selective colour

Weekly Photo Challenge – Letters

Just a quick post today as I head out on this sunny Sunday. Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend. For some reason I’ve stopped getting the Weekly Photo Challenges in my inbox on Fridays. Has this happened to anyone else? I realized this was the challenge this week but visiting other blogs.

Anyway…can anyone guess why I picked this letter? 🙂

Toronto Performing Arts Centre, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre, sets, row,

Upstairs Downstairs

Happy Monday Everyone and a very Happy Easter for all those that celebrate. I hope you had an amazing weekend. I’m happy to report that it was a glorious weekend, weather wise. I think (and I hold my breath as I say this) that Spring is finally here.

Here’s another image for the Toronto Centre for the Arts. This was taken from the upper lobby level of the centre looking down on the multiple staircases that leads to the lower lobby. I love the contrast between the wood railings and the chrome of the staircases.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better in high resolution) or to Purchase a Print.

Toronto Performing Arts Centre, lobby, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre, upper lobby, staircase

Toronto Centre for the Arts

The Toronto Centre for the Arts, located in the north part of Toronto opened it’s doors in 1993 as the North York Performing Arts Centre. It’s name was later changed to the Ford Centre for Performing Arts after a major donation was made and later renamed to its current name…The Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph the interior of the centre.  Access was arranged by my photography club and I and 15 other inconspicuous, tripod toting individuals descended upon tho slovenly space. The unfortunate part was that the Main Stage was off limits as a show was being set up at the time. We did however have access to one of the smaller theatres and the lovely Art Deco lower and upper lobby.

The challenge in photographing in an interior space such as this, with close to 30 photographers, is that inevitably someone walks through your shot. As respectful and mindful as you try to be it just happens when you have that many photographers. On the flip side the advantage to attending one of these types of outings is that you can share ideas and techniques with like minded individuals.

Here’s one view of the lower lobby processed in both colour and black and white. What I love about this space this the Art Deco look and when I looked at all the converging lines and details I thought this would look great in B&W. Which do you prefer? I can tell you that I asked my son the same question last night and he unequivocally choose the colour. I’m undecided.

Click on the images to enlarge to see a higher resolution (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Toronto Centre for the Arts, lobby, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre

Toronto Centre for the Arts, lobby, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre, Black and White, Monochrome


The Elgin Theatre

I held off posting this because the brackets for this image were used in our most recent round of HDR Tennis on Facebook. You can click on the link and check out the other versions of this image from the many talented photographers that participated.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Elgin Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Balcony, ornate, interior

Back to the Theatre

A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre complex in Toronto. (You can see that post here.)  The initial series were all images of the Winter Garden. While the Winter Garden Theatre was designed to look like a botanical fantasy, the Elgin Theatre is much more grand and traditional, filled rich fabrics and gold leaf. You can see from this image how ornate the opera boxes are.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Elgin Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Balcony, ornate, interior

All The World’s A Stage

I was going to switch gears and take a break from my Winter Garden images but I was watching the Oscars last night…Ahhh…the fashion, the jewels, the musical numbers, the movies! So given my “magic of make believe” state of mind I thought that another image of the Winter Garden was appropriate.

Here’s a closer look at the stage and the fire curtain. Should a fire break out backstage or on the stage the fire curtain comes down and restricts the passage of heat and flames from the stage to the audience area. The fire curtain you see here is the original hand painted one from 1913 which was restored in the 80’s.

I want to draw your attention to the circular light fixture in the upper left hand side of the ceiling. Among the clouds and mountains it’s the moon.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

Winter Garden theatre, Toronto, stage, balcony, fire curtain

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

The hallway in this image, on the top floor of the Elgin / Winter Garden Theatre complex,  is meant to lead the theatre goer forward. The final destination…the Winter Garden Theatre and (depending on the show) another place or time that you can immerse yourself.

I converted this image to B&W using the just released Topaz B&W Effects 2. I really like the upgrades in version 2, the user interface has been greatly improved. Topaz B&W Effects 2 is a complimentary upgrade for existing owners of B&W Effects 1.

Don’t have B&W Effects? Get it for 30% off until the end of February with coupon code bwfx2 (expires on 2/28/13) This coupon code is also good for any bundle purchase. Click here to purchase.

Click on the image to enlarge or to Purchase a Print.

Winter Garden theatre, Toronto, hallway, garden, painted walls, bench, black and white

Let Me Entertain You….

Here’s another view of the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto. In yesterday’s post I gave you a little bit of the history on this beautiful theatre (you can see the post here) but didn’t give you any shooting information…sorry.

Knowing that I’d be shooting inside this theatre and having been here before (as a theatre patron not as a photographer) I knew that I would need a fairly wide angle lens. I rented the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens and I fell in love. I loved the versatility of this lens and have now added another item onto my wish list.

Due to union rules we couldn’t turn on any stage lights so the only lighting available were the house lights. A tripod was a must and 90% of the images that I took were bracketed.  Today’s image was 3 separate exposures of 30 sec, 1.3 sec and 30 sec.  With both yesterday’s image and todays I adjusted the white balance in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) before tone mapping the brackets in Photomatix. I then brought the tonemapped image into Photoshop and used Topaz Detail to bring out some of the finer details in the scene. Don’t forget you get a 15% discount on all Topaz products by using the code ELPHOTO.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

theatre, Winter Garden, Toronto, interior, stage, balcony

Welcome to the Theatre….

One of the wonderful things about being a member of a photography club is the opportunity to shoot places that you wouldn’t normally have access to. One of these opportunities came about last month. I’m on the board of my club, The Toronto Digital Photography Club and I made mention that it would be great to be able to shoot at the Winter Garden Theatre here in Toronto. The answer came back…”that’s great Edith can you arrange an outing for us.”  So after months of coordinating with the management of the theatre we were able to schedule a date when the theatre was dark, for our members to come in and shoot.

The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre complex was built in 1913 as the Canadian flagship of the Marcus Loew’s theatre chain. It was built as a double-decker complex with the Winter Garden seven stories above the Elgin Theatre. It was originally known as the Loew’s Yonge Street Theatre.

The two theatres were so dramatically different in style (as you’ll see in the images that I’ll post over the next little while). The Elgin was the more traditional of the two theatres, filled with gold leaf,  rich fabrics and ornate opera boxes. The Winter Garden on the other hand was a botanical fantasy. The walls were painted to resemble a garden and its ceiling was adorned with branches, leaves and lanterns. “The theatres played host to such greats as George Burns and Gracie Allen, Sophie Tucker, Milton Berle and Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.”

With the decline of vaudeville the Winter Garden closed in 1928. The Elgin continued to function as a movie house but it continue to decline into disrepair with each passing decade. In 1981 the Ontario Heritage Trust purchased the building and in 1987 a $29 million restoration project began. The walls of the Winter Garden were painstakingly hand cleaned to avoid damaging the original hand painted watercolors. In 1989 the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre reopened and has once again become one of Canada’s finest theatre houses. Hits such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Rent, Tommy, Avenue Q has graced the stage and every year it now serves as one of the venues for gala screens for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Click on the image to enlarge (trust me it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

Theatre, Winter Garden theatre, Toronto, historical site, stage, balcony

iPhone Friday – Welcome to the Theatre

If you ask anyone where the entertainment capital of Canada is the answer would undoubtedly be…Toronto. Whether it be theatre, music or movies the heart of the entertainment district can be found along King St, home of  Canada’s Walk of Fame, The Royal Alexandra Theatre, The Princess of Wales Theatre, Roy Thompson Hall and TIFF Bell Lightbox (home of the Toronto International Film Festival). While many more theatres and music venues can be found in other areas of the downtown core this 3 block stretch is by all accounts the heartbeat of entertainment. Come along for a stroll.

theatre, cineplex

Welcome to the Theata!

TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival, Bell Lightbox

Home of the Toronto International Film Festival

Royal Alexander Theatre, Ed Mirvish

The Royal Alex

The Princess of Wales Theatre

The Princess of Wales Theatre

The Princess of Wales Theatre, War Horse

Now Playing…

Commedia Dell ‘Arte….

Project 52 – Entry #11

….or “art of comedy” if you will, got its start in 16th century Italy. A Commedia dell ‘arte  performance was the first form of improvisational comedy where the performers were given an outline and only had a limited amount of time to conceive a story to perform. Stock characters were used in each performance and these characters were depicted through costumes and masks.

Why the very short lesson on this art form? Well my background is in theatre and theatre history was an area of study that I truly enjoyed in University. Maybe this explains my affinity to photographing commedia dell ‘arte masks when I was in Venice.

Don’t forget you can click on the image to view a larger version.

Canon XTi, Sigma 18 – 200mm, f/16, 0.8, 154mm ISO 100

Canon XTi, Sigma 18 – 200mm, f/6.3, 1/50 200mm

Canon XTi, Sigma 18 – 200mm, f/5.6, 1/60, 134mm ISO 400