Don Valley Brick Works

brickworks wall
inside wall

A month ago I had the oportunity to go to the Don Valley Brick Works to spend a few hours taking photos with a good friend of mine. The Brick Works started making bricks for Toronto since all the back in the nineteenth century but now is unused and basically falling apart. It had all the grit and texture I loved, combined with a lurking feeling of creepy lonliness. Needless to say, my friend and I tried really hard to capture the emotions of the site and had a blast doing it. I brought almost all my gear with me but didn’t end up publishing any of the photos where I used external lighting. The condition of the buildings required some challenging tripod setups but rewarded the photographer with some beautiful naturally lit scenes. I got some really great shots, and even with stricter editing I was able to post a substantial set on Flickr. Unfortunately for urban photographers of derelict buildings, the site is undergoing renovation, so it might never be the same again.

lamp lies on the ground next to cement block
fallen lamp

This is the first time ever that I used Adobe Lightroom for my entire workflow. I wasn’t able to use the application before because it was such a resource hog. Lightroom is still not light weight by any means, but at least now I have a faster rig to run it on. The primary reason I made the switch was that I noticed most of my post-processing didn’t happen in Photoshop at all, it was all in Adobe Camera Raw! I am still learning the application but one thing I like is the array of flexible viewing styles (loupe, grid, lights dim, lights off, hide panels, full screen, etc.) all with easy to access keyboard shortcuts. Another thing that I like is the persistent film strip with filtering options, allowing me to quickly compare and navigate through my set. The only complaint I have is that the interface still feels a bit sluggish. Other then that, it has been a very competent tool, replacing my previous workflow of Picasa (or Bridge) then Camera Raw/Photoshop. Oh yeah, and unlike Photoshop, it keeps your EXIF data on export.