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29 Days, 29 Coffee Photos

Pilot Coffee Roasters and Crafted

Pilot Coffee Roasters is a Toronto-based artisan coffee roaster, and one that I’ve been quite fond of for a long time. They have two cafés in the city, Te Aro (983 Queen Street East) in Leslieville, and Crafted (135 Ossington Ave.) in the West end of town.

So when Crafted asked me to be their first-ever guest Instagrammer for their @CraftedCoffee Instagram account, I took to the challenge immediately. While I may be more known for my landscape photography, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be exploring other styles of photography as well, so I mustered up all of my coffee-taking lifestyles photography skills—whatever I had of it, at least—and came up with 31 photos that hopefully satiated the coffee-lover in all of us. My only requirements for the photos was that if it wasn’t taken within their Crafted café or at their Pilot Coffee Roastery, then the photo had to have their brand represented in it somewhere.

At first I thought it wold be difficult to have to come up with different types of photography related to coffee and the café, but once I got started, I never looked back, and ended up with photos that I’m proud to have taken for them.

If you weren’t able to follow them on their Instagram account, I’ve posted all the shots here for your reference, with a little bonus at the end. If you’re a coffee aficionado or lifestyles photographer (or anybody else really), how did I do? Please feel free to let me know how I did in the comments below.

The Photos

All of these photo were taken with my iPhone 6 Plus and edited with various apps within. Which one is your favourite?

Crafted CoffeeCrafted CoffeeIMG_2206Visible Motion at Crafted CoffeeWorking Hard at Crafted CoffeeLatte ArtPresenting the CortadoFreshly brewed at Crafted CoffeeCrafted CoffeeThe group at Crafted Coffee

Listening carefully at Crafted Coffee

How many lattes does one need?

Espresso at its finest at Pilot Coffee RoastersAt the tasting bar at Pilot Coffee BrewersThe delivery bike at Pilot Coffee RoastersAt the Tasting Bar at Pilot Coffee RoastersLet's read at Crafted CoffeeWhole beans from Crafted CoffeeBy the window at Crafted CoffeeCoffee Passport at Pilot CoffeeThe Pilot Coffee StaffPilot Coffee Tasting BarPilot Coffee Tasting BarSubtleFast CoffeeLeather PortfolioTable MessCamera and CoffeeUmbrella Loyalty

 


Extra Coffee

There were a lot more photos that I took than what was posted online, so here are some more that I took for them that I like, but never made it on to their account.

Lonesome Bubbles Dog in iPad Walking by latte Latte and iPad Cortado Cortado Laptop session

Fog and snow

Nikon D800, 1/250 sec., f/2.8, ISO 100, 200mm

Nikon D800, 1/250 sec., f/2.8, ISO 100, 200mm

Fog and snow at just the right time

On one foggy morning it got so thick that the light changed so dramatically in such a short time. If you look at my post previous to this, you’ll see that it also has fog in it. That was taken shortly before this picture. Look at the dramatic difference fog makes in a matter of minutes. Since the fog hid the skyline, I decided to focus my attention on whatever I could. In the distance there was a couple taking a walk. They made it to the man-made dam so I had to get them in some way. Once they stopped to admire the…whiteness of their view, I framed them to the side so the viewers could get a sense of the emptiness that they were facing.

I loved how the dam fades into the fog in the background. If you look closely, you’ll be able to see the birds flying out from the mist, which is also quite interesting by itself.

As long as you’re prepared, you’ll be able to catch all that comes your way.

Morning Fog Over Toronto

Nikon D800, 1/6 sec., f/13, ISO100, 70mm

Nikon D800, 1/6 sec., f/13, ISO100, 70mm

One early morning I came to Humber Bay Shores Park and noticed a lot of clouds over the city. I wasn’t sure what I would get in terms of photo opportunities since heavy clouds like this often prevent the sun from showing its colours anywhere. I knew I wouldn’t be able to see the actual sun itself with all of these clouds so I waited until something interesting came about.

A few short minutes later the area right behind the CN Tower began to glow an intense orange and yellow. This happened quite quickly and got me off guard. Fortunately my camera was already set up on a tripod and all I had to do was compose and shoot. The streaks of light you see look like they are emanating from the CN Tower, and these were just magnificent. I didn’t know what caused this since the actual sun was rising just to the right of this picture, which is still quite far away.

This scene with its intense colours didn’t last long as it disappeared after I was able to get only a few clicks of it. When you’re out shooting, always come well before you need to so you can set up and be ready for that moment.

I’ll have my iPhone version of this shot coming up in another post shortly.

A moody but gorgeous morning this Easter Friday

 

Nikon D800, 5.0 sec., f/13, ISO 100, 24mm

Nikon D800, 5.0 sec., f/13, ISO 100, 24mm

I think it was about two years ago this time, the cherry blossoms were at full bloom in Toronto’s High Park. As I look out the window today, I see overcast skies and chilly winds blowing through the trees. If I look hard enough, I can still see some snow and ice striving to be the last bit of winter on my lawn.

Easter Friday Morning

It doesn’t seem like Spring has fully arrived yet this Easter Friday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still make great photographs. You just need to look a little harder to find them. I went out for a sunrise shoot today only to find that it was really foggy outside. It was quite a different morning from all the other sunrise shoots that I’ve been on since the fog covered the base of the Toronto skyline, making only the tip of the CN Tower visible above all the fog.

But who wants to see that?

So I took a photo of the bridge that I often neglect when I come to this park. The fog was just rolling in from the right of this frame, slowly encroaching towards this bridge.

It was quite the moody morning today, and I’m glad I made the effort to get out there despite this not-so-spring weather. Don’t let the weatherman get to you if you ever want to go out shooting.

Print your photos to really appreciate them

This year I took it upon myself to print more of my photos. Over the last few years I’ve taken so many photos that I have yet to be able to fully appreciate them beyond posting them on select social media sites—if at that. Most of my photos are rarely seen as I edit them and just leave them on my hard drive where it collects e-dust.

Edge detail of the metallic print.

Edge detail of the metallic print.

To better appreciate the your photography, I highly recommend going that extra mile and getting them printed. Whether you do it by printing 4×6 prints or enlarge them to 16×24, or make them into photobooks of all sizes, you will see that your photos get an extra appreciation out of just seeing them in pixels. There is in fact something very different about being able to hold your work.

This post is just a sneak peak at what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks now. It will be revealed very shortly and I sincerely hope that you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed making it come to life.

Metallic Print

Details of the metallic print.

Details of the metallic print.

Metallic prints are quite different than regular photographic prints as they bring that extra depth and vibrancy to your photos, yielding in that extra visual appeal. Look at it straight on, or look at it from a slight angle to see the sheen of the metallic paper come through your print, making it extra special.

I’ll be showcasing this print soon!

There are so many other varieties of paper to print on to make your prints better looking. The process deciding on what you print it on, and editing the photo accordingly can be just as exciting as the process of taking the photo. You feel that sense of excitement waiting for the print to finish. And that’s something that will never be duplicated in this digital age. And in case you’re thinking about nice fabric to print photos on – it’s all here, at pnh.ca/segments/exhibits/.

More to come.

Shooting with others can be refreshing

Shoot With Others To Refresh Your Mind

Shoot With Others To Refresh Your Mind

Nikon D800, 1/5000 sec., f/2.8, ISO400, 24mm

Nikon D800, 1/5000 sec., f/2.8, ISO400, 24mm

It’s been a while shooting with other photographers, but it’s never a dull moment when you’re out and about with others. In fact, it’s a great way to be social, get inspired by different perspectives, and just have fun. Last Sprint, I took to the streets of Mississauga with other local photographers and just took pictures for the fun of it all. Not a lot of landscape photography going on here, especially in the city, but having a human element in photographs is always a warm welcome. The shot above is of the skating area at Celebration Square in Mississauga’s City Centre.

John, Neil, and Jacob Instagramming their photos of the day.

John, Neil, and Jacob Instagramming their photos of the day.

These are the three troublemakers that were up to no good that day. With all of us living in the West end of town, we childishly dubbed ourselves, The Westenders. Or was it The West End Boys? From left to right, are, John (@hagow), Neil (@Neil.Nofuente), and Jacob (@Jamenyo)

Troublemakers shooting me shooting them

 

Had it not been for this day, I would likely have never even come up to this building. It was a great find with some unique shooting opportunities.

Neil doing his thang

Neil doing his thing.

Neil seeing something that I obviously didn’t see…or don’t see. That’s the beauty of shooting with others; we each have our own ideas and perspectives that shooting the same subject can yield completely different photos.

The Jacob stare

The Jacob stare.

While we spent most of our time indoors, the outdoor also proved to be photo-worthy as well. Jacob being photographed by Neil and John, and apparently not liking his few seconds of fame.

Living Arts Centre

Inside the Living Arts Centre

The Living Arts Centre in Mississauga that day was host to some wedding-related event with a runway and wedding booths set up in its lobby. Jacob is practicing his wedding photography skills here.

Busted!

Busted!

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Neil smile so much as he is in this photo. What ever was he thinking? John peeks over his shoulder and finds me shooting the three of them from across the window.

In summary, get out there once in a while with others and it can be a great refresher for your mind. You can look at things differently and see things from other perspectives that you may not have even thought to do if you were shooting by yourself.

 

Hey Spring, where are you?

Cherry blossoms' early bloom at High Park

Cherry blossoms’ early bloom at High Park

Spring has officially sprung but there really is no sign of it anywhere. With temperatures still below the freezing mark, it looks like Mother Nature has other plans for us. But fear not, eventually it will get warmer, which is a sure sign that these cherry blossoms will start to bloom at High Park once again.

I’ve never been much into floral photography, but for some reason these cherry blossoms often bring me back to High Park every May. Every year I just randomly take pictures of these flowers never actually knowing the ins and outs of taking beautiful floral photography. Perhaps this year calls for a change.

Anybody know much about taking good looking picture of these cherry blossoms?

For those wanting to know more about cherry blossoms, and specifically when it will be blooming in Toronto’s High Park, someone has generously made a website dedicated to just this! You can head over to www.sakurainhighpark.com where they will update you on when the peak time to go will be. It is usually within the first two weeks of May, but it’s all a guess right now with these cold temperatures.

You can visit the official City of Toronto High Park site here, or there’s another independent site dedicated to this park: High Park Toronto.

Have you taken any beautiful pictures of cherry blossoms that you are proud of? Show me by linking to them in the comments below!

Taku’s Top 5 iPhoneography Winter Photography Favourites

Yesterday’s Top 5 post was all about my photography taken with my Nikon D800 camera. Today’s Top 5 is all about my other camera, my iPhone. This year all of my winter iphoneography was done on an iPhone 6 Plus and sure enough, this camera did not disappoint either.

Here are my Top 5 iPhoneography Winter Photography Favourites.

Number 5

This black and white winter photo was really magical. It was a long exposure photo, which enabled me to get the details below the water. I love how the smooth water contrasts with the rough details of the ice. This monochromatic image adds much more drama to this scene than the original colour version.

iPhone 6 Plus, 4 second exposure

iPhone 6 Plus, 4 second exposure

Number 4

Many of you will have seen the square cropped version of this image, as seen on my Instagram feed here, and featured on many other hubs on Instagram. While it works well with the square crop, I do like the full view as well. This was taken at Tiffany Falls in Ancaster one overcast Saturday. I happened to come here without knowing there was going to be a class. By chance, I ran into some other photographers who had been taking ice climbing photos for a long time. I learned a couple things here and there from him, and had a good time trying out different angles and whatnot.

Ice climbing lessons at Tiffany Falls

Ice climbing lessons at Tiffany Falls

Number 3

It was an overcast day that made all photos a little boring to look at. I happened to come across this point in the Hamilton region while out shooting one weekend. That wooden structure caught my eye as I was walking back to my car. I took a quick snap of it with the Toronto skyline visible in the backdrop. The clouds were white and grey, but I liked the texture that I caught with this photo. After a little tweaking using the Mextures app, I came out with this photo which added so much more character and life into it. I really do like that faded purple feel to this. It’s somewhat calming in a sense.

By the shores of Lake Ontario during an overcast day.

By the shores of Lake Ontario during an overcast day.

Number 2

Keeping things simple often works in many cases. And that’s what I did here. I tried to keep things to a minimum by cropping out any extraneous distractions. As the sun rose above the horizon, I grabbed this quick shot, which highlighted the fog over Lake Ontario very well. I love the cold morning feel you get with this shot. It was edited with the LV01 filter in VSCOcam, which gave it that overall faded feel to the photo.

A cold sunrise but I loved the minimalism of this crop. And that fog!

A cold sunrise but I loved the minimalism of this crop. And that fog!

Number 1

You’ve seen this square cropped version on my Instagram feed, but the uncropped version is so much more telling. It gives the wide view of the landscape, including the snowbank on the side, and the vast cloud formation, which further adds drama to the scene. If you read my post yesterday, my number one photo from my Nikon also came from this day. The combination of colours, clouds, and viewpoint just struck me as something only Mother Nature can provide in a beautiful sunrise.

A magical sunrise by Lake Ontario

A magical sunrise by Lake Ontario

Honorable Mention

I have one more shot that I really liked, but didn’t put it in my list because of one technical flaw. This was a long exposure but somehow I managed to blur the subject in the photo. My phone was on a tripod and everything, but I suppose my fat fingers may have done some extra damage to the scene. It may look fine on a mobile screen, but when looked at full size, the CN Tower is actually quite blurry, immediately taking this out of contention. I do really like this scene though, and it was unfortunate that this happened.

Someone is always looking upon us.

Someone is always looking upon us.

So there’s my top five favourite iPhoneography with my iPhone 6 Plus for this winter season. I hope you found the thoughts behind my photos a little enlightening.

Have you taken a favourite winter photo with your mobile device? Let me know what it was in the comments below, and link to it so I can view them as well!

Taku’s Top 5 Winter Photography Favourites

As of 6:45pm, March 20, winter is officially over, however it may not feel like it with the current cold front passing by our city this week. To recap this wonderful season that offered a number of prime photo opportunities, I’ve rounded my top five favourite photos that I took with my Nikon over this winter season.

If you’ve been following my blog throughout the winter, or are following me on Instagram @smaku or @theSmaku, then you may have noticed some of these photos pop up there. I’m also uploading select photos on my Flickr account as well.

Number 5

This photo was taken in early December when Christmas lights were just being turned on, and everybody was getting into the festive spirit. On my way home from the Christmas Market, I took a quick detour to City Hall to see what was happening. The semi-long exposure of 0.8 seconds made some skaters a blur, while those who stood still remained in focus. All lights were on, and I made sure to include the city’s Christmas tree in this frame too. I opted to include that spotlight on the top left, to add some more excitement to the top half of this frame. I just can’t help but feel a little festive whenever I see this.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who liked this photo as city councillor Norm Kelly liked it enough to retweet it to everybody.

0.8 sec. at f/20, ISO 800, 24mm

0.8 sec. at f/20, ISO 800, 24mm

 Number 4

This one was taken on the same day as number 5! Visiting the Distillery District Christmas Market for the first time, I wanted to really capture the festive spirit and business of the event. I had to prop my tripod right in the middle of the walkway, getting my camera high enough above everybody’s heads to really capture this mood. I think it turned out rather nice; you can feel the warmth from the halogen Christmas lights. Since this was a long exposure, by chance, I happened to capture three flashed coming from different places. As an added bonus, I loved how this one person in the crowd stood still enough so that I could capture her on her phone, perhaps Instagramming all of this!

Three flashes a charm?

Three flashes a charm?

Number 3

This winter had no shortages of sunrise shoots. While some of them were a little lacklustre, others proved to be very rewarding. This day was one of them when the colours were so vibrant it really made you second guess what was happening here. This 6 second long exposure created a different texture to Lake Ontario, further adding to that special morning glow that you can only get with a sunrise.

Nikon D800, 70mm, f/14, 6.0 sec., ISO 100, B+W 6-stop ND filter

Nikon D800, 70mm, f/14, 6.0 sec., ISO 100, B+W 6-stop ND filter

Number 2

Surprisingly, one of my favourites of the season is not even a colour photo! I really like the tone of this with its faded shadows. The intricate details of the plants in the foreground silhouetted against the brightly lit waters of the background make this for me. That ball of sun right in the middle also makes this a special moment that you know it wasn’t taken any time during the day.

Nikon D800, 1/20sec., f/9.0, ISO100, 70mm

Nikon D800, 1/20sec., f/9.0, ISO100, 70mm

Number 1B

This one would have to be my favourite photo taken with the full sun in the frame. The patchy fog on top of Lake Ontario really makes you feel the frigidness of that morning. I was lucky those colours were so vibrant that day as well. It was an absolutely beautiful morning and one that I definitely didn’t want to spend in bed!

Nikon D800, 1/6 sec., ISO 100, f/9.0, 24mm, +2/3 EV

Nikon D800, 1/6 sec., ISO 100, f/9.0, 24mm, +2/3 EV

Number 1A

This would be my favourite landscape photo where you can see the city within the frame. That morning was almost a bust since the clouds were so thick near the horizon. I really didn’t think I would get any colour out of Mother Nature. But as I waited a little more, the clouds broke open ever so slightly, allowing some magical morning light to come through. That red on the side was out of this world, so to speak. It’s mornings like this that really make waking up so early worthwhile.

Nikon D800, 24mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 30 sec., 6-stop ND filter

Nikon D800, 24mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 30 sec., 6-stop ND filter

Those are my top 5 favourite winter photos for 2014. I hope you enjoyed them! I believe Both #1 photos I hadn’t even posted anywhere so this may very well be the first time you’ve seen them! Just another reason for you all to keep following me on my blog. 🙂

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Have you been out to take photos this winter season? Where was your favourite one taken? Let me know in the comments below.