Toronto is a hotbed for street photography. Now we have our personal favourites, from our Instagram community friends, but we also like looking further afield. To be frank some of what passes for street photography on Insta is watered-down non-interaction bokeh loving or zoom lens scenes where there’s beauty but a lack of human interest and contact.
So in the spirit of enjoying the search for the new and unfamiliar we took a peek across the web and started with Flickr. Here are some of the shots we found through Google Search. Within this review we profile traditional street photography with a focus on strong composition, good contrast and tones, preponderance of human figures, and though not required, a good amount of BW shots.
Let’s explore, shall we!?
Challenging and provocative photos capture real life
Street photography often captures scenes which present the real city as found in the downtown streets. Some of the images are challenging and cover social issues such as homelessness, addiction or violence.
Some images in this vein simply cover activities like pan handling or busking or any other mundane or everyday context. In this photo we see two panhandles or homeless men sitting on the sidewalk It’s captivating intimate image that asks us to take a longer look and consider what is going on.
On Flickr in the title and caption area the photographer writes: “Street Photography …. Lost In A Wilderness Of Pain, And All The Children Are Insane, Spare Change? Thank You & God Bless.” Perhaps that’s an actual quote from the panhandler?
Yonge St. Downtown Toronto and other Black and White Beauties
In the image above we see a local denizen hanging out downtown with his cat. So cute. I remember seeing a man with a cat on his shoulders on my trip to San Francisco. There are characters in every city. Apparently this guy’s name is “Buddy,” who “always hangs out with his cat at Dundas Square…” It’s a fun and unique street shot.
This street shot is amazing, though we wish it had more depth of field, it really captures something about the dynamic of Yonge and Dundas Square. Check out the bounce in the man to the left!
Peaceful streets under a blanket of snow
Here’s a beauty from the same photographer entitled “Toronto’s First Snowfall …. November 15, 2022.” What a lovely scene and serene snowy image.
Toronto is beautiful in a light snow. It’s not a storm so nobody feels trapped, and if you wander outside there are few people around so it’s a quiet world that feels like you’ve got the city all to yourself.
Random search delivers the goods
You know what’s interesting? Though I wanted local images, in my search I just put “site:flickr.com street photography” and nothing else – and amazingly the first few photos were of Toronto and from this photographer calling himself “Greg’s Southern Ontario.”
In their bio the photographer says they shoot with a Nikon D3200 but many of the images above were shot with point and shoots. In the following image the photographer used a Nikon Coolpix P510 which is a fancy super-zoom compact – a slightly higher-end point and shoot.
You don’t need a professional camera at all to make amazing images. You just have to get out there and shoot. Some interesting people, different women of different background, in this intersection of lives captured in a sweet black and white format.
In this image there’s no doubt the photographer was likely very close to the subject, perhaps shooting slightly up from the sidewalk area. Are you able to get this close when you shoot on sidewalks? It makes me nervous but I’d like to try it more often.
This next image is really focused on strong light and shadows and geometric forms in the stone surface. It features great timing as two different groups pass each other. I imagine this was inside a shopping mall like Eaton Centre which offers extreme heights and sight lines from lower level food courts to upper levels of the office areas.
Do you have a favourite Toronto photographer to recommend who has a Flickr page? Please let us know by sending an email with a link to their profile. We can profile them on the site.
Thanks for reading. See you next time.