Ontario

Birding with a 35mm f/1.8

I can certainly understand the appeal of a big bag of expensive long lenses. Birds do, after all, tend to be small and far away.

I'm not about to spend $10,000 on a set of bird lenses, though. (I'm cheap, for one thing, but I'm also not quite fit enough to carry 15 kilos of glass and magnesium around all day.)

The solution? Get close. Really close. Just beyond wing-hitting range, in this case, with a 35mm f/1.8 on a DX body.

Union Station, a study in contrasts

Toronto's historic Union Station, after years of neglect and decay, is undergoing a much-needed revitalization.

The architects have decided to keep much of the original train shed intact, but a large central section of the original structure has been torn down to make way for an airy, modern glass atrium.

With a huge chunk of the roof gone, the steel and concrete of the 86-year-old structure is juxtaposed against the gold-plated towers of Bay Street.

A quiet day at the rail station

I have a soft spot for the railway.

Maybe it's the cruical role it played in creating a united Canada out of a disparate collection of territories, the sense of history, the tangible links to a past era.

Maybe it's the sheer industrial power of it- machinery built to last a lifetime, getting underway with a diesel rumble that you feel in your bones, the brutal honesty of purely functional design with few concessions to aesthetics.

Or maybe it's just the pleasure of hopping between cities with one's dignity and one's schedule intact, with space to stretch out and relax, occasionally catching a glimpse of the traffic jam on the 401 as you fly past it at a buck-thirty-five.

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