Art Gallery of Ontario Staircase

 In Locations

One of our favorite Toronto locations is the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) designed by Frank Gehry. Toronto is Gehry’s hometown and the AGO renovation was his first project here. His grandparents lived only a couple blocks away from the museum, where he first saw artwork with his grandmother. He also played in Grange Park which is adjacent to the museum. For those of you joining us this weekend, we’ll be exploring this area and the renovations done by Gehry.

Today we’ll share some shots and approaches of the beautiful spiral staircase in the center of the museum. Made of Douglas Fir, the warmth of the wood is beautiful so shots work well in both color and black & white.

From the ground level looking up you can get some nice overlapping curves and angles.

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The entrance to the staircase is on the second floor. Shooting a bit wider and straight-on, you get a little more context.

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Looking up from here, some detail shots. This staircase allows so many abstract options, it’s hard to share only a few 😉

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Below you see two similar shots focused on the spiral. They work equally as well in black & white or color. It just depends on what you want the focus on. I think black & white brings out the striations in the wood a bit more, while the color has a softer feel.

 

So far all the shots have been looking up, certainly where I think you get the most options. But don’t forget to take in the view looking down.

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Perhaps a bit less abstract, but an interesting perspective whichever way you decide to capture this space.

As you can see most shots are filling the frame and focused on details and creating abstract takes on this beautiful subject. You can shoot the whole staircase from the second floor directly across the balcony with a wide lens. You can also use that same wide lens for more contextual shots closer up. If you want details we’d recommend a mid-range zoom (in the 24-70mm range).

If you’ve already photographed here be sure to share your shots with us either by tagging us on Instagram: @photographyunfolded or in our Facebook Group.

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