2019 Toronto Workshop Recap | Photography Unfolded

2019 Toronto Workshop Recap

 In Workshop Recaps

Last month, we held our second Toronto workshop. After taking a break last year, we decided to explore again this year after hearing a lot of our students ask about it. We had a great group of 10 students from Canada & the US and had great weather! We’ve already planned to do another workshop next year as this one was fantastic.

The workshop started on Friday evening: after meeting at the hotel, we headed to the Toronto Islands with the ferry, where we had dinner together before shooting the Toronto skyline at sunset and blue hour. Note for next year: bring bug spray!


Saturday morning started with the Eaton Centre bridge (WilkinsonEyre), a couple of blocks north of the hotel. The pedestrian bridge has some great lines and patterns when you’re shooting from inside.

Two blocks west is City Hall, an iconic brutalist building. There are many ways to shoot it, both from the main plaza (left) and up close, using the curves and the reflections.


After stopping for lunch, our next stop was the Art Gallery of Ontario (Frank Gehry). The main interest of the space is, of course, the main staircase, where we spent a lot of time!

Next to the AGO is OCAD University and it’s colorful, graphic design by Will Alsop (aLL design).

Our next stop was the Picasso Condos (Teeple Architects). The blocky, colorful design is great for detail shots focusing on patterns and shapes.

Just across the street is the Nova sculpture by Shayne Dark. The leading lines and negative space are obvious compositional tools here.

After a Starbucks break to recover from the heat, we headed to the Financial District. Our first stop was the Sun Life Centre, where security let us shoot for a few minutes before kicking us out! The two symmetrical towers are great for lines and reflections.

Our next stop was the Toronto-Dominion Centre (Mies van der Rohe). Not the easiest buildings to photograph, but you can take advantage of Mies’ geometry and lines.

Across the street is the Royal Bank Plaza (WZMH Architects), a building with many patterns and reflections!


Our final architectural location of the day was the Allen Lambert Galleria (Santiago Calatrava) and it’s beautiful indoor space. The patterns of the ceiling are great subject and Angie even experimented with intentional camera movement to create additional drama.


After stopping by the hotel to pick up our tripods, we had dinner and headed to Bathurst Bridge to shoot the city with the train tracks in the foreground. Once again, Angie got creative with focus and zoom. Just as we were leaving to head back to the hotel, a storm rolled in and it started pouring. That was close!

On Sunday morning, we took the streetcar to the Distillery District to photograph two condo towers, the Gooderham and Clear Spirit. They both have angular shapes that work well for abstracts.

Our next stop was the colorful Parliament Data Centre (WZMH Architects). Colors contrasts (green/orange, blue/orange) and patterns are great to focus on.


A little further north is the Globe & Mail Centre (Diamond Schmitt Architects), with its very reflective glass cladding and interesting block shapes.

After riding the streetcar and the subway, our next stop was One Bloor East (Hariri Pontarini Architects), a tall condo tower with a lot of patterns and lines.

After lunch, we headed to the Toronto Reference Library (Moriyama & Teshima Architects), one of our favorite locations in Toronto. The interiors of the library are beautiful and great for abstracts: whether it’s the staircase, the patterns of the ceilings, or the curves of the different levels, you’ll find something to shoot!


Our final stop of the workshop was the Royal Ontario Museum and its modern addition (Studio Libeskind). We started with the diamond-shaped exterior (left) and quickly went inside to shoot the main feature: the staircase (right). You can find great angles shooting up or down, so it’s worth spending the time to go through the entire staircase.


We had a great time in Toronto, which has a lot of great architecture! We are definitely going back next year and hope you’ll join us. We might even make the workshop longer 😉

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