Recently I purchased a Lee Filter system for my camera. I was dubious as to the worth of an on-camera filter system – after all, Lightroom has a graduated filter built in where I can adjust exposure, white balance etc. However, having taken it for a walk I can honestly say that being able to make adjustments while shooting is amazing. The filter can rotate, and slide in it’s holder to achieve a variety of effects, and the creative possibilities are endless. I foresee a new place to dump my camera funds – for sure the big stopper is coming on my next trip!
Here’s an image-heavy post of the beautiful Leslie Street Spit here in Toronto – almost every shot here is taken with the filter on. I’m using the 4×6 holder, on a 10-20 mm sigma wide angle lens, my trusty Canon 7D and a 0.6 graduated neutral density filter.
If, on the other hand, you adore bugs, then enjoy! All these photos are from our weekend walk at the Leslie Street Spit. Shot with the Canon 7D and Canon’s 100mm prime f2.8 macro lens. The last one is my favourite :)
Today it’s snowing outside. It’s practically March, but it’s as good a day as any for snow to finally show up. With any luck it will cool down and become proper snow – currently it would be more accurate if I said it was slushing from the sky ;)
Winter loveliness brings to mind a trip Tito and I took to the Leslie street spit 2 years ago – before the birth of this blog. Because the spit acts as a breaker on the east side, and because that winter was very cold, the entire beach was frosted in ice.
The Leslie Street Spit (technically Tommy Thompson Park) is a long spit made from construction refuse that extends out into Lake Ontario. It began as the place where material was dumped during the excavation of the Yonge Street subway line.
The beautiful thing is that nature reclaimed the park. It’s an interesting contrast – there are now parts that are still used for dumping and parts that are protected as an important stopover for migratory birds.
Because it began as a construction dumping ground, the personality of the spit is varied and ever changing. One beach is a graveyard for telephone poles. One is the final resting place for innumerable bank safes. One entire beach contains the remains of a building that had fluted and carved columns, you could almost pretend you were at the ruins of some ancient site.
There are gardens of rebar, a bird banding station, a lighthouse and a shipwreck. In the summer it teems with a wide variety of wildlife, and it’s a macro photographers dream.
There’s an entire part of the forest that’s been taken over by cormorants.
It’s the site of our annual first bike ride of the season. We’re always freezing by the time we get home :) Tito and I have shot it year-round, but days like this can still leave us in awe of what a beautiful spot the Leslie Street Spit is.
I was so inspired by some of the sea glass jewellery I’ve seen that I decided to make my own, but I had to do things a little differently!
For a start, Toronto is nowhere near the sea, so I had to make do with glass from the Leslie Street Spit. Since the Spit is all made from construction refuse, glass that had been polished by the waves was easy to find.
The next problem was that I don’t have a glass drill, so I used silver heavy gauge wire to wrap each piece. I think the results are still quite lovely.
I love the Leslie Street Spit – and I couldn’t stop thinking of the possibilities for jewellery made from it. After working with polished glass I tried an experimental piece with glass that was still rough looking, but smooth enough to wear:
It looks like rough quartz – I love it!
Lastly I experimented with what I believe were broken pieces of tile that were also strewn around the beach.
The tile had been similarly wave polished. To give the ends a more finished look I used silver filigree cones.
I polished it off with simple magnet clasps. I definitely enjoyed this little exercise, can’t wait to try making more!
Published November 4, 2010
Inspira , Jewelry , Photography , Travels , Uncategorized
Tags: crystals, inspira, jewelry, leslie street spit, photography, quartz
The Leslie Street Spit in Toronto is one of my favourite places – it was originally the dumping ground for the construction refuse during a period of rapid growth in the 60′s. The land created was colonized over time by over 400 species of plant life and is now a protected area that serves as a migratory stopover for many species of birds. Because it originated as a construction dumping ground it’s got a lot of personality – one beach is entirely covered in broken pillars from old buildings, another is a graveyard for dead telephone poles, yet another is a jungle of rebar. It’s a wonderful place for photography, and last winter we snuck on (the public park was closed at the time) looking for photos, and what an amazing day it turned out to be!
The entire east shore of the spit was covered in ice, everything from the construction rebar to to the trees was coated in a beautiful sheath of ice. I wanted so much to create a piece of jewellery from this unexpected gift – and so was born my latest piece.
This necklace is made from clear and frosted quartz crystal, white, champagne and aqua swarovski crystal beads and a sterling silver toggle clasp.
Running through the necklace and woven in between the beads are two ropes – one of tiny quartz crystal and sterling silver beads, and one of tan coloured pure silk rope – meant to be evocative of the delicate branches under the ice.
This photo (which, incidentally will have a permanent home in Toronto’s PATH system soon!) shows the degree to which everything was iced over. It looks like the stones have cake icing on them =o)
The back of the necklace is finished with a short length of silver chain and a swarovski crystal charm.
Two more pebbles of clear quartz and silver cones lend themselves to earrings.
Photos updated as promised – the piece really shines in the sunlight =o)