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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Visit to Allan Gardens in Toronto

For a while now, I have wanted to get back down to Allan Gardens. The last time I was there was probably while at first year OCA, in the Stewart building, which is no longer owned by the college anymore. We went there during a class, to draw. I never forgot that there were cacti there - I love cacti!

I swore I recalled spotting lizards at the time I was there, but it probably was my wishful imagination, since I Love lizards and obviously don't get to see them much. But, on our trip there this past weekend, we didn't see any. We did spot a little brown mouse running around though.

The gardens were decorated throughout for the Christmas season. It was a real dull and overcast, damp day so the light inside was not ideal for photo taking, but still, of course I would not leave without taking any. I had to put my ISO up over 800 at times so there is some grain/noise but ah well, it does not wreck what for me is the feel of the image. I prefer low light and non flash, natural/available light but my camera and lens do not live up 100% to taking shots in that type of very low light - maybe one day but I doubt it, the camera I have will do. Definitely, it is far more capable than the old film camera I had, in living up to the light conditions I am attracted to and like to capture, thanks to image stabilization and other improvements with consumer SLRs. I was a fan of grainy images anyway, so I can live with some noise. And as far as ever using any for reference images for painting, grain never mattered as long as values and most details are still accurate.

We had a great time at Allan Gardens! Walking up the path in the park that leads to the front entrance, it was even sort of neat to see a small group of eclectic people, different ages, one in a motorized walker, talking and laughing; the young man holding a bottle of some sort of liquor, and the elderly man greeting the woman in the walker as Rosie happily, as she came upon the others. Something about them seemed sort of endearing - they struck us as very happy and positive.

After walking past this group, we went inside the Palm building and spent a couple hours walking around the different buildings. Afterwards, we got a small bite to eat along College street at a sort of divey little pub that had a nice atmosphere none the less.

I want to go back and visit the gardens in the spring/summer. There are often different theme and seasonal displays and events there - something I never really realized.

Link to Allan Gardens website

Photos from our visit:

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