Invoking the Past

A couple of weeks ago Nick had something to do in the northeast end of the city, for which he took the car. We don't take it out very often so I decided to tag along for the ride. Once we were there Nick mentioned that we were very close to where he lived when he first moved to Toronto in his early twenties.

It was lunchtime and he asked me if I'd like to go to a place he used to go. Of course I wanted to go. Upon entering he said it hadn't changed at all. My meal included what might be the best homemade mashed potatoes I've ever had. We were the only people there who were not regulars. A gentleman at the table beside us didn't even tell the cook what he wanted ... with a nod his lunch was simply brought to him when it was ready.

The chef was curious to know what had brought us to his kitchen, which was located well off the beaten track. Turns out he had bought the place the year after Nick had moved downtown. He joked that maybe next time we wouldn't wait so long before visiting again!

Back before we knew one another Nick and I shared a common hobby, that being photography and particularly spending time in the darkroom, developing in black and white. In those days photography was so much harder to do and frankly, I don't really get the current interest that I read about in taking pictures on film again. Personally I welcome digital photography with open arms, gladly bypassing the messy, toxic chemicals and unpredictable results that were film photography. Not to mention the expense, and the fear to experiment because you'd be wasting precious film.

That said however, I am very interested in the 3 rolls of lomography film that Nick gave me for my birthday, that will fit into the old square-format (Zeiss Ikon Nettar) camera that had been his father's when he was a young man. Taking those shots will be a new experience that I am waiting for the perfect scenario to enjoy.

I hope you are having a good Wednesday. Things are fine here, as we prepare for a visit from Nick's uncle and godfather coming all the way from Newcastle England. Our guest room is all spruced up! Boycat was under the impression that we were getting it ready for him and made haste in denting the floofy duvet with little paw sized divots. This before I scooped him up and carried him out, shutting the door behind me.

[The restaurant is called The Rib House, located at 1239 Woodbine Avenue and Mortimer, in Toronto]
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14 Responses to Invoking the Past

  1. Emma says:

    I love the darkroom… it feels more like magic than photography! It takes away some of the challenge now everyone can dodge and burn on photoshop! But I do love how easy digital is!

    • Loulou says:

      It’s very true. I like to challenge myself by getting a perfect shot right from the camera with no editing required. But as happy as I am when I get one, it really makes no difference, because no one can tell if it’s straight from the camera or edited! All in all though, I like the frequency of good shots that digital offers. I recall situations where an entire film would only reap one or two good shots! And that elusive perfect picture was one in a hundred.

      The picture of the camera has no editing whatsoever. I like how it almost looks black and white but is actually in colour!

  2. Vix says:

    I love your black and white photography, it gives everything an edginess with grit and depth. Jon used to process his own pictures, I do miss that element of surprise!
    Hope you have a blast with Nick’s uncle, bet he’s looking forward to some decent weather! x

    • Loulou says:

      Thanks Vix. He’s actually here right now sleeping down the hall! We don’t get to see Nick’s family much so it has been a pleasure to have him here.

  3. Shoko says:

    Wonderful photos – I love little places like this :)

  4. What a special little spot! I always find little places like this to be the most charming. And those mash potatoes!! Holy yum!

    I love these black and whites Loulou! That camera looks like such a fun toy to play around with – though yes, digital is so much more convenient. Very interesting in seeing how your shots turn out :) xo Marisa

    • Loulou says:

      Thanks Marissa :) Yes, I am so interested in trying it out. Hope the pictures turn out well. I’ll be looking to Nick for help as he has shot a lot with it, way back when. You don’t actually focus it … You take the picture based on how far away you are from your subject and setting the dial. I used to shoot with a Minolta that was based on that concept and have plenty of out of focus shots to prove it! So we shall see how it goes.

  5. I love little local places like this, sounds amazing! I definitely appreciate digital but also really liked my darkroom classes in college! Definitely very expensive and time consuming though! Hope you are having a beautiful day!
    xo Hannah

  6. love love love these images woman! that cam!!! amaze!!!!

  7. Loulou says:

    Thanks Shatki! He got me as I was fixing my shirt, but the second shot he took was not one I care to show on the Internet, lol. Delete? … Yes please.

  8. I know what you mean. Digital is so much easier. I do kind of miss the darkroom too, though. It was pretty cool. Trouble is, I never seemed to get a clean print. I always had little white dots. So frustrating!

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