Ascending Into The Stacks

Updated:
Riding an escalator to a higher level at Robarts Library, University of Toronto.

Now and then I like to go through some of my old photographs and give them new treatments in Adobe Lightroom. I have learned so much from all these years of working with the software—and I follow a very different approach nowadays: warmer and more nuanced, less outlandish and cold. It is an interesting experience to retouch my old work with the benefit of experience and new eyes.

I shot this particular photograph while riding the escalator up to the third floor at Robarts Library not long after starting my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in 2007. I wasn’t doing much in the way of “art” photography at the time (if you can even call it that); mostly I was simply shooting social events and music festivals. Slowly, through the encouragement of friends and a dawning interest in capturing something of my way of seeing the world, I began to get more serious about my approach to photography.

One thing that helped motivate me was support from Noah Pred’s record label, Thoughtless Music. Not long after sharing this photo around on Flickr (and eventually Facebook, though at the time I wasn’t yet a user) he asked me if I would be interested in licensing it for this release, to which I gladly consented. Thus began a long and fruitful partnership, for the label ended up using literally dozens of my photographs for their releases over the following years.

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