I like shooting through windows. There’s something magical about seeing a reflection of the world, layered on top of what can be seen through the window. It’s as though there exists a parallel universe dancing on the glass, and you will only know it’s there if you are observant enough to see it.
This set of photos were taken through the windows of a corner cafe in the busy streets of Toronto. It’s around 4 o’clock and people are rushing around from Work in the busy financial district. Contrast that with the interiors of the European-style cafe. It is quiet inside. There are people taking their afternoon coffee, but they don’t speak. The tables are lovingly adorned with flowers. The sounds of the city streets pour in every time the door opens.
#cityscapes #cafe #Toronto #peoplewatching #coffee #rushhou
They say that when one door closes, another one opens. But it doesn’t happen, I would say, try a window. I don’t believe in waiting around for things to happen. I believe in making them happen for yourself. And sometimes, when a door doesn’t seem to budge at all, it’s time to move on and find another way. Knocking on the same door that won’t open will only drive you mad, and it’s time wasted. Get over it and move on. Don’t ever become attached to the outcomes of your art, otherwise it will stop you from creating when things get tough. You have to be free from attachement to create. Don’t hold on to onto expectations. Let yourself be surprised.
#doors #architecture #Toronto #KingStreet #classic #tradition #buildings
If there is anything to be learned from a landmark like Casa Loma, it’s that nothing can last forever. The story of Casa Loma begins with a brilliant business man who builds his dream home, filling it with art and fine European furnishings. But as the war broke out, his fortunes crumbled due to bad speculations in his attempts to save his fortune and the overwhelming costs of expansion.
I’ve come to understand that life is always changing, like a river that can flow softly and swiftly, or raging with rapid waters. The truth is, you just don’t know what is around the corner. It’s best to adapt a neutral way of looking at things, not letting your emotions get the better of you. It’s not to say that you should become emotionless, but rather to be a master over your emotions. To not be overcome with them and react to them. Be present in the moment and appreciate it for what it’s worth. Don’t get ahead of yourself, because plans and projections don’t always work out. Be prepared to move on instead of trying to hold on. It is better to have cherished the joyful moments that you had than to have spent it waiting for more to come. This philosophy creates balance in one’s life, which allows for greater happiness and fulfillment.
#CasaLoma #tourism #Toronto #architecture #nothinglastsforever #castle #garden #flowers #fountain #autumn
Have you ever noticed that it’s only when you’re waiting for something to happen that time seems to pass by ever so slowly? Every moment drags on with anticipation. And when you’re busy, being entertained, or simply not paying any attention to the time, it swishes by faster than you expect. I think time is subjective to the observer. No one experiences time in the same way. We may all have the same amount of time in a day, but how we perceive it can be an entirely different story.
Timing is crucial in photography. A moment too late and you miss the moment. Not having enough patience and you won’t capture anything worth holding onto. I find that time in photography and film is all just an illusion. I can make you feel like you spent an hour with me in a film, when in fact it was really exactly only two mintures. I can make a photo feel like time stood still, or as though time is running out. Perhaps time is all just an illusion as well?
#time #illusion #waiting #unionstation #Toronto #clock #traveling #perception
The thing about Toronto is that I wish it had more well-kept old buildings. It is for this reason that I love cities like London and Paris. I love the classical style of old buildings. They remind us of a time when life wasn’t so fast-paced, when craftsmanship was valued, and maybe when life was a little simpler. But if you asked me if I would give up digital technology to live in these times, I would say never. We are living in interesting times. Technology has opened up a world of photography to me, where I never thought it was possible that I could produce high quality work. I learned photography on a manual camera and it was a challenge for me to manually focus the lens while looking through a tiny little view finder.
I really like how these pictures came out. The one with the reflection in the cafe window reveals aspects of modern life in contrast to the traditional style of the building. It captures the best of both worlds.
#Toronto #Mache #Movenpick #offBayStreet #oldandnew #architecture #classic #modern #cafe #placestoeat
Here are some additional photographs I made in Yorkville last week. Walking along the Southside of Bloor Street, I noticed this beautifully painted white bicycle. It was stunning and it really stood out from the streets against the cold, grey pavement. There was a sign above, a notice that a young man, a cyclist, was killed at this location.
This reminds me that even in the most tragic of circumstance, there can still be beauty to be found.
I think although it is best to stay on the positive side of life and have an optimistic attitude about it. It is important to acknowledge that life is not always about the pursuit of happiness. There are always going to be sad, unfortunate instances. Accepting this, one can have a more neutral, balance state of being where one is not swayed by circumstances. Rather, choosing to be happy no matter what life brings.
On a personal note, I have learned to adapt a very detached state of being. I do not feel attached to what life brings to me, nor do I try to control it. I have gone from one career to another, always thinking at the time, that I have finally found something I will do for a long time, as though I had just landed ashore and I am going to make this island my home. But staying in one “place” has never been my thing, and I have come to accept that. I choose to go where the wind takes me instead of holding on to the ground. It has certainly made life more interesting and this is how I have gotten involved in doing photography and video, an unintended destination. One that I am happy to explore and share with you.
#bicycle #DAS5 #RIP #death #sadness #tragedy #letting go #happiness #wheat #transition #autumn #Toronto #cityscapes #positivethinking #balance
ABOUT ANDREA MAI
Andrea Mai is a legally blind photographer based in Toronto. She is an experiencer and researcher of afterlife communication and the twin soul phenomenon. She is a clairvoyant and clairaudient. She is the real twin flame of Prince Rogers Nelson.