Every Torontonian or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World fan should have some familiarity with the colourful Bathurst Street. As someone who lives alongside northern Bathurst, I had always wondered how I could channel my inner Edgar Wright and explore the area with my camera.
The opportunity arose in Winter 2020, when I had to finish off a roll of Cinestill 800T after some portraits. Naturally, I hopped on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)’s Number 7 bus and went south to Bathurst and Bloor.
I felt well-equipped with 800T after using it to shoot some night time portraits in the past, along with a series of hockey shots on film. That said, this was still just my third roll of Cinestill ever shot.
I usually struggle with metering 800T. I’ve had my fair share of whacky exposures with 35mm Cinestill. I found that a simple solution was to use the EOS 10’s exposure bracketing to underexpose up to two stops.
As a 90s automatic film SLR, the EOS 10 can be pretty handy itself. I’m grateful for its EF lens mount, allowing me to use Canon’s full-frame lenses on both film and modern digital SLRs.
For future use though, I’d suggest avoiding your camera’s built-in meter entirely when shooting Cinestill. Unfortunately, the chilly temperatures kept me from employing my fingers much. Otherwise, I’d have used the lightmeter app Lux instead.
I was still quite pleased with the results of my Cinestill pointing and shooting. Most of the exposures were taken at around 1/60th at f/4. Once again looking at my metering, I feel as though I could’ve saved some highlight detail and motion, perhaps with a faster shutter.
The Cinestill colour palette never ceases to amaze me. The reds, accented by 800T’s trademark flares around streetlights and TTC bus headlights, are particularly striking.
Of the about 20 shots I took, my favourite frame is probably from the unassuming corner of Bathurst and Bloor. The overhanging orange Pizza Pizza restaurant has been a staple of the intersection, at least ever since Honest Ed’s departure. The pizza place also housed Michael Cera and company in Scott Pilgrim, which is quintessentially Torontonian — a heritage moment if you will.
I feel as though Bathurst’s storefronts were quite inviting when compared to the dark road. In the future, when pandemics subside, I’d love to explore Cinestill’s indoor looks. Kodak Portra 800 and Fuji Superia 800 (RIP) have been my go-to low-light films thus far. With proper metering, the trio of remaining Cinestill rolls in my fridge could give those two stocks a run for their money.
I’m always looking for unique spaces to shoot in Toronto, whether it be sports, portraits, or urban areas like these.
Thanks for reading!
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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