If you’ve been following my photography for some time now, you’ll know I have a strange enjoyment of photographing doors. I think it traces itself back to my first trip to Montreal. Either way, with it being the start of term at Sheridan, I needed a theme that I could do casually across the full seven days of the week. Usually, I do my best to get the entire roll shot in a day, but I decided to give myself seven days shooting five frames each day. So let’s break on through (to the other side). (See what I did there).
I honestly don’t know where I got this obsession with photographing doors, but I’m going to peg in on my first trip to Montreal and being surrounded by the architectural wealth of the old city. Since then, I’ve photographed a lot of doors through various towns, cities and abandoned buildings. I even had a friend tag me in a post of an overgrown door they photographed and thought of me. Doors are clean, easy to photograph, and you have a great deal of variety in many places. This is especially true when you get into historical areas of communities. With doors you have lines, texture and colour. Some people have boring doors, while others have decorative doors. There are different shapes, materials, and styles. Some doors are better kept than others. And it also offers up a chance to revisit some places I’ve already explored.
I made a point to bring the camera with me for six days during the week, why six, mainly because I wanted to give myself a margin for bad weather. Each day I would shoot five frames (except for one day where I hit ten). I started on Saturday bringing the camera along to Burlington for a mission to get doughnuts that didn’t work out, then into downtown Milton on Sunday, shooting five frames on Main Street, then another five along a side street (all five on one lane). Next into Oakville for the work with, with doors on campus, the northern part of Old Oakville then the southern region. And the final five being in my neighbourhood of Milton. Then I picked my favourite from each set of five to include here in the post, which made my life a little easier when you have clear criteria. My final choices came down to either a personal connection to said door, in the cases of Sunshine Donuts, the entry into my office at Sheridan, and the door into the condo I call home. Or out of enjoyment or the exciting nature of the door covering the Knox Manse, Toll Keepers home and Erchless.
To help with my tendency to shoot wide, I made a point to stick with a single lens; I did consider using three different lenses but decided the temptation to shoot a 28mm or 35mm consistently would be too strong. Next, I thought about only using the 105mm lens but realised that I didn’t always have the space to use a long lens, and if I’m photographing a residential door, a longer lens might seem a bit suspicious. A happy medium it was, and I went with the trusty 50mm f/1.4; while the f/1.8 would have been refined and offered up a compact setup, the 50/1.4 gave me that extra bump in the aperture so that if I needed to shoot in the light or heavy shadow I could. And with shooting a flat focal plane depth of field was only a secondary concern.
Next week I’m heading out to Paris, not the French Capital but rather a small town in Ontario which has been on my mind for the past several months.