Sakura Trees at High Park

I’ve used my new Samyang 14mm f/2.8 for a lot of architectural shots, working on collecting new source material for a batch of new paintings that I will begin production on in the near future. But I can only photograph so many cubes before I long for rougher, rugged, irregular shapes. I wanted to take my new lens out into the wilderness and get some landscape shots!

Of course, there isn’t a whole lot of wilderness to be found in downtown Toronto, so I headed off towards the next best thing: High Park. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom this weekend. If you’ve never seen High Park’s famous Sakura trees in full bloom, then you are missing out.

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I found the High Park website to be somewhat unclear about where exactly these cherry blossoms are located inside the park. It’s a big park with a lot of trails, so wandering around aimlessly until I randomly stumble upon what I’m looking for isn’t a desirable option. So nobody else has to find them this way, I’m just going to tell you where the cherry blossom trees are:
Get off the subway at High Park station.
Cross the street. You are now in High Park.
You will see a parking lot directly in front of you.
Walk through the parking lot.
An open field will be to your left. Keep going straight.
You will very quickly see a trail of Sakura trees along the side of the road.
Follow this road down until you are completely surrounded by lots of Sakura trees.
When you find yourself surrounded by about 40 trees and a thousand people looking at those 40 trees, you’re there.

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You can click on these images to see a larger version of the photo, if you are interested. I haven’t posted the full 24 megapixel images, but I’ve resized them all to a height of 1080, so they should look good on most standard monitors and television screens.

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It’s hard to come up with a situation where strong bokeh is both desirable and possible with a lens as wide as 14mm, I tried to do that here, I’ve leave it up to you to decide weather this was successful or not.
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Some more shots from the series:
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I didn’t limit myself to just shooting the cherry blossoms. Sometimes, bark can be an interesting subject matter:
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I didn’t stick with the 14mm for the entire day, after a while, I switched to the 50mm 1.8D to spend some time with a more conventional focal distance:

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Well, that’s about it. If you don’t make it out this weekend to see the cherry blossoms, you’ll just have to wait until next year.

Published by

Kyle Clements

Kyle Clements is a Toronto-based artist and nerd. During his thesis at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Kyle began working on his Urban Landscapes series, a body of work that aims to capture the energy and excitement of life in the fast-paced urban environment. After graduating from OCAD in 2006, Kyle spent a year living in Asia to gather source material and experience in a different kind or urban environment. His work is vibrant and colourful. Whether painting the harsh Northern landscape, or capturing the overwhelming buzz of life in the city, his acrylic paintings hover between representation and abstraction.

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