Eaton Centre Crowd (December 24th, 2001)

I took this picture on December 24th, 2001 at the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto (I lived in Boston at the time, but was on a visit home). The mall was full of people doing their last-minute shopping, and I saw this amazing scene from the floor above. I braced myself against a railing, exhaled slowly, and took the shot. I think the shutter speed was 1/8th of a second. The camera was my Nikon F90 with kit lens (I didn’t own any others then) and I was shooting on Delta 400.

In late 2001, I had just gotten back into photography and developing my own film after many years of neglect. I was trying to reverse the bad darkroom habits of my youth while also trying to develop something of a “style” — framing off-centre or at strange angles, paying attention to composition, line, space, and motion, and generally emulating what I saw in photography books. This photograph in particular was one of my first “big successes”, or so I thought, and gave me a lot of confidence to keep shooting and experimenting — it was somewhat of a turning point. And I realized tonight that I had never posted it on-line, so here it is.