Lens on the local

Last Wednesday evening, a large crowd of photography enthusiasts gathered at Hart House to see an unusual slideshow care of award-winning photoblogger Sam Javanrouh. Every 24 hours, Javanrouh posts a new photo on his website, Daily Dose of Imagery. In the two and a half years the project has been running, he has not missed a single post, and has seen the site’s popularity increase enormously. Currently, 20,000 people from around the globe view his site daily.

Javanrouh moved to Toronto in 1999 from his native Iran, and was not immediately impressed with our fair metropolis. He started his photoblog in part to discover and appreciate beauty in Toronto.

“I felt the need to force myself to look at Toronto more closely, so I decided to challenge myself to find at least one thing worth seeing and photographing around me every day,” Javanrouh explained. “I also wanted to share my new home with my friends and family overseas, and a daily photoblog made the most sense for that.”

The soft-spoken photographer rides his bicycle around the city and captures an average of 15 images per day, though he admits some days he may take several hundred photos, or none at all.

Abandoned buildings, surreally colourful landscapes, macro close-ups of everyday objects, as well as funny or strange things he witnesses on the streets of Toronto make up the archives of his daily toil.

“A good photo usually needs to have a good story,” Javanrouh said. “The story could be about how beautiful the texture of a wall is, or how cold the weather is. You need to communicate what you want to show the viewer as clearly as possible.”

Over the course of his slideshow at Hart House, which was attended by about 200, Javanrouh shared many of the stories that he has captured digitally.

One photo he showed was of a guitar-playing busker with a paper bag on his head in front of Roy Thomson Hall. Javanrouh revealed that he learned the busker is actually a Toronto Symphony Orchestra musician-he wears the bag because the orchestra disapproves of his extracurricular performances.

Many other familiar Toronto characters appear in the photographs on Daily Dose of Imagery, as well as some truly stunning images of otherwise seemingly mundane downtown vistas.

In less than a thousand photos, Daily Dose of Imagery has gone from an attempt to find beauty in an unfamiliar and unfriendly place, to a veritable love letter to Javanrouh’s adopted city. And judging from the applause, laughter, and gasps his images elicited at Hart House, the feeling is clearly mutual.

Check out Sam Javanrouh’s photoblog Daily Dose of Imagery at wvs.topleftpixel.com.

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