my Daily Dose of Imagery

October 29th, 2008

A few weeks ago, on Designer Daily they opened a group writing contest with the theme being, Design and Designers you Love. With the article noted on my to-do list since then, I have been thinking about what designer or items of design I would write about for the article. Truth be told, I was stumped. I have numerous sources of inspiration that I tap into. There are many designers that I greatly admire and am constantly learning from. Yet, I was looking for ‘love’! Then, just a couple of days ago, I realized that one of the first things I do when I get to my desk every morning, is look at a blog that I have been looking at for several years. Notice, I said, “looking”. He may not be referred to as a designer, or a well-designed gadget, but Photographer, Sam Javanrouh’s photo blog, Daily Dose of Imagery is one of my longtime daily sources of inspiration and, on most days, visual aw.

Sam’s photos draw me in for several reasons. One being that he lives Toronto, which is the closest major city to where I live. I have worked in Toronto and am usually there two to three times a week whether for business or pleasure. So, I have become acquainted with the city and often recognize many of the local shots that Sam takes. One such shot was of a small street-side building next to the office building I was working at, with three small retail spaces beside one another. Two of them were well painted and decorated, with tenants. The third was to say the least, a dump with a for lease sign in the window. About a week after being photographed and posted on Sam’s blog, it was painted and cleaned up to sit well with the other spaces. This may or may not have been attributed to Sam’s photo, but I chose to believe it was.

Seeing the city through Sam’s lens always opens up a beautiful new experience of its buildings, streets, and people. Sam pauses to take his pictures. He takes a moment to observe what we usually don’t see while walking or rolling by. Also, for as many pictures of people he has photographed, none of them appear to be posing. Sure, he probably asks if he can photograph them, but you can tell that he saw them doing what they are doing in the picture and may have, in some cases, asked them to keep doing it while he snaps a photo. He literally, in his photos, brings the city to you when you weren’t noticing or weren’t there to see it for yourself.

What I also enjoy about Sam’s photography, is simply that the majority of his images are of Toronto. Toronto is definitely regarded as a cosmopolitan city, but on the world stage of cities, it’s not often mentioned on the same ‘level’ of New York or Milan, Paris or Moscow—you get the picture (unintended). Yet, he clearly cherishes our city and is loyal to it. He always photographs during his travels and vacations, yet you know when he’s returned home. No matter where he is in the city or around the world, you experience it through his eyes.

Sam not only takes inspiring photos, but he also shares a lot of technical information as to what he did or with what equipment he used. Sometimes, he’ll post timelapse animations, and other times, he’ll show before-and-after digital manipulations he’s done to his images. One such timelapse I remember watching several times, was a day-long view of a parking lot. He mounted his camera atop a high building adjacent to the lot and during the day into the evening, he photographed the comings-and-goings of building tenants and visitors. Seeing the cars pull in then pulling out, and the lot filling at the beginning of the day and clearing out at the end of the day, was so interesting.

Every day, Sam’s images start me off with an intriguing and inspiring look at the city and often the world. If you have eyes, you will definitely enjoy seeing through his.