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10/04/2010

Nuit means Night?

Steve Russell - Staff Photographer

Nuit means night?

Nuit Blanche is always a challenge for photographers, but, it is fun as well.

The biggest issue, it's night, it's dark and many of the exhibits are lit showing only the art.  There is also the challenge of giving the art some context and the contrast between the lit art and the area surrounding area. does not always co-operate.

We always like to get a spectator in the picture as well, but, the success of the event  and by that I mean the HUGE crowds makes it difficult to photograph. Although that would not have been much of a problem if I had gotten out earlier. I began shooting at 10 pm, I had to cover the Leafs first.

Outside of the technical hurdles and challenges working around the crowd, it is a fun event to cover. It is nice to see and feel the good vibe that downtown has. The creativity of the art inspires those covering it to be equally creative.

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Anton van Rhyn is in the spirit of the arts show during the 2010 edition of Nuit Blanche, where over 130 contemporary art projects are on display featuring a mixture of Exhibition Projects and Independent Projects in Toronto. 

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Casey Sokol plays the hard to read and hard to remember, Erik Satie’s "Vexations" (1893), a pair of pianists and a pair of origamists fold the completed sheet music onto a long table at Brookfield Place during the 2010 edition of Nuit Blanche. Vexations was never published nor publicly heard during Satie’s lifetime. He left 39 beats of hand scrawled, insidiously vexing music—hard to read and hard to remember—and the following cryptic instruction: “to repeat 840 times this motif, it is advisable to prepare oneself in the most absolute silence, by some serious immobilities.”

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As a pair of pianists play Erik Satie’s "Vexations" (1893) a pair of origamists fold the completed sheet music onto a long table at Brookfield Place.

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"The Endless Pace" is a performance involving 60 dancers, that mimic the movements of a clock. The dancers stand and dance to the passage of time. Over the course of 12 hours, for the entire duration of Nuit Blanche, the dancers mimic the rotation of the second, minute and hour hands.

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Clown heads made from recycled billboards fill an alley way on Yonge street in "Endgame (Coulrophobia)" by Max Streicher of Toronto. This installation was difficult to shoot, the white head had spot lights on them while the building was not. Careful balancing of the light was essential to being able to see the building and not blowing out the white heads.

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Over a million people were expected to take to the streets including closing Yonge Street which was vechicle traffic and packed with pedestrian traffic during the 2010 edition of Nuit Blanche. This was shot at ISO 1600, half a second and f/16. Handheld.

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Ryerson had their ducks, er, swans lined up in the installation "Light Up The Night: The Swans' Lake" by the School of Interior Design and the Theatre School at Ryerson University.

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"Ning Ning" by Karen Garrett de Luna, is an interactive swarm of LED fireflies that reacts to both stillness and motion. The most difficult exhibit to shoot, it was pretty much strings of LED lights hanging behind a window with a dark background. Highly reflective! While trying to get a fix on exposure and focus, I shot my hand, I saw that the tiny LED lights when out of focus became huge. I thought it was a fun way to show the installation. Looking at the orbs I can also see that my camera needs a cleaning!

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In a installation that from the outside looks like it needs a Mike Holmes intervention, a spectator peeks inside "Allegory for a Rock Opera, 2010" by Derek Liddington, the Installation which is part Sculpture and  part Performance Art features the man inside periodically tossing a rock while another performance artist does the same outside.

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Nuit Blanche fans themselves became part of the specatcle.

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An array of lights projecting a wall of  blue at the corner of Front and Yonge during the 2010 edition of Nuit Blanche recreates the hazy mirage of the shoreline that once was close by.

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Perhaps inspired by the creative vibe, a group of cyclists takes the the ball diamond at Trinty Bellwoods Park in a Bike Dance as they wait for Company Blonde to take to the field.

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"Ruby Venus" by Company Blonde involves 25 identical women clad in long red velvet hoop dresses and blonde wigs, the dancers move to a symphony of heavy metal violins in a foreign land. Exploring their surroundings in childlike fashion; afraid to wander too far from the clan at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

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The lights around the ball field are bright enough to offer a little shutter speed to freeze action.

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The light, although back-lit was nice and fit the performance.

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I love the shots here... the lights, the people, the activity.

Very high energy during the night. Nice pictures. Also the colors. Great.

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