Blueprints brings new perspective to Toronto

[W]hether you’re flying in or out of Toronto, there always seems to be one specific moment that warrants a photo. Suspended above the city, it’s a perspective we don’t normally get. All the familiar buildings and highways are transformed into mesmerizing lines and shapes; a map of sorts if you stare long enough.

That mapped out view of Toronto is the exact idea behind Blueprints, the newest exhibition at Ryerson’s student-run IMA Gallery.

Photographer Callan Field, currently completing his BFA in Photography at Ryerson, started photographing aerial shots during commercial flights about five years ago, essentially beginning the Blueprints project. Assembled for class last fall, the collection is a mixture of both pictures taken from commercial flights as well as specific chartered ones out of Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport organized by Field around the city. Accompanying each of the 24 shots are geographical coordinates and an alpha-numerical designation. Viewers are drawn closer to the mapped-out concept behind the pictures printed in black-and-white to distance the shots from the lush trees, rivers and buildings we’re so familiar with, ultimately transforming them simply into geometric shapes and lines.

The greatest pieces in the collection are the ones that linear-heavy, whether they be swirling rivers, thick highways, small driveways or even a football and track field, drawing your eyes in to the designs and patterns before even realizing what you’re looking at.

Others, like 2-D Cross, capture the quintessential airplane shot we’ve all tried to take, revealing the carefully planned grids lost and forgotten when we’re on the city streets, all while reminding us how small we truly are in such a large city.

Even the aerial shots of parking lots at capacity will give you a new outlook on something we’ve seen thousands of times before, yet never in such a concisely planned and organized manner.

Each of the 24 images will leave you with a new outlook on the familiar, reinforcing just how strategically placed and planned every inch of Toronto is, keeping us functioning down on the streets, almost oblivious to what we’re truly a part of.

Blueprints is currently on display at Ryerson’s student-run IMA Gallery until Feb. 1, 2014. For more information on the exhibit visit www.imagallery.ca. You can check out more of Field’s work at www.callanfield.com.