The Office of the Dean of Students at Woodsworth College is happy to announce James Magnus Jorgensen and Nicholas Ypelaar as the winners for this year’s Photo Essay Contest.
Taken at Awenda Provincial Park, ON
Nikon D80 & Nikon D7200
Like all great cities in the world, Toronto is a wonderful place. Whether you’re visiting the Royal Ontario Museum or Art Gallery of Ontario, watching the Toronto Maple Leafs at the ACC, or eating Nachos at Sneaky Dees at College and Bathurst, there really is something for everyone in the beautiful city that I am lucky to call my home. Sometimes, however, it’s necessary to take time away from home in pursuit of new adventures. My adventures this summer took me to Awenda Provincial Park. One of over 330 Provincial Parks in Ontario, Awenda is located on the Penetanguishene Peninsula on southern Georgian Bay. Awenda is home to a plethora of wildlife and its fascinating landscape has inspired generations of artists for years, including Tom Thomson and members of the Group of Seven. The park’s unique geography provides habitats for hundreds of species of animals and plants including Sharp-lobed Hepatica, Scarlet Tanagers, and Eastern Hognose Snakes that I had the pleasure to photograph. Sharp-lobed Hepatica are among the first flowers to bloom in springtime and petal colour varies from white to light purple. Scarlet Tanagers are medium sized songbirds known for their bright red plumage and dark wings. Eastern Hognose Snakes are one of the most unique species of snakes in Ontario because of their upturned snout and the way they flatten their necks (kind of like a cobra), when they feel threatened.
I first fell in love with photography in a small town, surrounded by fields and woodland. So naturally, the forest is where I felt the most creative and inspired. Visiting cities, big or small, seemed to drain this creativity from me, and so when I decided to move to Toronto for school, I was scared that I would lose my passion for photography. And for a while I did. That is, until I found out that the city comes alive at night. Toronto’s vibrant colours look better in the dark. The lights from streetcars and restaurant windows and neon signs paint the night in technicolor, purples and golds swing together before the city wakes up at dawn. I thought I wouldn’t find inspiration in the city, but I just had to wait until it fell asleep.