Chris Toombes is a Calgary street photographer who’s originally from the UK but has now been a resident in Canada for over 14 years. Three years ago he moved from Ontario and settled in Calgary. Since then, Toombes has been out shooting the streets of Calgary almost every day. In a recent featured interview at streetphotography.com the opening line read “His, is a voyeuristic, heat-seeking vision of the world. A street photographer staring at the glare of a fascinating urban universe. Transfixed by the procession of life parading past his own personal ‘city drive through’. His proximity to the street and his voyeuristic style is happily combined with a strong creative eye which can be clearly seen when you look through his recent photographs on flickr.
It’s a solitary existence…..
The rapport Toombes has with Calgary can be shaky. Day-by-day, it can go either way. It’s a solitary existence being amid the noise, and at first it’s hard to synchronize with its natural pace and he needs a high level of acuity for seeing what’s worth watching. So, does he turn left or right, cross the Bow river, get on a CTrain and travel elsewhere – or labour again on a familiar route that more often stimulates the best encounters? It’s normally left to fate to decide the direction he travels on any given day. There’s little point in fretting about the consequences of a spontaneous wrong turn. Many a time a walk feels like a waste of time, yielding too little reward – until the collision of picture, fate and coincidence immediately brings joy, and he can smile again knowing he’s captured a moment in time that will never likely be seen again.
I can simply walk out my building and I am instantly thrust into a world…..
As the article on Streetphotography.com goes on to say and quote Toombes ““I can simply walk out my building and I am instantly thrust into a world that totally suits my style of photography,” he reveals. “Everything I need is in the city. From capturing candid moments, shooting real life events as they unfold…social dramas as they play out. I can also point my lens upward and capture the beauty of Calgary’s cityscape and have recently been shooting more abstract architectural photos and capturing the patterns of light and shadow the huge office building create on the street below. But, street photography still remains Toombes’ real passion. Having made his point Chris Toombes the photographer falls silent. But that doesn’t matter. As one of Calgary’s most prolific street photographers his voice is loud enough to be heard in a visual world and for people to take notice.