Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Photo Mosaik

Okay I'm a sucker for mosaiks, so in no particular order, here are a selection of photos I took this year both at home, and abroad. They're just a sampling of the variety of cameras, film, techniques and subjects that I experimented with this past year. I'm looking forward to the challenges and adventures that await in 2010.

And this, folks, is my last post of the year. PAAAAR-TAY. And remember, don't drink and dial drive.

Mosaik 2009

1. Maelstrom, 2. Out At Sea, 3. Viva Madrid!, 4. Vibrant, 5. Textures on Heart, 6. Refresh, 7. Aspire, 8. Voigtlander Vito II-3, 9. Intense, 10. One Headlight, 11. Brooklyn Bridge , 12. Synchronized Swimming, 13. Acupunctures, 14. Unwilling Model, 15. Voigtlander Vito II, 16. Grain Bokeh (2), 17. Single, 18. A Little Flare, 19. Found, 20. Images of Fall-4, 21. Passing By, 22. Twin Towers, 23. Seattle Underground, 24. Nocturna, 25. The Simple Life (4)


Last 365 of my decade

I hadn't even realized it until several folks mentioned it on facebook. I turn 29 tomorrow (well, technically, today, since I took so long to compose this entry). It's my last 365 days that I can call myself a 20-something, before I hit that 3rd decade in life whereby one graduates to relaxed fit khakis and tucked in Ralph Lauren sweaters. Truly, I dread this date next year.

I don't know how best to cap off my 2009 in one post. So much stuff has happened this year that no one singular entry can even begin to do justice to it's epicness (which apparently isn't a word because blogger's built in spell check has it underlined in red - ironically, so is the word "blogger's"). Here's a short list that I just came up with off the top of my head of trips, new music, movies, books, cameras and other things that contributed to this epicness (still not a real word):

New York City/ Tokyo/ Kyoto/ Osaka/ Fugu Sashimi/ Hong Kong/ Seattle/ Vancouver/ Grouse Grind/ Nissin Instant Noodles/ Las Vegas/ Kings of Leon/ The Submarines/ Modest Mouse/ The Lovely Feathers/ Flight of the Conchords/ True Blood/ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies/ Factory Girls/ Lost on Planet China/ Postcards from Tomorrow Square/ ACAD/ SAIT/ Flickr/ Holga/ Diana Mini/ Voigtlander Vito II/ f/1.8/ Manual Focus/ Prime Lenses/ Toy Cameras/ Photowalks/ Globefish Sushi/ Mt. Indefatigable/ Double Exposures/ The Impossible Project reviving Polaroid film/ Converse Chuck Taylors/ I'm sure there's way more, but I'm still freaking bagged from Vegas, so I'll end it here.

I have a ton of new photos and other stuff to post, but just can't seem to decide where to start... so I'll leave them for next year. Wishing you a fun and safe New Year's party, and health, happiness, and prosperity in 2010.


Monday, December 21, 2009

賴尿虫 - Our little Peeing Worm

Tubby is Anita's dad's dog. But by default, we've basically taken to calling him our dog. He's slightly pudgy, a chicken shit, and has a small underbite that makes him look even more mentally challenged than he already is... he's probably got self esteem issues. And apparently bladder control issues, as he's taken up the habit of peeing exclusively on carpet. IN. THE. HOUSE. Frick. He's been given the Chinese nickname of "賴尿虫", which translates roughly to Peeing Worm. But even despite this, he manages to pull off this crazy cute look that makes you forget he just stained the carpet. AGAIN.

I like how he looks like a seal in this shot. Except, you probably didn't even notice that because you can't take your eyes off of Anita's ridiculous Hello Kitty PJs.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pinko Commie Bleeding Heart Post

I've been meaning to write this for a while now, but kept putting it off because I just couldn't find the words to do the message justice. So here goes... it's that time of the year and we're all busy wrapping things up (literally, and figuratively) as we gear down for the holiday season. Work tends to slow down for those of us not in retail, the Christmas parties and other social events fill up our calendars, and then there is the inevitable mad rush to finish off Christmas shopping. Which brings me to my point... I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that in the hustle and bustle of this packed holiday schedule, we shouldn't forget to think about those who are less fortunate than us. While we overindulge on treats, overspend on frivolous gifts for others (and ourselves!), and perhaps nurse one too many hangovers, we neglect the fact that there are many around us who are unable to provide basic care for themselves and/ or their families. The basics we take for granted often pose a struggle for the disenfranchised, and all I ask is that we spend a little bit of time thinking about what we can do to help them as well. It doesn't take much - a little donation to a social agency, a donation to a food bank, or even volunteering a bit of time to help one of those types of agencies is a great way to help out, and helps us keep perspective on life while stepping back from the materialism and consumer culture of the season.

And for the minority out there that hold the attitude that 'those people should get off their asses and find jobs', I'd ask you to step back from the fend for yourself mentality for a second and consider that many people in need are victims of mental illness, substance addictions, poor social backgrounds/ upbringings, lack of familial support, and a whole host of other factors that don't necessarily boil down to general laziness. Using your 'hard earned money' to buy yet another PS3 game will buy you a few hours of entertainment and satisfaction, but does little for society at large. Ponying up a couple bucks or a few hours of your time to help feed a hungry family has a much more profound effect - rather than having to worry about where their next meal is coming from, that family in need can then concentrate their efforts on improving their lot in life - whether that means using food money to buy warm clothes, or investing in classes to advance their career opportunities, or to just being able to spend more time together as a family. The ripples of your actions are not immediately tangible, but the overall impact to society at large is immense.

I'll get off my box now - regularly scheduled p(hotog)rogramming will resume on my next post.


Saturday, December 12, 2009


Some photos I took from the aquarium in Osaka, Japan. Jellyfish are cool. They're actually very majestic looking as they float and weave their way through water.


Synchronized Swimming


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Angel Face Plant

So this past weekend was a complete weather gong show - we essentially couldn't get out of our residential neighbourhood due to snow drifts that weren't being cleared. So rather than staying indoors, we made the most of the crappy weather by bundling up, grabbing a couple of cameras, and hunting for some snow banks to plow through...

This car was abandoned overnight in the left hand lane of this road... the snowdrift blocking it was from just one night.

And it's looking like it'll be more of the same starting tomorrow...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Photowalk Holgottawa

I ended up travelling to Ottawa a ridiculous 8 or 9 times this year for work. I'm not really sure why I never bothered to bring a camera until my last couple trips. The place is full of character filled things to photograph. This is a series of lo-fi crap from my Holga on Ilford XP2 Super 400 film. It was on this photowalk that I dropped the camera and jammed the lens (right after the shots of the war memorial).

The church right by my hotel

The War Memorial

The locks of the Rideau Canal. Handheld on bulb, hence the blur.

Maple leaves on the ground by the Rideau Canal. Getting dark, handheld on bulb for ~1sec.

More of the same.

The Rideau Canal. Holga braced on a fence post, bulb ~1sec.

And another...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The End is NIGH

VERY EFFING NIGH. Seriously, Canon has filed a patent for a touchscreen dSLR. And no, it's not a touchscreen for the purposes of reviewing your shots, it's a touchscreen to replace the functionality of buttons and dials which you currently use to change aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and other important exposure settings. What the hell is wrong with tactile dials and buttons? You can operate them without having to take your eye away from the viewfinder. You CANNOT with a touchscreen. W-T-FUCK?! This is the camera snob in me coming out to play, but is there really someone out there who thinks taking your eye away from the viewfinder so that you can adjust exposure settings on your screen is convenient or conducive to shooting? Cause they make great point and shoots with that feature JUST.FOR.YOU! If you feel that the learning curve of figuring out the layout of buttons and dials on your camera is too much, then go buy one of those gimmicky Sony Cybershots or other entry level cams. Don't mess with advanced tools that already work, and work VERY well.

For more info, read the article below. But actually, the best part of the article is the debate in the comments between serious shooters and some dude who's obviously never used an SLR for any length of time (he espouses all kinds of reasons why a touchscreen would be great for an SLR, but yet the examples he comes up with are not situations or circumstances encountered by serious photographers).

Check it out here. Then go pray that this is just some junk patent filed to stop some other idiotic company from making a piece of shite like this a reality.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Why Japan Rules

There are obviously MANY MANY reasons why Japan is THE SHIZZLE (sushi, ninjas, capsule machines, Nintendo, maid cafes... er, wait, those are lame), but this one probably tops the list for the photogeek in me: Magazines with giveaways - specifically, this magazine that gave away a DIY Twin Lens Reflex camera. How freaking awesome is that? And apparently, it only cost like 2500 yen (less than 30 bucks). GAWD I wish I was in Japan right now.

Hit up this link for photos of the camera being assembled by some blogger.

Meanwhile, my own TLR, the Super Ricohflex, is out of commission because of an as yet undiagnosed focusing issue (the focus of the viewing lens appears to be off from the taking lens)... woe is me.

Double exposure, taken back when the Ricohflex was still a healthy 50+ year old body. I miss those days.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A little Sunday afternoon boredom

A little Sunday afternoon project to indulge my love of colourful custom bokeh. I wanted to give the phrase I Heart Bokeh a little more meaning, so I did a custom heart shaped bokeh mask. And then I went to Michael's, and used one of their fancy schmancy punches to create a Plane shaped bokeh mask (Planekeh!). I'll probably never use these again, as they're not terribly practical, and they are quite shoddily constructed, but they were fun for all of an hour tonight. If you've got an SLR, a lens with a fairly large aperture, and want to try this out, drop me a comment, and I'll walk you through the process.

The Completed Heartkeh and Planekeh masks (scissors, an Exacto knife, some tape, and ~20 minutes labour)

Christmas decorations on the trees at Confederation Golf Course

I Heart Bokeh!!!

The bright white plane is actually the moon, while the blue ones were lights on a tree.

Probably my favourite shot of the bunch. It's kind of got that 'Follow your dreams' or 'Aim High' kind of feel to it.

December in a couple days... GAAAAHHH!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Voigtlander Vito II Test Roll

Results from the Vito II camera, shot on Fuji Superia 200 using the Sunny/16 rule for guessing exposure. Most of these were taken at f/8, and shutter speeds ranging between 1/50 - 1/100 sec. I was expecting a roll of just craptastic photos, but I actually quite liked what I ended up with - some are actually fairly interesting shots. Although the results are really grainy for a 200 speed film... I think part of that is my lack of film scanning know how though.

A peony dying out in front our house.

Freshly mowed (mown?) lawn at a school yard. I liked the way the lines from the lawn mower tires contrasted against the grass itself.

Apparently, the Vito II isn't as double exposure proof as I was lead to believe. I like it.

Messing with a preset in Lightroom on the double from above.

Not Photoshopped - these colours are straight out of the scanner.

Same here.

End of the roll - double exposed.