Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 1

Not that one should ever complain about warm weather, but it is HOT here in Vancouver. Once in a lifetime heatwave, they call it. I would actually term it a 'If you don't have AC, you're F*CKED' wave. Seriously, I swat (sweated?) more climbing up grouse mountain in an hour and some yesterday than I would normally if we did an 8 hour scramble. I had 3 showers, and changed twice just so that I wouldn't knock people out from the odour of my sweat stained clothes. Bleghh...

And so much for packing multiple cameras - in a day and a half here, I've managed to shoot 1 photo, and that was with the fricking point and shoot. I need to get off my ass and into the heat again.

Stay cool...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weapon of Choice

Poser, originally uploaded by iHeartDimSum.

I'm flying out to Vancouver tomorrow, and we're planning to drive down to Seattle for a couple days over the long weekend. I'm quite looking forward to this trip, as I haven't been to either city in a while. The only thing I hate about travelling is having to pick and choose your weaponry. Do I carry the D300, and a toy camera? Or how about a TLR? Will I use a tripod? Speedlight? How much film should I bring? If only I could lug it all with me... but alas, weight considerations trump, and I'm going with just the D300 and 17-55mm lens, a box of 120 and my Ricohflex TLR. It sounds ridiculous, but making that decision took me the last hour.

We've become so spoiled this year, literally travelling anywhere we want at will. If you count back to our honeymoon last October, we've done a month in Spain, 5 days in New York City, 3 weeks in Japan/ Hong Kong, and starting tomorrow 5 days in Vancouver/ Seattle. And then in November, we're undecided about where to go, but it's between Argentina, Chile, or Peru for 14 days. So many people sigh and snicker when they talk about married life. Me? Married life is treating me fantastic, and I couldn't ask for more.

Back in 5 days!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Buying locally grown food NOT good for the environment...?!

For all of us left wing, environmental crusaders out there: buying locally grown food isn't necessarily greener for the environment. You're thinking, yeah right. I thought so too before I read this article on CBC. Check it out for yourself. On the surface, this seems terribly counterintuitive, but when you examine the whole process of food production, you realize that things aren't exactly what they seem.

While not exactly presented in the same vein, this article reminded me of an interesting book called "More Sex is Safer Safe", by Stephen E. Landsburg. It is a book that uses logic to present counterintuitive arguments against what we would assume to be true based on common sense. If you're into ideas that challenge the status quo and would be denounced as somewhat subversive by more censor-ous states, you should check this book out. You can read the eponymous chapter here. Please keep in mind that I'm not telling you to go out and lead a promiscuous lifestyle, I just find these logic based arguments very fascinating.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Badlands are Badass

Went camping in the badlands this weekend at the Tolman Bridge West Campground about half an hour northwest of Drumheller. It was super hot, I didn't change my clothes (or underwear) for 3 straight sweaty, beer drinking, campfire smokey days. I smelled like a cesspool when I got home... but overall, a great weekend. Took some pics - there are more, of course, but I don't feel like editing them. Story of my life...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Hate Parade: Yin

They say patience is a virtue. I don't necessarily agree, but I do think that impatience is certainly the downfall of man. Where is this coming from, you ask? Well let me start by introducing exhibit A, a photo of Dominika showing off her superhuman strength by lifting this dead tree. You will first notice that it is a photo where the picture extends beyond the sprocket holes. This means that it was a 35mm film photo taken on a medium format camera (a Holga, in this case). The second thing you will notice is that there is a funny looking line running vertically through the photo on the right side. This means that the negative was cut, and that I had to gingerly piece it back together on my flatbed scanner's glass to get it to scan and align.

Ciężki  (Heavy)

So back to my lesson about impatience. I shot a roll of Kodak BW400CN through the Holga this weekend, and decided to take it in to Superstore for some 1 hour developing. Fatal error number 1. I explained that I needed the negatives uncut because the frames are irregularly spaced (as is expected with a holga), and non-standard sized for 35mm. Of course Mr. Teenage Punk behind the counter assures me that there is nothing to worry about - the lab cuts the film by hand, and will know to work around what I've described. And I take his word for it. Fatal error number 2.

So I go away for an hour, and come back to find the film has been processed, cut, and placed neatly into a sheet of negative strip holders. Except, the douchebag at the lab decided that he was going to cut the things blindfolded... and quite possibly using his feet to manoeuvre the scissors. Because there is no other way to explain how he managed to cut right through multiple frames that were clearly PHOTOS and NOT spaces between photos! It's not like he was trying to cut the strips to a standard length either (which could explain the above). Some strips were long, some were short, and some were so long that they stuck out of the end of the negative holder. Clearly, one would have to go out of their way to screw up a cutting job this badly! I stood dumbfounded for a few minutes as I stared at the massacre and injustice committed to this poor roll of Holga sprocket shots. I even pondered marching my hate parade up to the photo lab to punch the douchebag responsible in the junk repeatedly... and then going to town with the very scissors he effed up my film with. Luckily reason prevailed, and I came to the conclusion that it was my fault for being impatient, and downright STUPID for choosing Superstore over somewhere with a more distinguished photofinishing department. I should have waited and dropped this roll off along with the 2 rolls of 120 film that I was going to take to my regular professional lab downtown for processing the next day... but nooooo, I HAD to see something NOW.

So there you go - don't be impatient like me, or you'll end up in pieces like Dom up there.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The weird and wacky world of nature

I've got a bunch of stuff I wanted to blog about today, but due to time constraints and the need to get a decent sleep for once, I'm going to just tell you to read this humorous article about a pair of homosexual penguins at a zoo that split up when a female penguin became available. The entire story is ripped straight out of a soap opera's plot... with penguins.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Digital Penetration

Aaaaah FACK!! For the 2nd time in a month, film takes it in the ass yet again. At a time when I've been shooting more and more film, digital photography is on a hyperbolic murder curve, killing even analog film geared towards pros. Fuji has apparently announced that they will cease production of Fujicolor Pro 800Z, a pro grade, fast colour film in September, with stocks set to run out by next November.

If you own a film camera, go shoot some film please. And then buy more. Repeat. Thanks. Or the likes of the images below will cease to be:



Hand Model


Thursday, July 9, 2009

100% Crop

Pirates!, originally uploaded by iHeartDimSum.

Okay, boring photo geek post. If you're not into technical stuff about lenses, you can stop reading now and just look at the pictures. I was processing this photo last night as a black and white image, when it struck me as how incredible the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 lens actually is. The detail that is maintained when shot wide open is amazing. Below is a 100% crop of the above image. Shot at f/2.8, one expects the image to be a bit soft up close, but as you can see, there is still a lot of sharp detail in the knot, and the bokeh is really smooth and silky.

And while these next photos are not 100% crops, or any great showcase for what this lens can do, I still thought I'd post a couple portraits I took of Anita a week or so ago. It was her birthday yesterday, and I can't help but think how lucky I am to have her in my life. Mushy, I know. Sorry.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Many Faces of Mariana

, originally uploaded by iHeartDimSum.

Mariana, my niece is turning 2 later this month. She's at that stage where everything she does is adorable. She imitates your every move, she tries to copy what you say (so be careful when you're proclaiming that someone "is in the crapper"), and her tiny little movements are just clumsy enough to make anything she does super cute. I wish she would stay this age forever!! I also wish she would stop calling me auntie. :)


Friday, July 3, 2009

...pigs having sex...

Sometimes, I think we fail to take stock of the amazing times we live in - an age where information is instantly at our fingertips, and anything you desire to learn is freely available. I mean, sure the internet is also chock full of phony info, hoaxes and other random shit that you can't trust, but most of the time, you're going to get what you need just by googling it. You type in a question, you get an answer. For instance, the last time Megan, Russell, Anita and I sat down together, we had a conversation about the mechanics of pigs... having sex. So I googled Pigs having sex (purely for educational reasons), and voila, wikipedia came to the rescue, along with a few dozen pages that I would suggest you not try viewing. And then, the other day at work, the subject of Michael Jackson's kids came up - I didn't believe my coworker when she said that his third kid was named Blanket. Google again, confirmed that this was indeed the name Michael would affectionately use to refer to said child. Curious about whether the town of Dildo, Newfoundland really exists? How about neighbouring Spread Eagle, Newfoundland? Google Maps even points them out to you. While out for a leisurely stroll tonight, I had a random thought - could you crazy glue two bottles of crazy glue together (considering that it doesn't stick to the inside of it's own bottle)? Amazingly, I type in that very question into google, and there is a page on one of those '' type sites that featured my very question. (The answer is because the glue requires oxygen to form the bond, so when it's sealed inside your fairly airtight bottle, it doesn't stick to itself or the walls of the bottle). Who knew?

So now I think, with all this info available to all of us at anytime we so desire it, why are there still so many ignorant F-CKING stupid people effing up our everyday lives???! Answer me THAT, google!

While typing this out, and trying to find some unifying theme to this post, I realized that if you look at my iPhone's google search history, you'll find the search terms 'pigs having sex', 'Michael Jackson's kids', 'Dildo & Spread Eagle', and 'Crazy glue'. And they thought David Carradine was a pervert...