Monday, January 31, 2011

La Blogotheque Music Blog

Just discovered this music blog called La Blogotheque that features 'Take Away Shows'. You get to see some of your favourite bands playing live impromptu accoustic shows in some weird venues. Spoon plays 'Black Like Me' at the back of a deserted hotel, Yeasayer perform crazy awesome acoustic versions of '2080' and 'Tightrope' at one of their buddy's houses (where an angry neighbour informs them of the excess noise levels mid-set), and Phoenix plays Liztomania on the open air top deck of a hop-on/hop-off bus in Paris (complete with onlookers who have absolutely no idea who Phoenix are). Totally Rad!! And some of the bands allow you to download the sets as MP3's, while others give you the videos in iPod format.

Spoon | Black Like Me | A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

#87.2 - YEASAYER - 2080
Uploaded by lablogotheque. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Phoenix - Lizstomania / One time too many - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Plitvice National Park

These were taken at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, not far from Zagreb. Taken around noon, so even in the shade, I had to slap on a polarizer, crank down the ISO to the lowest setting, and still set an aperture of f/13 before I could get a decently long shutter speed for the top three (handheld at 1/6 sec or so as I didn't have a tripod).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Life Drawing at Harcourt House

Scans of a recent Life Drawing session I attended. I wasn't terribly satisfied with my results from this one, but they can't always be winners.

Pentel Pocket Brush and Copic Markers

2B Pencil

Pilot Uniball Ink Pen

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Adventures with the Polaroid SX-70

A bit of Polaroid love for you. I took the SX-70 out for a walk yesterday downtown with Anita, and I just cannot get over how wild and unpredictable the colours of instant integral film are. I love the tactile and physical nature of the experience of shooting polaroids. Seeing the photo spit out the front of the camera after you click the shutter, and then watching as the photo develops in your hands over the next few minutes is a feeling like no other. And then the elation you feel when the photo turns out even more soft, dreamy and beautiful than you had hoped is overwhelming in a way that no digital camera can ever replicate. I've got about 85 Polaroid shots left (not that Impossible Project replica stuff), and will savour every last morsel...

These are scanned versions of the originals, but they really don't do the originals any justice - there is a warmth, richness of colour, and depth that is lost in the scanning process, but it's the best I can do short of having you come over to view them.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sprocket Rocket

We made a pilgrimage to The Camera Store this afternoon in search of a fairly new to market toy camera. I didn't see what I was looking for, so I inquired with some dude who offered us assistance. I said, "Do you carry the Sprocket Rocket?" His reply was an incredulous giggle, and that was when I realized that 'Sprocket Rocket' (for folks who don't religiously follow toy camera developments) does almost sound like it could be a phallic sex toy. Embarrassment aside, they don't sell this camera there, and we left more than a little disappointed.

Oh well, until I get my hands on one, I'll continue to do semi-wide/ panoramic sprocket shots through my Holga. Photos below taken in Budapest, Hungary.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Random doodles scribbled on a scrap page of notes I took during a meeting. The elephant represents the giant weight of accumulated stresses of my current job. I can't wait to go back to my old one in a couple months.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Makeshift Tilt/Shift

Disclaimer - non-photo nerds need not continue reading...

On this second blustery winter day of our weekend, we decided to stay indoors all day once again. Being inside for so long makes one slightly antsy, and so to fend off the ennui, I was messing around with random camera lens/ combos when I discovered the art of DIY Tilt-Shifting. Yes, I know you can just fake it in photoshop, but that's not nearly as organic or satisfying. So, to generate the lensbaby-ish selective focus effects of the shot below, I removed the lens from the camera mount, and handheld it in front. The lens was tilted to the left by a good 15 degrees, hence the crazy vignetting on the right. It's certainly no replacement for a true tilt/shift lens, but for a poor man, this was a good experimental alternative.

Makeshift Tilt/Shift

If you're looking for more in the way of a tutorial, this is what you need to do: take your SLR (or I suppose any interchangeable lens camera/ body will do), and handhold a lens in front of it (ie: do not actually mount the lens). I used a D300 and a manual focus Voigtlander 58mm lens. Tilt the lens away from the body until you get the specific selective focus shot that you want. Snap picture. Note that you will be working completely manually for exposure, so it is best to use a lens with an aperture ring present.

Read More. Cook More.

Wake up late, see blustery wintery conditions outside, decide to call it a snow day. Outside of a brief foray to the Italian market, we spent the remaining 22 hours of today indoors snuggled up in our pjs under a quilt, reading, and watching Rome Season 2.

We decided not to make 'new year resolutions' per se, but set out some goals of what we want to accomplish this year. Two of mine: Read more. Cook more. Status: on track.

For lunch, a deluxe seafood Udon.

For supper, bacon wrapped cod.

With tri-coloured mini nugget potatoes.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Decade 3.0

The sad thought of getting old as I turned the big THREE-OH was offset by a party filled with the love and laughter of close friends, family, and my incredible wife, who despite feeling feverish with the flu, managed to sneak out to buy this totally awesome cake. Thanks for helping me ring in 2011 in the best way possible! Love you all!