Monday, July 25, 2011

The Macro Life - Backyard Bokeh Dreams

I dusted off the Kiev88 (aka the Hasselbladski), some macro diopters, loaded a roll of Fuji Velvia 100, and went for a photo adventure in my backyard last week. The plan was originally to photograph a peony that I recently discovered living in the shade under our deck. But those shots turned out kind of blah... However, all was not lost, as I used the other half of the roll to capture these soft and dreamy images of small flowers blooming on a bush along my fence. I tried my hardest to get some shots that were sharp, but with a macro diopter and 80mm lens combo shot wide open at f/2.8, the depth of field was razor thin. The slight breeze didn't help either. Excuses aside, let's get to the photos.

The Macro Life

Backyard Bokeh Dreams

The Macro Life - Backyard

The Macro Life - Backyard-2

The Macro Life - Backyard-3

The Macro Life - Backyard-5

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sandeep weds Akashdeep

Our dear friend and colleague, Susan, got married this weekend, and we were lucky enough to be invited to the beautiful traditional ceremony. Although the weather was wet and dreary, that was no match for the vibrant colours on display. If you ever get invited to a Sikh wedding, I would highly suggest you make an effort to attend, as it is such an interesting experience! And as per usual, Susan was absolutely jaw dropping in both the dress she wore to the ceremony, as well as the evening reception.

About a year ago after shooting my second wedding of the summer, I decided that wedding photography wasn't for me. Of course, when I was watching the photographers at Susan's ceremony, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of envy that I wasn't able to roam around freely and shoot some photos of the event. Perhaps I need to flip-flop on my decision to retire from the wedding gig business. Anyways, here are some shots that I did manage to snap off while trying to NOT get in the way of the actual photographers' and guests.

Congrats Sandeep and Akashdeep (aka Susan and Steve)! Wishing you two all the best in a long and happy marriage!

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-6

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-8

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-9

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-7

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-2

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-3

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-4

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-10

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-11

Sidhu-Dhaliwal Wedding-12

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lifestyles of the Hip and the Famous

So a couple buddies of mine have re-emerged from a multi-year creative hiatus, and launched a new webcomic celebrating Hipsters (a label which I don't even truly understand given its contrary natures of "valuing independent thinking and rejecting mainstream culture" blended with what essentially boils down to a fashion sense that requires you to "dress like an urban outfitters posterboy (or girl... or androgynous looking boy/girl... with an ironic mullet)."

Anyways, philosophical debate on the scope of the term 'hipsters' aside, I did want to point you to their new comic, Inglorious Hipsters. The strip is only a couple weeks into what I hope will be a long run, so the best is still yet to come. But the art style, writing, and creative direction are distinctly Jeremy and Gregg - who I guess you could very well call hipsters themselves (except they lack ironic haircuts because, frankly, they're both of the receding hairline variety). Maybe they can get ironic brush cuts?

So of course, what better way to promote their hipster work, than to say Go read their strip and their bios! And since I recently read that 'shooting with analog cameras' can be a distinguishing feature of hipsters, I wanted to join in the fun with a series of photos of these two artists I shot with a Nikon FG film SLR (oooh hip!).

Nobody panic, it's just a finger...


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

'Roid Week 2011

'Roid Week 2011

Apparently it's currently Polaroid Week 2011. Which is coincidental in that I had no idea there was such a thing, but yet had snapped off a few Type 600 polaroids through my SX-70 in the past few weeks for fun. I do plan to post larger versions of some of these individual shots of these in the near future, but for now, a mosaic for your viewing pleasure. Click the image to view it large on black.

SX-70, Type 600 film, ND gel taped over lens to adjust speed.

From top (left to right):
1) Kicking back at home on the couch in my blue stripey socks
2) Sean and Vania giving us the 'What's up'
3) An unhealthy dose of chicken, fries, cheese curds and gravy from the Big Cheese Poutinerie
4) 3 members of The Workhorse Dojo (local Calgary band) ham it up in between songs of their set
5) Tubby finally sits still for a second in Prince Island Park
6) Anita and I, as photographed by Sean
7) Tree and light leak action!
8) The Dojo Workhorse ply their trade during a free show at The Core downtown
9) My newly faux-leatherette modded Holga

Monday, July 4, 2011

Holga Faux Leatherette Custom Decor

We were out hunting for curtains this weekend, and I ran across a display of random wall paper designs in Jysk. One of them had this classic brown leatherette look and texture to it, remniscient of the stuff you used to see on classic analog cameras. And so I thought, a couple cuts and a bit of glue could turn a simple arts and crafts project into a cool vintage custom mod for my white Holga 120N camera. I'd been thinking about painting the plastic shell for a while now, but this looks way more awesome. My previous faux Leica Holga mod has fooled a few seasoned shooters, so I wonder how this one will do for passersby catching a quick glimpse.

Tools and materials required:
1) Textile or pattern you want to decorate with
2) Ruler or other straight edge
3) Exacto knife for precision cutting/ edging of pattern
4) Scissors for rounding off corners
5) Crazy Glue
6) Cheap plastic toy camera

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fireworks over the Calgary Skyline (sort of)...

This is supposed to be a shot of beautiful fireworks cascading forth from above the Calgary skyline. So where are the fireworks? Great question. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, this is simply 'a shot of beautiful fireworks cascading forth from above the Calgary skyline', minus the beautiful fireworks part.

What circumstances, you might inquire, lead to the interference of said fireworks from appearing in this photo? Well, let's see:

1) Apparently, every other Calgarian had the same idea to view the fireworks from the vantage point of the Crescent Heights area, so finding parking was an issue.
2) Apparently, if you are going to photograph fireworks, you should arrive before they are mostly finished.
3) Apparently, I lack skills in the unforgiving arenas of both planning and execution of photographing an event...
4) Apparently, fireworks don't reach nearly as high into the sky as I would've thought, so even if points 1), 2), and 3) hadn't been factors in this event, this photo still would've only been titled 'fireworks making a pathetic attempt to barely crest above the Calgary Skyline'

But regardless, I did manage to snap off a series of long exposures of the skyline, and stitched them together in CS5. Use your imagination for the fireworks. Click to view the larger version.

Calgary Skyline