Wednesday, September 28, 2011


My mother-in-law asked Anita why I bought myself a new camera this week. Was I celebrating something, she inquired? Not that I need an excuse to buy cameras, but I guess could go with 'I'm celebrating my demotion.' I'm not the boss of anyone anymore, ha-lle-effin-lujah!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Instant Gratification - the Instax Mini and Instax 210!

I've been really digging instant photos lately, shooting Polaroids (type 600, not that ridiculous Impossible Project stuff) and Instax Mini pack film willy nilly. And so after a bit of humming and hawing, I broke down and bought the Fuji Instax 210 Camera. I've lost track of exactly how many cameras I own, but I think this is number 26 or 27. I'm about 10 cameras over my hypocrisy limit for criticizing Anita's shoe collection.

A note to anyone actually considering buying this camera and film in Canada, The Camera Store in Calgary carries the camera for a hair under a hundred bucks, and then Black's is surprisingly the cheapest source of pack film at 25 bucks for a twin pack. That works out to about $1.25/ shot, which is only slightly more expensive than shooting medium format roll film and having it developed at a lab (process only, no prints). Having done that math, I now feel more at ease about shooting this widely available Instax 210 film with wanton disregard. Instant film is Carpe Diem-ing gratification... and the images have this visual aesthetic that digital cameras will never achieve, so you can take your 'that's obsolete technology' argument and shove it.

The initial results I've gotten so far are typical of integral film cameras - slightly soft, sort of muted colours, and just plain AWESOME. Top two shots are from the Instax 210 Wide, bottom two are from the Diana F+ with a Instax Mini back.

Instax Wide 210

Instax Wide 210-2

Ottawa in an instant - Chateau Laurier

'Roid Week 2011 - Instaxarama

Monday, September 19, 2011

Scenes from Portugal

More photos from our last trip abroad - I present you with a set of black and white Holga shots I took while in Portugal this past May. It's looking like our plans to go hit up Chile and Easter Island this year are fading (much sadness), so I guess I'll have to continue mining my current collection of shots for inspiration... click to view the large versions on flickr.

Portugal Historic Tram No. 28

Sé de Lisboa

Lisbonian Funicular

Street Scenes of Lisbon

Porto from Above

Douro Waterfront

Palácio de São Bento

More Portugal photos here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Amateur Strobist Session

Despite her usual reluctance to pose for my photos, Anita patronized me this evening by not refusing to sit for a portrait session. And so we messed around with a single light setup for a few portraits (and by 'light setup', I actually mean I turned on a floor lamp as the sole light source - it doesn't get more amateur than that). The results aren't terribly inspiring, but she was getting impatient after a few minutes of this posing, and so I only got a few shots to work with.

Reluctant Model-2

Reluctant Model

Reluctant Model-3

Friday, September 16, 2011

Life Drawing at Sandy Hill

I was in Ottawa this past week for work, and took the opportunity to hit up the local weekly life drawing scene at the Sandy Hill Community Center. Having only previously done this at Harcourt House in Edmonton, I wanted to see how other cities ran their sessions. I was impressed by the large turnout here (I'd guess in the 45 - 50 people range), and also by the relative low cost (only $4 bucks for the drop-in session). There were no tables, only chairs and a couple couches, so you either had to bring your own easel and sit in the back ring, or else, prop up your sketchbook on your lap. This wasn't nearly as inconvenient as I thought it would be, and made for a very good use of the limited space to house everyone. The pose lengths included 5x 90sec. gestures, a 20 min, and then 3x 30 min. poses, with breaks in between long poses for the models.

If you're interested and live or happen to be in the Ottawa area on Wednesday nights, check them out. Friendly folks, great atmosphere, and the chance to get inspired by the amazing talents of the various artists there.

Examples below - Pentel Pocket Brush, Chalk Pastels. 3x 30min poses, and 1x 90sec gesture.

And lastly, for a quick look back to all my 'life drawing related posts, click here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dear Tim Cook

Today is the 1111th day since I got my iPhone 3G (that translates to me getting it back on August 22, 2008). Patience is not a trait one would normally describe me with, yet here I am, still in my monogamous relationship with my slow as all shit 2nd gen iPhone. I've been using this antiquated single tasking phone long past 1) its prime, and 2) my hardware upgrade eligibility timeframe (18 months ago), despite the fact its circuits and solder are so old, it's essentially useless at anything other than making phone calls (like anyone actually does that anymore). All that, despite the ample availability of two full generations of hardware I could've upgraded to. Partly out of sheer stubbornness against subscribing to the 'product obsolescence lifecycle' bullshit pushed on us by manufacturers (my last PC ran Windows ME for 7 years before I went Apple - SEVEN YEARS and WINDOWS ME!!), and partly out of spite that I ended up in a line 3 people too long from getting an iPhone 4 on the day it came (and sold) out, I've been punishing myself this past year and a half with long loading times for everything from checking email to writing a note, to even opening the effing calculator.

I relay the above to you not in an attempt to show you how stupid or stubborn or persistent or tenacious I can be when it comes to NOT doing something most would have expected to be a no brainer, but rather to express this: WHEN IN THE EFF ARE YOU GOING TO ANNOUNCE AND RELEASE THE NEXT iPHONE, TIM??!! I refuse to the be sucker that buys the iPhone 4, only to have it obsoleted in a couple days/ weeks/ months by some new sexy beast of a smartphone that will flush your toilet and butter your toast at the same time.