Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Art of Procrastination

I should be packing and prepping for my overnighter to Edmonton tomorrow. So as per regular G.Mach protocol, I've got the TV on, watching Lost in Translation on IFC. I've only seen this film 13 times, but it's got BILL FRICKING MURRAY, so you can't blame me for being glued to the tube. Plus, IFC has decided that sexy singles chat line advertisements every five minutes fit right in with their theme of great independent film. SEXY SINGLES CHAT, YEAH!

Okay, there really is no point to this post. Sorry. Have a look at this photo, and then go do something productive instead.

Forests of Taipei

Shot in a park in Taipei, while we were sheltering from an intermittent drizzle. Nikon FG, on Kodak Portra 160. Colours tweaked in Lightroom. Click it to view large on black.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Summit To Die For

Heart Mountain 2012-4

My three favourite things in life are cameras, mountains, and beer. So the below photo of a tall boy atop the summit of Heart Mountain after an early season tune-up scramble, taken on Fuji Instax Wide film, is the penultimate expression of happiness and joy for me.

Heart Mountain 2012-1

But it makes me sad knowing that while I was scrambling this rather puny mountain (elevation gain of ~900m, summit ~ 2135m above sea level) with Anita, Amy, and Mike this past Saturday, folks were dropping dead left, right, and centre at or near the summit of Everest in Nepal. In case you've been living under a rock this past week, check this article out for more info. And while I have no delusions of ever ascending Everest, I've taken risks during scrambles that in retrospect were stupid, just for the sake of bagging one more summit. So I can see the allure that captivates the thousands that have tried to summit this unrelenting monster, and even more so, the reasons why one would take such risks in the face of imminent death above 8000m. Some may criticize you for being stupid to risk life and limb over a mountain top, but the pursuit of a dream is a pretty noble ideal to die for. Just, it's better if you don't die. Just saying.

Heart Mountain 2012-8

Heart Mountain 2012-6

Heart Mountain 2012-7

Heart Mountain 2012-5

Heart Mountain 2012-3

Heart Mountain 2012-2

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I don't do landscapes - Alishan, Taiwan

An oldie from the tail end of our trip to Taiwan back in January. This was shot in the lush mountain village known as Alishan, where people go to watch the sunrise over a sea of clouds, before embarking on a hike through the old forest. Unfortunately for us, it was drizzling rain and the sun stayed hidden that morning... however, the drizzle and humidity in the air did make for some beautiful misted views within the forest.

Forests of Alishan

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Forests of Alishan-12

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Holy Nerdgasms, Batman!!

Last night, Anita and I rushed back from a day of scrambling up a mountain (photos to come), cleaned up, wolfed down supper, and made it with just minutes to spare to Play! A Videogame Symphony, performed by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. And was it frickin' awesome! Presented in two parts, the first was a tribute to the classic Japanese composed pieces of music that accompanied some of the most celebrated video game series in history (Super Mario and Zelda, anyone?), to name a couple. Any kid who grew up in the 80's would remember the theme music to these titles, so you can imagine the feeling of nostalgia and awe when you hear these iconic pieces, played out in live, full, rich orchestral depth. Instant Nerdgasm!

The second half of the show transitioned to the more European and North American fare, featuring the scores to more recent games which Anita and I had heard of (World of Warcraft, Skyrim, Halo: Reach), but were largely unfamiliar with. The pieces of music were very epic and bold in sound, and were an interesting contrast to the previous Japanese pieces. There were very distinct nuances and feels between the two, which my non-musically trained brain find hard to describe adequately. But as Anita put it - the Japanese pieces were beautiful and very distinctive from each other, while the American pieces (although epic) all sounded the same.

And as an encore, they played this score from the 1994 classic (and one of my two favourite RPG's of all time), Final Fantasy VI. Enjoy:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Him / Her in Film

LOOOOOONG WEEKEND! WOOOOOOO! Sadly, we have no plans, which probably means we'll end up doing absolutely sweet eff all for 3 days straight. Anyone care to join me for a film photo adventure? Or maybe just a bucket o' beers and a Top Chef Canada marathon? Gawd, I need a life...

Old Film, Young Wife Her: shot with the Holga 120N, on Fujichrome 400 (expired in 1993), cross processed.

The man with the dorky glasses
Him: selfy shot with the Kiev 88CM, on Lomography Redscale XR, rated at ISO 50.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Montreal in Random Photos - 3

Have you seen The Avengers yet? If not, then you need to stop reading this shit excuse of a blog, make your way to the local cineplex, grab a garbage can sized bucket of popcorn, and enjoy that brilliant piece of film. And it shouldn't need to be said, as every other previous Marvel film does this, but you need to sit your ass all the way through the credits to catch the final cut scenes.

Now, if you have seen this movie, then please feel free to continue perusing the wares below... all photos shot with the Kiev 88CM on Kodak Portra 400 in beautiful sunny Montreal back in March (you know, when the student protests hadn't yet degraded to unruly behaviour, violence, and now infighting amongst their own).



The Commute

Streets of Montreal

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Streets of Montreal-4

Streets of Montreal-3

Streets of Montreal-2

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Favourite Photo - The Tank Man (x4)

The Tank Man (Beijing, c. 1989, photo by AP photographer Jeff Widener) is hands down my favourite photo out of everything I've ever seen.  It is a raw demonstration of conviction and belief in one's ideals, of bravery and defiance in the face of death by TANK, and a testament to the power of human will to inspire change.   I had a big poster of this when I was in university, but have misplaced that print. I found the raw emotion, and tense atmosphere of the conflict depicted to be very compelling, and the image evoked in me strong feelings of fear, anger, and yet a slight glimmer of hope.  So after having stared at this photo as a large poster for years, I was slightly surprised to learn tonight that there are actually 4 published versions of this shot by 4 different journalists, all taken from slightly different angles, yet only one of them is overtly famous. Interesting how 4 very similar shots can be received so differently in terms of impact. Check out this article on Petapixel for more on these four images, and also an actual video of the event as it unfolded.  Gives me chills every time I see the man stop that line of tanks dead in its tracks, and then their subsequent attempts to manoeuvre around him as he refuses to yield. His spirited belief in democracy and basic human rights is awe-inspiring.

What about you guys? Do you have a favourite photo that you'd care to share?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Things that are old...

Snow this past Saturday, sunny and 23 degrees tomorrow, and snow again on Thursday. SERIOUSLY?! This shit is getting old.  Like extra sharp blue cheese... Or Dick Clark... who probably smells a bit like blue cheese by now...

But for real, turn off the snow.  Or find me a cheap flight to Paris so I can go on vacay again.  NOW.

Toy Camera-ing in Taiwan

Photo totally unrelated to anything at all, except maybe the theme of tonight's post - things that are old.  Click to view it large on black.  Shot with the trusty Holga in Taiwan 5 months ago.  Sigh...  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The FATTEST Snowflakes

Lazy uninspired Saturday in which we apparently accomplished NOTHING.  But there was a pretty awesome 15 minutes of snow this morning, during which it looked like chunks of cotton candy were falling from the sky.  Seriously, the snowflakes were the biggest, fattest, obese-est things I've ever seen.  But within a few minutes, the magical rice puffs were gone, and it was just another regular shitty spring snowstorm.

The Fattest Snowflakes

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The Fattest Snowflakes-4

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The Fattest Snowflakes-3

Have a good rest of your weekend.  Hopefully you get more done than I have thus far.