Monday, November 26, 2012

The Demilitarized Zone and Joint Security Area

Anita and I will be spending a couple days in Korea on the tail end of our Vietnam trip next month, and we will be hitting up the DMZ and JSA where (if we are lucky), we may get a chance to physically step over the border into the DPRK (albeit inside a UN building that technically straddles both sides of the Military Demarcation Line).

While this series of photos was taken in Calgary, the setting of this scene is pretty much how I envision the Bridge of No Return would look. The bridge's name is a reference to its history in prisoner exchanges between the two Koreas - if you crossed over it, you would not be allowed to go back. Up until recently, I hadn't gotten excited about our upcoming adventures in SE Asia, but now I am getting super stoked. Some people love laying on the beach for a week. Us? We go to places like Chernobyl and Sarajevo to see the remains of devastation first hand. Hoping to add one more place to that list.





Saturday, November 24, 2012

Life Drawing at Harcourt House

A recent life drawing session at Harcourt House. I wasn't feeling the poses this time, so there was a bit of goofing around instead of sketching. Regardless, these are a few results that I liked - Pentel Pocket Brush, White Chalk Pastel, and Conte Crayons.

Life Drawing at Harcourt House-4

Life Drawing at Harcourt House-6

Life Drawing at Harcourt House-7

Life Drawing at Harcourt House-2

Life Drawing at Harcourt House-3

Life Drawing at Harcourt House-5

Life Drawing at Harcourt House

Life Drawing at Harcourt House - Texture
This last one is a 100% crop of a scanned page. I liked the look of the fibrous texture of this paper, interacting with the ink and chalk media.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rummel Lake: Through the Viewfinder

One of the best parts about shooting with a medium format film rig like the Hasselbald (or in my case, the poor man's Hasseblad - the Kiev88) is the ability to use a waist level finder. Rather than bringing your camera up to eye level and looking through a small pentaprism or a digital LCD, you get to compose your shot by looking down on the scene as it enters your lens and is projected upwards onto a focussing screen. The first time people see this, they often think they're looking at a digital image, which it's not. I know the first time I encountered this on a Mamiya twin lens reflex camera, I felt like a caveman seeing his first TV - 'What kind of charlatan sorcery is this?!'

Shooting with a WLF takes a bit of getting used to, as the image projected is right side up, but inverted left to right. It really forces you to slow down and think about your composition (you have to check the digital mentality of 'shoot first, edit later' at the door). While this may not be convenient for fast moving scenes or subjects, you will learn so much more about photography and composition this way than just by snapping a million photos and hoping one turns out.

Sorry to get all preachy on you. The point of this post was to show you some images shot through the viewfinder (TTV) of my Kiev last weekend, while out snowshoeing. For you newbie photographers, TTV is a technique where you use one camera to shoot a scene through the viewfinder of another camera. If you want a visual of how to do this, see the last photo - point digital camera down at the WLF of another camera. It's THAT simple, and also gives you some interesting images that you don't have to 'filter' with Instagram or other crap to make it look 'vintage'. The scratches, dust, and other imperfections in the focussing screen all show up on your TTV shot.

Rummel Lake TTVs

Rummel Lake TTVs-5

Rummel Lake TTVs-4

Rummel Lake TTVs-3

Rummel Lake TTVs-2

Rummel Lake TTVs-6

If you feel you need a bit more instruction on how to shoot TTVs, drop me a line in the comments. Cheers!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stars and Metric, Live at the Corral

Anita and I went to catch the Stars and Metric show this week at the Stampede Corral. First off - the Corral is one of the WORST venues in the world for concerts. You could hear a better show by tying an a.m radio to your head, putting on some earmuffs, and diving underwater. Just SHIT acoustics for anyone who isn't directly in front of the stage. We didn't shell out the 120 bucks for general admission floor tix, so we were relegated to the peasant seats (shudder) around the rink, which exacerbated the acoustical nightmare even more.

The show itself was also a bit of a let down for me because I'm THAT guy in the crowd screaming for the band to play their obscure older material (ie: circa early 2000's). Many kids in the crowd were probably still single digit aged then. I may as well have been demanding the merch table be stocked with cassette tapes... GAAAWWD I'm old.

Anyways, a few photos for you - two of the Stars, who despite playing only a couple tracks off their fantastic LP Set Yourself On Fire, still tickle that warm and fuzzy spot for me. And the latter two photos are of Metric, whose set largely ignored their two brilliant LPs Old World Underground and Live It Out in favour of recent radio friendly singles. blegh... But at least they did play Black Sheep, which some of you may recognize as one of the songs from the movie, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Check the video below I captured of that one.

The Stars




For the camera nerds: all photos and video shot with the Sony RX-100. Shot at ISO 1600 because the lens slows down to f/4.9 at the long end. The jpgs straight out of camera were so clean that I ended up adding back some 'grain' to give the images a more concert feel to them.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Showshoeing Rummel Lake

Kris and Nic came down for the weekend, and rather than spend the entirety of it drinking and eating and drinking like last time, we went out for a winter adventure in the mountains. We trekked out to the Spray Lakes area, and snowshoed in towards Rummel Lake. Sadly, we had a late start, so ran out of light before making it to the lake, but the alpine forest winterscapes we did see were beautiful. I love snow ghosts.

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-8

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-9

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-6

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-7

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-10

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-12

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-3

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-4

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-5

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-18

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-13

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-14

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-15

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-16

Snowshoeing Rummel Lake-17

Monday, November 5, 2012

A poor segway into the photos...

Who's ready for the endless media circus of election night coverage tomorrow? The past few months of political fencing and media spin from both sides of the great divide that is US ideology have been both entertaining and infuriating at the same time. Infurtertaining!

But frankly, the rhetoric is getting old, the GOP can't open their mouths without something about "Rape-be-damned abortion is evil" falling out, and the left has spent more time spawning comedic internet memes than they have actually addressing issues faced by the middle class they claim to champion.

Personally, I'm just looking forward to a day in the near future where the Four Horsemen (Obama, Romney, Bettman, and Fehr) aren't the headline newsmakers, for a change.

As a poor segway into the photos, I'll lead off with a Parisien publication's front cover. My skills en Francais are rather lacking, but I'm pretty sure the headline refers to Romney as an alien. The other few photos are just sights seen in France that I liked and wanted to share.



French Sights-2

French Sights-3

French Sights

_a land where EVERYBODY's good at math_

Sunday afternoon fun, thanks to a Chinook bringing us back to warm-ish temperatures. The snow was that perfect consistency for snowballs, and I showed Anita how to make a snowman. I may have looked at her like she was an alien when she announced she'd never made a snowman before. Sometimes I forget that she's from a land where EVERYBODY's good at math ... and it never snows (Macau, in case you were wondering).



Photos taken with a Diana F+ and Instax Back, on Fuji Instax Mini instant film.