Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Year in Photos - Bring on Twenty-Fourteen

As we count down towards another New Year, I thought I'd spend a couple minutes reflecting on the adventures of the past 365. For us, 2013 was a year of firsts, milestones, travels, photography, mountains, and adventures in fooding. In no particular order, here are some highlights that come to mind:
-Learned to developed B&W film at home
-Ate a live squid
-Started my Strangers in the City personal photo project
-Celebrated 5 years of marital bliss
-Ate a Llama
-Got food poisoning
-Summited 7 mountains in the Rockies
-Sold a photo
-Bought a Leica
-Stepped temporarily over the armistice border into North Korea
-Didn't get shot!
-Hiked 77km over 5 days in Patagonia
-Discovered a real passion for teaching photography
-Continued to be a nerd

Wishing you folks all the best in 2014!
A Year in Photos 2013.
A Year in Photos
Previous annual mosaics: 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

If you want to see any of the full sized photos above, click on the links here (from the top, left to right).

1. The Girl with the Elephant Tattoo, 2. Strangers in the City - Gabriela, 3. The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-2, 4. The Student, 5. Portlandia, Part 3-6, 6. Portlandia-15, 7. Portlandia, Part 3, 8. The Freight Transporter, 9. Tracy and Dave's Wedding, 10. The Post Summit Beer, 11. The Cham, 12. Strangers in the City - Aman, 13. Noriyangjin Fish Market, 14. The Dead Bird Diaries - Double Dose-4, 15. Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi-10, 16. Streetside Seating, 17. Scrambles - Mt. Edith-23, 18. Life on Two Wheels-2, 19. Pepsi-keh, 20. Life on Two Wheels-4, 21. Colour Protection Test Shots-7, 22. The Guildsman, 23. Tracy and Dave's Wedding-5, 24. This is Hanoi, 25. Cycles

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Very Breaking Bad Merry Christmas

I decided to paint something for Anita and I. Four 12x16" canvas boards with 1" black, grey and white squares painted on them? You're thinking, "TOTAL.CRAP." But scroll down to see it assembled as a 24x32" piece.







If the painting above still looks like an abstract greyscale mosaic, you need to step back a few feet and look again. Walter White wishes you a Methy Christmas.

And just in case you're one of the 2 people on the planet who don't recognize this iconic image of Heisenberg, here's the original.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays (and a bit of Film Fun)!

Three days to Christmas, and many of us are probably scrambling to finish our gift shopping. But as we frantically throw away boatloads of money on junk presents that will likely be re-gifted by the recipients, let's not forget those who are less fortunate that could do with a bit of your charity. Foregoing a couple of fancy holiday lattes during this season, and donating instead to a social agency or charity could very well mean the difference between someone getting frostbitten in the bitter cold, or having warm gloves to wear. As cliche as this sounds, every little bit counts. On my part, I was recently given a $50 gift card to an awesome brunch place - I'm donating it in the hopes that some family in need will enjoy a nice meal instead.

Wishing you folks a happy holiday season, filled with the love and laughter of family and friends! Cheers!

And because I'm really THAT big of a nerd, here are some film cannister Christmas Ornaments we made tonight to help liven up our otherwise pathetic little tree (there were a whopping 7 ornaments to hang before we started repurposing random trinkets into ornaments).

The DIY Film Nerd

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Valle de la Luna

So I learned something random and surprising today - the Energizer Bunny is a rip off of the Duracell Bunny. For real, Energizer created the bunny as a spoof of the Duracell Bunny, yet somehow it ended up being more successful at establishing itself as a marketing mascot in North America than the Duracell one. But apparently in Europe, the Duracell Bunny (also a pink bunny) is well known. Who knew?! Anyways...

There are many photos from Chile yet to come, but I wanted to leave you with one of my favourites from the trip. This was taken just prior to sunset in the Atacama Dessert. We had just finished an afternoon of sandboarding (it's like snowboarding in the stickiest, heaviest late spring snow you can get, times 10), and then drove to the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) to scramble up an interesting rock formation for a panoramic view of the valley. And because Chilenos love their Pisco (grape brandy), we were served some Pisco Sour cocktails to cap off an awesome day.

Valle de la Luna

Monday, December 16, 2013

From Chile to Chilly!

We've returned from our month long adventure in South America (mostly Chile, with a brief stint in Argentina). And while we were dreading leaving the 30+ degree weather in Chile to return to the -30 degree cold of wintery Alberta, we were greeted instead with a mild and balmy +7 and sunny blue skies on our return yesterday. I'd like to think that we brought the warm weather back with us. You're welcome.

There are 18 rolls of film to be developed, and far more digital photos to sort through, so it may be a while before I start unloading a bunch here for you to see. In the meantime, here's a quick set I shot surreptitiously with my iPhone of a three piece band playing an impromptu show on the Subte (Metro) in Buenos Aires. I shot these clandestinely only because we were running low on Argentinian Pesos to give them when they finished their set and came with caps in hand. Street performers are probably used to people thoroughly enjoying their shows, only to have those same people conveniently have to take a phone call, or otherwise walk away when the time comes for donations/ collections. I'm not sure that me pretending to not be watching/ enjoying their show (while actually taking photos of it) was any better than pretending I had an incoming call when the show ended, but whatever...

Buenos Aires Impromptu Show-3

Buenos Aires Impromptu Show-2

Buenos Aires Impromptu Show

Buenos Aires Impromptu Show-4

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I was thinking about Movember today, but not in a 'I'm gonna grow me a Mo' type of way, because we all know how pathetic the three stray hairs on my upper lip would look after a month of growth. I was actually thinking, is there some female equivalent to Movember? Something funny sounding like Vajanuary? Come on, that's genius - January is cold, so dress warm! But it turns out there are already varying months and portmanteaux that random female interest groups have suggested. Julyna, Decembeaver, Muffember. Too bad, I thought I was onto something, but I guess I won't be the innovative champion for women's private part cancers after all. Oh well.

Anyways... check out this animated gif I made of Anita jumping for Vajoy.


Note: she's going to murder me for posting this. It was nice knowing you all.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Interracial Food Marriage - The Ramen Breakfast Sandwich

I love instant noodles. I also love sausage patty breakfast sandwiches. So the only logical next step would be to mate these two healthy superfoods into one unstoppable force of nutrition and world peace. Guns and arms would be dropped in favour of this progeny of interracial food marriage.

Ramen Breakfast Sandwich-1

Ramen Breakfast Sandwich-3

Ramen Breakfast Sandwich-2

This is of course just a tweak of the Ramen Burger that Keizo Shimamoto made for a NY food festival, so I make no effort to claim credit - the idea was born of a culinary mind far more creative than I will ever be. If you're interested in learning how to make the ramen bun, there are instructions a plenty on the interwebs.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Friends on Film - Hot Pot at Regency Palace

It was snowy and wintery and gross yesterday. So it was a perfect evening to get a group together for hot pot (asian style fondue) at Regency Palace. Thanks to all who made it out, was great to see (and drink and laugh and eat with) you guys!

B&W photos below shot with the Rolleiflex 2.8E on Kodak T-Max 400 film. Looking at these slightly blurry shots, you would think I have ADHD, because I can't focus. Ba dum tish. And if you missed that photography pun, you're not getting the big picture. Har. Sorry, I can't help it if these just develop in my head. I'm on a roll today! Okay, I'll stop before someone shoots me.

Friends on Film - Hot Pot at Regency Palace-8

Friends on Film - Hot Pot at Regency Palace-2

Friends on Film - Hot Pot at Regency Palace-3

Friends on Film - Hot Pot at Regency Palace-9
The always serious Kathleen, and her equally serious other half, Steve.

Friends on Film - Hot Pot at Regency Palace-1

Friends on Film - Hot Pot at Regency Palace-5
Kenneth. Not sure what happened here, but I think there's a sticky shutter on my Rollei.

Friends on Film - Hot Pot at Regency Palace-7
Bacon. Bacon. Bacon. Bacon. All four food groups.

Friends on Film - Hot Pot at Regency Palace-10
A failed attempt at a selfie - the minimum focus distance on the Rollei is 3 feet, which is farther than my hands could reach.

And just for good measure, here are some digital shots from the evening as well.

Hot Pot at Regency Palace-5
Jason goes trawling for fish and meat in the sea of broth.

Hot Pot at Regency Palace-7
Tytus goes hunting for balls.

Hot Pot at Regency Palace-6
Tytus sticks said balls into mouth.

Hot Pot at Regency Palace-4
The ever serious Kathleen again... and the Missus.

Hot Pot at Regency Palace-10

Hot Pot at Regency Palace-3

Hot Pot at Regency Palace-1
This is to make up for the botched film shot of Ken.

Hot Pot at Regency Palace-9

Hot Pot at Regency Palace-11
Don't worry kiddo, one day, you'll actually develop the motor skills to get the ice cream INTO your mouth. I think I was 15 when that happened.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Winter is Coming

Alright guys, joke's over. Fess up. Which one of you snuck into our house, and where did you hide the dead skunk?! Seriously! Why does it still smell like a rotting barrel of offal in here?!!! WHY?!!! EFFFFFF!!

Okay, so the real story: we bought some snapper from Costco earlier this week, and baked it. The fish was a little bit 'fishy' smelling prior to cooking, but tasted fantastic afterwards. Except now the house still smells like fish. Four. Days. Later. Someone get me a can of gasoline and a lighter, it's time to start fresh. No half measures.

Just kidding. Using an insurance fire to get rid of a fish smell is dumb like that guy who called in a bomb threat on his wedding day because he forgot to book the venue and didn't want to admit it to his wife. True story, even I can't make this shit up.

Sidewalk Occupied
I've wanted an excuse to use this photo forever now, and finally I have one. These were fish drying out in the sun on a sidewalk somewhere near Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Anyways, completely unrelated: Winter is coming (the 20cm of snow says so), and what better time than to hunker down and post some film scans from last winter, when Anita and I spent a few days in Seoul, Korea. These were all shot in or around Gyeongbokgung (the Royal Palace of the Joseon Dynasty). It was fricking cold out (mostly cause we'd spent a month acclimatizing to the heat and humidity of 'Nam), but the blue skies and pure whites of their snow were pretty spectacular scenes.

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-2

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-10

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-7

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-8

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-3

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-2

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-4

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-5

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-6

The Grounds of Gyeongbokgung-9

Colour photos taken with a Kiev 88CM, on Kodak Ektar 100. Dried fish photo taken with a Holga 120N on Ilford XP2 Super 400.

Have a great weekend, folks. Stay warm.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"I put Sriracha on my Sriracha"

Unsettling news: Huy Fong Foods, the makers of the life giving Sriracha Chili Sauce may be forced to temporarily close due to a 'public nuisance' issue (their facility is generating undesirable aromas, according to neighbouring residents). What are we going to do, fellow Srirachans?!! Stockpile? Make our own?! Get Amnesty International involved?!!

I fear in its absence, I am going to careen down a never ending spiral of utter hopelessness and despair, and may turn to dangerous alternate sources on the street to feed my addiction. You know how alcoholics resort to stealing Listerine from the pharmacy when they get that irresistible call from the booze? When (not if) I start getting the Sriracha deficiency induced shakes, I may also resort to desperate measures like licking electrified fences to get my kick... or worse, buying knockoff brand sauces... gaaahhh, it's not going to be pretty.

Fooding - Sriracha
How am I supposed to enjoy Asian Hot Pot without Sriracha as a dipping sauce?!

The strangest timing about this story is that last week, I was jokingly thinking about changing the name of this blog to 2LitresofSriracha, cause I essentially drink it like Coke.

Maybe we can enlist Dennis Rodman to solve this problem with some basketball diplomacy. If the Worm can thaw international relations that are icy, then he should be able to handle conflict that is spicy.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Confessions of a Cameraholic 2013

My dad once owned five stand-up oscillating fans. True story. I was visiting my parents one time in Edmonton and when I went downstairs, their basement had five of them stored away. I thought, what's that all about? It's a small townhouse, and there's only the two of them living there. Excessive much?! Fast forward to this October 2013, and I have just added my 36th and 37th cameras to my family. You can't escape your genes. I blame you, dad!

The backstory: I've been agonizing over what photo gear I want to bring with us to Chile. My usual go to travel kit involves a bulky DSLR (D300 and 17-55mm f/2.8 zoom), a medium format SLR (Kiev 88CM and 2 backs), a toy camera (Holga 120N), and at least one other random camera. But unlike many of our previous trips, weight is a consideration this time as we'll be trekking through Patagonia for 5 days where we must carry all our gear whilst hiking. So I wanted to ditch the DSLR and zoom lens, and go with a lighter footprint. I finally settled on this kit: a new to me Nikon FM2n (35mm film SLR), an even newer to me Fuji X100s (rangefinder style digital), to go along with a Rolleiflex 2.8E (medium format TLR). Surprisingly, these all fit in a small messenger bag (or my purse, as my niece called it).

Confessions of a Cameraholic-2

Confessions of a Cameraholic-1

Confessions of a Cameraholic-3

Confessions of a Cameraholic-4

Chile, hide your women and alpacas - I'm coming for them! j/k. I'm only coming for your alpacas.