Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hump Day News Flash

This just in: Exercise does NOTHING to ease Hot Flashes. I know people think I make up a lot of stuff, but this is for real. CBC says so here. If you're wondering why this is relevant or why I'm writing about it, that makes two of us. Sorry, I actually have very little to say today, and have resorted to doling out health headlines - you know, being an expert on women's gyno health and all...

So anyways, I developed a roll of film from this weekend, shot on a Diana F+ (HBC edition) toy cam. If you're interested in picking up a cheap medium format toy cam, these were on clearance a couple weeks ago at the Bay (regular $140, on sale for $40). The first photo was taken with the Diana Instax back attached (sold separately). The remainder were taken on Fuji Neopan 400, developed in Ilfosol 3, 1+9 at 68 deg. F, for 6:30.

The Summit

The Post Summit Beer

Diana HBC Edition - Test Shots-7

Diana HBC Edition - Test Shots-2

Diana HBC Edition - Test Shots-6

Diana HBC Edition - Test Shots-5

Diana HBC Edition - Test Shots-8

Diana HBC Edition - Test Shots

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Prelude to Patagonia

A quick hike up Ha Ling peak in Canmore yesterday - which Anita wants to make an annual thing for us, like KFC or Christmas. She's 'training' for our 5 day trek through Patagonia in Chile (coming up in November), and as part of her training, she wanted to load up her pack with some added weight. So as a true photo nerd, I made her lug up a 10 lb. hardcover coffee table book of Annie Leibovitz' photos. She's also a bit of a sweat fiend, and repeatedly asked me in a not so ladylike fashion to feel how sweaty her armpits were. I declined... cause that's gross. Yes, my wife can be gross.

Ha Ling - 2013-6

Ha Ling - 2013-5

Ha Ling - 2013-2

Ha Ling - 2013-4

Ha Ling - 2013-7
On the ridge near the summit, overlooking Canmore. The wide highway looking stretch running north-south from the mountains is actually what used to be the creek/ gulch that flooded recently and turned into a raging mass of house destruction.

Ha Ling - 2013-8

Ha Ling - 2013-10

Ha Ling - 2013-9

Ha Ling - 2013-11

Ha Ling - 2013-12

Ha Ling - 2013-13

Ha Ling - 2013-14

Ha Ling - 2013-15

Ha Ling - 2013-16

Ha Ling - 2013-17
Celebratory Beer at The Wood in Canmore - Granville Island Brewing's Ginja Ninja.

Ha Ling - 2013-18

Ha Ling - 2013-19
Beet and goat cheese salad.

Ha Ling - 2013-20
Panko Crusted Salmon Burger and crispy yam fries.

Ha Ling - 2013-21
Shrimp tacos. Om nom nom!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

_my inner Kaiju took a Xanax and went for a nap_

It is with great shame and dishonour that I admit, I have not yet seen Pacific Rim. It is true, I do in fact wish to see this cinematic masterpiece. Alas, when I broached the subject with the Missus, it went like this:

Him: *excitedly spitting out the words* I want to see Pacific Rim!!!
Her: Wh...yyyy??? *spoken with that slow drawl of pity, confusion, and slight condescension*

Now folks, you often hear of times when things are said in the heat of a moment that truly test the tensile strength of your marital fabric. Her single worded (but drawn out) response was one of those instances. However, as I replay the expression on her face in my head, I believe she may have actually misheard me say "I want to dress in diapers to mow the lawn." I believe this, because no rational person would question WHY one would be excited about seeing a movie filled with Kaiju (giant monsters) and robots. Duh.

I was tempted to continue down this treacherous trail of conversation with a followup question of which NeoGeo arcade game was most underappreciated - King of the Monsters, or Ninja Combat. Luckily, my inner Kaiju took a Xanax and went for a nap, and I walked away instead of verbally sparring for moral superiority over whose Japanese pop culture tastes were more... morally superior.

Side note- if you actually dared answer the above question and picked Ninja Combat, I'm afraid that you may have also placed irreparable strain on the fabric of our friendship. Giant city destroying monsters duking it out, Street Fighter style ALWAYS wins. ALWAYS.

Okay, enough geeking about the bush for now. On to some photos. These were taken as part of a test roll I ran through my La Sardinia toy camera. It is a crap plastic camera made in tribute to old sardine cans, with a crap plastic wide 22mm lens. Total garbage camera, but makes for some fun pictures. Shot on Holga 'Hi Speed' ISO 640 film, which the 'photolab tech' (pronounce that with a healthy dose of derision) at London Drugs almost refused to process because it didn't say C-41 on the cannister. Photonerds would understand the idiocy behind that. Yet another moment in which my inner Kaiju needed to pop a valium cocktail so as not to smash the PUNY HUUUUUMAN's head.

La Sardinia Test Roll-4

La Sardinia Test Roll

The Ricohflex
Georgette and her Ricohflex TLR.

La Sardinia Test Roll-6
The monster movie hating Missus, double exposed against Banker's Hall

The 1600mm
Scott and his 1600mm equivalent bazooka lens (400mm with two 2x Teleconverters - widest available aperture of f/600)

La Sardinia Test Roll-3
A custom modded Polaroid Land Camera (Frankenroid!)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Royal Baby, Regal Student

So... the Royals had a baby boy. Personally, I'm indifferent to the scandal and court intrigues comings and goings of their Royal Them-nessess, but I do find the hoopla surrounding their celebrity status curious. I suppose they are no different than Hollywood celebrities, in that we are fascinated by any glimpse of life behind the veil of those celebrity personas, seeking proof of their regular mundanity, yet also secretly hoping that behind the veil is in fact an even more outlandish Lady Gaga/Liberace flamboyance for us to all gawk at and hate on. Be honest, while we all politely spoke of best wishes for a smooth delivery, you know you pondered a world in which the 3rd-in-line heir to the throne was born a hermaphrodite... or black. Oh man, the fun the tabloids would have had. Anyways...

This photo is NOT of a famous celebrity adored the world over, but rather is a portrait of one of my former students that joined a group of her cohorts for a short photowalk. This is one of my favourites I've taken with the Rolleiflex, despite the distracting bit of white background beside her nose and eye. I particularly like the candidness of the shot, and the way the light was filtering in from the open air patio to the right side.

The Student

Rolleiflex 2.8E on Neopan 400. Developed in Ilfosol 3 at 68 deg. F, 1+9 for 6:30.

Monday, July 15, 2013

YYC Street Shooting - Stampede Friday

Totally unrelated to the photos in this post, but I feel like I want to petition MacDonalds to sell a Bacon McFlurry. Don't thank me yet, this doesn't exist.

Anyways, back to the photos. Took my new (to me) Olympus XA rangefinder out for a spin on Friday night with Cody, Megan, and Chris, and ran a couple rolls of B&W film through it. This little cam is awesome - compact sliding case, fully coupled rangefinder, and a nice Zuiko fixed 35mm f/2.8 lens. We are going to have many street ninja adventures together...

Stampede Street Shooting-8
This dude was fascinated by my Rollei, so I let him play around with it. Meanwhile, his female friend (I presume signficant other) impatiently stalked off. Gotta love this guy's priorities.

Friends on Film - Megan

Stampede Street Shooting-10
Two ladies, fascinated by the large size of Chris'... camera.

Stampede Street Shooting-14
Walken's only!

Stampede Street Shooting-4

Stampede Street Shooting-2

Stampede Street Shooting-3

Stampede Street Shooting-5

Stampede Street Shooting-12
This lady was playing Street Matchmaker. She chatted up some dudes on a patio, then snagged some girls passing by and introduced them to each other.

Stampede Street Shooting-13

Stampede Street Shooting-16

Stampede Street Shooting-15
Me, doing my best impression of Beaker

Shot on Kodak T-Max 400 and Lomography Lady Grey 400 black and white films. Both pushed to 800 - developed in Ilfosol 3, 1+14 @ 68 deg. F for 14 minutes.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Strangers in the City - Scott

I don't generally take photos of the homeless in our city - they're a vulnerable population, and photographing them to make gritty looking photos seems cheap and overly exploitative. However, as we were walking down 17th ave on a busy night of the 2nd Stampede weekend, we passed by Scott, a man down on his luck who was panhandling for spare change. While I normally would have just left him in peace, he and his friend inquired about our cameras (an assortment of Hasselblad/ Leica/ Rolleiflex film cams). Given their interest in our activities, we stopped to chat with them, and that's how I hypocritically ended up with this shot of a man, who despite struggling financially, was very friendly, cheerful, and gracious.

Strangers in the City - Scott

Shot with the Rolleiflex 2.8E on Ilford HP5+ 400, rated at 800. Developed in Ilfosol 3, 1+9 at 68 deg F for 13.5 minutes.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stampede Adventures

Ten days of carnies, crazies, and poor life choices - all battered, chocolate dipped, and deep fried on a stick. Welcome to the Calgary Stampede folks! How does one know the self proclaimed 'Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth' is here? Five tell-tale signs:

1) The flesh parade in the streets is like a fully stocked fresh meat display at Safeway (think a mixture of lean steaks, rump roasts, and far too much jiggly head cheese).

2) Inhibitions are inhibited. In other words, watch for a spike in regret and birth rates 9 months from now.

3) Every man, woman, and dog is now a cowboy. Seriously, Asian cowboys. About as authentic as Chicken Balls and Egg Rolls.

4) The Miracle Shammy man swindles you out of your life savings because you can't say no to a 2-for-1 deal (and so you buy 5 sets - YEEHAW, 10 Shammies!)

5) The hopelessly outmatched 8 year olds get their dreams crushed at Whac-a-mole by yours truly.

Our day at the Stampede begins with a bus full of Asians. Why? Well because it was Free Admission before 9:30am on Sunday, of course! No caucasian would be brave or stupid enough to compete for a spot on the early shuttles to the grounds with a marauding horde of my kinfolk en route. Don't ever stand in the way of us and FREE anything.

We arrive, and load up on carbs (sugared mini-donuts) for energy and optimal mental fortitude to compete at midway games. Anita apparently doesn't understand nutrition (or the concept of blending in), and instead opts for a veggie falafel. I'm surprised they didn't throw us out right then and there. Who goes to the Stampede and orders vegetarian fare? That's like ordering medium rare baby giraffe steaks at a PETA fundraiser.

Next up, Whac-a-mole, wherein a few kids and a lot of adults leave empty handed, as I demonstrate my mad one handed whacking skillz. Wait... er... nevermind. Moving on.

We wander aimlessly for hours, taking in the smells (smoked turkey legs! fresh horse poo!), sights (endless flesh spectacle - a fleshtacle?), and sounds ("Step right up! 5 dollars per game wins your choice of handmade (in a gruelling sweatshop!) stitched plush toy"), before finally tiring and breaking for lunch.

Later in the afternoon, the mother-in-law spots a TD bank giving away FREE bandanas - all you have to do is yell "YAAAAAAHOOOO" into a microphone. While it's bad karma to poke fun at your mother-in-law, I got a good laugh when she attempted, but her lack of English speaking ability made her scream YAAAA WOOOO... Twice. Hilarious. Times 2. But hey, a FREE bandana is a FREE bandana (which she won't ever use). But it was FREE!

Before retiring for the day, I indulge in another healthy snack in the form of a deep fried twinkie on a stick, covered in powered sugar and drizzled with chocolate. Only, it wasn't truly a Twinkie, but tasted like a knockoff. A Twonkie?

Enjoy some photos.
Friends on Film-4

Friends on Film-5

Stampede 2013

photo 1

B&W photos shot with a Pentax 6x7, Takumar SMC 105mm/f2.4, on Ilford HP5+. Processed in Ilfosol 3 at 68 deg. C for 6.25 minutes.