Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Year in Photos - Where did 2014 go?!!

I think this will be my last blog post for the year, as we fly out to Vietnam shortly, arriving 3 days later.  Yes, Three.Full.Days.Later.  The beauty of flying via points is that you get to take the incredibly scenic milk run to Houston, before departing for Tokyo, and then finally arriving in Ho Chi Minh on Christmas Eve.  Apparently, Santa thinks I've been a terrible person this year, and gifted me this steaming pile of a flight itinerary.

On the bright side, we'll be celebrating my brother's wedding later this week in Ho Chi Minh.  Do you think they do conga lines at weddings over there?   I ask only because I really want to make a lame pun about Viet Conga lines.  Ha.  Uggghhh...

Anyways, as I reflect back on 2014, I thought I would revisit some photos taken throughout the past year and a bit.  Our year was more serious than usual, with the passing of a dear family member, and there were less shenanigans and adventures than years past.  But photographically, I've grown, and my style has definitely evolved.  Looking forward to seeing what this coming year has in store for us.

If I don't talk with you all beforehand, have yourselves a happy holiday season, filled with love, laughter, and lesbians.  (I just wanted to see if anyone actually reads what I write.) If lesbians are your thing, then I hope you get your fill for Christmas.

Oh, and because I'm a sucker for milestones, this is my 501st blog entry here. Who knew I'd be so prolific. While about 495 of them are pure crap, I hope you've been at least mildly entertained by one or two.

See you in Oh-Fifteen!

Year End Mosaic

Previous annual mosaics: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Custom Holiday Bokeh (warning - PENISES ahead)

Christmas lights means it's time for a little custom holiday bokeh. The airplane and heart shaped custom bokeh were cut out by yours truly, while the remaining shapes and words (PENIS!) were courtesy of a surprise package from Marc. I was going to say "courtesy of Marc's package", but we gotta draw the line somewhere. Santa's watching your every move, you know.

These were shot at the X-mas lights display at Confederation Park.

Holiday 'keh

Holiday 'keh

Holiday 'keh
Marc's package... contained this Penis bokeh cutout.

Holiday 'keh

Holiday 'keh
Camera, in Japanese.

Holiday 'keh

Holiday 'keh

Holiday 'keh
Ma-ku (Marc), in Japanese.

Holiday 'keh
Camera tree!

If you're new to photography, and are interested in custom bokeh, check out this post from a million years ago.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Beer and Cameras? Okay, TAKE MY MONEY, DAMMIT!

Beer? Check. Camera? Check. Okay, TAKE MY MONEY, DAMMIT! This beer practically has my name written all over it. New Belgium Brewing has combined two of my vices into a 6-pack of irresistible temptation. They had me at the camera on the label, but then they went and brewed a delicious unfiltered wheat beer to go inside the bottles. New Belgium - 1. My Wallet - 0.

New Belgium Snapshot-1

New Belgium Snapshot-3

New Belgium Snapshot-2

The camera featured on this label is a Kodak Instamatic 104, from the early 60's. I don't own one, but I feel like I need to now. Damn you, New Belgium Brewing!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Photographing the Pupils - Part IV

My latest students graciously agreed to sit for some film portraits last night, continuing my personal portrait series, "Photographing the Pupils". This will be the last set of students I teach this year, as we head out to Asia in a couple weeks, so I'm really happy with how these turned out so contrasty and moody.

Shot with the Kiev 88, Arsat 80mm f/2.8 lens, and long expired Kodak T-Max 400. Developed in Rodinol 1:24, at 68 deg. F for 13:00 (pushed one stop).

Photographing the Pupils, Part IV

Photographing the Pupils, Part IV-1

Photographing the Pupils, Part IV-6

Photographing the Pupils, Part IV-2

Photographing the Pupils, Part IV-4

Photographing the Pupils, Part IV-3

Photographing the Pupils, Part IV-5

Photographing the Pupils, Part IV-7

Monday, December 1, 2014

Acceptable Behaviours for Semi-Professional Office Environments for Dummies

I realize there isn't an "Acceptable Behaviours for Semi-Professional Office Environments for Dummies" book, but similar to farting in an elevator, washing your feet in the sink seems like one of those unspoken DON'T DO IT practices.

Okay, so rewind. Around 2:00pm this afternoon, I've had far too much double double steeped tea and other liquids for one day, and head towards the men's room down the hallway from our office. As I enter the two stall + one urinal washroom, I'm slightly taken aback by the strange sight of a dude standing barefoot on a wad of paper towels, with his other foot plopped in the sink where people wash their hands (and some folks brush their teeth in). For a second, I confusedly thought I'd accidentally wandered into the washroom of some ghetto fast food joint in a sketchy part of town. That would have seemed par for the course. But no, this was an employee (I see him fairly often on my floor) in a government building, with his khaki pant legs rolled up, standing with one foot in the waist height sink, washing his feet. And there are a set of showers just down the hall, so what would prompt him to think, "I need to take off my shoes and socks in this washroom right now, and scrub me some toejam into the sink" ...?

People are strange.

NYC - A Random Assortment-2
Since we're on the topic of people's feet in public, here's a dude in New York City, putting socks on.

NYC - A Random Assortment-1
A couple minutes later, and he hasn't made much progress.

NYC - A Random Assortment-3
And a few more minutes after that. He's swapped feet, but still appears to be struggling with this task.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Revolution Brewing

Bill Cosby and Jian Ghomeshi walk into a bar... that's all I got. They've become their own respective punch lines. Moving on...

I really need to get to bed, but in case you don't, here are some photos from a quick tour we took of Revolution Brewing in Chicago. This little microbrewery has quickly grown to be one of the bigger craft brewers in the Chicago area, riding the momentum of their tasty punch-you-in-the-mouth flavours. Seriously, every sample I tried was delicious. And their Anti-hero IPA? One of the best hoppy beers EVER. The trouble with delicious craft brews is that you can only get them in the local area. Meaning I need to take a road trip back here and then smuggle cask loads Al Capone style back home.

Revolution Brewing-7
Sampling the offerings in the taproom.

Revolution Brewing-8

Revolution Brewing-12

Revolution Brewing-2

Revolution Brewing-1

Revolution Brewing-3

Revolution Brewing-4

Revolution Brewing-5
Bourbon barrels for aging a few of their brews.

Revolution Brewing-6
The 40+ head filler and canning line.

Revolution Brewing-9

Revolution Brewing-11

Revolution Brewing-10
Hop heads?

Side note: Revolution Brewing was featured as the main setting to the film, Drinking Buddies, starring Olivia Wilde and Anna Kendrick.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

_my name is George and I am addicted to cameras_

Hello my name is George and I am addicted to cameras. The first step in the path to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, right? Unfortunately, I've been stuck on this step for a while now.

We popped into The Camera Store this weekend, and they know me well enough to immediately point to a beautiful bulky Pentax 6x7 camera in their used gear counter. I already own one of these bad boys, but this one was listed for an insane fire sale price of $200. It would have been a crime not to buy it.

Anita's reaction was a not unwarranted eye roll, mostly because our conversation while heading to the store involved her predicting (correctly) that I would buy a camera, despite my pleas and reassurances that all I wanted was to 'look'.

The Dueling P 6x7's
Left: P6x7, 105mm f/2.4 lens, and NPC Polaroid back. Right: P6x7, 55mm f/4 wide angle lens.

The Dueling P 6x7's
These bricks are H-E-A-V-Y, and serve a dual purpose as blunt weapons in cases of need.

Monday, November 17, 2014

_groaning like a beached walrus while laying incapacitated on my couch_

I think there was a mixup with hospital records, and I was actually born in December of 1919. Because I seem to have the lower back of a 95 year old that spent 30 years breaking rocks in a Soviet era Gulag. There is no other explanation for how I've managed to strain my back repeatedly, doing highly strenuous activities such as:
  • Lifting an empty laundry hamper
  • Sitting down into a chair at the airport
  • Getting up after doing up my snowboard bindings (after the first run of the day)
  • Sitting on carpet and leaning forward slightly
I kid you not, I have managed to severely strain my back doing each of the above things, resulting in a regimen of muscle relaxants, physiotherapy, and groaning like a beached walrus while laying incapacitated on my couch. Anita will attest to the truth of that last point. I can now add "go for a massage" to that regimen, as I went for one today (for the first time ever).

When I hear the word massage, I imagine a super comfortable and relaxing back rub. But the reality is more like a sadist masseuse unrelentingly inflicting a world of hurt on muscles you didn't know you had. It's the very opposite of relaxing. Are entire back replacements a medical possibility yet? And where do I sign up for one?

Alright, on to the photos. These are Polaroids from a couple weekends ago, in Edmonton, at Kris and Nicole's shindig introducing us to their beautiful baby girl, Evelyn.

The Polaroid Party-5

The Polaroid Party-9

The Polaroid Party-12

The Polaroid Party-7

The Polaroid Party-6

The Polaroid Party-8

The Polaroid Party-10

The Polaroid Party-4

The Polaroid Party-3

The Polaroid Party-1

The Polaroid Party-2

The Polaroid Party-11