Thursday, December 29, 2016

Another Year In Photos

As we put a wrap on the year that was 2016, I thought I'd share another mosaic of some photos I shot over the past 12 months. In this year's selection, we have portraits, food, beer, travels, and mountain summits - which pretty accurately describes my life. But most importantly, the person square in the middle that makes all of the daily shenanigans so much more enjoyable - the Missus, who unfortunately was not able to join me in Vietnam this trip.

In the 8 years since I started doing these 'my year in photos' posts, I've shot an awful lot of stuff. Most of it is complete crap, and the occasional photo is passable at best. But there's something deeply satisfying about continuing to create content, even if I barely have a viewership of like 3 people. So if you are amongst those 3, I humbly thank you for your continued visits to this lowly blog. In the year to come, I hope you are able to do things that bring you unparalleled joy like photography does for me. See you in 2017! Now go party likes it's the end of the world! After all, Trump is getting inaugurated soon.

A year in photos - 2016

Previous annual mosaics: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dinner at the Mach Household/ Photographing the Pupils - Part XI

While we were preparing dinner last night, Anita whispered ' you very much.' I smiled, and then turned to give her a kiss, only to discover she was talking about the frozen package of shrimp she was defrosting. I kid you not. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be jealous that she was whispering romantic sweet nothings to a 1 pound frozen block of home-wrecking prawns, while I was clearly within earshot. Sigh... at least I know what to buy her for X-mas now.

Anyways, I taught my last photo class of the year the previous week, and a few of my students volunteered to sit for a set of portraits, shot with the Hasselblad 500CM on Ilford HP5+. It now seems appropriate for me to say that "I love these so much."

And if you're curious to see what the 'love you so much' prawns were used for, scroll to the bottom to see the clam and shrimp paella we feasted on.


Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-6

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-4

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-2

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-1

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-3

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-5

I call this: Home-wrecker Paella.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A pre-Xmas Moment of Zen

HOLY CRAP, Christmas is only 10 days away. Commence mass panic! Okay, now... relax for a second and breathe. Santa Mach is here to bring you a moment of zen. Enjoy another selection of serene scenes from Tibet.

But once you have ohmed your way to complete calm and serenity, resume panicking about finishing up your Xmas shopping. Just try not to forget amidst all the gift hunting, holiday parties and binge eating/ drinking, that there are many folks struggling just to make ends meet in these tough times. A small donation here or there may not seem like much to you, but en masse, these go an incredibly long way to making the lives of the less fortunate easier.

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-18

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-17

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-2

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-3

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-4

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-5

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-6

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-7

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-10

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-8

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-9

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-11

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-13

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-16

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-14

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-15

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-12

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Drink and Ski Weekend

I haven't snowboarded in a couple seasons, due to a lingering back injury, but I decided to stop being a cripple and give it a go this weekend. The boys (plus Gabrielle) drove down from Edmonton and we hit the slopes together for the first time in years. We started by drinking till 3am, caught 3 inadequate hours of sleep before the unwelcome call to rise at 6am, and then shook off the hangovers while driving 2 hours to Lake Louise in minus 24 degree weather. Despite the frigid temperatures showing on our weather apps, it actually felt okay, and by the early afternoon, the sun peaked out to blanket the resort in an incredibly beautiful warm light. What a perfect day.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-9
Sunset on Mt. Temple, as seen from the highway, on our return home.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-8
View from the Larch Express Quad Chair. This is one of my favourite rides, with stunning views of gigantic snow ghost conifers to the left, and Mt. Temple and the Valley of the Ten Peaks to the right.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-6
Gregg and Tytus admire the view before embarking on the next run.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-5
Snowflakes shimmering like diamonds in the afternoon sun.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-7
Jeremy's beard was all frozen crystals after the chilly -20 degree morning.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-4
The beautiful afternoon glow of the sun and hoarfrosted trees, as seen from the Gondola up the front face.

Selfies with the gang, sans Dean.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-3
Ice crystals form on Dean's 'stache.

Watch the falling snow shimmer in the sun like diamonds in the sky. (choose the high def options... the 360p doesn't do it justice).

The beautiful afternoon light, as seen from the front side gondola.

The mesmerizing view of snow ghosts from the Larch Quad Express.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Exercise Makes You Fat

Exercise makes you fat!!! <-- a provocative statement, I know. But the logic is fairly simple. Person tries to lose weight by exercising. Does vigorous workout. Feels good about burning calories. Then eats disproportionately large meal, overestimating the actual amount of calories burned. I don't even know why I'm talking about this, as clearly, I haven't seen the inside of a gym since ... ever. But as an analog, Anita and I went to donate blood yesterday, which is pretty much like working out cause you're left feeling drained and tired, but you feel good about yourself afterwards. So to 'replenish', we indulged in a rather calorie dense meal at Re:Grub Burger bar, with AMAZING milk shake concoctions. See photo for yourself.

Rather than stop there, we went out for beers, cocktails, ramen, unagi poutine (eel topped poutine, with bonito), and sea urchin. And then followed that up with more shots and beer, including feeding a prairie fire (tequila shot w/ tabasco) to an unsuspecting colleague.

I feel fat today. Can't quite figure out why.

Regrub and More-2
My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...

Regrub and More-3

Regrub and More-4
Uni - (really, the guts of a sea urchin). Our absolute favourite type of sushi.

Regrub and More-5

Regrub and More-1
And as a present to myself, I bought a book that will hopefully teach me how to brew my own delicious beer at home.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Donald the Hutt

Happy Black Friday (aka "punch people randomly at Walmart while fighting over a $30 TV" day). Mind you, with an impending Trump presidency, random acts of punching and hate over silly things are likely to happen far more often, regardless of the day/ holiday. So with that in mind, check out these Trump and Hillary papercrafts I put together this morning. The Donald is sporting his signature floppy do, and a rather Jabba the Hutt-like double chin, which I'm sure will make him happy to no end (see article here: "Trump Wants Photo Editors to Drop the Unflattering Double Chin Pics").

You too can build your very own Trump/ Clinton paper crafts - print out the templates from here, grab your scissors and glue stick, and go to town.

Trump - Clinton-1

Trump - Clinton-3

Trump - Clinton-4

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Binge eating the sadness away

Anita has declared this hiking season officially over for us, which brings with it a bit of overwhelming grief that can only be muted by binge eating till your stomach has grown 3 sizes. And that we did yesterday, hitting up some new-ish spots in town for some weirdly delicious and/or interesting flavour combinations.

The strangest by far was the Dr. Octo-pi, a pizza topped with heavy cream, corn, seaweed, bonito flakes and braised octopus. If you've never seen what bonito flakes do when they're heated, you should really watch the video below of them pseudo melting/ flapping around.

Funny side note: as I was uploading this story, I could hear Anita in the foyer stepping on the scale and congratulating herself with 'Still good.'

Fooding YYC Nov 2016-4
The Doctor Octo-pi, from Full Circle Pizza & Oyster Bar.

Fooding YYC Nov 2016-6
Squid ink risotto with grilled calamari, and lightly roasted oysters topped with ham and basil. The roasted oysters / ham combo were amazing!

Fooding YYC Nov 2016-3
A selection of East and West coast oysters, ranging from sweet and creamy, to meaty and briny.

Fooding YYC Nov 2016-2
Kimchi fried rice, top with fried egg, in a hot stone bowl, from Pure Vietnamese Kitchen+Bar

Fooding YYC Nov 2016-1
Pork,chicken and spring rolls vermicelli.

Fooding YYC Nov 2016-5
Surf & Turf Sate roll: sushi style presentation of salad rolls with sate beef, topped with prawns and sweet chili sauce.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Miner's Peak, round two

On an uncharacteristically warm mid-November weekend, we headed out to the mountains to work out some 'I still can't believe they elected that turd' stress. We're already in fattened up hibernation mode, so we just went for an easy hike up Miner's Peak again (our first peak this season back in April). The day started out so promising, but as we approached the summit, extreme wind gusts threatened to toss us over the ridge, and razorblade-like snow pellets came out of nowhere to cut short our stay up top. The normally steely nerved Anita sat down a few times, refusing to go further because "We're going to die"... but somehow I sweet talked her into finishing, despite the miserable storm that rolled in. She may look relaxed in the summit photos, but beneath the smiles were a torrent of rage against the weather and a husband who refused to turn back.

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-6
You can see the snow and wind coming in from the west. 20 minutes later, we would get hammered by it as we neared the top.

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-1

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-2

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-4
Llamas on her toque.

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-5

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-7

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-8

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-9

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-10

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-11

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-12

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-13

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-14

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-15
The missus admits to doing a little schoolgirl whiney crying earlier at the summit.

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-16

Scrambles - Miners Peak - Nov 2016-17
To end our day, we hit the Georgetown Inn to claim our Triple Crown of Canmore challenge prizes - free T-shirts and a beer. The Triple Crown Challenge simply involves summiting Ha ling Peak, East End of Rundle, and Mt. Lady MacDonald in one season, which we had completed back in August. Some would question whether a free t-shirt is worth it... to which I reply, "don't forget about the FREE BEER!"