July 5, 2012

Down on the Boardwalk

This post has been written, and rewritten for the past three days. There are a few things I want to talk about, but getting them down into a coherent thought doesn’t seem to be happening.

Last weekend, I spent most of the time outside soaking up the sun, and sweating in the heat like everyone else. Toronto has been under a heat advisory for a week, and although its hot out, it isn’t so bad. Then again, I seem to like this heat. There is nothing like the feeling of being in a constant warm hug (or an oven as my family says).

On the Saturday we drove down to Woodbine Beach, and spent the morning walking about. Normally we would have started further west, but with the heat and having Loki with us, this was the closest walk to the off-leach dog area. I used this trip to also bring along Earl (my camera) and grab some photos of Torontonians enjoying the balmy weather.

It looks pretty desert in the pictures, but there were many people about. Including some brave soul who were in Lake Ontario. Most of the people around were slightly back from the actual beach area enjoying the shade and having family picnics. Also, I’m pretty hesitant to post photos of people on the internet. Especially if it’s a frontal view. I rather the people posted here have their backs to Earl and just stay anonymous.

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June 29, 2012

Through the Woods

Earlier this spring I got a chance to meet up with two amazing local photographers Sara and Julie. We spent the afternoon wondering around High Park with cameras in hand.  It was such an amazing experience to meet other photographers in Toronto, and see how they work. We ended the day at a near by cafe to both cool down from the intense heat, and grab some tasty muffins. Hopefully we can meet up again.

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June 15, 2012

Off The Hook

A Fish and chip meal has always been something I avoid. It has nothing to do with not liking fish, or grease, but more to do with a random neurotic tendency that makes eating meals consisting of a single colour unbearable to eat.

The first memory I have of trying it was on a trip in BC. Granted, that memory is a foggy one. I remember getting off a water taxi somewhere in Victoria, and at the end of the dock was a fish and chip shop. Since then, I’ve tried different place around Ontario, but the meal has never been a favourite. It wasn’t until a trip to London, England did I actually get the first great dish. It could be just that England is known for their fish and chips, and anything here is just a poor imitation. It’s hard to know.

As part of 2012, I’ve wanted to try out different restaurants within the city. It was only a few weekends ago that I was able to drag my mom over to Greek Town and over to Off The Hook.

Off the Hook was the only place (so far) that has come close to the meal served in England. However, what made the place so interesting are the menu choices. It was the first time I’ve seen five fish choices for a meal, and to have the choice of a fish sandwich or fish tacos. Not to mention how friendly the staff was in helping you choose the type of meal you want.

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Off The Hook
749 Broadview Avenue, Toronto l website

June 14, 2012

The pictures in a photograph

Sometimes without a photograph it’s hard to believe an event has happened. I love everyday photographs. It isn’t about preserving ordinary life’s moments; it’s being able to get that small glimpse into someone’s life.

The world is so digital savvy now that it’s rare to see prints photographs. So when a close friend asked if she could borrow my Diana Min, I gave it to her with film, and the instructions: “You must must must show me the results when you’re finished!” In my group of friends, its uncommon to see any of them interested in photography outside of camera phones, and point n’ shoots. So I jumped at the thought of my friend wanting to get into photography. Not to mention the chance to so this.

I love the idea of making a web with string, grabbing clothespins, and hanging up memories. Not just mine, but of friends too. I’ve always thought it would be awesome to get a group of friends together, each with a handful of summer memories, and have everyone string them up to share. Here’s hoping that at the end of summer this can happen.

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May 4, 2012

Scotland 2011

Last year, I got a chance to travel to Scotland. It was an amazing nine days. It was also great to be back in the UK after being stuck in a city (not that there is anything wrong with Toronto, but after awhile you need to get out).

After a record hot/dry summer, it was great to be in a country that was both green, and rained everyday. Okay, not a constant rain, more like the weather changed every 15 minutes the further north you go.

Favorite

Using the old ‘can you pretend I’m taking your photo’ trick, I was able to snap this cute scene. Not sure what they were talking about, or if they were a couple, but the scene was worth capturing.

After

Reality

Not sure if this would be considered an alley or a lane, but there are tons of these small passageways throughout Edinburgh. I stopped to snap this photo solely due to how the light illuminated part of the alley/lane. (Above photo)

Before heading over here, I took a six-week photography course.  One of the things taught was spot metering. My camera at the time didn’t actually have the proper function, but you could sort of manage without if you had enough time. These two photos (above, below) were the first actual photos taken using that method. Now I’m (slightly) obsessed with using it at every change I get.

“An unexamined life is not worth living”

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“Good things come in small packages”

Change

The best things about the UK are the sandwiches. I can eat sandwiches everyday for a year with no problem what so ever. So it was a real treat to spend five to ten minutes deciding which sandwich to eat. They are just not like the standard ham & cheese, beef, turkey, or chicken club that are common here. I mean, these are two different chicken sandwiches that vary greatly from one another. You do not get that here – which is really disappointing.

The other cool things are the designs over here, from standardized logo designs to packaging. Everything is breath taxingly beautiful, and really well thought out. There aren’t as many variants you see in Canada. If a company changes their logo, it’s change across the board inside and out.

Dead

Dance

Gold

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Cozy

Sensitive

Walking around Inverness, I spotted this street vendor that was raising awareness on Scotland bird wildlife. The vendor had two owls with him, this one, and a smaller one. It was the first time seeing an owl up close. The colouring and just their eyes are so pretty that this photo doesn’t do any justice. I even wish that it were possible to include touch so that it’s possible for the viewer to feel just how soft their feathers actually are.

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April 30, 2012

Starving Artist

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Stopped by The Starving Artist Espresso Bar this weekend. I’ve been meaning to try this place out for ages. There’s something about a shop that sells all day breakfast that just draws me to it. Breakfast, is probably my favourite meal of the day, despite maybe not eating enough of it.

The restaurant was already pretty alive when we got there at 11.30. The tables on the inside, and outside (despite the cold weather) were filled. At first, I feared it would be a long wait, much like Lady Marmalade, but that wasn’t the case. The Starving Artists is set up with, single tables in the front, and down the side wall, a bar (where you can watch the chefs make waffles fresh to order), and larger tables in the back for big groups.

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To be honest, I didn’t realize how much ‘waffle espresso bar’ The Starving Artist would take to heart. So it was (at first) a bit disconcerting to see the entire menu containing waffles. Waffles have always seemed like either a breakfast or dessert item not something found holding a sandwich or burger together.

In the end, it didn’t really matter. We each chose to have the Waffle Benny, and Sammy Benny. I admit it was a bit odd having an egg on top of a waffle. But the waffle was golden brown, soft, and the egg was not at all runny. Both a good combination, since soggy food is hard to eat.

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The great tasty food concluded when our waitress (in the most amazing pair of funky tights) handed us the bill in an espresso shot mug. This was just awesome, and worthy of a photo.

April 13, 2012

Wondering down to Kensington Market

When I have free time, or a long day of running errands across the city, I like to just grab the camera and wonder about. There is never normally a direction in mind. I just sort of hoped on the nearest bus, and go. It’s also a great way to discover the city, and just clear my head in general.

Yesterday, while doing errands I took the chance to wonder out along a favourite Tim Hortons’ coffee run. Along the walk, were some beautiful flowering Magnolia and Almond trees. These blossoms are always a great reminder of the Cherry Blossom tress over in High Park. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to justify travel so far west, but the trees on this one street (and other few blocks over) are always worth a picture.

After the errand run, I wondered down to Kensington Market. Kensington Market has always been this fascinating place – rain or shine. It might just be the perfect area to sit and people watch; if you exclude Union Station during rush hour.

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March 30, 2012

Project: 100 Strangers

Projects are great for keeping yourself busy throughout the year, but picking one you will ultimately finish without dropping is a lot harder. For some reason, when it comes to photography projects, mine are usually left unfinished. I seem to lose interest in them much faster than I can finish one.

On Flickr there have been some interesting projects, the most popular one being Project 365. Although I have tried that one (and ultimately failed), I found another more interesting one from a few people I followed on the site. There was this project: 100 Strangers. Where instead of just taking photographs of random people, you had to introduce yourself, ask to take their photo, and learn something about them in the process.

Such a simple idea became this incredible in-depth concept, and probably my greatest challenged. So this project became a personal challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone, and to improve upon portrait photography.

The challenge:

Take 100 photographs of at least 100 people you don’t know. Approach anyone or a group of people; ask for permission to both take a photo of them and to post it to this group. Get to know your stranger/s. Who are they? What is their life-like?

The following are the strangers I’ve met so far. You can click on each photograph to read about them, and the meeting.

A Red Chef Hat

At The Beaches

Shades, Smile, and Silhouetted

Time for school, again

Action at Brinam Park

Coffee in Inverness

Tickety-boo

The Canadian

A fellow Lomographer

Launderette, London

Up In the Air

Wild and Wylie

Dinner with a Smile

Northbound at Union

Queen St. W

Winterlicious, Toronto

March 24, 2012

A Fresh Start

Eustan Station

“Whoever said nothing is impossible has never tried to slam a revolving door.” - Anonymous

Not sure where to start, other than to say I’ve never given blogging much thought. It was never due to having nothing to say, but rather not knowing how to write anything wroth reading. To be honest, I don’t know what this blog will hold. Just that there will be tons of photographs.

I photograph everything. From the food, to just random everyday objects. Photography has always (and hopefully always will be) a passionate hobby of mine. It started as a request from a best friend in high school who was an editor for the year book. She wanted to enjoy prom, but still had the responsibility of documenting it all in photographs. Somehow I got tagged along with it, my prom date ended up being a nifty Nikon camera. Since then, I’ve always had a camera with – just photographing life and what not. Only now, do I seem to have any idea what to do with all those photographs.

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