Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A tragic replay of 80 years ago-The Great Depression

If you are allowed only one item to read regarding the current recession/depression, let it be Joseph Steiglitz' piece in Vanity Fair: "The Book of Jobs", the most succinct, easy-to-understand, comes-with-a-historical-perspective article on the current mess.
It shows how we got to this point, how we have misdiagnosed the source of our current predicament, and offers clear, albeit painful, solutions.
Illustration by Stephen Doyle

the view from here

downtown Toronto. Jan 31st.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

iPhone Diaries #438: "High Noon in the snow"

The Lion Hunter and the Lord of the Neighbourhood. Jan 29th.

Long hair and Red moustache!

an unintended look... detail from wall art. Jan 28th.

Lobster and All-Day Dim Sum!

Observed at the entrance to the Dragon City Mall on Dundas and Spadina. Jan 28th.

The colours of Kensington Market.

A grey, cold and overcast day made for a sparse crowd (and super saturated colours) in Kensington Market. Images from the back streets around Dundas and Spadina in Toronto's Chinatown.
Jan 28th.
More photos here!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why wedding photography costs the way it does!

A bride from Puget Sound, Seattle, posted this on craigslist, wondering why photography costs the way it does. (as it appeared in dpreview.com)
Here is  response to the craigslist posting from Nikki Wagner, a photographer from Erie, Pennsylvania.
Here is my own pricing strategy and why it is lower than most other photographers.
Not even taking into account the unquantifiable (in money terms) talent, energy, and artistry that goes into creating the images that you'll have for the rest of your lives, today's digital weddings require equipment (cameras, computers, hosting service, etc) that doesn't come cheap!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Financial advice for Occupy protestors

One example of two people devoting their time, talent, and expertise to help the Occupy Movement attain its goals.
"Some former Wall Street financial experts are annoyed by the Occupy movement's unsophisticated understanding of the markets. So they're helping the movement understand the markets better to be more forceful in their criticism". from CBC Radio One podcast, Jan 9, 2012
The Current, Jan 9, 2012
(at 24:01, listen to David Sauvage educated prognostication for May 1st, 2012)
Cathy O'Neil's blog

Monday, January 23, 2012

party at the Spherical Arts Academy

I had the privilege of photo-documenting (shooting!) the coolest Bat Mitzvah ever at the Spherical Arts Academy last Saturday. Hosted by Gabrielle and powered by Edan Kaufman from Solepower Productions, it was quite a celebration and a party!
Sony a65, ISO3200. Jan 21st.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The evil that is SOPA/PIPA

My favourite blog I Wrote This For You has this to say about SOPA/PIPA. What he has to say is a more articulate echo of what I have to say!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Open for business!

Wilson and Macdonell. Jan 8th.


Hard to believe this is Guelph at noon in early January. Wilson Street, Jan 8th.


Brightest light and darkest shadows. Wyndham and Quebec Streets, Guelph. Sony a65, Sigma 10-20f3.5. Jan 8th.

Nikon fused vs. Sony Twilight mode

Fused-image from 3 images (-2V, 0, +2V). Shooting the bracketed exposures on a tripod, to processing in Photomatix, then Photoshop CS5 took approx. 15 minutes.  RAW, Nikon 5100, 16-85 f3.5-5.6G, 2sec, 1/2sec, 1/8 sec f5.6, ISO400, tripod.
Straight out of camera jpg using the the Twilight Mode on the Sony a65. Shooting handheld and opening in Photoshop CS5 (for resizing for web) took approx 1 minute. Jpg (no RAW option), Sony a65, Sony DT16-50f2.8, 1/60, f3.2, ISO6400.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012


the lowly bottlecap. Jan 14th.


a luminous creation in stained-glass by Mary. Jan 14th.

"je ne sais quoi"

Je ne sais quoi aptly describes that "certain something", that certain something that can only be French... I'm referring to a package that we got in the mail from my sister in Paris, France. A package of Hediard chocolates, a red-and-black ribboned box of Gallic elegance. A whiff of fresh cacao combined with antique-looking hand-made brown nuggets, some sprinkled with what looks like flakes of gold greets your senses, and in the late afternoon sun of a Canadian January winter, memories of a certain Parisian summer come to mind.
In comparison to Hediard, Laura Secord is so pedestrian, Godiva is too cute-pretentious, Lindt is too perfect, Toblerone is industrial-strength boring,  and anything North American is so, well, forgettable.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Forsythias and Robins

Today, as I listen to the chirping of Robins outside my window, the radio reports that forsythias are blooming in the Dupont and Dovercourt area of Toronto . Wednesday's forecast calls for a high of +8!! This is in January!!
What's up with that?
See the blog entry below.

Pardon me?

"Foreign money" refers to "environmental and other radical groups" (according to Resources Minister Joe Oliver). As if the oil industry money is "local money".
And as far as standing up for the environment and the people directly affected by the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, there should be no distinction between foreigners and locals. Pollution  recognizes  no borders, money knows no borders, and Robert Redford and Leonardo Dicaprio are world citizens when it comes to the environment. How convenient it is to collectively call ourselves "westerners", i.e., more enlightened, when faced with terrorism but all of a sudden, it's foreigner Americans for the likes of Redford and Dicaprio (and the other millions of sympathetic souls).
There's the unmitigated gall, criminal actually, when the government holds public consultation on an issue that it deems to be a fait accompli. "Growing concern has been expressed to me about the use of foreign money to really overload the public consultation phase of regulatory hearings just for the purpose of slowing down the process", the Prime Minister told reporters Friday in Edmonton.
As it has done in the recent past to have its way with their plans, the federal government is threatening to introduce legislation to limit the "consultation process" so as to speed up the approval process. Why consult if it is going to be approved anyways? 
The environmental catastrophe that is unfolding with our dependence on dirty oil (or any other oil, for that matter) is a criminal offense that would dwarf the number of victims of all wars ever fought (my estimate). The Hitlers, Stalins, and Pol Pots of our past will look like rookies of their trades. Unfortunately, our human minds are not equipped to be emphatic to the victims that we don't see, the victims of stronger-than-ever storms, desertification of farmlands, rising sea levels, droughts, etc. The shareholders of oil companies who view their holdings as mere statistics, so conspicous by their silence, are complicit in this crime. By their silence, the religions of the world who trumpet the supremacy of made-in-the-image-of-god humans above all on this earth are accessories to crimes against humanity and the earth.
Perhaps as Canadians, Western Canadians especially, the effects of climate change will hit close to home after the prairie fields become deserts when  the rivers dry up after the Rockies glaciers have disappeared. By that time, the permafrost will be no more, and as a result, the atmosphere will be closer to the one in Venus. The desecration and spoilage of aboriginal lands from resource extraction is akin to small-pox-tainted blankets and the wholesale slaughter of the prairie buffalo; we are all just 1 or 2 degrees away from the first victims.
It's worth remembering the photo below, snapped by astronaut Bill Anders on the Apollo 8 mission:
On Christmas Day, a day after it was taken, Archibald MacLeish wrote:
"To see the Earth as it truly is,
small and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats,
is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together,
brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold - 
brothers who know now that they are truly brothers".

Sunday, January 8, 2012

4 hours before the kitchen closes for the final time at The Carden Street Cafe

The Carden Street Cafe across from the Guelph City Hall served it's last patron today, Sunday, June 8th. I managed, with the permission of owner Jer Robbins and the patience of the very accomodating staff, to grab a few pictures inside before the place filled up quickly after opening at 4:30 pm. I had hoped for more time to take in the atmosphere and translate it into photos but it was not to be. But no regrets here... the faithful who showed up for their "last meal" at the iconic restaurant deserve to have their time at the Carden Street Cafe.

church stones and winter afternoon sun

The Royal City Church on Quebec Street, Guelph.
... the boy across the street from the church. Jan 8th.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A lovely, lovely celebration

A guest at a community Christmas Dinner in St. James Town, Toronto. The genuinely warm feelings of community and sharing will be a source of inspiration for the rest of my life. Organized by the Toronto City Mission.
The same guest being prodded along.... too many choices, so little time :-) Videos to follow.  Our Lady of Lourdes School, Dec 22nd.