Saturday, December 21, 2013

iPhone Diaries #660: The Delta Guelph Hotel... a great corporate citizen... all for good karma

The Delta Guelph Hotel is offering complimentary (free) hotel accomodations to family members caring for hospitalized relatives. A great corporate citizen. Good karma. It's the gift that keeps on giving.  The Guelph Tribune, Dec 19, 2013.

iPhone Diaries #659: Gerry's back: ye olde tyme barber is here to stay

Vince's Barber Shop, Guelph. Dec 21st.
Gerry is a 70-something barber, comfortable in retirement, who drops in to help out at Vince's Barber Shop here in Guelph. He has the two qualities necessary for a great barber: steady hands and a great listener. On the subject of barbers, I believe that this trade will last and endure through all the technological innovations and revolutions and evolutions that we will go through. There will always be a need for #1's and #2's. Bakers, Brewers, Undertakers, Prostitutes.... add Barbers to the list. Prostitutes and Barbers are the only trades that don't require technological innovations.
Vince's was started by Vince, and now his son Rob is following in his footsteps, or should I say, handmoves. Until they develop an app for it, barbers are here to stay!

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Great Day for Canadians: A Hat Trick for Justice and Fairness

This week has been a great day for Canada… well. actually, just in the last two days.
First, a jury on the Ashley Smith Inquest has ruled and has made recommendations (with safeguards that this ruling be heeded and enforced) that the mentally ill in society, and especially those in the Canadian prison system, be treated in the context of mental illness, with respect and humanity. Remarkably, this jury established that front-line workers may now go with their conscience and  against the orders of senior management if these orders are deemed unjust, even criminal.
Second, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in favour of honesty in police records and notes; that police have to hand in their daily notes, reports, and observations, at the end of their shifts, WITHOUT consulting a lawyer, specifically in cases under investigations. Consulting a lawyer, as well as an officer's peers, risks "compromising the independence of an officer and the recollection of the facts".This will lead to increased honesty and transparency, and inevitably, to justice and fairness for the Canadian public. This can only lead to greater transparency and trust in the police services.
Thirdly, the Supreme Court of Canada, has struck down Canada's medieval, incredibly-unfair-to-women prostitution laws. Unanimously!! This gives women more control over their bodies, and strikes a grievous blow to the pimps and human traffickers. This brings up Canada's laws to the same standards to those of the more enlightened European countries.

Next up, The Canadian government is hinting at the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana; opinion polls consistently show that the government policy is at odds with what the Canadian public wants.
One more item in the news, this just in: Police have recognized the unfairness and the racist implications of the designation "non-white" in police reports. Such a designation will shortly be relegated to the dust bin of history.
Canada: it's a beautiful country!

iPhone Diaries #658: Rhoadie in the snow

Dec 17th.

iPhone Diaries #657: Blue Lights

The lights in front of the Peter Munk centre on University Avenue. Dec 19th.

iPhone Diaries #656: Lechon with familiar faces

A community potluck at St Simon-the-Apostle's Church on Bloor Street East by the predominantly Filipino St. James Town community and Toronto City Mission. Dec 19th.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Jamie (and Jeff)

Music by Bill Withers, "I Want To Spend The Night"
Shooting solo with 2 cams all day: Sony a57 for B-roll and Sony a99 for main cam. RodePro Mic on a99, RodePro Mic and Sennheiser e100 on a57 using a Beachtek pre-amp. Burning 3x the calories as the Stills shooters. Shot for Boston Avenue Weddings: arguably one of the best outfits in Toronto!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The 40 Baker Street Youth Super Club: the final Edit. Just because these kids are our kids.

The final Edit. 
This feature is inspired by the generosity of spirit of Tobi, of Sue, of Edward, and of the nameless folks who frequent 40 Baker Street. When persons have few to meagre possessions, their humanity shines through… and I hope that being around them makes me a better person.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013

A beautiful moving piece by Tory Zimmerman, a colleague here at Sickids, created when she was with the Globe and Mail.

nice one by Philip Bloom

An Amish Man from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.
This is NOT my video but it has a quality that I aspire to achieve.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Papal Noise

Knowing what we know now of our environment, the earth, and its place in the cosmos (we are but a speck, really), the very concept of a human-centred "religion" is untenable. In fact, it is downright suicidal. So a few pronouncements here and there is not going to change anything. Reannouncing that the God of Jesus and of  Mohammed and of Abraham  "may" offer some ideological solace to certain groups in the very short term but it's a dangerous waste of time since it deludes us into a comfort zone that isn't one. There needs to be a huge change, which won't happen, since any change will more than question the validity of the Catholic Church's existence.
Faith is one thing; the business of faith is  a different beast altogether.

Friday, November 22, 2013

on photographic technology and on photographic images

"Ultimately photography is, and always will be, about imagination, and having "the eye". It will always be about great lighting, noticing things, paying attention, being ready, seeing the moment. The iPhone proved you can have a 1/3.2" sensor and take amazing shots."
 - by Polytropia, a Sony NEX forum member on

Shooting Capoeira: the way it ought to be done!

Jogaki Capoeira Paris Bamba - Mouvements de Capoeira au Louvre - Spectacle et show acrobaties du Brésil from Cours de Capoeira Paris Jogaki on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


(and no, it has nothing to do with hair)

Performance at the Supreme Banquet facilities, for the 2013 Emma-Rose Gala, Oct 25th. A last minute decision to shoot video... not the greatest but still manages to convey the graceful strength and sensuality of this art form, IMHO.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"weasel words": one of my favourite quotes, courtesy of Thomas Mulcair

Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
“To my knowledge, the Prime Minister’s Office is not being investigated. The RCMP has not said any such thing. What we have said is that we continue to work with the RCMP and provide them with any and all information required.”
The Leader of the Opposition, Thomas Mulcair:
Mulcair derided the answer. “Now there is a classic, Mr. Speaker: ‘To my knowledge.’ That is a new one. It is in the top 10 of weasel words.”

It's a tough gig...

... but somebody has to shoot it.

More scenes from the 2013 Emma-Rose Gala
Oct 25th.

Missy and Michael - the First Dance

young love... new beginnings... hope... forever...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Missy and Michael - the pre-Ceremony highlights

November 2nd.

Missy and Michael - the Ceremony

Shooting wedding videos is always a work-in-progress. Single shooting with 2 cams whilst being the (Stills) Second Shooter is never easy. It helps tremendously to work with a sympathetic and cooperative Mains Shooter. 
B-cam: Sony a57, 18-55 kit lens, tripod on a dolly.
A-cam/Stills cam: Sony a99, Zeiss 24-70f2.8, Tamron 70-200f2.8.
Sennheiser lav mike.
Lessons learned from this shoot: Keep "pushing the envelope" (I hate cliches) in terms of shot selection and variety... shoot lots more than what's needed. The most exciting part in editing is finding inspiration (and new ideas) that are radically different from what was pre-visualized. The more I edit, the more mental scenes I bookmark to capture in my next wedding.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My very first DSLR video: worth reposting on a wet, dreary October day

A short video shot at the Guelph Arboretum, April 17, 2011, using a Canon 60d, Tamron 17-50f2.8, Canon macro 50f2.5, Manfrotto fluid head. Onboard mike used. Camera was wrapped with a Ziploc (large size) bag, and a small umbrella was used as well.
Edited in iMovie'11.
Music by Blue Rodeo.
Video was shot as an exercise for practice and is not meant for commercial use.

iPhone Diaries #653: Sleeping arrangements

what happens when one gets into bed later than usual... the critters take over your spot. Oct 20th.

pre wedding teaser

Maral and Farhad on a pre-wedding shoot, Sept 2013.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dinner fare at the Liberty Grand

second course
third course
 dessert, , Oct 7th.

Worth watching again

I got an email letting me know that the link to my blog entry from dec 4th 2013 had changed. So I watched this video one more time and I  feel the same way now that I did then.
I stumbled across this video by Aram Vidal and I'll tell you why I love it.
The video opens in a languid, muggy, tropical rain, akin to the thin layer of soup we all thrive in. The  images are clearly recognizable but the edges blur into the next image, as if each element in the scenery are all linked to each other, all things stewing in this fertile atmospheric plasma.  The colours are bold, with a corporeal bluish green cast punctuated by the lively saturated reds and yellows of the people. The shallow depth of field gives the main subjects a sense of intimacy and reality while the background maintains a dreamy far-off look to it. The hand-held camera and the amateurishly (on purpose, I'm sure) recorded audio, in tandem with scenes that go out of focus when we think they should be in focus, lends an earnest authenticity to the whole scene.
The slow-to-increasingly fast beat of the raindrops on a tin-something speaks of a rising urgency to arrive at something, in contrast to the slow pace of everything else. A lazy acoustic rendition "Cry me a River"  is very appropriate, very intimate and very personal. The efforts to light the lighter, mostly failing but sometimes succeeding, speaks of life itself.
In the end, Julian reclines on the front seat of his car, his friends in the back. Julian seems perplexed but is not willing to seek out an answer. His expression is a mixture of defeat and acceptance.
Life is both wonderful and meaningless. It is ultimately futile to question why, how, and when. Human conceit aims to find answers with ever more powerful telescopes, microscopes and particle accelerators. Philosophers try to philosophize and religions, as usual, aim to deceive. Julian uses tarot cards.
Why not?
Towards the end of the video "My Funny Valentine" plays and ends with "... each day is Valentine."
In the end, each and every day is still a Valentine.

Documental. Un día cotidiano en la vida de Julián, un joven en la Ciudad de México.
Filmado inicialmente para el proyecto "Life in a day"- 10/10/10.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sheri and Bill

Sept 29th.

the "Scream"

I've posted on an earlier blog a previous photo of this stone. On this particular Sunday morning, it was more expressive than usual.
Can you spot the "Scream"?
 the Goldie Mill

reds and golds, yellows and browns: the colours of Fall

Sunday morning at the Goldie Mill, by the Speed River. Sept 29th.