Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"The Quest For Meaning At Work" by Brian A. Hoey

the Sony Alpha Diaries becomes the Sony Diaries

At the start of this photo/video project, I meant to showcase images taken with a Sony Alpha-mount (a99 and a57), with an occasional guest appearance by video taken with a Sony CX900 and a Sony NX30 (since sold). To accomodate images taken with other Sony products, I've decided to rename this series, the Sony Diaries.

Sony Alpha Diaries Day 56: late afternoon sun

Bay and Elm.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Emily on contributing: from the Series, "365 docobites"

295 | Cape Town, South Africa
A story from Emily about contributing.
"There are fires here all the time, it's a real problem. It’s because there are so many people living here, they spread so quickly and are so devastating. There was a fire in 2013 that really inspired me to do something, it destroyed the homes of 6000 people. I’m a part of a group that is working on a heat detector device to help stop the spread of the fires. It just doesn’t feel right, to not contribute to some kind of positive social change.”

Meet a Stranger a day -
365 documentaries in 365 days - Strangers' short and shorter stories.
Big thanks to the folks at & for making this docobite possible.
Song - "Silver Blue Light" Kevin MacLoud (

Sony Alpha Diaries Day 50: slanted horizons

February 19th.

a call to join a march on March 1, 2015 in support of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

Draft promo video calling for participation in a March to highlight the plight of migrant workers in Canada.
Starting February 28th, migrants and supporters across the country are escalating the campaign to call on the Federal Government to reverse the four and four rule.
When this rule comes into effect on April 1st, 2015, all low-waged migrant workers employed under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and Live-In Caregiver / Caregiver Program who have worked in Canada for more than four years will be banned from continuing to work in Canada and forced to leave. They will also be barred from returning to Canada as workers for a further four years. Those that choose to stay will become undocumented.
These changes are effectively a mass deportation. These rules will tear apart families, friends and communities across the country. Migrant workers pay tens of thousands of dollars to come to Canada and work at minimum wage jobs to provide an opportunity for their family; so that their children can go to school; and to have a better life. The 4 & 4 rule strips away migrant workers’ dignity, forces workers already in precarity into further uncertainty, and criminalises them by imposing discriminatory and arbitrary barriers.

We demand that:
An immediate moratorium be placed on the 4 & 4 rule, so workers here may continue to work.
Permanent residency be given to migrant workers already in Canada.
Migrant workers receive access to all social benefits and entitlements
Legislation be enacted providing permanent residency for all migrants upon arrival.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sony Alpha Diaries Day 49: cross

February 18th.

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist
"… in truth, Karl Marx was responsible for framing my perspective of the world we live in, from my childhood to this day. This is not something that I often volunteer to talk about in “polite society” because the very mention of the M-word switches audiences off."
"… wealth is collectively produced and then privately appropriated through social relations of production and property rights that rely, for their reproduction, almost exclusively on false consciousness."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

hard-earned lessons I've learned in videocamera gear for weddings and other *run-and-gun videography.

(not necessarily in order of significance)
1. DSLRs are overrated, esp now that their main advantage, shallow depth of field, is near achieved by videocameras with 1" sensors, and fast lenses. DSLRs  line skip (meaning they have to shoehorn all that captured digital info to fit into (what's really all that's needed) 1920x1080, or just over 2MP(!), don't have autofocus, are heavy and have a form factor suitable for Stills but not convenient  for video. Achieving videocamera ergonomics requires expensive and bulky rigs.
For videocameras:
2. Unless you are getting a Canon C100 or C300, which has the best implementation of AVCHD,  avoid AVCHD! Go with a videocamera that uses the codec XAVC (proprietory to Sony) or the codec used by Samsung (h.265). It must shoot at least 50MB/s, must have IS, ND filters, focus peaking, zebras, and manual exposure control. It should have Picture Profiles. Any camera that has the above will already have audio meters, headphone and microphone jacks.
3. Go 4k now, or at least get a camera that is 4K-ready (read Sony PXW-X70).
4. Buy SD cards  useable to 94MB/s (see #3 above)
5. Built-in XLR inputs are nice but they add $800-900 to the price of the videocamera. An alternative is to get a Beachtek pre-amp for $250.

If you're serious about your craft, you'll eventually get to the point where you'll need the above to fully realize your vision. So skip the multiple purchases (and losing money on resale) and get to where you'll eventually be, right away.
* run-and-gun: a guerilla style of shooting that occurs in hectic, unpredictable shooting situations.

Sony Alpha Diaries Day 45: Birds on Valentine's Day

February 14th.

Why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened in Vietnam? | The Nation

Charice: goose bumps territory

check it out @ 9:30

Monday, February 9, 2015

the Art in videography

There are a-thousand-and-one ways to edit a video, simply by playing around with one of the following: grading, audio, and choice of clips. Play around with more than 1 and the potential finished choices explodes exponentially.
I came across this quote from Kirk Tuck's blog, which nicely sums up a dilemma when it comes to video and video editing. His words were meant for Stills photography but it is even more pertinent for videography:
"We spend time finding our subjects. We spend time figuring out what the composition should be, how to deal with the light, how and when to shoot. How to process. How to display or share. It's easy to let the process create its own roadmap for you. The nature of art is to fight against the comfort zone enough to make the images work. 
Sometimes we fail and sometimes we succeed and sometimes there is middle ground. That's the nature of doing a process that's always open to interpretation."

Blackberry Diaries #745: Rhodie

I love this 115 lb suck. February 8th.

Sony Alpha Diaries Day 40: the yellow buildings around Guelph


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sony Alpha Diaries Day 38: on Carden Street

first skater after the Zamboni
Valentine Red
Shot with a Bower 14f2.8. Soft and inexpensive but with a charm all its own. February 7th.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sony Alpha Diaries Day 35: the racialization of who stays and who doesn't

… and how this distinction is racialized and ethnicized.
From a series of videos advocating for the rights of migrant workers, caregivers, and other temporary workers.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sony Alpha Diaries Day 34: strip plaza

February 3rd.

Sony Alpha Diaries: a description

The Sony Alpha Diaries is a year-long project (started January 1st) wherein I will be posting a photo(s) per day of an images(s) taken with a Sony Alpha camera MOSTLY, either with the a99 or the a57 (or whatever other Alpha-series camera is available). Occasionally, I will post material shot with other Sony products, either a Sony NX30 or a Sony CX900 (both video cameras) .Subject matter will be all over the place, depending on where I'm at and where it's at. Most of the images will have been taken within 48 hrs of posting.
(Text colour on post will be in Sony orange).
The BlackBerry Diaries will continue to be added to (currently at #743).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sony Alpha Diaries Day 33: a blast of winter, a full moon, and homemade kimchi

Macalister Park
Kortright Road East near Whitetail
homemade kimchi: sweeter and not as spicy this time. So much better for warming you up than your typical hot soup/coffee/tea. February 2nd.