Spring Days of Summer #seasons #photos

18 05 2017

The rolls of fresh sod lay stacked in towering pallets of organic life. The flora about to be unravelled, to bond with the ground beneath our feet, unnoticed as we stroll to our daily toils…

Apple iPhone 6 with Hipstamatic & Prisma filters

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Be the Game #photos #games #thoughts #Nikon

30 04 2017


Sometimes you have to go inside the game. 

So where are we? One hundred days in and there’s a lunatic at the wheel of the free world. You know I’ll feel really bad if it turns out Trump is suffering dementia “bigly” and he isn’t just an idiot. What if he really is a person of diminished capacity? Then where will we be? We have one person posing and thumping his chest in North Korea and quite likely ordering hits on his half-brother in another country, and we have the runaway Cheeto just south of the frozen wall posturing on Twitter of all places and that’s become the new “nuclear button.” 

So why now? Let’s look inside. If you look at various past leaders there have been lots of bad ones in the past, some hung on too long (Stephen Harper, Richard Nixon, Papa Doc,) and others left too quickly, (sure Kennedy, Obama even after two terms, and lots of others,) and how much damage did they leave us with? Well bad political decisions are kind of the gifts that keep on giving. We still have bad legislation brought in by Harper, and the USA eventually had to dismantle mandatory Federal sentencing guidelines on drugs because their jails filled up, and they killed 3 strikes before it killed them. Not a lot of downside for a guy with two strikes in a non-death penalty State to shoot it out with the cops trying to get away if he’s only getting life anyway. 

So now we are inside the machine, bouncing around, hoping we don’t “tilt” or lose our balls without a free play. Is Trump going to blow us up? Is he all posture? I have ideas…

The photo: Nikon D4 with Nikkor 50f1.4 @ 1/50th and f 2.8 in a friends basement playing unlimited video games surrounded by industrial soap dispensers. 

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The Value of a Good Shoeshine #portraits #photos

15 04 2017

This is Mr. Carter. He runs a shoeshine empire in Chicago. I can’t remember the number of chairs he has around Chicago but it’s significant. He does a great job from his double-chair setup in the Hilton on South Michigan Ave and if you get a chance to stop in you should. As with most places you can leave your shoes with him for later pickup but you would miss out on some great conversation and wisdom! 

I’m sure he has his moods offsite but on the job you will never find a nicer or more engaging individual. He can talk politics, federal or local, families, technology, or anything else you’re in the mood for. On occasion we touched on the fringes of theology (he is a God fearing man,) but he can go with the flow and you never feel as if he has a strong opinion he wants to impose on anyone else. 

His shoeshine, which I’m sure includes lots of environmental threats, is never rushed (which almost made me late to speak at a conference last year,) and seems to last just the right amount of time. A stop there borders on meditation, and I can’t imagine being in Chicago without a stop to see Curtis and to get a shine. I have had his shoeshine last six months! 

The snap was taken on March 18th with my Nikon D4 using the Nikkor 50f1.4 @ f4.5 and 1/250. 

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The Contractor #photos #portraits #photography

26 02 2017

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Occasionally I get time to do some studio work. This was done with two small studio flashes, 1/160th with my Nikkor 50f1.4 @ f16 and ISO 100 and the trusty D4. The flashes were about two stops offset, and I was shooting Elinchrom D-Lites. Mark was still covered in glue from working on some frames for fine art (one of this many talents,) and he is about to start producing handmade wooden furniture.

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That time in Toronto #photos #derail 

20 02 2017

I was looking through some photos today and this one was full of memories and meaning. It was taken in the Bay Shore area of Saint John, New Brunswick. My Dad used to catch trains out of there all his life, some to McAdam, some down the shore line, and some all the way to Montreal via Brownsville, Maine. 

It was a foggy late afternoon, not unusual for a summer’s day in the coastal Maritimes. Trains were the lifeblood of that port city at one point but eventually they became less necessary as trucking took over. 

I can remember going down to Bay Shore to see my first caboose, otherwise known as a van by the conductors. I saw my first canned water, (water was notoriously undrinkable,) and I remember going there to swim when I was a kid, and one time around 1970 the whole family went down to Bay Shore to see the HMCS Bonaventure one more time before it sailed off to Taiwan to be torched apart for scrap. 

This photo is patience. This photo is solitude. This photo is a sense of impending doom as you rattle along the rails, too fast, on a predetermined route of destiny. 

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Footsteps in the snow #politics #security #borders

12 02 2017

It’s the dead of winter 2017. I have to say I’m still wrestling with whether I will cross into the USA during the next four years. 

I’m not the most political person but I look at everything happening to the South and I wonder what happened to the Americans. They talk a great game about freedom of speech and the right to bear arms but I’ll take our protections anytime over theirs. We have tonnes of guns. It’s fairly easy to get rifle or shotgun in Canada but there is a rigorous background check and a mandatory safety course. It’s more rigorous if you want a handgun but not impossible. There are more courses, more background checks, and you don’t get to carry it around with you…but neither does anyone else. Governments shade the truth…so far the new Trump government has shredded the truth. What hope for a peaceful future?

Now Canada contemplates Bill C-23. The Preclearance Act 2016 will give powers to US border agents to search Canadians on Canadian soil. We have people fleeing into Manitoba to get out of “TrumpAmerika.” Some think it’s not a big deal, a matter of convenience for preclearance and speedy travel. I’m concerned when a Canadian border person doesn’t search me or my personal devices and a US authority wants to search me. 

I’m not sure what’s next. I don’t know who will upset the thin-skinned one. Will he yank off some world leaders arm with his crazy handshake? Will he use a nuclear option? Will there be any reason to visit our neighbours? We have food. We have oil. We could close our borders too. We don’t need to take American wood, electricity, chicken, beef, nor anything else really. Heck, we even have our own lobster. 

Stay tuned…I may get more annoyed. 

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Landscapes in the wild

28 01 2017

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This is a snap from a trip to Awenda Provincial Park in Ontario. It was just before sunset on a windy late summer evening and I was trying to capture the mood as the winds swept sands across the beach.

The D4 was cranking along with the Nikkor 50 f1.4 at f16 with an ISO 100. The shutter was a full one second, hand-held and I guess I’m a little steadier than I thought I was given the winds.