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.

 





Distillery Photos

22 01 2017

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It’s time for more nighttime photography. This shot was taken in the Distillery District in Toronto with ambient light (and there wasn’t much of that.) As always, the D4 was working hard. I was using the Nikkor 50/f1.4 AF-D cranked almost all the way open and it is a dream to shoot with. It isn’t the least bit finicky (a real photographic term,) like my 60mm Macro. That thing is as unforgiving as any lens I have ever used and by the time if focuses (in low light or low contrast,) your subject has moved along.

There are lots of things to shoot in the Distillery District (abandoned truck shots anyone?) but I like to snap people. The tourists, the hipsters (not that there’s anything wrong with them,) the wanderers and the vendors…never a lack of subjects. Also some cobblestones, signs, brick buildings, and lots of lights and windows. If you time it right you can even shoot someone else’s wedding party!

If you wander into the Distillery District in Toronto make sure you drop into The Ontario Spring Water Sake Company and take a tour. Also drop in and see Zumei at Boku sushi and sample their amazing menu!

More photos coming. I am back working on some portraits so stay tuned.

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Global Warming #winter

21 01 2017


OK, so I’m 99% sure I took this with my ailing iPhone 6 and not the Nikon beast but I thought it was worth capturing the moment. 

Where did the winters go? Will our kids ever see the winters we saw with snow banks far above our heads on a weekly basis? I have always been a fan of NASA and they nicely sum up the last few thousand years of our climate. The 17cm rise in sea level in a century, the temperature increases over the last 35 years, ocean temperature rise, and strangely nothing about the Chinese conspiracy to make us think there’s a danger to humanity. 

Let’s hope the world “leaders” wake up too warm and realize it’s time to do more. Our kids know this so what’s wrong with the adults? 

Mini-rant over. I suppose I could examine some of the arguments but really, look around. Notice your climate changing? Feeling warmer or colder than you remember? Less snow? Drier than you remember? More flooding? 

We should collectively give our heads a shake…like a Polaroid. 

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There is lawyer advertising and then, there is lawyer advertising. . .

14 01 2017

Not long ago, I attended the Clio Cloud Conference in Chicago. For anyone who doesn’t know, it is a user conference and it is spectacular as conferences go. Full disclosure here, I have known Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau the founders of Clio, for more than 8 years and I have seen them go from nursemaids tending to a bold new startup…to commanders of a serious cloud-based practice management empire.

I have attended a lot of conferences in the last 8 or 9 years, often speaking on the doom and gloom topic of internet security and preserving client confidentiality, but I love attending the Clio Cloud Conference. There is such an energy created by the whole Clio team, but even more so by the wide-eyed attendees, many of whom return year after year. The last years have been in Chicago but in 2017 moves to the Birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans. I hope to attend, but first, more about the energy.

There was one speaker there, a young man named Bryan E. Wilson. You may have seen his advertising on YouTube before. He occasionally masquerades as the “Texas Law Hawk!”   and that linked video, his 3rd commercial, has more than 1.6M views! I remember Bryan talking about his video budgets and I don’t think they went over $1500, including beer for his friends/actors. To say Bryan is always “on” is an understatement. The dude is loud and he hardly ever abandons his persona of screaming, “I’m the Texas Law Hawk!” Its in your face full-time marketing and I know a few people I spoke to at an afterparty were pretending they were not from Texas. Bryan is that “crushing empty beer cans on the head” kind of party-goer. . .he is youthful I guess.

Before I say anything more about advertising, I should make it clear that any of my comments about advertising are my own views and NOT the views of my employer. In Ontario, advertising for lawyers is a new endeavour and the rules surrounding it are focused on truth, verifiability, and there is a more vague requirement not to cast the profession in a bad light. The regulator has started reviewing lawyer advertising/marketing in Ontario to see if it should be…tweaked, and there is nothing approaching the decibel levels or showmanship of Mr. Wilson. He is not unlikeable. I’m not sure I would approach him for my DUI but hey, I’ve never been to Texas, (and just to be clear, I don’t drink and drive…and to be even more clear, I don’t have a car.)

Anyway, I hope this portrait captures some of the energy, some of the fun, and the fundamental spark of life Bryan E. Wilson seems to possess:

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Once in awhile I get an idea. . .

14 01 2017

I realize I have vanished from the face of the blogosphere and once again will make an attempt to humbly mumble some thoughts…some random, some planned, into/onto this medium for all to ignore.

Usual themes of law and photography, not necessarily together as I wind down my role at the Criminal Lawyers Association as the photo editor and fire up another year of more fun portrait work with just some natural light and the amazing computer innards nestled in my trusty Nikon D4.

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I have to say that my iPhone 6 has made me lazy and I look to the Light L16 longingly and wish I had one in my back pocket most days. I’d like to try one out to see what I could craft with that kind of camera stitching power at my fingertips!

So here is my toe in the water today, hopefully back tonight or tomorrow with something to say/show.

 

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Server Racks

2 02 2014

blades, originally uploaded by psuba98.

These isn’t much to tell about this one but I like the perspective and I have been silent for too long. I had unlimited access to a server room recently in an undisclosed location. This is a throwaway shot in the bunch but I liked the fall off, the ridiculous focus you get when the 60mm starts working overtime, and the partial symmetry.

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