Wednesday, June 2, 2010
My favorite lunch time destination, The Albert Diner.
If you haven't been, I recommend you go!
Albert Street, The Exchange
If you are into tofu, get the BBQ tofu wrap with yam fries on the side (or house fries if you like. The image above is the BBQ tofu wrap with yam fries).
If you are into muffins, all of their muffins rock.
If you are into delicious food in general, hit 'em up!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
As of today Polar Bears are considered to have a few more years left before complete extinction. 60% of Polar Bears live in Canada. I really do not want to become one of those 'annoying-environmentalist-anti-capitalism-hippies' but really...I can't help but be disgusted with the culture we live in. We are so destructive, and nobody even thinks of it.
Where do you think garbage goes when you put it out at your curb on garbage night? How do you think plastic is made? What about oil? I feel so helpless to this whole situation, because plastic is so central to how our culture functions, it is scary and sickening. I also feel like a hypocrite as I sit here and brush my hair with a plastic brush, typing on a plastic keyboard, and sipping from a plastic cup.
By the time we come up with a new alternative to plastic for manufacturing all of these things we 'need'.... the damage we will have done will be too late anyway. We are already too late. How do we revert almost the entire world out of this destructive state? How do we apologize and make up for the fact that other countries and animals are suffering from our narcissism? Where did we get this feeling of self right to whatever the hell we want? Forgive me for saying this but I absolutely hate the culture we live in. I absolutely hate the fact that it would be near impossible for me to completely rid this plastic out of my life...Do I hate the fact that I have all this cool technology? No, obviously I do love all of my neat gadgets. But I have been brainwashed in away to not even think of the after effect of all of this. It really does make me sick to my stomach.
But here is what I am planning on doing, just so I can sleep soundly at night knowing I am doing something...(Yes I am aware that it is 'spitting in the ocean', but change is slow, and hopefully if anybody starts reading this blog of mine I can open some eyes to this beyond enormous issue we have here).
- Buy a re-usable mug for my coffee runs
- No more plastic bags. At all. Whatever is purchased can be put in one of those re-usable bags that you can get pretty much anywhere now. Or, be even less wasteful and just carry the purchase home without a bag.
- Re-evaluate before I throw things away as 'waste' so easily
- Educate, educate, educate myself on the issues so I can at least be an educated ranting lady, and spread the word
- Try to re-teach myself about what I really need in my life
Another issue brought to my attention while reading "What We Leave Behind" by Derrick Jensen, a book that explores the destruction of our planet by this culture we live in, was that us merely 'being green' isn't solving the god damn issue. It is like saying "Okay, we recognize that the lifestyles we lead are destructing and killing our planet...We recognize this needs to end...HOWEVER, let's just make our destruction a few percentages less destructive, and continue on this beaten path..." Abandoning this destructive state we are living in is such an unbearable thought to people, that we wind up making things "less destructive" (like how Starbucks claims to have fewer toxic emmisions while manufacturing their plastic to-go cups)....What the hell is this going to do?
This rant may seem a bit disorganized, and believe me I will be writing more on this issue and exploring it in the future... But I just feel I had to get this out there.
I am really sad, and really scared for our planet. No, I am not saying 2012 is going to roll around and kill us all. No, I am not saying tomorrow we are all going to die. Yes, we will eventually kill our planet. Yes, it is going to be terrible. Yes, before we kill the human race we will have already killed hundreds of other species before us. No, it doesn't seem fair that all of these animals minding their own business have to suffer our consequences before we do. But hey. That is what we live in, and isn't it splendid? Why don't we all go out and get the iPAD now, because don't you know...we 'need' it.
P.S. - I am also getting tired of people saying ' the world has gone through these stages before... this is completely normal.' Give your head a shake. During these 'normal cycles' were the Albatross birds going extinct because they were mistaking plastic as food that they found in The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? (currently estimated to be the size of Texas). Were there sea turtles growing deformed because a plastic ring got caught around their body? Were whales washing up to the shores dead, due to starvation because their stomachs were too full of indigestible plastics?
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Not only can I shoot with my HOLGA; now I have the power of creating HOLGA master pieces with digital images + Photoshop. So, amen to hybrid photography / purely digital wonders brought to you by a regular old REBEL dSLR and Photoshop. I am a happy, happy camper. Night everyone!
(On a side note: People should really stop complaining about the rain. We want green to be green right? Not brown? Embrace the rain people, summer is fast approaching!)
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I have fallen into a recent love affair with a.... HOLGA. For those of you who don't know (aka my non PV readers, if there are any!)....Anyways....A HOLGA is virtually a plastic camera, with no control over what you shoot. Well, no aperture control at least. Or 'technically' there is control, that being you can choose between single person shots, group shots, or far away shots. And as for your ISO, you choose between cloudy and sunny. No aperture control (depth of field) at all, really. The results are pretty funky, and I get pretty excited with the results, some say too excited. But whatever. I find it so much more interesting. You never know what the shot will look like, really, well I mean... you can have a fair idea...sorry I'm rambling. The photos I am displaying below are all shot with the HOLGA, I took her (yes, it's a SHE) out to the Moses Mayes show last Saturday @ The Pyramid. The show was phenomenal, and the HOLGA documented it well. The film I was using was too low of an ISO (100), so the photos turned out a little underexposed, so I did a bit of editing (yay for hybrid photography). Today I purchased 400 ISO, so better luck next time!
;) Bon appetit!
Lisa & I
Rhonda & Lisa
Lisa (channeling Mosshart)
Rhonda & I (Osborne)
Classic washroom shot
Random nice lady that posed for myself and HOLGA
Saturday, April 24, 2010
My friend from PV, Jill, invited me out to a gala that we attended last night. I went because I love getting dressed up, and that the food would be great because it was at The Fort Garry Hotel. I also went because it supported children - that was all I knew, vaguely, but who wouldn't want to support that? So we went, and upon arriving I realized it was for Child Find's 25th Anniversary. We ate delicious appetizers, an amazing dinner, and great dessert. It was just a beautiful night. It was when the speakers came up to talk about their horrific stories of what happened to their own children that it really occurred to me why 300 people were here. Child exploitation is a huge problem that, like many others in our country, we are not exposed to enough. I am not even a mother and when I heard the first speech done by the mother of Candace Dunshire (this was a fairly huge story of a child going missing and never returning home in the 80s), I had tears in my eyes. There was somewhat of a 'victory' story, however, after this one - a father came up and spoke of how he got his son back, and it was amazing. I joked with everyone at the table that my sister had been very stern about not getting any strains (wine, food) on her silk dress that I borrowed. Looking down at the dress, there was one tiny, tiny stain - and it was from a tear that dropped while listening to these brave people tell us their stories. Although the night was heavy at some parts, the lights dimmed down and this huge group of people celebrated the night away. What were we celebrating? The 25 years that Child Find has been in existence to aid families in pain, help them find their child, and most importantly - try and put a stop to this terrible occurrence that goes on on a daily basis across Canada. I have always said that once I am working and have a 'real job' I would put lots of money into The Humane Society, but after last night, I am quite certain that Child Find may be added to that list. It was a great night in so many ways, and Jill, if you are reading this - thanks so much for inviting me!
P.S. - Obviously we got to bust out some dance moves to some classics, including Dancing Queen.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
During spring break Jill & I went out to stay in Kenora from the Monday-Wednesday. Although we were staying in town, we spent a far bit of the time (usually all day) outdoors. I wound up shooting 2 rolls of film, one of which was the Kodak Ektar that you are viewing below!So on the first day we had gotten to Kenora around 1 p.m., so we wound up just visiting Rushing River and a few miscellaneous places along the highway. The second day, however, we decided to hike around Coney Island. To get to Coney Island you have to walk across this floating bridge from the mainland to the island, which was pretty cool. The image above was taken just a few minutes into our trek. Although the theme of this role as an entirety is of the Kenora trip in general, lots of my images were aiming to depict industrialism and it's affect on nature. This one above is showing the plants with big corporations in the background, the most obvious being Shopper's Drug Mart. There are a few others on the roll with this sort of idea behind them, but most of them are on my B&W roll/digital camera.
Of course, you can't be serious all the time, so some of the shots were just some fun ones of the crew enjoying nature. This is Jill. Our destination of the hike was to reach her families row of cabins, to visit a bear that is currently living under her grandparents! I didn't get a photo of the bear cause I was way too freaked out to even walk, never mind setting up a shot. This was taken of Jill on her dock, when the sun poked out for a little while. Her expression is due to the relief of surviving the black bear (or she is just laughing at how scared I was...)
This was taken along the way, for some reason the image of this dock just caught me. I was chilling out on a big boardwalk, taking a break and sitting down when I looked across the way and saw this. This was one of the first times I have utilized my 70-210 mm lens for my MINOLTA.
Just a nice shot of Chris and Jill on the ice. We met up with Chris during the trip and he came out with us for all the adventures, including visiting the infamous bar and grill, "HAPS" in town. Jill had a blue lagoon, I had a Kokanee, and Chris had a ....Sprite? We were giving him a hard time. Sadly I didn't photograph any of that - it wouldn't have really suited the whole hiking and nature theme.
Decided to leave my mark on a beach on the way home. The beach looked really neat because it was part snow, part sand, part ice, and now, part Laura!
All in all, awesome trip, and lots of fun shooting colour film. This was my very first time shooting colour and I will definitely be doing it more often (along with scanning my negatives, of course).
Thursday, April 8, 2010
For some reason I've decided today is the day to begin blogging. I have only been using the blog for school related assignments, but maybe there is some value to blogging seeing as so many people are avid about doing it? So this will be a bit of a throwback to my 'LiveJournal' days in grade 8.
The 10 month program at PV (Prairieview) is wrapping up soon, yowzas. Really has been the fastest past 10 months of my life. I really like PV, and the fact it is ending makes me sad. I don't know whether this is because I am confused as to what to do with myself afterwards, or that I just genuinely love the place. A mix of both probably. I mean, I know I definitely do just like the environment. I was thinking today about how many cool people I have met there, and have decided that even if I wind up never using this diploma, the friendships I have cultivated would make up for that. I do have plans, just need to get the wheels in motion.
Monday, February 22, 2010
During the Movie Week Extravaganza I viewed One Hour Photo, Manufactured Landscapes and O Brother Where Art Thou? I thoroughly enjoyed all three, along with all the junk food consumed (2 bags of popcorn, a Mars Bar, and one juice box in total, not bad)...
One Hour Photo
One Hour Photo is a fabulous film. My viewing during movie week was not the first viewing I have had; in fact I have now seen the movie 3 times, and every single time that I see it it does not fail to fascinate me. I am a big movie goer and have seen many Robin Williams films (as I am sure many of us have), and still cannot get over what a diverse role he pulls off in this film. The opening monologue on the role of photos in people's lives is quite interesting, my favorite part being:
"Family photos depict smiling faces. Births. Weddings. Holidays. Children's birthday parties. People take pictures of the happy moments in their lives. Someone looking through our photo album would conclude that we had led a joyous, leisurely existence, free of tragedy. Nobody ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget..."
The way that they adjusted the lighting in various situations for Sigh is really neat. When he is working in the photo lab, it is very bright and clean and clear. Shots of Sigh at home sort of have an off tone to them that accentuates the loneliness that he feels. Overall, the movie definitely gives off a creepy feeling! It never really occurs to you that when you take prints to a photo lab, a complete stranger is viewing them. I often wonder what kind of stuff those photo technicians must see in just one day. The movie really incorporated these wonders when there was the fun scene of the crazy cat lady, the new father, and the up and coming porn photographer. One hour photo labs are definitely not something that many of us give much thought to, but after seeing this film it definitely got the wheels spinning in my head.
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
This movie was also great! To be honest the only reason I chose to watch it was because I love George Clooney. I had never been interested in seeing this film, and I am happy that Clooney enticed me into seeing it. The three men traveling together are funny beyond words, and it gives you an interesting glance at what things were like at this time in the United States, during the 1930's. The story line kept me drawn in, and the director of photography definitely knew what he/she was doing. The opening scene of the men working on the rail road is really neat with how it goes from black and white to color, and then you see the three men escaping through the field. The angles that they shot the rail workers at were neat, using silhouettes and implied lines quite a bit. The film was humorous and light while being moving and deep at the same time - something that does not happen too often! I was laughing throughout most of it, and when we were shown the extra about how they created all the edits in the film it gave me a whole new respect for what film makers have to do to create the final product, just like photographer's and our post processing.
Manufactured Landscapes really scared the heck out of me. When I chose to watch it, I went in not knowing a thing of what it was about. Although the movie frightened me (and I do mean that it literally did frighten me - almost as much as One Hour Photo but in a different way), I really enjoyed it because global warming / globalization is a huge issue facing our world today, and it also happens to be an issue that fascinates me. In Creative Imaging we had seen a bit of Edward Burtynsky's work before, and I instantly recognized his industrial landscape images in the film. What I found interesting is that the film conveyed two message to me: all of the waste in the world, and the factory workers who create all of the objects sporting the "MADE IN CHINA" tag on them in our Western World. I mean really - the majority of what I own is "MADE IN CHINA". It is something we do not pay a lot of attention to, and that is why when they interview the president of one of these manufacturing companies in China, I feel bad for them. I feel bad because the president had so much pride in the work they do and so many goals, yet we barely give them any recognition. The only recognition that we see in our Western World is the "MADE IN CHINA" tag. Some of the conditions that these workers work in absolutely stunned me - like the young males working in the oil. I found this film extremely effective, and the way in which Burtynsky photographs all of this is beautiful in a very strange way. Since viewing the film, I have been viewing more of his work online and learning more about what he does, because shooting industrial landscapes is something that intrigues me.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Wow! Can't believe the holiday have already came and gone. I am pretty sure we had roughly 3 weeks away from Prairieview, and it has seemed both long and short. I am happy to be getting back into the swing of things! I had a great holiday, including a trip to Banff. Below I have included some of the highlights...
On the 12th, just a few days into holidays, me and one of my good friends Rita went out for some sushi. We went to my favorite sushi place, "Kenko Sushi" on Corydon! We had a blast, and low and behold I had my camera with me. I took some fun shots in the restaurant using my 1.8 and a high ISO. This is a picture of Rita holding up the chopsticks, featuring the Kenko logo!
I got to catch up with some old friends as well. Lots of my friends go to school out East at McGill and Western University, so it was great to see them all! My friend Paul was wearing a t-shirt featuring Farrah Fawcett. He happened to be lighting up a cigarette, and I thought it would make for a neat candid shot, lighting up Farrah on the t-shirt. We hung out that night at one of my friends apartments and had lots of wine and pizza - it was a blast!
I decided to make a triptych in order to display what I did on this day! This is my friend Rita (once again), and she was going to Latsch Studios to do a photo shoot. It was a pinup shoot, and the photographer who owned the studio was Mike Latsch. I tagged along with her because she was nervous, and I also thought it would be neat to see a studio! Latsch studios is in the exchange district on McDermot. The first image is one I took of the makeup artist in the mirror, getting Rita's make up done! The second is Rita all ready for the shoot. The third I took after we left the shoot (yes I fully took advantage of the hair and makeup that had been done!) We went for a walk in a park afterwards because it was so nice out, and it was fun to get some shots of Rita in the natural light. I did not take any at the actual shoot because it would have been too complicated with the studio lighting and what not to have two cameras going at once, plus I did not want to rain on the other photographer's parade! Once again - it was a blast.
Well, well well... another night of drinking? I suppose this is normal during the holidays! One of my good friends got a brand new tattoo done on her leg, and was wearing fishnets this night. She was carrying her vodka around the kitchen, and I got her to freeze when I saw what an interesting shot this could be! Needless to say, we consumed a fair bit of vodka that night (cosmopolitans, being total girly-girls!) It was really great to have lots of party and chill time with my friends over the break.
After too many nights of partying, I decided it wouldn't hurt to stay in and have a relaxing, alcohol free evening! I wound up hanging out with my sister Sarah and her boyfriend Jordan at my place. We ordered in pizza and watched movies (Shaw on Demand is life changing!) I grabbed this shot when the two of them were deciding which pizza to order in the kitchen.
On the morning of Boxing Day, around 5 a.m., I embarked on a 15 hour road trip (which we did in one day!) to Banff, Alberta. I love to snowboard and party, so I knew this would be a trip worthwhile of a 15 hour drive. I shot this when we were just outside of Brooks, Alberta. The sun was going down and we still had about 4-5 hours ahead of us on the road. I made my friends pull over because I couldn't resist getting a shot of this beautiful sunset.
On one of our first nights in Banff, we visited "The Balkan", a very funky Greek restaurant! A belly dancer danced around the restaurant for about an hour or so, and she was going around the restaurant choosing people to come dance with her. She would use her purple scarf and wrap it around your neck, forcing you to get up and dance! I do realize that the flash is just terrible in this photo (I was using my old point and shoot), but the story behind it is priceless! This is my friend Jessie, who was absolutely terrified that the belly dancer was going to choose her! I decided to capture the moment. The belly dancing was really neat, and we got to smash plates later and everything. Definitely the coolest Greek restaurant I have ever been to!
This photo was taken on December 27th, which happens to be my birthday! Out of the whole 5 days we were there, my birthday had the nicest weather. It was +5 and clear blue skies. We decided to go to Sunshine Village that day, about a 30 minute drive from Banff. This is, obviously, a photo of my friend Jessie! We were at the top of the mountain here, and had just finished a healthy morning birthday breakfast of beer and nachos. We were quite happy indeed. I had to use my point and shoot on the mountain, so the quality is not what I would have liked it to be but hey - that's okay sometimes when it is not school related!!
This was on the 28th, the day after my birthday. You are probably wondering why we are in the town and not on the hill! The answer is simple: big huge ugly almost dying hangover day! Jessie and I finally made it out of the hotel around 1 p.m., and we were on a quest to find greasy food when I took this. I felt guilty for not being on the mountain, so I brought out the SLR to get some shots instead! She was about to kill me here cause we could barely walk due to the inhumane partying of the night before. But the view behind her was too gorgeous to pass up, so I made her stop and let me grab a shot. After this we found Dairy Queen and it cured us. We then spent the day shopping, and I almost got a tattoo on the fly, but then realized this may be a hangover decision, which would not be good. I do not regret my decision to hold off on the tattoo!
There are many more photos from my trip, but I chose one of the last photos taken on the drive home! We climbed into the car on New Year's Day and embarked on our 15 hour drive home. This shot was taken literally 10 minutes into the drive! Good thing Jessie was not supposed to drive for another few hours - she was wiped! I guess it had something to do with going out for New Year's Eve the night before. When I took this photo she totally caught me and woke up right after, telling me to "Put that damn camera away!" Thus, this is one of the last images taken on my holiday.
- LC Murdoch