quadra to cortes

This is a photo I took in June 2010 from Rebecca Spit on Quadra Island, BC.  I got up at 4 in the morning and drove out to the spot, took about 150 photos as the sun rose and this one turned out to be my favorite.

I recently found out about a flickr photo competition for BC residents put on by ICBC for their BC destinations 2012 calendar.  A couple of weeks ago I received an email stating that this photo was chosen as a finalist for the calendar.  Today I received an email stating that the photo has been chosen and I’ll be receiving a $300 gift certificate for camera gear.  Needless to say I’m feeling the stoke.

New Balance

I just got home from a 17 hour shift on the set of the new New Balance commercial.  My first time on a professional set and I have been invited to be a part of the team going forward.  When your income is project based and you’re just starting out, every little bit helps.  I just calculated that I’ve been up for 29 hours.  I feel remarkably good.  Funny thing though I’m having a beer at 9:00 in the morning as though I just got off a long day at work…oh wait, I did. 🙂  I may catch a couple hours sleep in a bit, but I may stay up until I go to bed tonight.  They had a raccoon on set.  One of the first things you learn in film is don’t work with animals or kids.  Kids are ok.  dogs are ok.  Raccoon’s?  Are you kidding me?  And they set up the lone shot with the raccoon for the last shot of the day.  Surprise, surprise, they were an hour and a half behind, the sun came up on a night shoot, and the raccoon was uncooperative.  Gong show!

Finprints Pilot Shoot Day 2

Yesterday a smaller group of us than on Day 1 got together and shot the dive shop portion of the pilot at International Diving Centre in Vancouver.  It was another good day that ran smoothly and we got our twenty or so shots done in about six hours working around the store being open for business.  As I worked their for a couple of years I also had the opportunity to see some old diving buddies and talk to one who is an editor (which I didn’t realize).  Thanks again to Royse Jackson, owner of IDC, Jordan Ewan, Adam Pisani and of course Ryan Hesp and Meghan Kinsley for their time, patience and hard work.  I’m meeting with a producer next week about trying to work on funding for a season of episodes.  Exciting times!

Last two weeks

A lot has happened since my last post, life is certainly full.  I’ve been taking lots of photos and trying to decide on a course into the professional photography world.  As is usual for me I’m going to start slowly on a small scale and see where it takes me.  Finprints is coming along.  It’s been awhile since our last shoot day due to scheduling conflicts, but we’ll be shooting at IDC for the dive shop portion of the episode on Sunday.  I’ve been trying to network as much as possible so I went to the Raindance booze and schmooze a couple of weeks ago and met some good people.  Some writers, web show creators and a possible connection to help produce Finprints.  Here’s to hoping that works out because I can really use some help.  I went to the Crazy 8’s short film festival last Saturday and it was a lot of fun.  One film in particular stood out to me as an example of how to make a proper short film, allowing me to reflect on where I am in my development.  A good and necessary experience for me.  This past Tuesday I went to the Whitebox Studio Tweetup and met some fellow photographers.  I went looking to network on both a personal and professional level and to some extent I had success on both fronts, although I found it difficult to talk to very many people because it was crowded and everyone seemed engaged with others.  All in all things are going well and I’m excited for the possibility in front of me.  Hoping you are well.

Finprints Pilot Shoot Day 1

Yesterday a group of divers and film makers joined me out on the Topline with Sea Dragon Charters for a fun filled day of shooting, diving, and all around good times camaraderie. The cast and crew met in Horseshoe Bay @ 7 AM and began setup for our morning land shots.  Just before 8 the divers on our adventure began strolling in and by 9:30 we were on the boat and headed out to sea.  The weather for the day went from cloudy with a light rain to full blown sunshine by the end of our day.  The weather conditions allowed us to tie up at South Boyer Island, giving us the opportunity to get lots of shots without floating dead in the water or ruining sound by having to keep the engines running.  We had some difficulties with personell leading up to the moment of our arrival, but everyone handled themselves in a professional manner and we were able to get everything done smoothly.  It was a great learning experience for me as I began to understand the flow of production for this particular endeavour, making split minute decisions, adapting to the conditions to fit the story, our timeframe, and gear requirements.  Things that I felt a bit in the dark about in the story are coming to light and I look forward to the rest of the shooting days for this, our pilot episode.  I really want to thank everyone involved who donated their time, talents and wonderful personalities to help make my dream a reality.  My cast, Ryan Hesp and Meghan Kinsley. My crew, Jordan Ewan, Geoff Grognet, Jeff Meagher and Adam Pisani.  The divers, Dennis Hill, Ayron and Melissa Howey, Shawn Strobel and Dave Williams.  And of course, the people this show is really about, the dive professionals, Jan and Kevin Breckman of Sea Dragon Charters and Royse Jackson, owner of International Diving Centre, both of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Pathways Project

I began another photo project yesterday while walking with Georgia on the sea wall in West Vancouver I’m calling the Pathways Project.  The word path has so many meanings to people, myself included, that I want to take of visual journey through my notions of paths, both real and imagined.  As with any project the excitement for me is to focus on a specific idea to search for new ways of seeing the world.  My purpose, as always, is to enjoy my life and personal growth.  I hope it inspires you as well.

Supermoon Night Shoot

I went out last night to practice my night shoots.  It’s the first time I have planned an outing at night specifically to shoot.  It did not go very well.   As a scuba diver I understand the importance of checking all gear prior to an excursion, however I failed to apply this principle to my photography last night and suffered for it.  The first problem I encountered, and it was a killer, was the mounting bracket on my ball head not being properly secure which led to the camera falling from the position I had set for every shot.  I eventually figured out a way to set the head that improved the situation, but did not solve the problem and my photos suffered.  I also should have realized I could set the self timer to reduce camera shake, a technique I am fully aware of, but due to a lack of experience did not think of.  Another snag was that even though I had intended to shoot in downtown I should have realized there wouldn’t be adequate light in the locations I placed the camera and a flashlight would have been a great tool to have with me.  I also didn’t plan for coming across locations I hadn’t thought about and ended up in a park with no light at all.  It was a good learning experience and I am looking forward to getting out there again.



Love is the highest law

The Wire is the best visual storytelling I have ever seen.  You must be committed, each season is a story in progression, but it is an honest reflection of the failed institutions of American society and the class struggles that perpetuate the downfall of said society.  The creator of the show believes societies ills can not be remedied.  Do you?  Don’t we owe it to the human race to try?

And now for some rambling…

I have often heard people question why Canadians are so much friendlier than Americans.  Although this is a lengthy discussion, after living in the US for over 30 years and having spent the last 5.5 in Canada, I feel it is at its simplest, the difference between a society that focuses on I (USA) vs a society that focuses on we (Canada).

There is so much to be said about every issue you can think of and the different perspectives have much validity, however Love is the highest law and we need to look after one another.

All things are connected.

Break things down to the simplest level.  Think of your family.  Wouldn’t you do anything you could to support your family?  I know many of us have issues with family members- maybe we despise some of them.  I am only in contact with one person of blood relation, not because of anything negative, simply because we are not close.  But I can tell you if any one of them needed my help I would do everything in my power to help them.  We all know humanity is connected – that we share common bonds.  Whenever a natural disaster strikes people who have no other connection reach out to help those in need.  When a society stands up for itself and says it has had enough of oppression we come together and support their freedom from tyranny.  Just look at the outcry of support for Egyptians and there reciprocated solidarity with the labourers in Wisconsin.  Why do the conservative movements of the United States and the Conservative government in Canada believe it is not a governments responsibility to support its citizens.  I hear the cliche that a chain is only as good as its weakest link and I wonder why politicians do so much to support corporate takeovers of our livelihoods.  What happened to our free and just society?  You may think I am a bleeding heart liberal, but I am not.  I believe in smaller government.  But I also believe government exists to not only protect its citizens from outside forces, but that it also exists to aid in the maintenance of a society that looks after its citizens.  I certainly don’t believe a government exists to aid the rich in getting richer and the poor in getting poorer.   I also don’t believe in saying hundreds of billions of dollars need to be spent on defense (I know this is the US spelling) when the government is allowing other nations to buy the country out from underneath the American people’s feet.  The middle class is dying in America and America is dying with it.  I can only hope that the good people of Canada find a way to keep this scenario from occurring here.  We need money in the current structure and that’s fine, but wealth needs to be more evenly distributed.

I don’t currently have solutions to the problems that plague our societies, but I am continuing to try to grow both in my understanding of myself, and inevitably humanity, daily in an attempt to realize the best version of me possible, and hopefully of the best version of humanity possible.

Please don’t mistake me for a dreamer for I am a realist.  A realist with hopes and dreams of a brighter tomorrow.  Please join me in trying to love a little more.