Every Day I'm Concertgoing #60

Last night I went to the CJTR Radiothon wrap-up party. I left before the night was through - who can keep up with community radio supporters when their blood rises and the moon creeps up in their eyes? - but managed to capture the Bystanders and the Ben Templeton Trio. The Royal Red Brigade played as well, but I'm old and stuffy and the methamphetamine was wearing off, so home I went.

Concerts are so blue and red. It's like you're stuck in a musical paddywagon with beer and hickory sticks.

Every Day I'm Photoing #55 (What I Do edition)

Regular visitors to this site may think that my photography is limited to wandering around the streets of this city and taking pictures of garbage and people (but not garbage people - they're up too early). But every so often I pull out lights and backdrops and do some grade-A professional headshot-style photography.

For example: this is Jill, who needed headshots for her new job. One speedlight, a looming bat of an umbrella and a portable backdrop.

I took a lot of shots of Jill, but she looked most relaxed with her head at a slight tilt. So there you go.

And Rolli! I shot him at The Artful Dodger with a combination of window light and a softbox (note the square catchlights in his eyes) on a stick. And a camera. I used one of those. Cameras are so useful for those moments when you want to take a photograph.

My first impulse with portraits is to blast the subject's face with light and banish all shadows to the land of wind and ghosts, but I let the edge of Rolli's face fall into shadow, because mystery. We also wanted to imply that he could snap off his chin and throw it with deadly force at his enemies.

Do you want to wear a lycra bodysuit and a harness and do a superhero pose on top of a building? Because I'll photograph that bidness.

And this is hard to see, but you're looking at a man dressed up as Darth Maul suspended from a 21-story building. You probably want context. Perversely, I refuse to deliver it.

Okay, it was for the Easter Seals Drop Zone charity event. People were rappelling down the face of Hill Tower in downtown Regina. I rappelled at the end of the day and discovered that I wasn't afraid of heights, but the harness, which had been used all day, smelled like the concentrated panic of dozens of spandex-clad adventurers. Not too pleasant.

A note on all the gear: Jill Pacholik shot with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Olympus 45mm f1.8. Rolli shot with a Fujifilm X100S. Drop Zone guy #1 shot with a Fujifilm X100T and Sneakers Darth Maul with the E-M5 and Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8.

Every Day I'm Photoing #54

Sometimes the best you can hope from the world is a bit of texture. It's like that spike of ketchup on the grey greasy fries of existence.

But as always, there's more going on than texture. There's Jenelle, making puttanesca sauce on the barbecue somehow. There's a false owl, set atop the patio umbrella to intimidate stray pigeons. Then there's the unexpected symmetry of windows above and below the balcony. Yeah, that's okay.

Every Day I'm Photoing #52 (Mike Yesterday edition)

This is Mike. He lives in Yesterday. Yesterday is a place where the sun is out and the weather is just warm enough, where a fresh beer has just been placed on the table for you and there's a snake to hang out with.

Not far from there is an alleyway with a puddle that's just been disturbed and a truck that waits for someone to emerge from a hidden doorway.

Good old sunny inaccessible Yesterday. I think I left my keys there.

Every Day I'm Photoing #51 (Morning Edition edition)

This morning I was a guest on The Morning Edition to talk about restaurants (let us say, the restaurant scene) in Regina. Anyway, while I was waiting for someone to come and get me, I poked around the lobby and discovered that the CBC building had a scale model of itself on display. A tiny CBC!

And inside this tiny CBC building is a legion of tiny broadcasters making tiny content for their tiny audience. News, I imagine, about insects and mice and the fake trees out front. What a great gig that would be.

Remembering Stacy

My friend and former colleague at MamaPop.com, Anastacia Campbell, committed suicide yesterday. She was an exceptional human being: warm, imaginative, funny as hell and just a bit demented. My Facebook timeline is a flood of sadness, memory and gratitude.

During our time at MamaPop, Stacy appeared in a few of our video roundtables, which I put together every other week. I'm still tracking some of them down. But here's one of them: the "Imaginary Friends/Wish They Were Real" Edition, featuring Stacy in a pair of pink goggles. She shows up at the 1:35 mark to talk about friendship, good hair and Perfect Strangers

And here's the possibly more coherent group lipdub of Miley Cyrus' "Party In the U.S.A."

If you're struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide, stop before you do something drastic and talk to someone. Schmutzie's post on suicide is a wonderful resource and I urge you to go there. And remember Stacy, because she is only memories now, and she should be here with us.

Every Day I'm Photoing #50 (Grrrr Edition)

Let me be frank: I don't like this picture. It raises my hackles so much that I misused a colon in the previous sentence. I'm willing to betray my years of Englishing to express my dislike and even drop a comma splice, that's how much I don't like this picture. I hate the drooping leaves with their off-colours in the background, I find the foreground fussy, and this guy refused to open his eyes properly (probably because the concrete dust was bothering his eyes. Why isn't he wearing safety goggles?). But there you go.

These are the kinds of images that I file under 'missed opportunities'. I wanted to capture the man hunched over his machine, with concrete dust and smoke billowing out behind him. But I tried to be stealthy and sacrificed a better composition. And in truth, I tried. I moved around to the opposite side, but by that point he realized that I was trying to shoot him (sometimes I ask before I take someone's photograph, but I didn't want to distract this guy while he was handling heavy equipment) and was giving me a weary look, as if to say This job sucks and you think it's entertainment, asshat. So off I went.

Every Day I'm Photoing #48: Bullet Dodging Edition

I'm posting photos because otherwise I'll put up my essay on the Fantastic Four movie. So please accept these images of the world's least inspired water fountain.

This fountain is just a big dark rock outside the Salvation Army with a halfhearted burble of water.

The stick is new. I doubt it's official, though.

This one looks like a bear! Very considerate of this complex, constantly shifting liquid shape to present itself in an ursine configuration. I almost feel bad for casting judgement on this thing.

The Other Day I'm Photoing #47 (Leonard Eyes Edition)

This is Leonard the Friendly Snake. He's good at staring into the lens at the right moment. He lives at the Prairie Dog offices.

Also in the picture: my hairy knuckles, which Leonard probably mistook for underbrush.

If you're curious about the brute material conditions of this photo, I took it with my Fujifilm X100T with the aperture set to 2.8. This particular photo demonstrates the characteristics of the 23mm lens when you get in close - the out-of-focus parts of the image take on a glowy, hazy quality (also note the abrupt transition across the focal plane, which I'm not a big fan of). I applied a bit of dehazing to up the contrast and generally get the most Leonard out of the image that I could muster. 

Every Day I'm Photoing #45 (Fashionable Infrastructure Edition)

My city is becoming so fashionable lately that even the infrastructure is getting all haute. For example, this fire hydrant has decked itself out in a black crepe scarf:

And this potted plant is sporting an asymmetrical hipster haircut.

What's next? Bollards with waxed moustaches and knitted caps? Streetlights that blink on in the evening and peer at you through your bedroom window? Wait, that sounds like regular infrastructure.