Archive for May 2013

Hanging Out with Real Canadians

I have been to Canada plenty of times.  Usually it was to Toronto for work and there are all sorts of Canadian and ex-pats from other countries there.  So I have had plenty of exposure to my fair share of Canadians and they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Well, when you travel a few hundred kilometers north of Toronto you get to experience the "Real Canadians" that are no nonsense and downright hilarious.  There are a few cottages relatively close to the cottage we were staying in and one of the families was there this weekend.  They stopped over with their three kids to hang out before dinner on Saturday night.

I was able to take a couple shots of two of their kids, the youngest was a little shy.  A shot of the group as a whole hanging out listening to probably the funniest man (Jamie) I have ever met.  I could listen to his stories for hours on end.  Oh, did I mention that they swear like sailors, not the kids, the parents, and they do not care who is listening.  The last photo is of Jamie describing how he and his wife crashed a corporate holiday party in Florida and told the CEO he was quitting the company.

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Canada (Parry Sound, Ontario) - The Cabin

When I was invited to go to Canada there was an understanding that there would be some tasks that might be undertaken.  On the property there are 2 cottages.  There are a number of projects planned for the cottage below, which it is currently used as a storage facility.  The long term vision is that it will be moved off of the wet ground it is currently sitting on.  Then it will be spruced up on the inside and used as sleeping quarters so that more people can enjoy this slice of heaven at one time.

The top photograph is obviously the before.  The bottom photo is after demolition was completed on Day 2 of our trip.  The decking would be removed on Day 3 and on the evening of Day 3 we had a bonfire to reduce the pile of lumber that is now sitting next to the cottage.

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Canada (Parry Sound, Ontario) - Day 1

This past weekend I traveled to Parry Sound, Ontario Canada to spend a guys weekend with some friends.  Drinking, poker, and taking photographs were all on the menu.  Friends of mine have a cottage on an island located in Parry Sound.  The journey from Pittsburgh is about 7 hours long in a car, then you load your gear into a boat and take about a 5 minute boat ride to their place.  It is very rustic and over the years more modern conveniences have been added.  There is no real electricity.  A couple solar panels and batteries, that allowed us to play poker deep into the night.  Additionally, a large hose, water pump, and gravity provide running lake water so dishes can be done.  There is a stove and refrigerator that run on propane.  If you removed the solar electricity this cute cottage and all its contents are straight out of the 1950s.

There was a total of 7 men on the trip and we were all arriving at different times.  Our group was the first to arrive.  Once we arrived at the island we unloaded all our gear and started to unlock the place and get some air moving.  After this was completed Greg and Kyle went back to the mainland to get the next group, which left me alone to enjoy the solitude.  This is the first time I have really experienced this feeling and after a few minutes, I soon realized that this place was special.  I was able to relax on the dock, yet to be in the water.  It was just me, a beer, a camera, and my thoughts.

Everyone else started to arrive and once everyone was situated dinner was made and we drank and played poker late into the night.  Around midnight I went down to the beach in the little cove next to the cottage and took a series of images to stack into a star trails image.  Unfortunately, some clouds rolled in so this would have to wait until day 2 or 3.  I was able to use a single image from that late night session to give you an idea of the where I was.

Here are several of my favorite photographs from the days activities.  I will post more from day 2, day 3, and day 4 a little later.

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Today happens to be my birthday and one of my friends suggested that I take a photo.  Which if you know me it was something I was already going to do anyway.  Well since Emily requested the photo, I decided to take a photograph of the FCYC (Fox Chapel Yacht Club) since we are all members of the pool gang.  Especially since the pool will be opening this weekend.  I took a similar photo during my 365 Project and processed it differently.  Which one do you like better?  Let me know in the comments.

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Mother's Day Bowling

We had grand plans to go rollerskating today for Mother's Day since Sue now has her own skates.  However, when we arrived at the local rink it was closed for some reason.  It looked like there was a roller derby going on or something like that.  So we enacted "Plan B" and we headed to the local bowling lanes.  They had the black lights on and were playing some 80's music so we felt right at home.  We bowled two games and had a blast.

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Early Dismissal

I was walking at lunch time and one of the local schools was having an early dismissal.  It was a great scene with all the parents and school buses waiting.  The end of the school year is getting close.

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Time to Skate

I once heard that all things come back around again.  Well, I guess that is true for rollerskates too.  Sue went rollerskating when she was in South Carolina earlier this month and it brought back memories of skating at the Ches Arena in Cheswick.  So she ordered herself a pair online and tonight was the maiden voyage.  Looks like we will be heading to the rink soon.

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Boys of Summer

We were at Jonah's T-Ball game today and there were several other levels of activity going on around them.  This photograph is of the coach pitch league that he will be in next year.

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The Walk Home

I saw these two walking home the other day when I was on my way to get Jonah from school.  One of my goals is to capture more street and documentary style photographs.  So you will be seeing more of these types of photographs.  Enjoy!

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Pittsburgh Marathon

Today we decided to cheer on some friends as they completed the Pittsburgh Marathon.  We were stationed at the corner of North Negley Ave. and Jackson St. and watched as the people ran by.  I took some photographs of our friends and other random people that caught my eye.  These are some of my favorites from the day.

There were many remembering our friends in Boston.

The Penguins won game 3 today against the NY Islanders.

There were many tu-tus and this was my favorite.

Last but not least today was also Cinco de Mayo, so there were many dressed to celebrate.

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Fujifilm X100s - First Thoughts

Last year I completed a 365 Project and as part of that process I carried my large DSLR everywhere I went.  After my project completed I took a few weeks off from carrying a camera around.  Lately though I have missed some photo opportunities and I also have a interest in getting more involved in street photography.  So I started researching and reading reviews of cameras and landed on a Fujifilm X100s, which is the recently updated version of the X100.

Last Friday the camera arrived and I have been taking photos here and there trying out different settings and getting used to a rangefinder camera.  Well, my early thoughts are this is exactly what I wanted and is serving this purpose well.  I have an extremely portable and stealth camera that can produce high quality images.  Plus the retro style of this camera is beautifully designed.  The images below are a few samples and I am sure I will be posting many more as time goes on, especially now that I am carrying a camera everyday again.

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