Sunday, November 27, 2005

as promised, a few summer photos

friendly greek


not happy

and some old fashioned camera porn...this is my $10. goodwill olympus 35rc, redone in black paint and genuine black leather. it's a greyhoundman original.

oly rc

it's all in the timing

four days after my last blog entry i had a heart attack.
it was three days before my 55th birthday.

there had been a small but important plan in mind for this particular birthday.
on the agenda?
the drinking of a not too smooth scotch and the smoking of a very fine cigar.

this was to be a treat for being ‘so good’.

i had quit smoking about fifteen months prior and can’t even remember the last drink i had.

oh, it was a fine plan...

three days after my cardiac event, on my birthday, i had convinced the doctor that i should go home and start my recovery from the comfort of my own bed.
he wisely agreed.

that same birthday afternoon found me crying in the condiment aisle of my local safeway store, completely overwhelmed at the enormity of a healthy shopping experience.
i had foolishly thought that i was strong enough to get to a bank, make contact with my pharmacy and get all those damn prescriptions filled plus do some food shopping, all on the way home from the hospital.

at this point i was not allowed to drive so my good friend and protector was also designated driver and witness to my minor meltdown.

praise the powers that be for good friends.

what followed was four weeks of not doing much of anything.
no lifting, not even my arms above my head.
no cleaning and a strong warning to stay away from the evil vacuum cleaner.
those things are killers, apparently.

i was allowed three five minute walks a day for the first week.
i think i took only one as i had convinced myself that i would be found dead on the sidewalk, crawling towards my front door as my faithful dog slept on my corpse and the neighbors stepped over my lifeless body.

ok, so the fear level was a tad heightened. hey, i just had a heart attack!

the worst time for me were the nights, just before drifting off to sleep.
especially that first night home.
there were no nurses, doctors or lines running into or out of my body and no monitors of any kind.

how would anyone know if i died in my sleep?
what if i did die in my sleep?
i would miss the whole rest of my life!
thoughts like that only pop up occasionally now.

after four weeks the doctor said i could once again drive and go back to work.
i was overjoyed and scared silly all over again.

my first day back was eventful to say the least.
i was given the warmest welcome back ever and a layoff notice.
and i thought i had mental health problems before...

but was it just a horrible misunderstanding? no, not really.
it was just the absolute worst job of communication, plain and simple.

the next day i was offered any job i wanted in one of our new programs.

it’s true what they’s all in the timing!

and now?
well, i’m taking it easy, i see my doctor ever few weeks and occasionally go into the lab for a test or two.

and i should be starting in that new program any day now.

more photos will be coming, i promise.
as a tease I’ll post a couple soon, maybe tomorrow...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

where has the time gone?

my blog has been abandoned all summer!

it was not my intent to run away, honest!

i have not written poem or prose since may, except for all those posts on -

i think i’m almost at 9 thousand.

who knew i had so much to say ;) ?

as for my photography i have not abandoned that,
soon i will begin to process the film i shot this summer, mostly tri-x, and then start the task of editing, scanning and posting.

here are a couple of digi shots of my 'real' cameras.

stay tuned...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

a walk on whyte

pray for change

a few photos from the past 2 weekends on whyte avenue...

a hip shot
hip shot

can .1


walkin' the dog
walkin' the dog

Saturday, May 07, 2005

spring cleaning

there have been times over the years that i get restless, very restless.

these times have come to be known as spring cleaning days for me as i become dissatisfied with things.

things i own, things i do and things (life) in general.

some might call this depression, others a malaise, i just call it restlessness because i need to do something and i usually have little patience for getting it done.
do it now-finish it quickly-get it all out of my sight!
simple really.

so, this spring cleaning is all about cameras and lenses and photo stuff.

line up

i have sold some lenses and am trying to sell others.
i let go of a few accessories that i no longer feel the need for.
edit down, feel free, easier decisions...

now the odd part...

i am in the process of buying a lovely older canon lll with a collapsible lens and can barely wait to play with it. i plan on taking it everywhere i go, seriously.

there is also that 100/2 canon lens i am in search of and i need to research photo printers because I’m selling off the darkroom i never use any more.


i find it odd that my cameras and lenses are from the 1950s and i now digitally scan my hand processed negatives and plan to use a machine to print my digital scans.
i would think ‘schizophrenic’, if i only knew how to spell it.

and now, some signs of the season of spring...

girl with umbrella


classical street

girl with parachute



market girl harp


Saturday, April 16, 2005

april showers

where to begin?

it has been a bad month so far...well not really but, this was my first thought and while it's not entirely accurate, it feels that way.

intellect versus emotion - - nah, not going there today...

what's happened so far this month?
i was lucky enough to purchase 2 'new' lenses for my photo rig and that's very good.
except one looks like it went through a war and the other was a disappointment because i didn't do my homework.
the 'war' lens is very small and has a reputation for being very sharp. i have not tried it yet. it is a canon 100/3.5 lens made for my canon cameras.
i really should not complain too much as the lens does work, in fact it was recently serviced, and the focus is like butter, maybe better.
it's just ugly!

the other lens is in very nice shape, cosmetically clean and the glass is clear, no marks on it at all. it is the canon 50/1.9 collapsible lens. it works perfectly but does not collapse all the way into my camera body. why? cause it's not supposed to. but i didn't know that when i bought it, hence the previous lack of homework comment.

while being disappointed with both lenses was my burden i decided to take the little 50 out for a spin, might as well see what the lil thing could do.
so i mounted it on my favourite camera and headed out.

ever hear about bad things coming in three's?

i dropped my favourite camera and 'new' lens onto the concrete of whyte avenue.

it was a sickening thud...

maybe you can better understand the bad month comment now.

the camera and lens are now en route to new jersey where i hope they can put humpty together again.

fortunately, i managed to take a few shots with that combo the week before and i'll show you a couple along with a few shots from today, taken with my favourite lens, the canon 35/2.

redone 2
girl with umbrella
market girl harp
market girl harp.2

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

new beginnings...old photos

recently, i have begun to scan my own negatives.
prior to this, my scans were made by a local lab and while i am pleased overall with their work, it is not my work.

and so, i have looked about and found some very old negatives to practice on.
these shots were taken a very long time ago when i was young. not younger, young.

my friend kathleen is the model. she is still young.






an early attempt at street shooting.

robert capa once said, "if your pictures aren't good enough you're not close enough"

i think he was right.


not by me but of me


shooter unknown


Saturday, February 26, 2005

scratch my back


scratch my back

you walked in
looked right at me and smiled
trying to appear calm
my heart raced
face flushed
blood flowing with no respect for modesty
love was not anticipated
not foreseen
there was a need
for company
to ease my loneliness
help me to feel
part of something bigger than just myself
my little world
to scratch my back
i remember
that energetic entrance
into the coffee shop
so pretty and young
full of life
you appeared confident
radiantly striding
towards me
your smile
lit up the darkened room
and i was never the same again
i felt so good inside
so warm all over
like i belonged
to someone
i was a little overwhelmed
here was someone who moved me
who might bring me back
from the deathless periphery

being lost
for so long
separated from
joy happiness life
I was so
no thought was spent
what was i getting myself into
i failed
to slow down
all you had to offer
i rushed forward
not taking time
to consider
how it was for you
that your past
had impact & influence
that your needs
were important
the same as mine
i have often
that if the world would only do things
my way
it would be a better place to live
what a fool
fell in love
answered the challenge
brave foolish or blind

we both were
too nimble
moved forward
too quickly
not glancing back
to judge this love
experience should have guided us better

our dream was stronger
than the sleep covering our eyes
in our longing
the illusion of a home
security support safety
but what fun we had
laughing together
side by side
our sleep covered eyes
cast on a future
not considered
there was a spark
heated to a burn
flamed by passion
by the consummation of reality
sharing our hopes sorrows secrets
but not the truth
we shared in haste
but were slow to trust
parcelling out the future
pillow talk
after midnight
we were too weary
to value what we had to say
giving time and strength
to life’s distractions
but little to the things
I miss so much now

lack of nourishment
for the soul
selfish effort
one nite
you said
I should go
while I wasn’t surprised
I was shocked
numb really
these moments are never easy to comprehend
reality colliding with illusion
fact versus fancy
pain replacing pleasure
the days following
were filled with
quiet anguish
the nights
save for
silence and tears
I packed up my life
remembering every good moment
with each piece wrapped
lives are more
than taped up boxes
than framed pictures surrounded by yesterdays news
life is also
a commitment
and when the promise is made
sealed with a kiss
there should be more glue than goodbye

I believed in the future
of warm memories
but right now
none come to mind
one will pass
but when I turn to look
it disappears
the truck backs up
and the boxes that are my life are placed inside
more carefully than when they were unpacked
with more thought given
to the stability of the ride
the safety of the contents
than we gave to ourselves
and the dark ride
that was to become our journey
great effort was spent
transferring our life
to my new existence
more exertion than we invested
in transforming our failure into success
did we give up
too soon
too easily
with eyes cast on
a new future
new hopes
new plans
new dreams
old story
I look back
too often
wondering too many questions
missing too many things
praying for too much change

my new home
familiar yet foreign
comfortable and lonely
all at the same time
there is no history here
no recollections of better times
no laughs no smiles
just life moving on
I find myself
in a circle
sitting with other men
sharing my story
listening to theirs
we have a common bond
how we treat women
a common goal
learning how to do it differently
my day begins and ends
the same
with thoughts
of you
yes I miss you
but less now
healing has started
pain diminishing
the light is getting
my step a bit livelier
sleep comes easier
as does the morning
while I don’t leap out of bed
embracing the new day
I no longer bury my head
under the pillow
afraid of the sun
spirit recovering
my core is still fragile
life’s focus somewhat fuzzy
under advisement from friends

I carry on...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


migraine pain is often described as throbbing or pulsating pain that is intensified by routine physical activity, coughing, straining, or lowering the head. the headache is often so severe that it interferes with daily activity. the attack is debilitating, and migraine sufferers are often left feeling tired and weak once the headache has passed.
(above lifted from the web)
i have suffered with migraine headaches since i was 8 years old. my mother first discovered this when she caught me hitting my head against my bedroom wall.
i was trying to make the pain stop.
i have been trying to make the pain stop ever since.
my headaches are an almost daily ritual but it's the migraines that are the killers. work, rest and play can be enjoyed while still living with a 'regular' headache but everything stops, these days, when a migraine hits.
ever hear that saying ' i wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy'?
well, i WOULD wish a migraine on MY worst enemy.
at least if i wanted to completely debilitate him.
so why the mini rant on migraines?
this shot i took the other day screams 'migraine' when i look at it.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

sunday morning

this morning i took my dog for a walk, this, after shovelling snow and making sure that my car would start.
i think it's about -16c right now.
it is only in winter that i ask myself the reason i live here.
as to the walk, we both seem to enjoy it but i think the dog has the advantage when it comes to the sheer physicality of the event. she loves the snow and reminds me of a dolphin diving in and out of the water as she 'dives' into deep snow and emerges with a white face.
i also enjoy the walk but more for the fun of watching sugar and looking at the scenery.
this is what i saw today.
hope you enjoy it too!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

better today

today it was actually very nice outside.
sunny and the temp reached about +5c.

that's more like it!
i took some photos and guess what? no gloves needed!

snow park
some outdoor fun with ice sculptures

i'm shy
waiting for the green light while yelling nasty things at passing cars

side door
from inside the 'friendly nest', drinking coffee
i really like this shot, for some reason...

it's damn cold!

i was starting to get a little nutty.
cabin fever.
stir crazy.

get up in the morning,
drive to work,
in the dark,
work for 8 hours,
drive home,
in the dark.

repeat 4 times.

and then comes Saturday and I’m free.
except for the bloody cold.
freezing temperatures, high wind chill factors!
so cold i couldn’t hold a camera without gloves or mitts.
have you ever tried to hold a metal camera without gloves or mitts when it’s -23c?
you need thin gloves to keep your skin from touching the metal and to work the camera controls.


not really!
because thin gloves mean my hands get real cold but it takes 2 minutes.
then i start to cry.
and dream of warm places to live while i wait for the blood to return to my digits.

a few weeks ago i just couldn’t take it any longer and decided i was heading out to take some photos.
i got my gear and headed to whyte avenue.

i was ready.
i was pumped.
i lasted about 4 blocks before i escaped into the ‘friendly nest’ for a coffee.

damn i was cold.
these photos are from that great frozen adventure.
bus stop
can you imagine waiting for a bus in this cold?
white on whyte.1
or shoveling snow?
winter walking
this is more like it - walk really fast!

Friday, January 28, 2005

coffee & cameras

i belong to a little internet community that celebrates the use of rangefinder cameras.
we also seem to celebrate the collection, admiration and general lust for said cameras.
while there are brand spankin’ new cameras out there (and we do love them), many of us also use older cameras. the kind that are heavy, chrome over brass made when we were kids kind of cameras.

one fellow at our forum started a thread that posted his camera with a cup of coffee. it’s a fine looking camera and a tasty cup of coffee.
last time i looked there was over a thousand posts to that thread. a few of them belong to me.

today, i took my canon ‘p’ camera (circa ‘59'-62') out for a coffee.
we shared a bagel and i took this shot with my digital.
some might worry that i have a camera to take photos of my cameras but it seems quite normal to me.

for those that may be interested, that’s a 35/2.8 canon lens mated to the camera.
it also is chrome on brass, weighs a tiny ton, weighs more than the digital camera.
coffee & camera
and then we were gone...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

the dark side?

what is the dark side?

when my initial interest in photography blossomed that would have meant thinking about buying a canon and not the nikon.

for others, this was likely preceded by the choice between a rangefinder or a single lens reflex camera.

and is now followed by choosing between a digital camera or film camera.

i have long scorned the rise of digital photography.
fear and ignorance being the key - added to a tendency to really dislike change.

and so after too many years i have gone over to the dark side and bought my ‘first good’ digital camera.

i still have my first good film camera, an olympus 35rc, and will keep it for as long as i can hold it steady.
film will always be my first choice but digital might be fun and it’s great to have so i can take instant snaps of my film cameras.

here are some samples from my first digital attempts, please bear with me and my new learning curve.

digital self
this is me!

and this is my dog, 'sugar'!

winter in alberta

lotsa snow
this is my regular gas station, hidden behind some snow

bus stop
this is the bus stop in front of the gas station.
note the snow up to the bench's seat.

a fence with snow up against it.

Saturday, January 15, 2005