Thursday, May 31, 2012

Drink Water Week Advertised on a Toilet?

I posted this on Twitter a week ago but decided not to post on my blog, but now I change my mind! Bike to Work Week, yes. Butt Out Week, yes. Mental Health Awareness Week, yes. But Drinking Water Week? Isn't this just common sense? And how about not just a week, but for the rest of our lives!!  Drink water people!! I also thought it ironic that the advertising for Drinking Water Week was on the side of a public toilet.... leaves a bad taste in your mouth, no?

Evil Genius Sideshow Bob Makes an Alley Appearance!

I like how the rust on the dumpster matches the red brick of the building. I've been noticing more and more dumpster art recently as I walk the makes sense to find Sideshow Bob in a dark alley planning his next evil yet elaborate revenge plan against Bart.  Look at that evil-scheme smile!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Old Beetle, New Beetle, Blue Beetles

I happened to notice two blue VW Beetles parked across the street from each other, 30-40 years apart in age. Even the blue is pretty close in tone isn't it? The major difference? The yellow stained mags of the old Beetle.... reminds me of old tea stained teeth!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Crow Highway Mural in Strathcona

Another spectacular mural in the Strathcona areas of Vancouver.  This one stood out because of the black-and-white with  blue sky colour scheme, as well as the fact that the woman in the mural is Asian.  After doing some research, I found out that Mrs.Lowe is the name of the woman, and her daughter Vanessa, an artist, still lives in the building and contributed to the mural.  Click here to find out more information about the mural, the artists, the original picture that the mural is based on, and an unobstructed view of the entire image.

As for my pictures, it was hard to get a straight on shot because the side of the building itself is fenced in, and all along in front of the mural is parked cars.  So I took some shots along the outside of the fence, as well as from within the parking lot, trying to find unique angles. 

The top image I decided to monochrome the entire mural so as to simplify the busy fence and parked cars. Notice how it looks like she's looking over the fence? The second image, I cropped out the vehicles along the bottom and changed the angle of the image to line up to the building across the street. 

Thanks to Vincent Dumoulin, Vanessa Lowe & RestART for the Crow Highway Mural!!

Motorcycle vs Bicycle: Off the Line!!

Off the line, I was sure the motorcycle would be faster than the cyclist, but as you can see, human power is still faster than machine power. Perhaps the motorcyclist was more concerned about the straightness of his back than beating the cyclist!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cool Bike in Gastown

I'll be starting a new blog with a good buddy of mine soon.  Unlike my random pictures of random things, this blog will be more focused.  I'll let you know once we get it up and running...... thanks for viewing and thanks for your support thus far.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Incidental Double Backwards Portrait

The beauty of photography is that it captures reality and illusion.  We don't see life as a still, but a constantly moving and shifting scene.  If I took a video of this very same scene, this split second frame would have come and gone without it being odd or amusing. But you freeze the moment, we capture an illusion.  This is why viewing a picture of a bullet shooting through an apple, frozen wings of a hovering hummingbird, or an athlete crossing the finish line is always captivating. It's reality, but still looks surreal.

In this picture, I really hope he's just looking for change for the meter......if only I had a video of this scene, we could find out for sure!  But the moment has come and gone, never to be repeated, and all we have is this frozen scene to keep us guessing......

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Backwards Portrait of 1959 Impala

Look at the back of this thing!!  the 1959 Chevrolet Impala 2 door coupe was an amazing car, but it only lasted 2 years.  The next generation wasn't as cool, as upper management wanted a more conservative look.  One thing they changed was the rear lights, thinking the '59 was too bold and futuristic! 

This was truly the golden age of the American auto industry.  Think of the '59 Corvette, '59 Bel Air, '56 Thunderbird, all beautiful pieces of art.  Even the Europeans were coming out with amazing cars: 1958 Lotus Elite, MB 300SL, Porsche 550 RS Spyder.  I wish car manufacturers had the same sense of aesthetics and inspiration and boldness that they expressed back in the 50's and 60's. More 2 doors, more curves, and more convertibles please!! Stop making SUV's and cross vehicles!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Green Adidas Gorilla Billboard

Have you seen this billboard around town yet? The green gorilla behind the dude doesn't make a lot of sense, but the green really makes the image pop. I found the Adidas commercial on  Youtube, and I'm even more confused. He goes from a basketball court to a nightclub, and besides the gorilla, there's a blue eagle, a red dragon and a pink poodle? Anyway,  there really isn't a lot of green on the shoe to begin with......ok, I'll stop analyzing it. It is what it is, it's a shoe!! Obviously it worked. I took a picture of it, researched it, watched their commercial, went to their website, and now I'm posting it on my blog. Adolf Dassler (get it, Adi-Dass), you're a smart man!!

Open Kitchen Design is Open Business

I notice more and more restaurants have an open kitchen design, just as more and more homes and apartments connect an open kitchen that flows into the living and entertaining space. It's sort of like allowing us to look inside the workings of a machine, or allowing us to look back stage.  It's comforting to me, as if the restaurant is saying: We have nothing to hide, please watch us as we prepare your food!!  This was up in Whistler at Crepe Montagne, our favorite breakfast place while in town.  Check them out.  I think they do chocolate fondue in the evenings.......

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Espresso Book Maker at Oscar's Bookstore

 When i first saw this machine in the middle of my favorite bookstore, I thought it was a homemade flux capacitor, or perhaps the fanciest espresso machine ever. Instead, I was told it was a mini book-making machine: print, bind and trim, all in a compact machine!!  I didn't even know these things existed!!  Check out the Youtube video explaining how this works. Pretty amazing!!  

Photographically, I colour isolated the center but I decided not to clean up the edges, allowing the blue to bleed onto the floor.  I want to see this machine in action one day. At the same time,  it would be cool if it could make a matcha soy latte as well as print your own book!! I didn't even know how to label this machine on my blog, so I put it under vending machine....not really a stretch is it?

Our Fluevogs and Our Shadows

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monochromatic Graffiti Style in Gastown

There's an alley just off Cambie St. in Gastown that has graffiti from one end to the other, and on both sides. I often see photographers using it as a backdrop to a fashion shoot, to give it some edge and street-legitimacy.  As I rode through it one day, all I could smell and see was urine and dumpsters, so I know it's not a "fake alley" with graffiti; it's the real thing. Much of the art is simple and cliche, but I noticed one that stood out. It's a single colour piece, but with different shades.  I wonder if the artist had multiple shades of black and gray spray paint, or if there is some technique to create the different shades? It's a pretty complicated piece of graffiti, working with shades instead of colours, so I thought I would share......

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gateway Activity: Riding to School

As I biked past this elementary school in East Vancouver, I was impressed by the amount of bikes parked out front!!  I don't even think I saw this many bikes in front of the local high schools.  This is a good sign for the next generation.  As riding to school becomes the norm, it becomes a gateway activity that leads to riding to work, riding to get groceries, riding to go out on dates!!  Don't laugh, it's very common in Japan!!  Cycling becomes part of our culture, which is great to see!!  Ride On Young Ones!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jimi Hendrix Mural in His Old Neighbourhood

Biking through the backstreets of Vancouver, I've been finding tons of murals in the most obscure places, mostly industrial and commercial zones. When did we start getting such cool murals here? I found this one just off Hastings and Clark in a heavy commercial-industrial zone.  I thought that painting the dumpster in a similar flower-power style was a nice touch, as the mural naturally flows down on to the dumpster (which in turn influenced the sprouting of real flowers in front of the dumpster perhaps?)

I knew I recognized the style of this graffiti artist on other murals, and so I started looking for some sort of artist's signature, and I noticed the below.........


Looking up the name Nomadizm, it led me to the Nomadic Alternatives website, which showcases his work, and prolific is an understatement!!  He's done album covers for K'Naan (you know the one with the camel?), KOS, Public Enemy, logo designs, and tons of murals around town.  Who is he? His name is Nelson Garcia, and he did this mural with the help of his wife Xochiltl. Watch this Youtube video interview and find out more about them, their philosophy, and their work.  

It really is a privilege that someone of this artistic caliber lives and works in our community, and has decided to give back to his city by expanding his canvas by doing murals on sides of buildings. And if you have a chance, take your bike and ride around town and explore the Strathcona area of Vancouver, and you too can view these incredible murals in person!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Alternate View of Hipster Cyclist

When I initially took the portrait of the hipster cyclist a few weeks back, he instinctively looked directly at the camera.  However, I wanted him to give me a side profile instead, matching the bike's side view. Doing some research, I realize many don't like their side profile....people don't like the way their noses look! Personally, I like the 3/4 front with a bit of side portrait view the best. Anyway, I decided to go with my initial vision of side profile; but I thought I would also include the picture of the hipster's original instinct of looking directly at the camera as well. Which is better? I don't know anymore!! Maybe it's best to just take one picture and move on......

Odd Location for Cool Mural

This was the first picture I took when I started my ride yesterday, and it was in a very unusual location: underneath an isolated overpass in a very obscure corner.  I've passed by here many times and never noticed it, but when I looked closely at the mural, I can tell it's been there for a while now.  It's too bad the sun hit only half the mural, but that's probably the only reason why I noticed it while I whipped past quickly (I actually had to do a u-turn to go back and get this shot!!). This is the type of street art I enjoy, although technically I guess it's graffiti art.  Old man feeding a squirrel.  I like it.......

P.S. Location is underneath the overpass to get to the ports, just off of McGill East of Renfrew St.  You can tell this is a popular shortcut for cyclists, as you can see one approaching me in the shot in the shadows......

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mural to iPhone to Blog in Minutes!

I haven't posted in a while since I've been mostly home-bound the past few weeks. I got out today on my bike and got shooting immediately. What I noticed most about Vancouver is the increase of murals, official and unofficial (aka graffiti art). I love this one, although I'm sure this is a digital print on aluminum substrate and mounted in multi-pieces. It doesn't take away from the coolness of the image though...... 

I wanted to take a straight on shot, but not possible. Fortunately, I knew I could edit later with Jotnot Pro for iPhone, and as you can see, it corrected the angle of view just fine. 

I also did a quick touch up in PS Express for iPhone (contrast, sharpness, frame) and then sent via email to my Blogger acount. I shot, edited, wrote and emailed all from my iPhone.....

I went back in later on my laptop to fix the layout a bit, change font, and add labels (not possible in e-mail mode), but other than that, all done on my iPhone.......