Friday, May 31, 2013

Upcoming Tests: Ricoh GR & Minolta CLE

I'm testing out a few cameras at this time, including a Ricoh GR Digital iv and a Minolta CLE. I will be getting my hands on the new Ricoh GR as well, and perhaps the new Pentax MX-1. I've already been given the ok to test the Canon 5D Mrk III with an L series lens (thanks Gastown Photo), but I need to really set aside an afternoon to lug that bad boy out.

The above picture was actually a spontaneous shot. I was talking to John aka "Leon Boskovich" about bikes, and he was really interested in the CLE that was hanging off my neck. I was explaining to him how to focus with a rangefinder camera, so I told him to focus on me. Since I was already looking at him looking at me, I quickly shot back with the Ricoh GR-D. I cropped the image to a 21:9 cinema aspect ratio. More on that later...

I'll have the Ricoh review up soon, and I'll have a separate post on John and the wonderful world of bike couriers as well. Thanks for viewing...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Red Guitar, Graffiti Alley and No Home

I was walking through graffiti alley looking for anything new since my last visit and I ran into James. Originally from Winnipeg, he hitched a ride on a freight train to Vancouver hoping to find work and a place to live. Unfortunately he found neither. I asked him if he could play me a tune, and he sloppily obliged with a one-handed riff.

Hanging out with his guitar and his cd player, he told me he just became homeless. Smelling strongly of alcohol, he asked if he could get some change to buy food. I told him I have a policy of buying something to eat instead of handing out money so he happily agreed. In fact, he stood up and started to dance...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Full Review of the Compact Fuji-Film X-F1

It's taken me a very long time to come out with my review of the Fuji-film X-F1. The reason is because I didn't know if I wanted to give it a thumbs up, or thumbs sideways. It's definitely not a thumbs down. So let's start off with my conclusion: It's a thumbs up. It's a great camera that has the potential to become an even greater camera. Let's see why I feel this way in this full review...

Panorama Sweep Explained with Fuji X-E1

I've had a few requests to explain the difference between vertical and horizontal panorama sweep, as well as the difference between sweep and panning in this mode. I posted this picture inside my review of the Fuji X-E1 but I thought I would re-post again for the benefit of those who didn't read my review. Click on the image to make it bigger and see the difference between the different styles...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Well Dressed People Stand Out of a Crowd

Ok, I guess I kinda cheated by colour-isolating this well dressed older gentleman, but I was just trying to make my point even clearer. This dapper grandpa really stood out of the crowd while waiting for his bus on Hastings Street.

I'll give him 100 points for his suit, 20 points for his sweater, 40 for his slim wallet, another 50 for his hat and shades, and a bonus 100 points for his cool, calm countenance and dignified posture...minus 20 for his shoes and another minus 50 for his roller-bag.  Overall, 240 points. That's a solid 220 points above everyone else around him put together!!

This only proves you don't have to be rich or young to dress well in public. You just have to care enough and take the time to put yourself together. That's it. Thank you sir!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Animals and Public Trust: Mounted Police

I was walking through Chinatown looking for anything interesting to shoot and what did I see?  I saw horses. Yes, the mounted police were hanging out in an alley just off of Main and Hastings, the heart of the DTES. This is in fact the poorest neighborhood in Canada, and probably the most crime-ridden. At first, I thought the police were questioning a suspect in the alley, but as I walked closer, I realized that they were conversing...about horses!!

As I took pictures, at least a dozen people, residents of this poor area, who usually shy away from the police, were actually approaching them willingly and interacting with the boys in blue (and their trusty horses). They were no longer the symbol of the heavy hand of the law. They are immediately transformed into cool guys with horses!

I spoke with Constable Conrad Van Dyk of the VPD Mounted Unit and he agreed how the horses added a dimension to their presence that is immediate and profound. He said when the police patrol this neighborhood on horseback, they automatically become the star attraction. People who would normally never approach them come up and strike up a conversation. It's a rare site to see animals in this neighborhood, and even rarer to see horses!!