I was offered the position of Administrator at The Academy of Learning today. So what does that mean? I will be guiding young (and not so young) minds and helping them decide their future. Lots to learn, but very exciting too…
A friend sent me the following….
Christmas 2012 — Birth of a New Tradition
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high-gear to provide Canadians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian labour.
This year will be different. This year Canadians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Canadians hands.
Yes there is!
It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local Canadian hair salon or barber? Or spa services!
Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, Canadian owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the dollars on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway ploughed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Canadian with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the Canadian working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewellery, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Canadian pockets so that other countries can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about us, encouraging Canadian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Canadians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.
This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?
BUY CANADIAN – BE CANADIAN – The job you save might be your own.
I took my daughter to Galey Farms Corn Maze tonight. We also went through their haunted house. It was all kind of fun, but I found out one thing that scared me….
Haunted houses are designed to invoke your “fight or flight” instinct. That is the primitive part of your brain that decides whether you should run away to safety, or stay and fight the threat. When the goulie shouts and jumps out at you, most people seem to have an instinctual reaction to run away. That is, people jump and move away.
Maybe it was because I was with my daughter, but the goulie shouted and jumped at me, I almost hit him…. Was I scared? I could have broken his nose….
I like driving. If you look through my photos, you will notice that I have been to a few car shows. I love the look of some of the old cars, but if I had a lot of money (old cars do take a lot of money, both to purchase, and even more for upkeep) I would rather buy a modern car.
In general, new cars are more efficient, built better, and most important to me, handle better.
So why don’t I drive to school? Parking. There are a few lots where you can rent a spot for $90 or $100 per month. Daily parking will cost at least $13.50. A monthly bus pass is $70. Since I can walk home from school, I buy $40 to $50 worth of bus tickets per month.
Ok, I am either a starving student, or a starving artist. Either way, I can’t afford to park downtown every day.
Which brings me back to buses. I am not convinced they are more energy efficient than reasonable cars. And buses are definitely less time efficient, but city councils seem to have a love affair with them. Roads are narrowed to provide bus lanes, traffic lights and intersections are optimized for the lumbering beasts and so on.
In a large city like Hong Kong, space for parking all the required cars is problematic, but in a small city like Victoria, why the big hate on the automobile?
Yesterday (Sunday, July 15), I went up to Duncan to spend the day with my daughter. Driving around, debating what to do, we noticed the main road was closed off. Then we noticed a bunch of tents and motorcycles hanging around. Apparently we had stumbled onto the first SuperMoto street race in Duncan. In fact, this event was unique in Canada.
Lucky I had my camera along, so I took some photos:
There are more photos here…
I have finally gotten off my butt to put some of my workshops on line. Well actually I have gotten ON my butt at the computer… let’s move on….
I needed to buy a new microphone so that I could do some videos explaining some of the concepts, so I went into Boomers because I had a bit of a store credit. It turns out they sold a bit more of the stuff I got when Office Depot shut down. I was able to get a much better microphone-headset for nothing.
Must be a sign…
Ok, I haven’t been giving much love to this website lately. for large values of lately…
My excuse is that I have been working hard at school. To my credit, I have been working on a few other projects (hopefully more details soon).
My big news today though is that I have been accepted into the Sooke art show. I submitted two photographs, nd they chose the one I thought was the weaker of the two… goes to show how hard it is to second guess jurors…
Oh the image chosen (I am naming it Angel Hair):
I just finished a course on goal setting. The course was put on by The Pacific Institute and Lou Tice, and it was quite inspirational.
Sometimes these types of courses can become a bit spiritual or “woo-woo” but this one stayed very down to earth. No surprise, as the school I am in is quite “left brain”. Not that that is a bad thing, but sometimes business types ( and accountants or lawyers) can be quite dry. I do believe a more rounded approach is important.
To that end , I always push creativity, and thinking outside the box.
I guess I was pleasantly surprised at the course. I would strongly recommend anyone look into a course like this.
A group of photographers went out to Government House today to take some spring flower pictures. The day was close to perfect. The light was very directional, but not too harsh. There was a sporadic wind, but it behaved itself, for the most part. The only “problem” was that most of the flowers have not come up yet, however there were many other subjects to keep the eye occupied.
Since the meeting was closer to mid-day, I concentrated on contrasting light. I think backlight can be very rewarding, especially if you can keep a dark background. The image above also proves the point that sometimes less is more. I chose an angle lens and camera position that just showed what was needed, and excluded any distractions.
I also worked carefully on this image to avoid distractions, but the unwanted bits were quite a bit more subtle. There is a lot going on in the image but there were reflections and highlights that pulled the eye away from the center where I wanted to focus. In fact I had to break off some grasses that formed out of focus highlights where I did not want them.
Both of these images did not just happen. I made some very conscious decisions even after I saw the subject matter I wanted to shoot. Both of these images required a very specific camera angle and zoom to exclude superfluous influences from the surroundings. Both these images were much easier to take with a tripod, not to freeze camera motion, but to allow more precise studying of the frame. I would move the camera a little bit, scan the image through the viewfinder, looking for unnecessary elements like branches or highlights, then I would move the camera a little bit more and look again. In the case of the grasses on the bottom photo, I even removed a few pieces of closer grass that, while completely out of focus, created some distracting lines.
These two images look completely different, but they both required a strong pre-visualized image to complete them.
I spent the week between Christmas and New Years at my parents. My daughter, her grandpa,and I went skiing for a couple of days. I thought I would leave my big camera at home, so. I could concentrate on socializing
So I got myself a new cellphone. One of the new fangled fancy ones that lets me do all kinds of neat things including writing new articles on my blog.
I guess I will have to write more stuff now.
I took my kids over to the mainland to visit their grandparents for the Remembrance Day long weekend. It may not have been the smartest idea to take the ferry on Friday.
The cold front that came in brought winds gusting to 100 kph, creating 6 metre swells. The captain actually kicked everyone off the outer deck, closed the upper decks, and concentrated everyone on the starboard side of the boat. One crew member said it has been a couple of years since it was that bad. We obviously made it into Tsawwassen terminal, but we were the last one to run that day.
Before I got kicked back inside, I took a few photos….
The wind would not only make waves, it picked up spray from the tips of the waves which was turned into a rainbow. Pretty neat, and unique, day…
I have always liked driving. I remember a summer job when I was 11 or 12 at a campsite. One of my duties was to drive the big car and trailer to the dump up the road (I think I was the only one who could back up the trailer). I got my drivers license on my 16th birthday and spend a large part of my youth driving around the local mountain roads. This is a long way around to saying that I like cars.
As objects of art, automobiles can be pretty remarkable. Early American cars were all about bling, before bling was a word. Chrome was everywhere, which brings us to this post. How do you make the impression of chrome translate to a photo?
When taking the photo, you must be aware of reflections. Obviously. Chrome, like a mirror, does not have a colour of its own. What you are seeing is a (distorted) view of your environment.
In this image, I applied some blur and glow to the ornament to emphasize the impression of brightness.
- In BC at the time, to get a drivers license, you had to be 16, write a fairly simple test, and pass a practical exam. Since I was living in a small town, the test basically consisted of driving around the block.↵
OK, I don’t normally do this, but I want to be able to find this video when I need a kick in the pants….
Since I am currently between jobs (read unemployed) I am doing a lot of research on promoting yourself as an artist. Conclusion, I don’t think I will become famous…;)
Almost all the articles I read, and curators I talk to speak of having a cohesive “show”. That is, all your work is a consistent theme. Not me, I tend to bounce around…
I will admit that lately my work has been largely natural world semi-abstracts, such as my famous fish skeleton:
I do have some urban scenes, again, I tend toward the semi-abstract:
But then I go and throw a complete curve and start experimenting in Photoshop:
OK, so it looks like I like abstract images, but then I have many much more “straight” images:
So what kind of conclusion can I draw?
What kind of artist am I?
How can I market myself?
Maybe I should forget about all that crap and just go out and take some photos…
A couple of days ago, at work (yes I still have a day job), we got a motivational type email from the CEO of our company. One of the first sentences started “Let’s don’t give our competitors….”.
I’m sorry, but I have a hard time following anything after that. I am not a great writer by any means, and I do write as if I am speaking, but “Let’s don’t” just doesn’t make sense. “Let us do not …”?
It is hard to have respect for someone who writes worse than I do.
Yes I feel much better now. I think I will have a nap…
<EDIT> OK, I have had a nap and cooled down. I think this is perfectly cromulant verbage, especially from the people who introduced such words as signage, synergistic, and wellness.