Monday, December 20, 2010

Lazy Sunday Photo Walk

Not being in the mood for laundry and house cleaning (am I ever?) I grabbed my camera on Sunday morning and headed out the door (then to the bus, then to another bus, then to downtown, long live suburbs) for a photo walk. Texted my friend Reneau who happened to be free and we met up and walked some small side streets in the Plateau Mont-Royal area of Montreal.

The Plateau is a pretty funky part of town with a bohemian flavor. The sidewalks weren't clear, so it made the going a little bit rough (and my knee is still hurting today) but managed to get some interesting urban shots.

So many more streets to pick apart with my lens, but here are a few from the day!

Like I said, slightly bohemian aka hippy-ish ;)


One thing about the Plateau is there is a lot of urban art / graffiti


Even hippies like Starbucks...and I guess some don't care about using trash cans


Friday, December 17, 2010

New Facebook Fan page!

I'm going to be trying out the Facebook fan page thing for the next little while. I'm still fully updating my blog with interesting photo stories and images, but I'll be sharing that on the FB page, and posting random images there as well that don't always have a blog-worthy story attached. I'll also be posting up events that I'm heading to and other tidbits that are all photo related

Feel free to Like me on the page and follow me there (I'm warm and cuddly, really I am).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Boston Road Trip - Day 2

After a few hours of sleep on Friday night, we got up ready for a full day of shooting. I had not been to Boston for a few years, in fact last time I was there was before I started up photography. So I was psyched (again, yes, the entire weekend was full of psyched-ness) to hit the streets and make some images.

We got a recommendation from the hotel to check out a little breakfast place called the Paramount. It was a 10 or so minute walk. Great place for breakfast, it has been open since the 1930s. Small place, great atmosphere.

I didn't want to unpack my gear just yet, so I took this image with my phone on our way down.

We had an initial plan of checking out the Gardens and Commons and then heading back to the hotel to grab the car to drive up to the north end. But as we were shooting, we really let inspiration be our guide and just kept on walking and never went back to the hotel until 4pm or so.

The Gardens were really nice with a small lake in the middle with a funky bridge, some ducks and other city wildlife around. Even found an empty fountain that I just had to climb in to get a few shots.





Empty Fountain shot with mah iphone
Empty fountain

Made our way through the Commons and onto Tremont street. Going down alleys, heading into the Granary Burying ground, it seemed that everywhere we looked we saw something that needed to be photographed. The cemetery was really old with a lot of important US historical figures buried there: Franklin, Revere, Hancock, Sam Adams to name a few.







iPhone shot of a tombstone
Boston gravestone

We headed down School street past the Old City Hall building and starting to feel the cold settle in, we ducked into a Starbucks to warm up. As with most cities, it seems that you can find a Starbucks at every other street corner, and Boston was no different.




After a warming up, we headed out and made our way through the downtown streets. Statues, churches, street, I was having a visual orgasm.

This so looks like she is trying to get the pigeon off her head






We made our way along the Freedom Trail and into the North End. Our goal was the Copp's Hill Burying ground, one of the oldest cemeteries in the US.






We were not too sure were to head next so we jumped on the Freedom Trail and made our way towards the water. While the trail lead over the bridge, which I had followed years ago when I was there and ended up at the maritime museum and then up a hill in a somewhat suburban neighborhood, we opted for taking more scenic shots along the water.




We ended up at the TD Gardens, same place we were at the night before. While the Leonard Zakim Bunker Hill bridge is really nice, its not the easiest thing to photograph. I was told there was a little park I could get into with a decent view of the bridge, but we never found it - in all honesty, we didn't look too hard. After taking a few more shots, we headed back to the hotel for some relaxing time (aka nap)



Having remembered that we didn't have lunch, we were both pretty hungry by now. So we took the car and headed back towards the Commons to eat at the Oak Room, which I read is famous for its Boston Cream Pie. We drove by an awesome looking church that we vowed to go back to. We got the Oak Room and realized it was inside the Fairmount hotel, so the prices were pretty steep.

We spoke to the Concierge and asked if he could recommend a decently priced restaurant with good clam chowder and he directed us a few blocks down to Skipjacks. The fish was awesome, the chowder was great, our stomachs were full, we were happy.

So back to the car we went and grab the tripods and snap some shots of the church

Boston Church 1

Boston Church 2

We then hopped back into the car for our final destination of the night, a city line right near Boston Habour and the popular Barking Crab restaurant (next time, we are so eating there)



360 view of shooting spot in Boston habour

Our night was done. We were both exhausted from the 10 hour + walking we did and knowing we still had a full day seminar with Pinhole early tomorrow morning, along with a 20 minute drive to get there, we decided to call it a night, both very happy with our day walk in Boston.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Boston Road Trip - Day 1

I’ll be doing something different with my Boston road trip blog posts. I’ll do 3 posts, one for each day of shooting we had and I’ll post up the images as I went along and took them. We’ll see how it works out =)

So the background story goes like this: I entered an image in a contest being run by Pinhole a few months ago. I ended up in third place thanks to the votes of many supporters and friends (you guys rock!). The top 20 got a free seminar and other goodies in Boston on December 5th and were then eligible for a trip to Hawaii to shoot for Maui Jim. Cool, right? Even better, a friend of mine and great photographer, Didier, finished second in contest and also won the chance to go.

As it’s a five and a half hour drive down to Boston from Montreal, we decided to make it a long weekend of it and left on Friday afternoon.

The ride was pretty quick and painless, not much out of the ordinary happened other than Didier convincing a manager at McDonald's to sell him some hot mustard (can’t find any in Montreal), which he scored 43 packets for like $2. Score! Sadly, no images of the hot mustard packets...shame on me, I know.

We got to the hotel around 8:00pm, the Holiday Inn Express in Beacon Hill. Staff was great, room was cheap (thank you hotwire!) and more importantly, it was in the downtown area which meant we didn't have to drive. We checked in, relaxed a bit, and then took out our cameras and tripods and went to town.

I've known Didier for many years, in fact, we first met in grade 6, but we had never done any urban city shooting like this before. We have done weddings, we have done other events, but never anything like this, so I was psyched. We picked a few areas of interest to start out photo walk as we were driving to the hotel. We walked in the area a bit and ended up around the Bowdoin subway station. Love the Massachusetts spelling of French names. Here, we write it Beaudoin, but phonetically, it is Bowdoin. Anywhoots, it was an open space with a few interesting buildings around.



We then made our way into Quincy Market, which was apparently light up a few days ago with the holiday lights. Took some shots from outside the market, inside the market, were told by a lame security guard to move on as the stores were closed and we weren't allowed on the second floor balcony (although we did manage to get out shots).




Last time I was at Quincy Market, it was packed with people as it was about 1:00pm. I think we got in there around 9:30pm, so it was pretty empty



The great thing about doing photo walks is that you make your way down streets and you really have no clue what you will see or where you will end up. I like to think that I let inspiration be my guide. Or I have a “oh, shiny object, let’s go there” way about it. You detour, take your gear our, snap some shots, and then either move in a new direction or the direction you came from. Its freedom baby, yeeeaaaah (Austin Powers anyone? - ok, lame I know, but I'm not deleting it). We found a small alley which was rightfully titled "Public Alley 101". Man, these Bostonians are so schmart. Great light, somewhat of a dark mood.


See, even ugly alleys can have such character and interest.
We kept moving down the street, taking images of whatever tickled our fancy and ended up at the TD Garden. It was quiet at first, but within a few minutes of being there, the Celtics game ended and a sea of people came out of the building. They were playing da Bulls and won the game, so the crowd was pumped. We had time to take some images of the Bobby Orr statue in front, but we were then hesitant to leave our gear out with the hoards of beer drinking fans coming out of the building. So what did Didier do? Start to take pictures of the fans and got some to gather by the statue, handed out some business cards and made people happy. Was pretty fun to watch.


I recently got an iPhone and have been loving doing iPhonetography. *Note - must make a blog post about that*. So I took some images here and there with my phone. Some came out not too bad, so I'll insert them here and there in my posts

We had already been at it for over 2 hours. Man time flies. After having driven for 5 hours to get here, we were starting to feel a bit tired. While we could have kept on shooting, we knew that our Saturday was going to be a full day of street shooting. This was supposed to be a relaxed walk to stretch our legs after the drive.