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I Am Skooter  So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Stand on a bridge before the cavern of night / Darkness alive with possibility / Nose to this wind full of twinkling lights / Trying to catch the scent of what's coming to be (in this...)
— Bruce Cockburn, World of Wonders
September 18, 2013
Ruth Moody at St. James Hall, September 15th 2013

Ruth Moody at St. James HallRuth Moody at St. James HallRuth Moody at St. James HallRuth Moody at St. James HallRuth Moody at St. James Hall

I waited a long time for a Ruth Moody gig to come to Vancouver. A couple of weeks ago I actually drove right past Grafton, Ontario while she was playing at the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, but just couldn’t stop. It was totally worth it. My review is up at No Depression or you can follow the link at the bottom of the entry. There’s also a too shaky video of her Dancing in Dark that I couldn’t resist posting…despite the shakiness.

Ruth Moody - Dancin’ the Dark.m4v from Skot Nelson on Vimeo.

“What’s the difference between an in tune banjo and a Higgs Boson Particle?” joked the band late in the show while waiting for Ruth Moody to tune—again. The question was answered by a solid round of laughter from the audience who were more than happy to wait for Moody to search for the impossible dream of an in tune instrument after a long night of very fine music. A friend summed the evening’s show up in a concise review: “Sings swell.” If you’d like a bit more detail read on. (I can’t argue with the assessment, but I think it sells Moody a little short.)

Moody’s second solo disc These Wilder Things is a fine album destined to land on year end favourites lists but despite being released in April (and several nearby shows) this marked her first appearance in Vancouver. It was an eager near capacity crowd that greeted Moody and band as they took the stage at St. James Hall—one of Vancouver’s most beautiful venues both aesthetically and acoustically.

It was a good choice of venue for the singer. Moody’s voice is easily one of the most beautiful you’ll ever hear live, and the warmth of the room and a receptive audience made it shine brightly on this night. The singer wore a smile on her face for the entire show, and had the kind of fun light hearted stage presence that you can’t help but enjoy. “Are there any Townes van Zandt fans out there,” she said while introducing Travellin’ Shoes. Resounding applause was the response. “This isn’t a Townes van Zandt song,” she joked, “But I did write it when I was listening to Townes on a bit of a binge…which I don’t recommend.”

In a two hour set that included music from both of her solo albums as well as Wailin’ Jennies songs highlights included a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark that closed the first set and a second set audience sing along of Life is Long, with its refrain of “Life is long love / Life is long / We have time love / We have time” filling the venue with the sound of a beautiful choir. Moody moved seamlessly from banjo to guitar to piano throughout showing the talent a true multi-instrumentalist.

At least one audience member probably disagrees with those highlight moments: the show’s encore started with Moody leading the audience in a Happy Birthday sing along for Bob. We should all be so lucky.

Moody’s two hour set delivered on the long wait for a Vancouver show: an engaging stage presence, gorgeous voice, beautifully written material, a great backing band and a beautiful venue added to a near perfect night of live music. You can’t really ask for more than that, can you?

Posted by skooter at 1:39 PM
Tags: Ruth Moody, True North Records

August 31, 2013
2013 Greenbelt Harvest Picnic Soundcheck

2013 Harvest Picnic Soundcheck2013 Harvest Picnic Soundcheck2013 Harvest Picnic Soundcheck2013 Harvest Picnic Soundcheck2013 Harvest Picnic Soundcheck

I’m in Toronto on vacation, and the 2013 Greenbelt Harvest Picnic is happening. A few photos from yesterday’s soundcheck. I’ll have more photos from today’s show and a review in a couple of days.

August 19, 2013
Daniel Lanois & I

Daniel Lanois & I As a rule, I don’t take photos of myself with other musicians. It’s a rule I’ve pretty much stuck too: I have one with Jenn Grant somewhere, but I may have actually lost it. Someone else asked me to take that.

This one’s all mine though: I interviewed Daniel Lanois last week and he was at the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, so here it is. I’ll post the articles I’ve written here in a little bit: they’re elsewhere right now, and I’m very tired after a late night’s long drive.

I’ll get a full review of that Salmon Arm set up too, but my one line twitter review is already up.

Posted by skooter at 7:34 PM
Tags: Concerts, Daniel Lanois, Salmon Arm

July 9, 2013
Jasper Sloan Yip at the CBC Plaza

Jasper Sloan Yip at the CBC PlazaJasper Sloan Yip at the CBC PlazaJasper Sloan Yip at the CBC PlazaJasper Sloan Yip at the CBC PlazaJasper Sloan Yip at the CBC Plaza

For the last three years, the CBC has been running a pretty good little series of concerts called—somewhat cheekily—Nooners on an outdoor stage in downtown Vancouver.

This year’s series kicked off last Friday with a show from Shad. Today was a day I’ve been waiting for for a while though: Jasper Sloan Yip played a set in advance of the release of his new album Foxtrot. Good times were had by all, and new fans were made. That’s what makes a good day of outdoor music.

Posted by skooter at 9:04 PM
Tags: CBC, Jasper Sloan Yip

January 27, 2013
Whitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore Ballroom

Whitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore BallroomWhitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore BallroomWhitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore BallroomWhitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore BallroomWhitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore BallroomWhitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore BallroomWhitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore BallroomWhitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore BallroomWhitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore BallroomWhitehorse with Daniel Romano at the Commodore Ballroom

Whitehorse made it back to Vancouver, almost a year to the day after their last (and first ever) show here. My review is up at No Depression or you can read it after the jump here.

It’s been a big year for Whitehorse: the band toured Canada extensively, was featured prominently at the SXSW music, released The Fate of the World Depends on this Kiss an acclaimed followup to their debut album and is now embarking on a North American tour in support of that album which is finally officially available in the U.S.

Whitehorse, in case you haven’t heard, is the pairing of Luke Doucet and Melissa McLelland. For the backstory on how the married couple came to be a band you can read this interview by Michael Bialas or this interview by Vancouver’s Francois Marchand. Both artists were considered to be strong on their own, and the pair has received rave review since they started touring again.

The Fate of the World Depends on this Kiss tour kicked off on Saturday night at Vancouver’s always beautiful Commodore Ballroom, only a year and six days since their last show in the city. That show saw the band playing to a nearly sold out crowd at the roughly 450 seat Rio Theatre: the Commodore holds a bit more than 1,000 and the place was packed.

Daniel Romano took the stage first with a Nudie style suit, an acoustic guitar, a big old Kansas City Stetson and his friend Aaron Goldstein on pedal steel. Joking with the audience about having just driven from Ontario in four days (a true story, and about two days less than you should do that trip in if you ask me) and forgetting the lyrics to some of the material from his Come Cry with Me album—“It’s gonna come to me. We’ve got 15 minutes”—Romano and Goldstein were clearly having a good time. So was the already sizeable audience: the classic country sounds had the audience quiet and attentive when the pair was playing but applauding loudly between songs.

There was a short break before the velvet curtain that had served as Romano’s backdrop parted and Whitehorse took the stage immediate kicking into an audience participation version of Killing Time is Murder from the pair’s debut album. The Commodore was nicely filled with the song’s chorus of “When all is said and all is done / Time will waste everyone.”

It was a stark contrast from previous Whitehorse shows, which typically began with Luke & Melissa singing a quiet duet into a single microphone at the front of the stage. The high energy set continued with material from the band’s most recent album and the debut including Emerald Isle, an audience request when Doucet bumped into a fan on the street.

Luke Doucet’s reputation as a guitar slinger is second to none, and those skills were in fine form throughout the set’s opening numbers. When the band played Wisconsin—written in New York while the Occupy protests were in their infancy—Doucet finally strapped on the Gretsch White Falcon that’s his signature piece for a brief appearance at least. That guitar is always nice to see—and it’s has roughly the same effect on Doucet as a phone booth does on Clark Kent—but watching him play any guitar is a feat to behold and this night was no exception.

Mismatched Eyes (Boat Song) marked a quiet pause in the evening and the duet did a nice job of highlighting the beautiful results of pairing both Doucet’s and McLelland’s voices and the strong songwriting that makes The Fate of the World such a compelling album. Lyrics like “Well I remember to remember that without you I’m a shadow / I’m a drifter and a barfly and whatever else you had to be” are sentimental without being sappy, and the songs quiet vocal counter play at it’s beginning leads nicely into a noisier finale led by Doucet’s guitar work.

The band’s made it a point of featuring sounds made by non-traditional instruments in their live shows, plundering thrift shops and dollar stores while travelling in search of found objects to use on stage. This tour was no exception and a rousing rendition of Devil’s Got a Gun followed by Out Like A Lion used just about everything on stage to contribute to the sound.

It’s the seamlessness of those sounds that makes Whitehorse such a joy to watch live. Switching effortlessly between a collection of guitars and keyboards connected to various looping and effect pedals, Doucet and McLelland make their entire stage presence look effortless. The two are so practiced and polished that it looks easy.
That level of polish could be boring if it weren’t so consistently incredible to watch. It’s tempting to look for flaws but they’re hard to find: both artists are strong singers, songwriters and musicians in their own right. They’re even better as a duo. This is band that’s playing at the top of their game, and that’s a game that’s even better to experience live than it is in the studio. If you’ve seen the band before you can expect a treat: older material has been rearranged, and some songs sound dramatically different.

There may be no better tribute to the band and the quality of its live shows than this: I’ve resisted the temptation to give this review the first title that came to mind—The Fate of the World Depends on this Tour.

It just might though, and you should probably go see them—just in case. Or do you want it to be your fault if this all ends badly?

July 29, 2012
Saddle Up for the Interstellar Rodeo

Randy Newman at the Interstellar Rodeo I’m off in Edmonton for the Interstellar Rodeo. It’s been two days of fine music and weather so far, with one more to go. Last night’s set ended with legendary songwriter Randy Newman playing as the sun went down in the western sky. It was beautiful.

More photos are over here on Flickr and my review of day one (featuring Gillian Welch and Alejandro Escovedo) is up at No Depression with day two to follow!

Posted by skooter at 8:36 AM

April 19, 2012
i thought of the clear light and the places that we'd hide


If you’d asked a few years ago, I’d probably have said I never expected to be in Saskatchewan again. I’m not sure I ever thought I’d get there in the first place, but I knew the place had appeal and it seemed likely to happen at least once in my life. My mother and I took a road trip in 2005 and visited Biggar and La Fleche. The first was the town my grandfather was born in and had left as a young man; the second was the town that one of my mother’s closest childhood friends had retired too and eventually passed away in succumbing to breast cancer.

It was a good trip, that one. I’ve done a few road trips with my mother and in hindsight they’ve gone better than some might expect. We usually get along pretty well, and the occasional moment of stress if far outweighed by the times we’ve spent together visiting far flung family and friends. That Saskatchwan trip carries a lot of fond memories these days.

I’m going back, but this trip is a different one. It’s been seven years since that last trip and a lot’s changed since then. I’ve moved a couple of times, finally landing in West Vancouver in a place I actually own. I’ve held a couple of jobs since then and that may not be surprising in the modern economy but I think I’ve finally landed at a place that offers a future instead of being just a job. There’s been a lot of change, and life is good.

The biggest change is the reason this trip is happening and that’s Allison. Her parents live in Swift Current and, as it turns out, her Grandmother in Qu’appelle is turning 90 in about a week. If a 90th birthday party isn’t a decent excuse for a road trip I can’t imagine what would be.
Saskatchewan This trip is going to be a bit different than that last one: we’ll be staying with family in Swift Current instead of just passing through. There are friends—both hers and mine—to be visited in Calgary and Regina along the way. There’s classic small town chinese food to be eaten, the Landing and Grasslands National Park and Whitehorse are playing in Swift Current and we’ll all be going. There might not be time for all of these things, it won’t matter. This is a family trip, and the sight-seeing is secondary.

So here we go: the car is packed tomorrow night it’ll be heading east…to Saskatchewan. This time, I’m pretty sure I’ll be heading back again someday.

That’s just the way things change sometimes.
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan

Posted by skooter at 10:28 PM
Tags: Road Trip, Saskatchewan, Swift Current

February 14, 2012
Benches. Crescent Beach.

Benches. Crescent Beach

Posted by skooter at 7:16 AM

February 9, 2012
Wilco: Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012

Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012Wilco live at the Orpheum Theatre, February 5th, 2012 Wilco visited Vancouver a few nights ago, almost two years to the day since the last show they played here. In an unbelievable stroke of luck I scored third row seats right in front of Nels Cline’s spot on stage, a photo pass from the band and—best of all—the show was on a Sunday night which meant Allison was able to go.

I wrote a review which was featured on No Depression. I had to skip the Seattle show, which means the next one might be a while but there’s always flights to Chicago…

Wilco Set List: Vancouver, BC, Orpheum Theatre, February 5, 2012

“One Sunday Morning”
“Poor Places”
“Art Of Almost”
“I Might”
“I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”
“One Wing”
“Radio Cure”
“Impossible Germany”
“Born Alone”
“Spiders (Kidsmoke)”
“I’ll Fight”
“Handshake Drugs”
“Via Chicago”
“California Stars”
“I Must Be High”
“Pot Kettle Black”
“Dawned On Me”
“A Shot in the Arm”


“Whole Love”
“Heavy Metal Drummer”
“Red-Eyed and Blue”
“I Got You (At The End of the Century)”
“Outtasite (Outta Mind)”

February 5, 2012
Wilco: Tonight

Wilco at Jericho Beach, Vancouver, BC So many parties, so little time. Tonight it’s time to party with these guys. I’ll be back tomorrow.

Posted by skooter at 12:00 AM
Tags: Toys, Wilco

January 24, 2012
Whitehorse at the Rio Theatre

Whitehorse at the Rio TheatreWhitehorse at the Rio TheatreWhitehorse at the Rio TheatreWhitehorse at the Rio TheatreWhitehorse at the Rio Theatre

Whitehorse played the Rio Theatre in Vancouver a few nights ago. My review of the show is on No Depression or you can read the text after the break.

“We didn’t want this band to be a marketing venture while we continued our solo careers…”

With that line, about 20 minutes into a live show, Luke Doucet makes it clear that Whitehorse is more than the sum of its parts. This is a good thing because its parts are significant and talented: Whitehorse is a duo with Doucet—one of the finest guitarists in Canada by reputation—and Melissa McLellard whose beautiful voice has anchored strong songwriting for years now. The two have been married for a while, and they finally released their debut album as a duo last year.

And what an album it is. While both Luke and Melissa continued to tour solo after the album was released they finally embarked on an inaugural Whitehorse tour which brought them to Vancouver’s beautiful Rio Theatre last weekend.

On a night that was wet even by west coast standards, a nearly capacity crowd filled the seats at beautiful venue by the time the show opened with a video montage set to the album’s opening track Eulogy for Whiskers, Pt. 1. With at least four guitars on the stage, a keyboard, kick drum and two different sets of microphones, promising sounds lay ahead.

With three different guitars used in the first three songs of the set, it was clear that all of that instrumentation wasn’t going to go to waste. Doucet switched between an open body acoustic model before finally picking up the white bodied Gretsch Falcon guitar he’s well known for playing. Doucet was apparently quite sick (with McLelland saying they had even considered cancelling the gig) but you couldn’t tell it by the guitar playing: this was the finest night of live guitar I’ve heard since seeing Daniel Lanois last August.

The duo’s cover of Springsteen’s I’m On Fire was an unexpected highlight early in show, particularly with McLelland bridging from the last verse of the song into a couple of verse’s of At Last. With news of Etta James’ death coming earlier in the day, the touching tribute brought a round of applause from the audience.

McLelland’s Passenger 24 made it clear what the telephone handsets each musician had hanging from their main microphones were for. Singing into these instead of the main mics produced the distant hollow sound that the recorded version of the song features prominently.

The couple were obviously comfortable on stage and shared stories of a music soaked life with the audience. Doucet introduced Broken as a reworking of an old song of his and the first song the couple wrote together while sitting drunk on a patio in Budapest. The song’s “…you gotta have a heart / to have a broken one…” is one of the album’s more memorable. Another highlight of the album is Emerwald Isle (featured below,) written after Doucet ran his first marathon in Ireland and was surprised to find McLelland waiting at the finish line despite the fact that she was on tour in Australia at the time. Travelling halfway around the world on a tight schedule to see the person you love finish a marathon? That’s love if I’ve ever heard it. (You can see a video of the song below.)

Doucet’s daughter Chloe joined the couple on stage next for an upbeat cover of the Dolly Parton classic Jolene. It’s clear that talent runs in the family,and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the younger Doucet’s next gig.

With the show winding down Doucet and McLelland started talking about their next album, currently a working in progress. A title’s been chosen and with Doucet keen to share it McLelland interrupted and suggested a contest of sorts: the album’s name is derived from Wonder Woman postcard on one of the tables at the nearby Templeton Diner. The first person to send the band the name of the album gets a free lunch. Go forth and try to collect friends: I stopped in for breakfast the next morning, but didn’t quite figure it all out. I’m probably just as happy to leave it a surprise for you guess at: it’s the second table in from the door, on the left.

With an extensive back catalogue to draw from and an album of new material that’s almost certain to be nominated for next year’s Polaris Prize things look good for the future of Whitehorse. McLelland and Doucet are both tremendous fun to watch perform and their enthusiasm for the audience and each other is infectious. See the couple when you can, and keep an eye out for that new album because you’re not going to want to miss it.

January 2, 2012
New Year's Weekend on Salt Spring Island

New Year's Weekend on Salt Spring Island New Year's Weekend on Salt Spring IslandNew Year's Weekend on Salt Spring IslandNew Year's Weekend on Salt Spring IslandNew Year's Weekend on Salt Spring IslandNew Year's Weekend on Salt Spring Island

November 22, 2011
Winter Falls

Salt Spring Island WinterSalt Spring Island WinterSalt Spring Island WinterSalt Spring Island WinterSalt Spring Island Winter

Posted by skooter at 5:52 AM
Tags: Airstream, Frost, Salt Spring Island, Winter

November 6, 2011
Jay Farrar at the Wild Buffalo

Jay Farrar at the Wild BuffaloJay Farrar at the Wild BuffaloJay Farrar at the Wild BuffaloJay Farrar at the Wild BuffaloJay Farrar at the Wild Buffalo

Jay Farrar came to the Wild Buffalo House of Music in Bellingham, Washington and didn’t cross the border into Canada. This suited me fine, since the Wild Buffalo is one of the most beautiful clubs in the area and one of my favourite places to see live shows..

I posted a review on No Depression. You can also read it by following the link after the video below.

Jay Farrar at the Wild Buffalo: November 3, 2011

I feel, really, that this review should start with a confession of sorts—the kind of raw admission that characterizes so many addiction related groups so here it goes:

I’m Skot, and I’m a bit of a Wilco fan. I am, in fact, one of the fewer than 1,000 Wilco fan that owns that particular band’s 2-inch tall Unipo dolls. Yes, I’m that fan.

Being a Wilco fan means that my relationship with Jay Farrar’s music is inevitably skewed by the prism of a rivalry that seems largely imagined and manufactured, but persists nonetheless. I had Trace, of course, but much of the rest of Son Volt’s library languished in my laptop largely unlistened too. It was until the release of Farrar’s brilliant collaboration with Ben Gibbard on One Fast Move Or I’m Gone that I dug deeper into the material. 2009 was a very good year for Farrar, and his Son Volt album American Central Dust also took a place in heavy rotation in my listening.

With a new album of material based on Woody Guthrie material coming out in 2012, Farrar has hit the road on a tour of the Western United states. Forgoing a stop in Canada, the tour started at Bellingham, Washington’s beautiful Wild Buffalo House of Music. The Buffalo is about an hour from Vancouver and a better venue that most comparable ones in my hometown anyway, so I headed down for a late Thursday night.

Taking the stage at about 10:30 after an opening set Bobby Bare Jr., Farrar quickly got to business opening with material from American Central Dust. With no rhythm section on stage, the pairing of Farrar’s acoustic guitar and with Gary Hunt on the electric guitar, fiddle and occasional ukelele for accompaniment made for a quieter take on some of his harder edged material.

It wasn’t until Big Sur that Farrar first chatted with the attentive and appreciative crowd. Ben Gibbard is a Bellingham local, and I’d half expected him to make an appearance at the gig. He didn’t, but the material from One Fast Move was as strong as I’d expected live and got the modest crowd fully engaged in the gig.

I’ve got a friend who has a musical theory that says that when Uncle Tupelo split up Farrar and Son Volt took the “long hairs” and Wilco took the “short hairs.” If she’s right—and she usually is—it wasn’t obvious tonight with a crowd as diverse as any I’ve seen.

The acoustics at the Buffalo are excellent, and go a long way to showing why the venue is becoming a favourite stop for tours in between Seattle and Vancouver. Farrar worked through a playlist that included more material from One Fast Move before introducing Holiday Machine, a new piece from next year’s Woody Guthrie album (the video is here) that shows tremendous promise.

The Son Volt classic Tear Stained Eye followed, and with the night running late and 1:00 a.m. ticking past on my watch I left for the drive home.

Farrar’s touring down the coast towards Los Angeles over the next month, and shouldn’t be missed. He’s in fine form, and the new material being played shows that there’s much to look forward too in 2012’s collaborations and whatever the future brings for Son Volt. As a songwriter Farrar’s material remains strong and his musicianship is at least its equal. The change to see him perform in smaller, more intimate venues isn’t one you should pass up.
As for that prism? The one that colours my perception of Farrar with its lens of Wilco fandom? It’s fair to say that this show shattered it, and seeing Jay live finally gave me the opportunity to see a great songwriter without prejudice. I’m looking forward to the tour that hopefully accompanies next year’s release. If it does, I’ll be there.
See video of Jay Farrar playing Hoping Machine from next year’s Woody Guthrie collaboration here

October 31, 2011
Scenes from a Weekend

Posted by skooter at 9:00 PM
Tags: BC Ferries, Fall, Salt Spring Island, Travel

October 19, 2011
Frank Turner at the Biltmore Cabaret

English singer-songwriter-punk-folk-rocker Frank Turner stopped by Vancouver’s legendary Biltmore Cabaret a couple of days ago. It was a Monday night. Vancouver, on a Monday night, is not a place to ply a show: people stay home, they cocoon, they don’t leave the house.

But not this time.
The show sold out about a month before the date. I’d never heard of Frank—a friend (with much better taste in music than mine) urged me to go—and it may be the smartest thing I’ve done this year.

Frank is a live performer like nobody I’ve seen in quite a while. The Biltmore is often filled with crowds of adoring aloof hipsters listening to roots tinged Americana style rock and roll (and yes, I’m more or less one of them.) Every once in a while someone manages to engage that crowd in a short sing along and possibly some witty banter, but for the most part the crowds are pretty…sedate.

Not Frank. Frank did that for almost two full hours. Hands were in the air, songs were sung along too, requests were played and a mini mosh pit formed near the front of the stage.

Sometime through the night I described it as being like seeing Bruce Springsteen before he was The Boss or Bono before he became, you know, Bono. Imagine that with 450 people instead of tens of thousands, and you’ve got an idea of what it was like. I think he’d have kept playing all night if he could have.

Good times indeed. Frank ended his set hanging from the stage singing a killer rendition of Queen’s Somebody to Love. It was a bit of a counterpoint to his own Eulogy, sung earlier in the evening:

Not everyone grows up to be an astronaut
Not everyone was born to be a king
Not everyone can be Freddie Mercury

and a brilliant way to end a night when a whole bunch of people in Vancouver clearly found exactly what they were looking for.

More photos after the break, or on Flickr.

October 16, 2011
Pumpkinfest: West Vancouver

Pumpkinfest, West VancouverPumpkinfest, West VancouverPumpkinfest, West VancouverPumpkinfest, West VancouverPumpkinfest, West Vancouver Apparently Pumpkinfest is quite the annual tradition over here in West Vancouver. Who knew? I’m coming up on the first anniversary of living here so I missed this last year.

Posted by skooter at 1:23 PM
Tags: Fall, Kids, Pumpkinfest, Pumpkins, West Vancouver

September 18, 2011
Fall is in the Air

Leaf at Burgoyne Bay

Posted by skooter at 11:27 PM

August 28, 2011
Emmylou Harris & Daniel Lanois

Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic Best day of live music. Ever. Seriously.

Many more photos to come, but first to sleep.

August 17, 2011
Five Minutes from Home

Sometimes I feel like I’d rather live closer: ‘in town’ as I’d say from my perspective over here. Then sometimes I head out for a walk after work, and I remember why I like living here.
West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall

Posted by skooter at 8:55 PM
Tags: Lynn Canyon, Public Art, West Vancouver

The Wagons - Willie Nelson live in Melbourne, Australia

Quite unsurprisingly, Six Shooter Records recently signed Melbourne, Australia’s The Wagons to a distribution deal in Canada. I could’ve predicted this was going to happen. Those guys sign everybody I like eventually. The video up above should give you some indication of why.

I met Henry Wagons, the band’s lead singer, about a year ago when he played the Vancouver’s Legendary Biltmore Cabaret as the opening act for Justin Townes Earle. It was such a fantastic night of music that I headed down to the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham the next night to catch a repeat. Photos are on Flickr from those gigs.

The Wagons are playing the Railway Club the day after I get back from Toronto: this is going to be a great show.
Henry Wagons at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver

Posted by skooter at 6:43 AM

July 30, 2011
Today, Salt Spring Island

It’s been a bad week, the one that ended today (or yesterday, depending on your personal calendar I suppose.)

Strike that, actually. I’ve had bad weeks before and they don’t hold a candle to this one. This one…this one…probably the worst week I’ve had in a bit more than 20 years. It’s not over for me yet: this week was a new beginning of sorts, but it could have been worse. Not for me, but for people I love very much. It could have been much, much worse.

Today was the start of a weekend I needed. Badly. It’s been nice, feeling the stress and grief of a week wash away. Monday’s a holiday, so it’s not quite back to work yet and I’m pretty happy about that.

A month from today I’ll be in Toronto with a week of great live music, spending time with people I love and I’ll be fourty years old. I didn’t expect it to start this way but you know what? I’m going to roll with it.

Let’s kick the last month of my 30s of with a bang. It’s going to be great.

July 6, 2011
Steveston at Sunset

Steveston, British Columbia at Sunset Steveston, British Columbia at Sunset My mother’s been here for a bit, and though we’ve been other places our visit ended as it often does: with a trip to Steveston at sunset, eating gelato on the wharf. Now that summer’s arrive in Vancouver, it made for a rather nice evening. There’s more photos on my Flickr stream.

Posted by skooter at 10:55 PM
Tags: Fishing, Photography, Steveston

June 17, 2011
Darwin the Owl

Posted by skooter at 6:56 AM
Tags: Videos, Wildlife

June 5, 2011
Poplars, Salt Spring Island

Poplars, Salt Spring Island

Posted by skooter at 8:15 PM

February 10, 2011
How Not to Use Social Media in the Music Industry

Joanna Newsom's Facebook Page The music industry’s been fairly quick to embrace social media—perhaps a result of the hard lessons learned in the early days of the Internet—and by now most musicians have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, mySpace pages (even though they should be moving to Bandcamp) and any number of other outlets which help them build a community with their fans. Entire careers have been built on these platforms in the last few years.

The point of social media is to build a conversation with your customers and fans. Joanna Newsom’s Facebook page hasn’t been updated in almost a year at this point—sine her last album was released. Don’t make the same mistake. You’re writing music, recording music, touring, and probably going to other shows. Tell your story.
Joanna Newsom at the Vogue Theatre

February 8, 2011
Sunset Splash

Sunset from Ambleside Sunset is an angel weeping / holding out a bloody sword They say there are disadvantages to living in West Vancouver: bridges to cross, not being right downtown in the centre of it all—wherever that is.

On nights like tonight, they don’t seem all that much like disadvantages.

Posted by skooter at 11:32 PM
Tags: Ambleside Beach, Ships, Water, Waves, West Vancouver

February 5, 2011
Jasper Sloan Yip: Jesus, etc. at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival

February 4, 2011
Urban Cowboy

Urban Cowboy

January 28, 2011
A Long Walk in the Sun

A phone call comes in with sad news for a friend on a sunny day in Vancouver and really the only option is to have a coffee on the beach then take a long slow walk together around English Bay through Stanley Park across the Lions Gate Bridge and finally home to West Vancouver. When Vancouver’s weather cooperates, there’s really not a lot of other places I’d like to be.

Posted by skooter at 10:44 PM
Tags: English Bay, Ships, Stanley Park, Tim Hortons

January 23, 2011
An Aperture Workflow that Works for Me

A while ago, even before I finally made the jump to a Canon 5d Mark II camera, I bought Apple’s Aperture. I had iPhoto, of course, and while I think that application is a fine choice for managing family snapshots I felt like I needed more.

Aperture is a big program, with a lot to learn. This includes not only the tools to process your images but also the tools it provides to manage your images. There are quite a few books, tutorials and guides to the various functions of the program and they’re worth reading. You can probably find the answer to a lot of technical questions on Apple’s support site, which has an entire section dedicated to Aperture.

What I couldn’t find, however, was a general answer what I thought was a simple question: How should I use Aperture? One of the great advantages of shooting digitally—especially in low light situations as I often to—is the ability to shoot a lot of photos. Of course that means when you get home you need to deal with a lot of photos, and that’s where the tricky part starts.

Given that, I thought I’d share a workflow that works for me. It may not work for anybody who reads this, but you never know. I’d suggest only considering it as a starting point. You’ll develop your own over time and it may serve your purposes better. Feel free to pass along any suggestions.

Decide What Project You’re Importing Into

While this may sound obvious it’s not always. If you’re shooting a wedding, you probably want to create a new project for every wedding. This makes sense given that it’s not likely that you’ll be shooting the same wedding again…though you never know these days.

I shoot a lot of live music and in a situation like this it may make more sense to have a project for each artist with an album for each show. For multi-day festivals I usually create a project for the festival with an album for each day and each artist. Photos can be stored in multiple projects and albums, but your life will be a lot easier if you plan carefully and import them into the correct project first.


Stacks are a great feature of Aperture. Basically they recognize the reality of modern digital shooting: you’re probably going to have more than one similar photo of any given magic moment. Whether it’s that first kiss or that perfect on stage moment, you probably pressed your shutter more than once. I typically take three shots when one of the special moments happens, though the moments can be fleeting enough the I often just take one.

You can put all of these similar photos in a Stack which is basically a collection of similar photos. You can choose one photo as the best and put it on “top” of the stack but you can still easily access the rest of them if you want too later.

Take a pass through your photos and create stacks of anything that looks the same by selecting them and pressing Command-K You’ll see the stack icon appear. Stacking photos can reduce the number you need to sort through by half somtimes.

Reject, Reject, Reject

For a typical concert I’ll shoot between 150 and 300 photos and send between 10 and 20 of them to an editor. Figuring out which 10 or 20 is the trickiest part.

Aperture has a photo rating system that includes an option of Rejected which you can assign by pressing 9 on the keyboard. Rejecting is your friend at this point. Flip through photos with a finger on the 9 key. If a photo has any blurring, a bad crop, anything at all that makes it obviously bad just reject it. Go with your gut. If there’s any doubt at this point, don’t reject it: you can always do that later.

Set Aperture to Show Photos that aren’t Rejected

In the upper right hand corner of your Aperture browser there’s a search panel. Click on the magnifying glass and you’ll see some pre-saved searches. Make sure it’s set to Unrated or Better. You should see all those rejected photos disappear. They’re still in your Aperture library, but you don’t have to worry about them for now.

Start Rating 2’s and 3’s

Aperture’s rating system allows you to rate photos on a scale of 1 to 5 by typing the number on the keyboard. There’s times when I wish it had a scale of ten, but generally the 1 to 5 system works fairly well.

Since three is the middle of the scale, I sort of treat is a fulcrum and work around it.

At this point I start working through the (now reduced) collection again and I rate. Any photo that I think I can use gets rated a 3. Anything that really stands out almost right away gets a 4. If it’s usable but I don’t like it I give it a 2.

Generally, I have very few photos rated as a 1 or a 5. If it’s 1, it probably should have been rejected in the first place. A 5? Well, that’s reserved for something pretty magical: an Ansel Adams moment, if you’d like. They happen, but you really want to save that 5 ranking.

Set Aperture to Show Photos Rated 3 or Better

Back to the search box and choose a new setting: you really want to look only at photos you’ve rated 3 and above at this point. In theory, this is the stuff you want to use.

From here the process is a bit more fluid: you have a sense of how many photos you have that are usable. Is it enough or do you need more? If you need more you can always reconsider some of those 2’s which might be fixable with a crop or some light processing. It’s best to avoid them, but they may be good enough depending on the context.

If you have enough photos change the search box to show photos rated 4 or better and see how many you see now. These photos should be your outstanding stuff. You may reconsider some of them at this point and drop them to a 3, or bump some 3’s to a 4.

If you need to do any post processing you can do it here on the subset of images that you actually like. This will save you a tonne of processing time.

Create an Album for your Editor

At this point I’d normally create an album for every editor and add the final choices you’ve made to that. You can create multiple albums if you’re using the photos for multiple purposes (e.g. Web Site or Brochure Photos) but you want to keep a record of which photos you sent to whom and an album is a great way of doing that.

You might also want to create smart albums showing the 3’s and 4’s. I find this a great way to keep get photos onto my iPad and my iPhone so I have the best of my work with me at all times. I certainly don’t want to carry around an iPhone full of the images I’ve rejected.

So that’s my basic routine. It’s not perfect: sometimes I reject before I stack though I prefer the order I’ve listed above. I’m not sure there’s a reason why, it just sort of happens that way. At the end of this process though I’m usually left with a nice, clean set of photos that makes everybody happy. I’m sort of a post processing minimalist so I don’t do much of it but if you are this workflow may not do the trick. I’d like to hear about alternatives if you have any suggestions.

I’ve never used Lightroom—largely due to the increasing perception of Adobe as a software villain and the extravagant cost of annual upgrades—so I’m not sure if a similar workflow would work there. From brief chats with a few friends it seems similar enough, but I’ll leave that up to others to outline.

If you find this helpful, let me know. If you don’t let me know where it fell short and I’ll try to improve or adjust it.

Posted by skooter at 7:37 PM
Tags: Aperture, Apple, Photography, Software

January 20, 2011
Portraits of Heroes

Star Wars LegoStar Wars LegoStar Wars LegoStar Wars LegoStar Wars Lego

More Star Wars Lego means more portraits of heroes.

January 8, 2011
Perseid Meteor Shower 2010 from Crescent Beach

Perseid Meteor Shower from Crescent Beach

This is a 45 minute exposure of the sky above Crescent Beach south of Vancouver during the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower in August of 2010. You can view a much larger version of it as well or just visit Flickr directly.

The meteors themselves are the streaks that you can see moving in linear paths. There is one in the lower left and lower right that’s easily visible, as well as one that starts just slightly to the left of centre at the top of the frame. If you spot others, feel free to let me know.

November 20, 2010
Peak Performance Project Grand Finale Concert

Peak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale ConcertPeak Performance Project Grand Finale Concert Peak Performance Project Grand Finale Concert

The 2010 Peak Performance Project wrapped up this week with a grand finale showcase at Vancouver’s always beautiful Commodore Ballroom featuring the top three artists in the competition: Vince Vacarro, Said the Whale and Kyprios

Kyprios took home the top honours winning $100,500 to put towards his music career. Said the Whale took second winning $75,000 and Vince Vacarro took home the $50,000 third prize.

The Peak Performance prize is one of the richest music contests of its kind, and in its short history has become a key part of the development of young musical talent in British Columbia.

A more complete gallery of photos is on Flickr.

November 9, 2010
Kurt Vile Live at Zulu Records

Kurt Vile at Zulu RecordsKurt Vile at Zulu RecordsKurt Vile at Zulu RecordsKurt Vile at Zulu RecordsKurt Vile at Zulu RecordsKurt Vile at Zulu Records

Philadelphia based Matador Records recording artist Kurt Vile was in town for a gig at the legendary Biltmore Cabaret. Before the show he stopped by Kitsilano’s Zulu Records for a solo acoustic performance. I stopped by to shoot photos and caught video of three songs of Kurt’s set. The full photo set is available on Flickr.

November 2, 2010
Three Blocks from Home

View from Ambleside BeachView from Ambleside Beach Three blocks from home. Ambleside Beach, West Vancouver.

October 28, 2010
Nadia von Hahn CD Release Party at the Media Club

Nadia von Hahn has a new album out called Wait and See What Happens. It’s a lovely collection of seven songs from the Vancouver based singer-songwriter. The album is available on iTunes as well as your local record store of course.

To celebrate the release she threw a party at Vancouver’s Media Club with a few of her friends including Chantel Upshaw, Christopher Arruda and City of Glass. On a damp Tuesday night the Media Club was packed, which was nice to see.

October 24, 2010
Thrill the World Vancouver 2010

Thrill the World started in 2007 as a relatively small event intended to set the world record for the number of people to simultaneously dance Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance. When Jackson died on June 25, 2009 the event was vaulted into the limelight as a way to honour the memory of a performer who—whatever you think of his…antics…later in life—was the King of Pop at a time when that took real work to achieve, not just a few minutes of internet infamy. Jackson’s legacy is undeniable, and the Thrill the World dances that happen simultaneously world wide are proof.

Vancouver’s event was held on October 23rd, 2010 at the Roundhouse Community Centre and 284 people participated in raising funds for the Vancouver Food Bank. I shot stills during the rehearsals—a complete set is available on Flickr a video of the final dance performance.

Thrill the World Vancouver 2010 from Skot Nelson on Vimeo.

October 12, 2010
Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle Justin Townes EarleJustin Townes EarleJustin Townes EarleJustin Townes EarleJustin Townes EarleJustin Townes Earle Justin Townes Earle has resumed his tour, which is good news for fans of the Southern roots music Justin calls himself a preservationist of. At the beginning of September Justin rolled through Vancouver and I caught his show at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret then headed down to Bellingham to see him the next night at the Wild Buffalo House of Music. I posted a video from the show earlier, but no photos.

Both shows were excellent. I’ve seen Justin every time he’s come to Vancouver—once at the Media Club and twice now at the Biltmore. This was the first time that the Earle name and legacy seemed to have been fully shed. Justin has really come into his own and out of the long shadow of his father (who’s Copperhead Road tour, incidentally, I count as the first live concert I saw.)

I almost skipped this show, after a long and tiring weekend at the Live at Squamish Festival. I’m glad I didn’t: it was the best concert I saw all summer.

October 11, 2010
Yuca at the Peak Performance Project

Yuca at the Peak Performance Project Yuca at the Peak Performance ProjectYuca at the Peak Performance ProjectYuca at the Peak Performance ProjectYuca at the Peak Performance ProjectYuca at the Peak Performance Project

Yuca performed at the fifth and final showcase concert of the 2010 Peak Performance Project. The three piece band from Langley plays pretty straight ahead rock and roll.

The complete set of photos of Yuca is on Flickr along with the rest of the Peak Performance Project photos.

Kuba Oms at the Peak Performance Project

Kuba Oms at the Peak Performance Project Kuba Oms at the Peak Performance ProjectKuba Oms at the Peak Performance ProjectKuba Oms at the Peak Performance ProjectKuba Oms at the Peak Performance ProjectKuba Oms at the Peak Performance Project

Kuba Oms brought his brand of soul infused pop to the final Peak Performance Project Showcase this week performing for an obviously appreciate audience. Kuba is one of this year’s returning artists from the 2009 edition of the project, and his experience from previous years showed.

The complete set of photos of Kuba’s performance is on Flickr in addition to the full set of photos from this year’s Peak Performance Project Showcases.

Greg Sczebel at the Peak Performance Showcase

Greg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance Showcase

Greg Sczebel has apparently won a Juno award in 2005, which just goes to show how long it’s been since I paid attention to the Juno’s as a tool for finding music to listen too. Greg kicked off the final night of the Peak Performance Project Showcase concerts at the Red Room with a show that included a lightboard, a group of well coordinated dancers in the crowd, a keytar and Hank Insell on bass. Greg’s brand of bouncy happy pop music got the crowd moving nicely.

The complete set of photos of Greg’s performance is on Flickr as well as others from the Peak Performance Concert series.

Kyprios at the Peak Performance Project Showcase

Kyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance Project

Kyprios drew the closing slot for the final concert of the Peak Performance Concert Series last week and he certainly made good use of it. With a sound like nobody else at the showcase concerts—none of the other acts even really had a hint of hip hop to them—the Vancouver based hip-hop artist had the crowd hopping in no time with the help of a backing band that consisted of something like 10 musicians. Despite a friend’s tweet that she “…still refuse[s] to accept that jumping is a dance move” it was pretty hard to deny that the crowd was having a good time. As a performer Kyprios delivered one of the most kinetic shows I’ve seen in a while. This made it hard to shoot with my usual lens from my initial seat right in front of the stage and I switched to a wide angle 20mm lens for a while.

The complete set of photos of Kyprios’ performance is on Flickr. as well others from the Peak Performance Concert series.

October 5, 2010
Yukon Blonde and the Wooden Sky at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret

Yukon Blonde and the Wooden Sky played a killer set at Vancouver’s Legendary Biltmore Cabaret to kick off their national tour. Calling the crowd for this show packed doesn’t do justice to the number of people there. The only reason I was able to move was a front row full of Vancouver’s independent musicians who graciously let me move around to get the shots I wanted.

A complete gallery of Wooden Sky photos can be found at Guttersnipe News.

October 4, 2010
Steph Macpherson at the Peak Performance Project

Steph Macpherson opened the fourth of the Peak Performance Project Showcase concerts at Vancouver’s Red Room. The Vancouver based singer/songwriter played to a packed crowd and was obviously moved by the crowd’s response to her performance.

One of the challenges the Peak throws at the artists is a requirement to do a cover song by a Canadian artist. Steph very bravely chose Stan Rogers’ North West Passage and performed a beautiful down tempo rendition that I couldn’t help but sing along too. My sincere apologies to those in the audience near me.

The complete set of photos of Steph Macpherson is on Flickr in addition to the photos from all the Peak Performance Project showcases.

October 3, 2010
Said the Whale at the Peak Performance Project

Said the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance Project Said the Whale at the Peak Performance Project Said the Whale at the Peak Performance Project

Said the Whale closed out the fourth Peak Performance Project Showcase with a rocking set that hit all the right notes and featured guest appearances from the boys in We Are The City as well as Aidan Knight for the grand finale. Watching these guys live is one of the most entertaining ways I can think of to spend time. Each and every one is a fine musician and has great stage presence (Peter Carruthers on bass stands out in particular—a lot of bassists are relatively stationary and not that interesting to watch play.) They also happen to be about the nicest collection of people you could hope to meet, so there’s that going for them.

At least one of the artists in the competition has fingered Said the Whale to win this thing. If the judges have made up their minds it hasn’t shown yet. There’s still a week left.

The complete set of photos of Said the Whale’s performance is on Flickr in addition to the complete Peak Performance Project photos.

September 24, 2010
Adaline at the Peak Performance Project

Adaline at the Peak Performance Project Adaline at the Peak Performance ProjectAdaline at the Peak Performance ProjectAdaline at the Peak Performance ProjectAdaline at the Peak Performance ProjectAdaline at the Peak Performance ProjectAdaline at the Peak Performance Project

Adaline had a very bad day yesterday, with a car accident at about six in the afternoon. Despite the setback she made it out to play a great set at the Red Room including a cover of Corey Hart’s Sunglasses at Night. Adaline was handing out sunglasses. I scored a pair, but gave them to someone else in the crowd.

More photos are available on Flickr. You can follow Adaline on twitter.

Photographs from the third Peak Performance Prize Showcase held on September 23, 2010 at Vancouver’s Red Room.

The Peak Performance Prize is one of the country’s premier music contests and is dedicated to developing artists in British Columbia.

Ben Sigston at the Peak Performance Project

Ben Sigston at the Peak Performance Project Ben Sigston at the Peak Performance ProjectBen Sigston at the Peak Performance ProjectBen Sigston at the Peak Performance ProjectBen Sigston at the Peak Performance ProjectBen Sigston at the Peak Performance Project Ben Sigston live at the Red Room.

Photographs from the third Peak Performance Prize Showcase held on September 23, 2010 at Vancouver’s Red Room. More photos are available on Flickr.

The Peak Performance Prize is one of the country’s premier music contests and is dedicated to developing artists in British Columbia.

41st and Home at the Peak Performance Project

41st and Home at the Peak Performance Project 41st and Home at the Peak Performance Project41st and Home at the Peak Performance Project41st and Home at the Peak Performance Project41st and Home at the Peak Performance Project41st and Home at the Peak Performance Project

41st and Home Live at the Red Room

Photographs from the third Peak Performance Prize Showcase held on September 23, 2010 at Vancouver’s Red Room. More photos are on Flickr.

The Peak Performance Prize is one of the country’s premier music contests and is dedicated to developing artists in British Columbia.

Christina Maria at the Peak Performance Project

Christina Maria at the Peak Performance Project Christina Maria at the Peak Performance ProjectChristina Maria at the Peak Performance ProjectChristina Maria at the Peak Performance ProjectChristina Maria at the Peak Performance ProjectChristina Maria at the Peak Performance Project Christina Maria played at the Peak Performance Project showcase at the Red Room. Shortly after her set began the stage lost all power taking all the microphones. More photos from the evening’s performance are on Flickr.

Photographs from the third Peak Performance Prize Showcase held on September 23, 2010 at Vancouver’s Red Room.

The Peak Performance Prize is one of the country’s premier music contests and is dedicated to developing artists in British Columbia.

Christina Maria is performing at a fund raiser benefit conference for the Intrepid Pens literacy program for the women of the Downtown Eastside on October 14th. Admission is by donation. Attend.

September 21, 2010
2010 Vancouver International Fringe Festival

Photos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalPhotos from the Vancouver International Fringe Festival Over the last ten days, in and amongst other things, I’ve been busy photographing the 2010 Vancouver International Fringe Festival as part of a talented team of photographers. It’s been an honour to spend time with the enthusiastic staff and volunteers who make the event possible, the performers who bring such amazing live theatre to Vancouver and the other photographers who are contributing to the Vancouver International Fringe Festival pool on Flickr.

Some, but not all, of the photos I took are in a Flickr collection.

September 17, 2010
Yes Nice at the Red Room

Yes Nice at the Red Room Yes Nice at the Red RoomYes Nice at the Red RoomYes Nice at the Red RoomYes Nice at the Red RoomYes Nice at the Red Room Vancouver’s Yes Nice is one of the contenders in this year’s Peak Performance Project. Their show at the at the second showcase in Vancouver packed the floor and sent waves of energy off the stage that had the crowd in the palm of their hands. The set included a cover of the Lisa Lougheed classic Run With Us, also known as the theme from the Racoons cartoon show.

A more complete set of photos from last night’s Peak Performance Project Showcase in in my Flickr photostream.

Posted by skooter at 4:59 PM
Tags: Peak Performance Project, Yes Nice

Aidan Knight at the Peak Performance Project Showcase

Aidan Knight at the Red RoomAidan Knight at the Red RoomAidan Knight at the Red RoomAidan Knight at the Red RoomAidan Knight at the Red RoomAidan Knight at the Red RoomAidan Knight at the Red Room

I’ve seen Aidan Knight before. He opened for Patrick Watson last year and was a part of the Malahat Revue tour that I saw twice. Jasper is one of the best tracks I’ve heard all year. When it gets in your head it sort of sticks around for a while in a good way. He’s an extremely talented singer/songwriter, and is one of the contenders in this year’s Peak Performance Project.

The second showcase for the project happened last night, and Aidan was the first person to hit the stage. He played a great set with a full band and it was clear that the audience was full of fans.

Towards the end of his set Aidan jumped off the stage and headed down into the audience with his band in tow. One of those moments when you’re just glad you had your camera in your hand and even when the results aren’t quite perfect they capture the moment nicely.

More photos from last night’s Peak Performance Showcase are in my Flickr photostream.

Posted by skooter at 4:39 PM
Tags: Aidan Knight, Peak Performance Project

September 9, 2010
Tommy Chong at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival

Tommy Chong at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival Legendary comedian Tommy Chong attended the opening gala of the 2010 Vancouver International Fringe Festival and graciously allowed me to take this portrait of him as he explored the silent auction items.

September 8, 2010
Justin Townes Earle Performing "Rex's Blues"

Rex’s Blues is an old song by one of the greatest singer/songwriter’s who’s ever lived, the legendary Townes Van Zandt. The song was well served when Justin Townes Earle covered it at Bellingham, Washington’s Wild Buffalo on Tuesday, September 7th.

This was shot in High Definition so make sure to view it at the best resolution you can.

Shot with a Canon 5D MkII and an EF 100mm Macro lens. The audio was recorded using the onboard microphone, which is somewhat limited.

September 7, 2010
Said the Whale at Live at Squamish

Said the Whale at the Squamish Loggers Grounds

The members of Said the Whale were at We Are The City’s serf stage performance at the Live at Squamish Festival. They graciously gave me a few moments of their time for some shots on the Loggers Sports Grounds.

We Are the City at Live at Squamish

We Are The City at the Squamish Loggers Grounds I wanted to use this machinery as a backdrop all day and was lucky to catch Cayne, David and Andy from We Are The City near it.

September 4, 2010
Live at Squamish

Live at Squamish Stage Live at Squamish Stage Live at Squamish Stage Live at Squamish Stage Live at Squamish is a new festival set in the beautiful mountain town about an hour’s drive north of Vancouver. Sound check was today, which provided an opportunity to check out the site. The Stawamus Stage is nicely framed by the granite massif of the Stawamus Chief in the background, promising a beautiful sight as the sun set for the next two nights. Look for a complete set of photos and review at Guttersnipe after the weekend. With weather that’s suppose to hold up, the festival looks to be a good time.

September 3, 2010

Light Reflecting on a Parking Garage Wall, Granville Island

August 19, 2010
Heron in Stanley Park

Heron in Stanley Park Heron in Stanley Park Seen on a walk around the seawall with my mother in July. Herons are relatively common in Vancouver, which hasn’t made me love them any less. More photos are in the galleries or on Flickr.

Posted by skooter at 11:19 PM
Tags: Heron, Nature, Stanley Park, Vancouver Outdoors, Wildlife

A Walk Around the Neighbourhood

Sunset in Mt. Pleasant Sunset in Mt. PleasantSunset in Mt. PleasantSunset in Mt. PleasantSunset in Mt. PleasantSunset in Mt. Pleasant

Yesterday started gloomily, and after attending the CBC’s free concert at noon and a swim I wound up at home working in the afternoon. As the sun broke through a layer of clouds in the early evening it seemed like a decent time for a short walk. Little did I know that I’d bump into a dude who was chillin’ like a villen.

I sat down on the bench beside him for a while and listened in on a fairly active conversation that was obviously happening in his head. Topics ranged from why teenagers would carry firearms to school to the conversations his mother had with his aunts Dolly & Glenna.

Posted by skooter at 10:04 PM
Tags: Architecture, China Creek Park, Mt. Pleasant, Sunset

August 13, 2010
A Day in Vancouver

Sometimes, it’s perfectly reasonable to just walk around with your camera for a bit.

Somewhere in there I attended a good old fashioned rock and roll concert. Photos of Cotton Jones and the Parson Red Heads are on Guttersnipe.

Posted by skooter at 5:40 AM
Tags: City Hall, cycling, Jericho Beach, Sunset, Vancouver

August 9, 2010
On Flash (Not the Adobe Kind)

Despite the fact that I’ve been shooting photos for well over 20 years at this point, I’ve never really used flash that much. There has, in fact, been extended periods of not even owning a flash in my life.

I’ve been shooting a lot of concerts and at the large ones there’s a pretty standard set of rules: first three songs only, no flash. This was true for Joanna Newsom and Robin Pecknold on Thursday night, so when I was asked to shoot a concert on Friday I left my flash at home. The shots turned out well, and everybody’s fairly happy but flash would have helped.

I picked up a Rogue Flashbender on Saturday, to give me more flexibility. It’s a versatile and flexible tool that’s easy to pack and carry.

The Waterfront Stage at the Under the Volcano Festival was completely unlit and the day was gloomy, so it gave me the perfect chance to play with the Flashbender. I was quite happy to see that it helped, turning what would have been a darkly lit almost impossible situation into some usable photos. All of the pairs below were shot with the same shutter speeds and aperture settings (you can see that the sunlit backgrounds are exposed similarly in them), the first one including a flash with the Flashbender in place and the second one with no flash.
With Flashbender No Flashbender

With Flashbender No Flashbender With Flashbender No Flashbender

Bringing the shadows up in post-processing in the second photos does improve them, but the results are still not as good as the ones produced by the Flashbender.

It’s a small, compact and easy to carry accessory that’s likely to have me shooting with flash quite a bit more often in the future. Quite a good investment, I think.

July 29, 2010
Dan Mangan at Shorefest

Dan Mangan at Shorefest Dan Mangan at ShorefestJon and Roy at ShorefestDan Mangan at ShorefestKendel Carson & Dustin Bentall at ShorefestDan Mangan at Shorefest Presented by the Shore 104 FM Shorefest showcases some of Vancouver’s best music as a prelude to the Celebration of Light Fireworks show in English Bay. Concerts are broadcast live on The Shore. Listening would, of course, require that turn my tuner dial to something other than CBC.

Tonight featured Kendel Carson, Jon and Roy and Dan Mangan. I swore I wasn’t going to go—the crowds on English Bay can be a bit much to deal with—but the prospect of a sunset show featuring Dan was too compelling for my camera.

The complete set of photos is on Flickr.

Naturally, by the time Dan took the stage the crowd was so dense I could hardly move. Travelling by bike? Great decision—next time I’m going to leave it with the Bike Valet and walk (although my shiny new kickstand was most useful in this case.)

July 27, 2010
Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010

I wrote daily wrap ups of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival for Beyond Robson (click to read Day One, Day Two and Day Three on the site) which kept me busy and up late during the festival itself, so I didn’t write much here. A week later, I’m finally getting around to it.

I have a full collection of photos on flickr to browse through. I’ll excerpt some of those here along with some thoughts. Read on.

Day One

Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010This was my first Folk Fest, and I was planning on being pretty mobile and taking pictures which means I didn’t rush down to get a coveted blanket position. This worked just fine for me, but I was amazed at the size of the crowd that was already there an hour after the gate opened. If I had been staking out blanket space I would’ve been well back from the stage. Impressive turnout, Vancouver. Nice show of enthusiasm. Now why don’t you go see any other shows? Sigh.

Day One only uses the Main Stage, with a constant rotation of acts. A pattern emerged of having a main act play followed by—and I apologize for the inelegant term here—a small, filler act. These acts keep the music going, which is a lot nicer than 20 minutes of silence while a stage is rejigged.

Day one’s highlights were Shane Koyczan & the Short Story Long, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, the Avett Brothers and Calexico whose horn section was the perfect accompaniment as the sun set fire to the crowd. I’d absolutely see Calexico again in the right venue.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010

Lantern Procession

Thanks to a twitter comment I caught along the way, I knew there were going to be lanterns at the Folk Fest, but I didn’t know that there was going to be a nightly lantern parade. It’s hard to describe how beautiful these lanterns can be, especially in a starry outdoor sky. They hover in the air like spirits aglow, and the Folk Festival parade serves as a guide to light the way out of Jericho Park. There was a science fiction or space theme to some of this year’s lanterns, naturally making me a very happy boy. The Mr. Spock lantern was built by the talented Jacquie Rolston (who was also dressed in a Princess Leia costume) and the Serenity lantern was made by Jeannie. I got a little obsessed with both of these: sorry ladies!

Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010

Day Two

Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010A night of solid sleep after spending the day in the sun got me back to the festival fairly early the next day, and I caught the first of many workshops. This one was called Troubadours and featured Sarah Harmer who was definitely the star of day two if the opinions of my friends mattered.

I left the Troubadours to the sounds of Four Strong Winds and my ears took me off to the left (this might be the unique bias created by being deaf in my right ear, but I’ll leave it up to you decide.) The Gertrudes were packing the stage with something like nine musicians. A definite find for the weekend, I’ll be at every one of their Vancouver shows when they make it back here.

Other highlights included Playing for Change’s African rhythms which are trying to do nothing less than change the world, Alex Cuba’s latin infused rock and roll, the beautiful voice of PEI’s Catherine McLellan and Matt Epp. Day two was a day for exploring and finding, and the Folk Fest didn’t dissappoint.
Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010

Day Three

I slept in a bit on day three, and got to the festival grounds at about noon. This means I missed a performance by The Gertrudes, but I can live with that.

The highlights of day three were concentrated on Stage Five for me, with the United Steelworkers of Montreal, The Gertrudes, Matt Epp, The Deep Dark Woods and the Malahat Revue all playing on the secondary stage. It was a definite home for the local indie rock crowd: there were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd.

Hannah Georgas at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Jeremy Fisher at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Aidan Knight at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010The United Steelworkers of Montreal at Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010The Deep Dark Woods at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2010

All Things Must Pass

Three days of sun, fun, lovely people and wonderful music in the glorious sunshine of Jericho Beach are no exception, and all things must come to an end. Will I be back next year? Count on it.

July 25, 2010
Illuminares 2010 at the W2 Storyeum Building

Illuminares 2010 at the W2 Storyeum Building Illuminares 2010 at the W2 Storyeum BuildingIlluminares 2010 at the W2 Storyeum BuildingIlluminares 2010 at the W2 Storyeum BuildingIlluminares 2010 at the W2 Storyeum BuildingIlluminares 2010 at the W2 Storyeum Building Vancouver’s annual Illuminares Festival is one of the events that makes this city a truly special place. Traditionally held in the beautiful outdoor space of Trout Lake, this year’s festival was moved to the W2 Storyeum building on Cordova Street.

The move was interesting. The Storyeum space’s high ceilings certainly feel less enclosed than many alternatives, but something of the magic of the outdoor gathering was missing. The lanterns were beautiful but hourly processions that made their way outdoors into a Gastown alley fell a bit short of my memories of years past.

While I’d still happily attend the event next year if it’s in the same location, I’m hopeful that the city does something here to help the festival move back to Trout Lake, or find another outdoor space for it (perhaps Crab Park, though parking and transportation would be a nightmare.)

More photos are on flickr.

Posted by skooter at 10:31 PM
Tags: Illuminares, Lanterns, Public Dreams Society

July 18, 2010
On Bike Maintenance

Avid Juicy Brake Pads due to be changed Avid Juicy Brake Pads due to be changed Avid Juicy Brake Pads due to be changed I’m taking a little break from the Vancouver Folk Festival to chill out a bit for the morning and have lunch at home before heading down. According to Twitter this means I’m missing some great morning performances, but the afternoon and evening should more than make up for it. My photos from Day One and Two are here on Flickr and I’ll organize a few of them and post them here tomorrow. Between getting them on Flickr and daily articles for Beyond Robson time is scarce.

I need to do a little bike maintenance: one of the pads on my rear brake fell out on the road last night. I may just take a different bike down to the fest today, but I feel compelled to note that it seems like a fundamental design flaw if a disc brake pad is even capable of falling out of its caliper. Changing disc brake pads is a pain, so I tend to delay the change as long as I can. Just a little advice for those of you who do this sort of thing: if your brake pads look like the ones above, it probably means you waited just a little bit too long.

July 16, 2010
The New Pornographers at the Vogue Theatre

The New Pornographers at the Vogue Theatre, July 15th, 2010 The New Pornographers at the Vogue Theatre, July 15th, 2010The New Pornographers at the Vogue Theatre, July 15th, 2010The New Pornographers at the Vogue Theatre, July 15th, 2010The New Pornographers at the Vogue Theatre, July 15th, 2010The New Pornographers at the Vogue Theatre, July 15th, 2010

The New Pornographers played two nights at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre. Neko Case apparently missed her plane and didn’t make the first show, but was there in full force for the second one.

With the Vogue’s stage fill with nine of the finest musicians you’ll find, it’s hard to imagine a better band. Opening the show with the slow burn of Myriad Harbour (whose opening lyric I took a plane I took train / Who cares you always end up in the city seemed like a reference to Neko’s travel problems yesterday) the first song the band played from the brilliant new album Together was the pop masterpiece Crash Years. The show was a nice mix of new material (Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk, My Shepherd) songs and old (My Rights Versus Yours, All The Old Showstoppers) and the normally quiet Vogue crowd was on its feet for the entire time.

There wasn’t much stage banter—this was definitely about the music—but after spotting a male audience member in the balcony with no shirt on, Neko started riffing on references to the infamous incident at the Ryman Auditorium when she removed her shirt, apparently resulting in a performance ban. Joking about her boobs being offensive but this guy’s “man boobs” being OK, she was in fine form with comments like “I can make milk with my fuckin’ boobs” and, perhaps the night’s funniest moment, “I’m gonna go home to my hotel room and just take of my shirt and go ‘look at those useful things.” This last, naturally, led to a reaction from the men of the crowd. So predictable.

The New Pornographer’s Together is the most obvious omission from this year’s Polaris Prize Short List. It’s a brilliant album that reminds me of why I fell in love with this band in the first place, the equal of the much earlier and brilliant Challengers and—frankly—a stronger album than Broken Social Scene’s Forgiveness Rock Record and certainly strong than Tegan & Sara’s newest. It’s not going to matter anyway since the prize is going to go to Dan Mangan’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice but it’s an oversight nonetheless.

This show kicked off what I’m expecting to be a music saturated weekend with the next three days of my life being spent at the Vancouver International Folk Fest. I’ll be back to the real world on Monday.

More photos from the show are on Flickr. I wasn’t able to take my “real” camera, and with assigned seating my mobility was limited. The photos are unashamedly Neko heavy—she was directly in front of me on the stage and the other side was somewhat obstructed. Yeah. That’s my excuse…we’ll go with it.

July 13, 2010
Don't Waste the Sunset

Don't Waste the Sunset

Posted by skooter at 4:28 PM
Tags: Creekside Park, Science World, Sunset

July 11, 2010
Tour de Delta Ladner Criterium

Tour de Delta Ladner Criterium Tour de Delta Ladner Criterium Tour de Delta Ladner CriteriumTour de Delta Ladner CriteriumTour de Delta Ladner CriteriumTour de Delta Ladner CriteriumTour de Delta Ladner Criterium Tour de Delta Ladner Criterium

The 10th annual Tour de Delta runs all weekend, with the Ladner Criterium last night. I was personally disappointed that Team Jazz Apples wasn’t here again this year, but I suppose that’s the result of losing two out of four of the BC Superweek events that used to happen, including the Tour de Gastown which now seems certain to be gone for a while.

I will miss next week’s Tour de Whiterock, unfortunately, due to other commitments.

July 10, 2010
Headwater at Lynn Valley Library

Slide Guitar Headwater at Lynn Valley LibraryHeadwater at Lynn Valley LibraryHeadwater at Lynn Valley LibraryHeadwater at Lynn Valley LibraryHeadwater at Lynn Valley Library

Headwater calls their blend of roots and folk music tractor jazz. It’s pretty hard not to love these guys. I met a group of people who happened to be taking the ferry one day when Headwater were on the boat. An impromptu practice session started up at the bow of the ferry, and pretty soon the stern was almost completely empty as a crowd gathered. That’s how you make fans.

Last night was the first in a series of weekly shows at Lynn Valley Library and Headwater played for about an hour and a half. It is, after all, their local library.

More photos are on flickr.

Posted by skooter at 4:10 PM
Tags: Headwater, Lynn Canyon, Music

Nooner at the Nat: Vancouver Canadians vs. Yakima Bears

Vancouver Canadians vs. Yakima Bears Vancouver Canadians vs. Yakima Bears Vancouver Canadians vs. Yakima Bears

It was hot and there was an afternoon game at Nat Bailey Stadium. How could I resist? Happily, the Vancouver Canadians won the game. The complete set of photos is on flickr.

July 8, 2010
The Malahat Revue on the CBC Plaza

The Malahat Review at CBC Plaza The Malahat Review at CBC PlazaThe Malahat Review at CBC PlazaThe Malahat Review at CBC PlazaThe Malahat Review at CBC PlazaThe Malahat Review at CBC Plaza

The Malahat Revue is a collaboration between some of Vancouver’s best independent musicians. Hannah Georgas, Jeremy Fisher, Aidan Knight and Said the Whale are embarking on a tour of British Columbia by bicycle. Jeremy’s toured extensively by bike before, but never with a group this large.

To start the tour the gang gathered at CBC Plaza on Hamilton Street in Vancouver and put on a free show. With summer having finally arrive in Vancouver, it was a glorious day.

More photos from today’s set are on flickr.

The Malahat Revue Teaser from Jonathan Taggart on Vimeo.

July 6, 2010
Some People Call It Basil: I Call It Raw Pesto

Basil Leaf

Posted by skooter at 4:54 AM
Tags: Basil, Food, Macro

July 4, 2010
Current Swell at David Lam Park

Current Swell at the Vancouver International Jazz Fest Current Swell at the Vancouver International Jazz FestCurrent Swell at the Vancouver International Jazz FestCurrent Swell at the Vancouver International Jazz FestCurrent Swell at the Vancouver International Jazz FestCurrent Swell at the Vancouver International Jazz Fest

Victoria’s Current Swell played a live set at Yaletown’s David Lam Park as part of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

More pictures are available on flickr.

Mimosa at David Lam Park

Mimosa at the Vancouver International Jazz Fest Mimosa at the Vancouver International Jazz FestMimosa at the Vancouver International Jazz FestMimosa at the Vancouver International Jazz FestMimosa at the Vancouver International Jazz FestMimosa at the Vancouver International Jazz Fest

Mimosa are a Vancouver based bilingual jazz(ish) band. They played a live set at Yaletown’s David Lam Park as part of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and were blessed with beautiful, rare sun throughout the performance.

More photos are available on flickr.

July 3, 2010
Western Front's Sonic Playground at the Roundhouse Community Centre

The Western Front is one of my favourite Vancouver arts organizations. Located in Mt. Pleasant, the front providers rehearsal and performance space as well as runs arts education programs for children.

The Front stages events in other locations, and this weekend’s Sonic Playground is happening at Vancouver’s Roundhouse Community Centre. It’s a participatory art exhibit targeting the entire family, and also a whole lot of fun.

June 20, 2010
RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293

RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293 RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293

Posted by skooter at 3:31 PM
Tags: Artillery, Canadian Forces, Howitzer, Military

June 17, 2010
Parker Street Studios

The Parker Street Studios are home to some of Vancouver’s best artisans, and are a popular destination on the annual Eastside Culture Craw. Located in Vancouver’s old industrial lands, their rough interior is outdone by their even rougher and exterior. The buildings are in the perfect state of decrepitness that makes them a joy to photograph.

Posted by skooter at 6:18 PM
Tags: Architecture, Artists, East Vancouver

Wintermitts Video Launch Party at Cafe Deux Soleils

Local band Wintermitts held a video launch party at local vegetarian restaurant Cafe Deux Soleils. A good time was had by all.

June 6, 2010
Whytecliffe Park

A friend from Germany was in town, so I took him on a mini-tour of my favourite North Shore parks. After dinner we visited Whytecliffe Park. Luck was on our side and it was low tide, so we trekked out to the island.

June 5, 2010
The Sadies at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret

The Sadies at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret Toronto altCountry legends The Sadies played Vancouver’s Legendary Biltmore Cabaret last night. The place rocked, my ears are still ringing and for the first time in over two years of regular attendance, the band played two encores (including an awesome cover of Van Morisson’s Gloria.)

The most pure fun I’ve had at a live show since Young Galaxy at Toronto’s Legendary Horseshoe Tavern.

Posted by skooter at 4:54 PM
Tags: Biltmore Cabaret, Music, Sadies

June 2, 2010
Douglas Coupland's Pixelated Orca Statue

Douglas Coupland's Pixelated Orca Sculpture Douglas Coupland's Pixelated Orca Sculpture Douglas Coupland's Pixelated Orca Sculpture

Located on the western side of the new Vancouver Convention Centre, the Douglas Coupland created Digital Orca sculpture takes Coupland’s fascination with Lego to its natural extreme.

Posted by skooter at 1:54 AM
Tags: Douglas Coupland, Orca, Sculpture, Vancouver

June 1, 2010
Louise Bourgeois: 1911 - 2010

Maman by Louise Bourgeois at the National Gallery of Canada

Posted by skooter at 2:26 PM
Tags: Lomo, Obituaries

May 26, 2010
Vancouver's Old Chrysler Dealership

Fading banners at Vancouver's old Chrysler dealership Fading banners at Vancouver's old Chrysler dealership Fading banners at Vancouver's old Chrysler dealership Fading banners at Vancouver's old Chrysler dealership

Posted by skooter at 3:26 PM
Tags: Cars, Chrysler

Mt. Pleasant Photos

More photos from Mt. Pleasant below. The full (and still growing) collection is in the galleries.

Posted by skooter at 1:45 AM
Tags: Mount Pleasant, Photos, Vancouver

May 23, 2010

iPhone Abstract

Posted by skooter at 2:36 AM
Tags: iPhone

May 22, 2010
Beaty Biodiversity Museum Preview

I attended the first of five summer previews of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC today. The feature exhibit is an 85 foot long skeleton of a Blue Whale largest mammal ever to have inhabited our biosphere, hunted to near extinction by man.

The skeleton is stunning, and well worth seeing. There are more photos than the ones below in the galleries section.

Posted by skooter at 11:20 PM
Tags: Environmentalism, UBC, Vancouver, Whales

May 21, 2010
Sunset Over Downtown Vancouver

Sunset Over Downtown Vancouver as seen from Science World

Posted by skooter at 6:08 AM
Tags: Sunset, Vancouver

May 15, 2010
No Smoking

No Smoking sign at J.J. Bean's

Posted by skooter at 3:49 AM
Tags: No Smoking, Patio, Vancouver

May 2, 2010
Posters on the Opsal Steel Building

Posted by skooter at 2:08 AM
Tags: Architecture, Vancouver

April 28, 2010
South East False Creek, Vancouver's Olympic Village

During the Olympics, South East False Creek was off limits. Home to the athletes village, only those with appropriate security clearances could visit. It’s since been opened up for public access, and one of the parks that was built is a necessary detour on my current bike route.

Clouds Bird house on a steel girder Tunnel Condos in South East False Creek

Posted by skooter at 10:53 PM
Tags: 2010, Parks

April 20, 2010
Grandma, April 2010

Grandma Lobb, April 19, 2010 Grandma Lobb, April 19, 2010 Grandpa Lobb's grave, April 19, 2010

Posted by skooter at 2:28 AM
Tags: Family, Grandma Lobb, Grandpa Lobb

Trenton, Redux

Lock #1, Trenton, Ontario Window at St. George's Anglican Church, Trenton, Ontario Golden Hawk, Centennial Park, Trenton, Ontario

Petrified Turtle, Trenton, Ontario Wooden Gravestone, Trenton, Ontario St. George's Anglican Church, Trenton, Ontario Lock #3, Trent Canal, Trenton, Ontario Stairs to Mt. Pelion, Trenton, Ontario Lock mechanism, Trenton, Ontario Dam on the Trent Canal near Lock #2, Trenton, Ontario Clouds, Trenton, Ontario

Posted by skooter at 2:19 AM
Tags: Family, Trenton

April 19, 2010

Scenes from Trenton, Ontario Scenes from Trenton, Ontario Scenes from Trenton, Ontario

Posted by skooter at 2:19 AM
Tags: Lake Ontario, Trenton

January 30, 2010
Great Lake Swimmers: Vogue Theatre

Great Lake Swimmers at the Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC Great Lake Swimmers at the Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC Great Lake Swimmers at the Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC

Posted by skooter at 8:00 AM
Tags: Great Lake Swimmers, Music, Vogue Theatre

January 24, 2010
Steve Earle at the Orpheum Theatre

Posted by skooter at 4:51 PM
Tags: Music, Steve Earle

September 27, 2009
Last Days of Summer 2009

August 13, 2009
Don't Buy a Fancy Funeral / It's Not Worth it in the End

Stan & Mary Rohatinsky, June 26, 2009, Star-Peno, Alberta Away for a while, rambling down to Oregon first and then across British Columbia to the Alberta Praries—across the country’s spine to the other side to say goodbye to an old family friend. More photos to come.

Posted by skooter at 4:21 AM
Tags: Family, Obituaries

July 11, 2009
Neko Case, Vogue Theatre, June 3, 2009

Neko's Guitar during stage setup Paul Rigby & Neko Case Paul Rigby, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan

Posted by skooter at 7:06 PM
Tags: Neko Case

June 23, 2009
Autochromes from the George Eastman Collection

Early attempts at colour photography, preserved by Kodak as part of the George Eastman Collection. On the day of Kodachrome’s demise, it’s important to remember that technology makes it much easier to share these with the world.

Posted by skooter at 1:44 PM
Tags: Kodak, Photography

Kodachrome Officially Ends

It’s finally happened. Last year it was speculation but Kodachrome is now going out of production.

It was always weird film, wonderful and fine grained but it required a dedicated processing lab, not the “standard” E-6 slide processing that was much more readily available. Kodak is still making slide film, as is Fuji…but the loss of Kodachrome is a blow to those of us who still like film nonetheless.

I bought film today: 10 more rolls to last a while longer. It may be the last batch, but I’m not sure. Although my cost has gone up quite a bit, it’s still cheaper than a Canon 5D.

Expect to hear a lot of Paul Simon lyrics quoted.

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know theyd never match
My sweet imagination
And everything looks worse in black and white

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the worlds a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama dont take my kodachrome away

Posted by skooter at 1:24 PM
Tags: Kodak, Photography, Technology

June 14, 2009
Tragedy on Half Dome

Sent by a friend, who was hiking on Half Dome at the time.

Yosemite hiker dies in fall from Half Dome
Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer, Sunday, June 14, 2009

As many as 30 horrified onlookers saw a male hiker plunge hundreds of feet to his death Saturday as he was climbing Yosemite’s world-famous Half Dome, park rangers said.

The man, who was not identified pending notification of relatives, fell at 3:40 p.m. as he climbed the granite edifice in the midst of a hail storm. The hiker fell to a shoulder of the dome about 1,800 feet from the top.

Half Dome from the floor of Yosemite Valley

Posted by skooter at 4:58 PM
Tags: Half Dome, Yosemite

April 21, 2009
Too much Photoshop?

Photography: the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or a CCD chip)

For years submitting photos to magazines meant submitting slides. Why slides? Quite simply, the slide is the picture. A print from a negative can be manipulated, and negatives aren’t really viewable (although in black and white it’s doable.) Slides were, generally speaking, unmodified (though you could get them duplicated easily.)

In the digital age (to which I do not yet belong in a photographic sense) it’s far easier to manipulate things. Digital cameras with white balance and easy exposure bracketing settings make it easier and cheaper to shoot more, which is what most people wind up doing. I know photographers with great eyes for composition who know nothing of basic concepts such as depth of field. Take the shot, put it on the computer, edit it in Photoshop and print it…somewhere.

There’s nothing wrong with it, but at some point an excess of manipulation makes it not a photograph anymore. It may not decrease an image’s relevance, or impact, or cultural significance…but it’s not a photograph anymore.

The international press is confronting the issue of how much manipulation is too much manipulation in its annual awards presentations.

Too much Photoshop? Judge for yourself

Three photographers were told to deliver their RAW-files for closer inspection, when the three judges in January were assembled to select the winners in Picture of The Year in Denmark. This is the first time in the competition’s 35-year history that it has happened. One of the photographers, Klavs Bo Christensen, has accepted to show his RAW-files for the readers of You can also hear a recording of the conversion between the judges about the photographer’s story.

Photo journalist Klavs Bo Christensen just landed at Kastrup Airport after a long travel abroad, when his cell phone rang. It was a representative from the Danish photo contest Picture of The Year, who asked him to submit his RAW-files from his Haiti story to the judges.

Posted by skooter at 4:14 AM
Tags: Photography

November 30, 2008

Seattle Parking Payment Box Seattle Parking Payment Box

Posted by skooter at 5:02 PM
Tags: Black and White, Seattle

November 26, 2008
Piave, Granville Island

Posted by skooter at 1:48 PM
Tags: Bikes, Granville Island

September 30, 2008
Sunset on English Bay from the Burrard Bridge

English Bay from the Burrard Bridge

Posted by skooter at 1:39 PM
Tags: English Bay, Sun, Vancouver

September 22, 2008
Fade to Black

I never shot much Kodachrome. I generally prefered the saturated blues of Fuji Provia. Still, the seemingly imminent demise of Kodak’s flagship product makes me sad.

Posted by skooter at 3:09 PM
Tags: Film, Kodak, Photography

September 21, 2008
Othello Tunnels, Coquihalla Canyon Park

Othello Tunnels, Coquihalla Canyon Taken with a Canon EF20mm lens inside tunnel for 1.5 minutes at f8. Located near Hope, the Coquihalla Canyon tunnels are ideal for cycling.

Posted by skooter at 7:08 AM
Tags: Cycling, Tunnels

September 15, 2008
I Don't Wanna be a Tiger / 'Cause Tiger's Play Too Rough

Teddy Bear found in a muddy field

Posted by skooter at 5:45 AM
Tags: Still Life, Teddy Bears

September 7, 2008
New Photos

Lolita Some new black and white photos in the Lynn Canyon galleries and the first results from my trip to Clayoquot Sound are on Flickr. Another roll to be posted this week.

Posted by skooter at 8:19 PM
Tags: Kayaking, Tofino, Travel

August 24, 2008
Back from Clayoquot Sound

Six days of paddling including three days of rain were followed by a two hour motorcycle ride to the Departure Bay ferry terminal. Eight days of a beard came off this morning, laundry was done and dry bags have been unpacked.
Riding the ferry home after paddling for six days Vancouver Island from the Ferry

More pictures to come shortly. Patience, naturally, being the nature of shooting film.

May 12, 2008
Note on the Sidewalk

Note on the Sidewalk

Originally uploaded by Skot Nelson

This note sat on the sidewalk where I park my car for about a week, before disappearing just as mysteriously as it appeared.

Posted by skooter at 3:22 AM
Tags: Prayers

May 8, 2008
New Photos

New photos, including Lynn Canyon amongst others.

Posted by skooter at 1:53 PM
Tags: Outdoors, Photography

May 6, 2008
Just An Average Weekend in Vancouver

Bear in Area

Typo on Sign at Lynn Headwaters I love the typo in the first line of the small text here. Some might not consider it one, but the sign should read ensure not insure.

Posted by skooter at 1:54 PM
Tags: Bear, Hiking Trails, North Vancouver

April 29, 2008
Baseball Diamond, McGee Elementary School

Baseball Diamond, McGee Elementary School

Posted by skooter at 4:39 AM
Tags: Baseball, Kerrisdale, Numbers

April 28, 2008
Liberated Photos

So, in quite a random fashion, I discovered that one of my photos was liberated the other day. You can see it here and the original is posted here or on my Flickr profile here, which is where it was actually liberated from.
BC Mining Museum, Britannia Beach, British Columbia

It’s funny. It’s a good shot, that one. it was a gloomy day, and I’d driven up the road there. The tripod was deployed (of course) and the museum was wonderfully draped in the mist and fog that happens so often in that part of the world.

The museum’s seen some investment recently. In its current condition you’ hardly recognize the photo: gentrification has no limit, it seems. The entire community of Britannia Beach is going to look nothing like it did when I moved here. Somebody else opened the kayak store that I thought would be a great fit there: islands and a rocky coast offer endless opportunities.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the photo being used without my permission. I’m flattered on one level. On another, I wish they’d let me know. There’s an alternative view that says what they’ve done is theft, but I’m happy to see my shots in circulation frankly so I’m not going to kick up a fuss for now.

Posted by skooter at 7:14 PM
Tags: Britannia Beach, Sea to Sky, Squamish

April 12, 2008
Penguins in the Park

Penguin in the Park

Posted by skooter at 4:15 PM
Tags: Cycling, Penguins, Stuffed Animals

March 22, 2008
Skis at Cypress Bowl

This isn’t every pair of skis I used this year: sometimes I forgot my cell phone in the car, and I didn’t take pictures the first couple of weeks I went up. It’s a pretty good representation though.

Pictures are in the order they were taken. Some pairs repeat, some don’t: O’Malley was a favourite pair, and the first night I skied on Willis the phrase What’chyoo talkin’ about was used more than once…that was a great night.

Posted by skooter at 6:26 AM
Tags: Cypress Bowl, Exercise, Skis

March 7, 2008
Henry Dorsett Case's Airstream?

Airstream Trailer at William Gibson's house That’s not a trailer, it’s an Airstream. This isn’t Chiba City, it’s Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood. The phalanx of Volkswagens has been replaced by an extension cord running out of the house.

Posted by skooter at 1:01 AM
Tags: Shaughnessy, Volkswagen, William Gibson

February 24, 2008
Spring Skiing...

in Vancouver is great not just because it’s only a 60 km. round trip from home, but also because of the view through your sunroof during the drive.
View through the Volvo's sunroof A few more weeks of this I think.

Posted by skooter at 3:13 AM
Tags: Cypress Bowl, Skiing, Volvo

February 18, 2008
Top of the World, Callaghan Valley, Whistler, BC

Whistler Olympic Park is open, with a huge network of new (and spectacular) cross country ski trails.

The Norwegian ski team was testing skis on the Olympic trails when we were there. A brief chat with the coach was fun, and I offered him a business card “in case you need an extra for 2010.” His smile and laugh were characteristic of what turned out to be a most amazing day.

Posted by skooter at 2:02 PM
Tags: 2010, Skiing, Vancouver Olympics, Whistler

January 21, 2008
Lynn Canyon in the Snow, December 2007

Lynn Canyon from the Suspension Bridge 30 Foot Pool, blanketed in snow

Posted by skooter at 1:59 PM
Tags: Black and White, Lynn Canyon, Photos, Vancouver

January 2, 2008
Top of Red Mountain, January 1, 2008

Top of Red Mountain, January 1, 2008 it’s cold up at the top of Red Mountain. Fast, packed snow and a steep hill made for a fun day.

Posted by skooter at 7:18 PM
Tags: Me, Snowboarding

December 5, 2007
That Elusive Beast: The Vancouver Rainbow

Rainbows over the Granville Bridge The words sun and rain don’t go together very much in Vancouver: when it rains here it tends be oppressive, and grey and long. Especially in December.

This makes rainbows, a function of the meeting of those two elemental forces, fairly rare and when they happen it’s worth chasing them. This was one of two—the other seeming to come from False Creek. It made for a nice ride home in a bittersweet sunshower.

Posted by skooter at 1:04 AM
Tags: Cycling, Rain, Vancouver, Weather

November 26, 2007
McKenzie Barge & Marine, Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver

McKenzie Barge, Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver

The McKenzie Barge building has always been one of my favourite sites to see along the edge of Dollarton Highway. Set into the shore on a dramatic slope, the front of the building it only ten or fifteen feet high, while the back is at leaset five conventional stories by my estimate. It has the feeling of a building that’s been there forever (because it has) but could disapper at any moment (because it will.)

It was pouring rain when I took this, and there was a single light on in the window on the right hand side of the photo. I was cycling out to Deep Cove and this was one of my few stops. I wish the light were visible in the photo, but I suppose you can’t win them all.

Posted by skooter at 2:09 PM
Tags: Buildings, Deep Cove, Industrial, North Vancouver

November 25, 2007
Born to be Wild

Posted by skooter at 5:32 PM
Tags: Benjamin, Motorcycle, Park

November 12, 2007
Bylaw City: Vancouver

This is my new favourite sign in the city of Vancouver. It’s better than that dog one out in Deep Cove, and it’s better than the other silly camel and moose crossing ones they have along the Seymour Highway.

The sign says (in case the flash makes it hard to read):

[No Parking] Except Residents of 1900 Blk. W. 47th Ave.

Why do I like this sign so much?

There is precisely one house in the 1900 block of West 47th Ave. It’s opposite Maple Grove school. There are in fact two residences, but one has an address on Cypress Ave. the corner, and the exit doesn’t front on 47th.

So there’s one house, but city council has somehow passed a bylaw that reserves this entire block for a single house.

That house, by the way, has a two car garage.

Posted by skooter at 2:51 AM
Tags: City Council, Parking, Vancouver

October 19, 2007
Playing on the Stairs

Ben on the Stairs at Bowen Island Stairs, as it turns out, are quite the little game at 15 months old.

Posted by skooter at 4:03 AM
Tags: Benjamin, Children, Stairs

October 11, 2007
Beautiful Things in Incredibly Small Packages

Wired presents a gallery of microscopic images chosen by Nikon.

September 17, 2007
Sea to Sky, in Style

I headed up the Sea to Sky Highway on Saturday morning, later than I’d intended (I apparently needed the sleep, and didn’t wake up until 9 a.m.) but eager to spend at least one more night in Garibaldi Provincial Park for the season. At 1,500 metres in altitude, it gets cold up there.
De Tomaso Pantera on the Sea to Sky Highway The Sea to Sky is a spectacularly twisty road, second only to Chukanut Drive on my list of favourite rides within an hour. The North Cascades Highway could be on that list, but it’s a bit too far away…at least the best parts.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that familiar rumble of an Italian engine on the highway when in a blur, I was passed by a half dozen Ferrari’s in the Lion’s Bay area. There was a Porsche as well…we shall not discuss Porsche’s. Lovely vehicles, to be sure, but they (alas) are not Italian. Their teutonic nature lacks the passion of those majestic beasts. The Lamborghini’s in the crowd are interlopers as well…mere imitations; Chrysler products with a roaring bull on their nose; roughly hewn machine of speed, less than works of art.

De Tomaso Pantera on the Sea to Sky Highway

A few minutes later, another passing lane opened up and I slid into the right hand lane: one must Show Respect for the Faster Machine™ when it’s appropriate. Had I been on two wheels, I would expect the same from others.

I had to merge between these finely crafted machines and wound up behind the rare De Tomaso Pantera which I followed almost all the way to Squamish, my windows open in order to enjoy the firm note of that exhaust. Tim Horton died in a Pantera; Elvis shot his.

Just before Squamish, the last of these engineering marvels passed me including, of course, a red 1980s Testarossa. I’ve always liked that car in its yellow colour, but fundamentally I’ve always just liked that car. A true masterpiece…a true work of art.

I find going fast on two wheels much more entertaining than four. I suspect that anyone of these machines could have changed my mind quite easily.

Garibaldi was, as always, spectacular with the little rain that fell overnight doing nothing to make it less worthwhile. Fall is here, with shorter days and the the ghosts that come out at night. Time still for a few nights perhaps, but if this is the last one it was well worth it.

Posted by skooter at 8:41 PM
Tags: Cars, Ferrari

September 12, 2007
Elizabeth Rogers Stretching

Elizabeth Rogers Stretching on the Deck

Posted by skooter at 6:22 AM
Tags: Bowen Island, Children, Elizabeth

August 20, 2007
Wilco, Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park

Wilco, Malkin Bowl, Vancouver With the crowd clapping in time to the beat, the band slowly began to get quiet. “We’re going to drop out now,” Jeff Tweedy said, “but you have to keep doing this. Keep doing it without getting faster, or slower.

Forever. Like your heartbeat.”

And the band just slowly disappeared, with only the sound of thousands of hands clapping to fill the night sky.

After a day where it rained off and all all day, the sky stayed dry for the night. Great music, a great venue and great company made for a perfect night for a summer that’s not over yet but has an end in sight. The set list in online here

Posted by skooter at 11:26 PM
Tags: Concerts, Wilco

August 18, 2007
Truly Naked Motorcycling

Installing a new tire.

Posted by skooter at 12:53 PM
Tags: Cameraphone, Motorcycle, Virago

August 12, 2007
Meadows Field Airport, Bakersfield, CA

Note that it doesn’t specify checked baggage or carry on. I’m not sure which one I’d prefer, but I know that it will be a cold day in hell before I declare any firearms to the Transportation Safety Authority.

Flying home, via Seattle.

Posted by skooter at 2:09 PM
Tags: Guns

July 13, 2007
Ben in the Bath

Ben in the Bath

Posted by skooter at 9:59 PM
Tags: Benjamin

July 9, 2007
Elizabeth Rogers, June 9, 2007

Elizabeth Rogers, June 9, 2007

Posted by skooter at 10:25 PM
Tags: Bowen Island, Elizabeth

May 6, 2007
Toys in the Backyard

Toys in the Backyard

Posted by skooter at 11:37 AM
Tags: Black and White, Georgia

May 1, 2007
One of my Favourite Buildings

False Creek, on First Avenue

Posted by skooter at 11:54 PM

April 15, 2007
Don Ho, 1930 - 2007

Do Ho Live, Orick, California Orick, California, September 1st, 2006

Posted by skooter at 8:00 AM
Tags: California, Obituaries

March 19, 2007
For you...Ten Dollars!

Shimano Thumbshifters, $10 I had no idea Shimano ever made 5 speed thumbshifters.

Posted by skooter at 7:37 PM
Tags: Bikes, Cameraphone, Shimano

March 14, 2007
Curious George, Curious Georgia & Penguins

L-R: Curious George, Curious Georgia, a selction of Penguins

Posted by skooter at 9:19 PM
Tags: Georgia, Home

February 26, 2007
Up to No Good

Grandpa Lobb in the middle From L-R: Charlie Bubar, Louie Caron, Lloyd Lobb, Rolfe Evelith, George Bubar

Posted by skooter at 5:27 PM
Tags: Bubar, Grandpa Lobb, Midway

January 23, 2007
Brico Restaurant, Island Highway, Vancouver Island

Posted by skooter at 6:18 AM
Tags: Black and White, Boats, Vancouver Island

January 22, 2007
Toronto, Adelaide & York, December 27th, 2006

Software Development Services

Posted by skooter at 6:19 AM
Tags: Software, Work

January 14, 2007
Snow, Granville Island

Bike on Granville Island

Posted by skooter at 9:34 PM
Tags: Bikes, Granville Island

January 8, 2007
Ottawa, Byward Market, Christmas 2006

Shopping for Cheese Mittens at Byward Market

Cream Please Use Side Door

Posted by skooter at 10:44 PM
Tags: Christmas, Churches, Family, Ottawa

December 23, 2006
Grandma Lobb, December 23, 2006

Grandma Lobb

Posted by skooter at 10:51 PM
Tags: Bubar, Grandma

December 17, 2006
Film Speed Rating Conversions

After having an old Weston light meter donated to my photographic equipment, I needed to be able to be able to convert ASA information to Weston numbers. It would appear that this is less and less of a necessity, and there aren’t very many resources left to do so.

I posted this table a while ago, and it seems to be a fairly popular destination for wayward Googler’s, so I’m moving it to a new (and better) location.

ASA/Weston Conversion Table


ASA: American Standard Association
BSI: British Standard Institution
DIN: Deutsches Institut fr Normung
GOST: ehemalige UDSSR, veraltete Bezeichnung
SCHEINER: deutsch, veraltete Bezeichnung nach J.Scheiner
WESTON: englisch, veraltete Bezeichnung

Posted by skooter at 8:02 AM
Tags: ASA, Film, GOST, Scheiner, Weston

November 26, 2006
Snow in Vancouver

It doesn’t snow very often in Vancouver, and 10 centimetres in a single day is even rarer (we seem likely to get more.)

A trip to Lynn Canyon is always a good thing, but it’s even better on days like today.

Posted by skooter at 1:38 PM
Tags: Lynn Canyon, Snow

November 13, 2006
Thanksgiving 2006

Hand I spent a quiet thanksgiving this year with little tiny babies who were having their first. There’s no better way to spend a special day.

Posted by skooter at 5:15 PM
Tags: Babies, Benjamin, Photos

November 11, 2006
Anticipation of an Exhibition

Imagine my excitement to discover that an exhibit of Ansel Adams work together with Alfred Eisenstaedt’s will be on at the Art Gallery of Ontario during my visit to Toronto.

Posted by skooter at 3:49 PM
Tags: Ansel Adams, California, Cameras, Photography, Toronto

October 18, 2006
How to Eat An Orange

How to Eat An Orange Life is all about the things that little girls can teach us.

There’s a magic moment when you peel an orange and before you’ve torn away the first slice when it sits there like a perfect little orb with two small holes at either end—the perfect place for a little girl to stick it on her finger.

Posted by skooter at 6:33 AM
Tags: Family, Friends, Georgia

September 8, 2006
California, in Black and White

Tree, Pothole Dome Working, Yosemite National Park The Virago has entered the Forest

Posted by skooter at 6:13 PM

September 6, 2006
California, in Colour

Back from California, the colour slides come first. Many many more later. Odometer on the Virago reads 62,930.5 kilometres, for a total trip distance of 4,598.4 kilometres (or, if you prefer, 2,857.3 miles.)

Sunset at Westport campgroud, August 31, 2006 Seagull on the beach Julian and his Truck at the 395 junction Wine, coast, and a gear box

Posted by skooter at 7:39 PM

August 22, 2006
Today I Recommend (Starbucks, Granville Island)

Forming a gang and drinking tangerine frappucino juice blend to toast your success.

Posted by skooter at 8:11 PM
Tags: Blackboard, Chalk, Coffee, Signs, Starbucks

August 3, 2006
Countertop Swami, Moderne Burger

Countertop Swami, Moderne Burger

Posted by skooter at 6:49 AM
Tags: Black and White, Photos, Restaurants

July 22, 2006
Vancouver, from Watergate

View from Watergate The backdrop to many of the best times I’ve had in the last few years, this view has never been better than it was in late June and early July this year.

Many more pictures provide just a small clue into why.

Posted by skooter at 7:56 PM
Tags: Bowen Island

July 20, 2006
Tour de France, Cote de Chatilon-sur-Cluses, July 19, 2006

Cote de Chatilon-sur-Cluses

Not taken by me, but by a friend.

One of the greatest tour days ever

Posted by skooter at 12:51 PM
Tags: Cycling, Floyd Landis, Tour de France

July 14, 2006
Cabin, Britannia Beach, British Columbia

Cabin, Brittania Beach, British Columbia

Posted by skooter at 11:13 PM

June 28, 2006
Howe Sound under the Sun

Howe Soud under the springtime sun

Posted by skooter at 11:22 PM

June 27, 2006
C-GEUW, Delta Air Park, Vancouver

C-GEUW, Delta Air Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

Posted by skooter at 10:27 PM

April 26, 2006
The Lions, Coast Mountain Range, Vancouver, BC

The Lions, as seen from a Piper Cub, March 2006

Posted by skooter at 9:08 PM

February 18, 2006
3 Milk, 2 Eggs, Bagels!

3 Milk, 2 Eggs, Bagels!

Posted by skooter at 10:34 PM

February 16, 2006
Why I Shoot Film (yes...again)

David Pogue writes the Circuits column for the New York Times and has long been one of my favourite technology journalist. He is, in a general sense, an excellent writer on a topic that can be difficult to write about.

After suffering a catastrophic hard drive crash, David used a prominent national data recovery company to recove his data. The interview was edited, and today he published more of it in his weekly email message.

Remember, it’s this guy’s business to mine and recover digital data…here’s how it goes.

David Pogue: Let me ask you a related question. Everything is going digital. Digital music, digital photos, digital movies. Is that a dangerous trend? My mother once bemoaned the fact that rough drafts of famous novelists don’t exist anymore, ‘cause it’s all word processed, and no one will ever know the composing process.

SG: Yeah. One of our recovery guys said something one time, that in 100 years, anything we put on electronic media will not exist. Yet anything published will still be around. And I think he’s right.

DP: So things on paper-

SG: So your books will be here.

The italics are mine, added for emphasis.

Still wonder why I shoot film? I’ve got a rich, beautiful print from a black and white negative hanging on my wall that reminds me quite a bit: that negative is about a hundred years old at this point.

I’m not saying I don’t like digital, but I definitely still like film.

Posted by skooter at 8:58 PM

January 12, 2006
Nikon Says Goodbye to Film

According to Wired Magazine Nikon is moving heavily out of the film business.

An excerpt:

Nikon’s Focus Turns to Digital

Nikon, the Japanese camera and precision equipment maker, said Thursday it will focus on digital photography and stop producing most of its film cameras, except for a few professional photographer products.

“Nikon will discontinue production of all lenses for large format cameras and enlarging lenses. This also applies to most of our film camera bodies, interchangeable manual focus lenses and related accessories,” it said in a statement on its British website.

The company expects stock of analog products to sell out in retail distribution in the summer of 2006.

My concerns?

In a word: lenses.

First, I shoot Canon gear so this announcement means not so much to me. I’ll never shoot Nikon gear - I don’t like the ergonomics, but mostly I have too many lenses.

Digital cameras have two little secrets that many people conveniently overlook: the first, and most obvious one, is batteries. They like them. They love them. They suck back batteries like there’s no tomorrow. This is, of course, the general weakness of the Society of the Future™

The second, and less obvious one, is the size of the sensor chip. The vast majority of sensor ships are smaller than a standard 35mm negative. This means all those lenses you’ve been shooting for decades — sized for 35mm lenses — change in length.

On a Canon Digital Rebel XT the conversion factor is 1.6x. This means my sexy 400mm f5.6 lens and teleconverter combination becomes a 640mm f5.6 lens. Even sexier, right?

Hold your horses: what about that incredible ultra-wide 20mm lens I have? Suddenly it becomes a fairly dull and not so wide 32mm lens.

For years, photographers everywhere protested everytime somebody came out with a film format smaller than 35mm — APS in particular was the subject of much scorn. Suddenly, with digtal cameras, everbody’s falling all over themselves.

Canon makes the 5D, and made the 1D which have full frame chips. With full frame chips coming down in price, I expect that a sub CDN$2,000 full frame camera will replace the 20D in the next revolution, and all my lenses will work well. This I will seriously look at.

Nikon has spent years manufacturing lenses for the “full-frame” 35mm format, and suddenly they need to rejig all their lens factories?

Huh. Odd strategy.

There’s been a long standing rule in camera equipment: good glass is always a good investment. If I were shooting Nikon, I’m not so sure I’d think so right now.

Thankfully, I shoot Canon.

Posted by skooter at 10:08 PM

January 6, 2006
About Photography

“As time passes by and you look at portraits, the people come back to you like a silent echo. A photograph is a vestige of a face, a face in transit. Photography has something to do with death. It’s a trace.”
— Henri Cartier-Bresson

Posted by skooter at 11:43 AM

December 22, 2005
Penguins, Rocky Mountain Chocolates, Fourth Avenue, Vancouver

Chocolate Penguins

Posted by skooter at 6:41 AM
Tags: Penguins, Photos

December 8, 2005
Me at 1526hrs Today

Posted by skooter at 9:35 PM

November 30, 2005
White Rock: After The Rain

White Rock: After the Rain My day ends in White Rock fairly often, and these days it often coincides with sunset.

On Friday it rained all day, and I rode all day. As I pulled into a gas station at the end of the day, the sun poked through, the clouds separated and an incredible White Rock sunset broke through.

I wouldn’t mind living here one of these days, although I’d really choose Crescent Beach if I could.

Posted by skooter at 7:37 AM

November 20, 2005
Fog in Vancouver

Magee Elementary

Magee Elementary

Kerrisdale Birch Tree

Locks on a fence

Volkswagen Beetle Name Plate

Volswagen Beetle Turn Signal

Keys on a Newspaper Box

Posted by skooter at 8:39 PM

November 13, 2005
Tofino Soon

Posted by skooter at 8:53 AM

November 4, 2005
Replacing Divots?

Cell phone cameras provide limited resolution, but unlimited opportunity. This was a great picture taken while standing in line at a fast food restaurant.

I was just astonished by the size of this divot in the back of this guy’s head. It was amazing really. I called it a dimple, divot was someone else’s word.

Posted by skooter at 9:26 AM

October 13, 2005
Barn, Birch Bay, Washington

Barn, Birch Bay, Washington

I would like to salute
The ashes of American flags
And all the fallen leaves
Filling up shopping bags

Posted by skooter at 9:45 PM
Tags: Washington, Wilco


They say you’re always supposed to clean kids up before you take their picture. I ignored that rule.

Taken October 6, 2005.

Posted by skooter at 8:17 PM

October 11, 2005
Coffee at Alki Beach

!/washingtonState/coffee.jpg (Coffee at Alki Beach) 424x281!

Posted by skooter at 5:08 PM
Tags: Coffee, Lomo, Seattle

October 9, 2005
Scarborough, Rouge Valley

Leaf, Scarborough, Rouge Valley I grew up in Scarborough, and the forests of the Rouge Valley were my playground for a quite a few years. It’s where I started to mountain bike off road, where I started to turn my lenses in the direction of nature, and where I went when I just wanted to touch the earth.

In Vancouver, I’m surrounded by an astonishing amount of natural beauty every day of my life, but sometimes there’s no place like home.

Running up Twyn Rivers Drive Twyn Rivers drive is short and crazy steep. The best way I used to describe it was by describing what it was like to go up on a bicycle. Mountain bikes weren’t so bad, but when I climbed it on my road bike my front wheel would regularly pop up about a half inch off the ground as I put downward pressure on the pedals and pulled slightly upwards on the handlebars.

I don’t think I ever ran up it, although I’m pretty sure I would if I lived out here today. This guy was impressive, nonetheless.

Toronto has grown, in some extremely interesting and shocking ways. My friend had told me he lived in Woodbridge, which when I last lived here was an Italian enclave north of the city. No big deal, I thought

I managed to visit him yesterday for the first time in this house and it turns out that Woodbridge now means five minutes away from Kleinburg. Roads I used to cycle on just to get out of the city — long, winding, slightly hilly but stop light free roads — now have strip malls and subdivisions along their entire length. These roads used to have fields and farms, and maybe the occasional golf course.

Kleinburg was a nice country drive to go visit the McMichael gallery — not anymore.

I’m torn between whether to call this sprawl, or growth. I think it may be a little from column A, and a little from column B.

Posted by skooter at 7:38 AM
Tags: Friends, Toronto, Travel

September 13, 2005
Roadtrip: Portland

My last visit to Seattle inluded a road trip to Portland, with two main goals. The first was to visit Mt. St. Helens, which was about to blow the last time I passed by; the second was to hit Powell’s bookstore, long my favourite online bookstore and the world’s best used store by far.

A funky new Lomo Fisheye camera got trotted out for this trip too - the results are below.

Mt. St. Helens
Cycling the road to Mt. St. Helens The road to Mt. St. Helens is a twisting, sprawling road to nowhere and one that positively begs to be ridden on two wheels. These girls chose my favourite mode.

Entering Oregon
Crossing the Columbia River from Washington Every time I cross the bridge over the Columbia River - something I’ve done 4 or 5 times - I love it. The Columbia is one of the world’s greatest waterways, and was planned, by the Hudson’s Bay Company, as the border of Canada. This bridge, even if it’s fairly new, is a piece of history simply as a result of its geography.

Bikes parked at Powells City of Books Powell’s has long been my favourite online bookstore but I’ve never been to the store itself. Wall to wall books with book cases that go from floor to ceiling. So easy too get lost. So much fun.

Portland is a great city - a cyclists paradise that doesn’t suffer from the urban sprawl that characterizes so many large cities. I love this place.

Gas Works Park, Seattle
Gas Works Park Back in Seattle the next day, a visit to Gas Works Park was in order. From Gas Works, you can watch the water based buzz of seattle happening. In this picture, you can just see a sea plane landing in the upper portion of the picture. The structures at Gas Works are remnants of a more industrial era - a time when cities were lit by gaslight with all of the attendant smells and murkiness that this implies.

Some things are best left as memories.

Posted by skooter at 8:37 PM
Tags: Portland, Road Trip, Travel

September 7, 2005
Circular Vision

I can’t quite define what draws me to photography: it’s a realist’s medium, and I definitely qualify as a realist. There’s a surreal element imposed by the lens though - choose your focal length, depth of field, type of film and other factors carefully and you are, in fact, presenting a distorted view of reality.

The Tyee presents an article with work that I like quite a bit. Photographs that capture odd moments, in a unique and beautiful way. A Circular Vision

Posted by skooter at 6:52 PM

August 20, 2005
Stunning Photography on an Ansel Adams level

The latest outside magazine has a biography of Brad Washburn, and features a small selection of photos.

Thankfully, they’ve put more online.

Posted by skooter at 9:01 PM

August 8, 2005
saskatchewan pictures

I’ve been a little bit lax - scanning film does take time. Two pics from my Saskatchewan trip for now, with many many more to come later.

Saskatchewan Cabins
A lone, abandoned cabin sits in a field. Land of the Living Skies they call this place.

Mom on the Icefields Parkway
My mom standing on a rise in the highway on the Icefields Parkway near Bridal Veil Falls. I’ve been here before, but this time was much much better. Two words: Go. North.

Posted by skooter at 11:07 PM

July 23, 2005
My Frisbee is here

In honour of its arrival, I’ve posted the unedited unadulterated photos from my Independence Day weekend in Seattle.

Posted by skooter at 9:08 PM

June 18, 2005
Fuzzy Dice

There’s something very odd about walking through the streets of Kerrisdale and stumbling upon a pair of fuzzy dice sitting in a parking lot.

Man, if I had a car I’d have so taken these.

Posted by skooter at 7:02 PM

May 13, 2005
ottawa. by ward market.

Posted by skooter at 6:48 PM

May 12, 2005
Mushroom at Shannon Falls

Mushrooms at Shannon Falls

Posted by skooter at 9:13 PM

May 6, 2005
your blue hood

We stood there in the pounding rain, watching the water tumble over Nairn falls and through the chasm carved into the stone by centuries of the same activity.

The light blue of your hood contrasted sharply with the deep grey-blue of the rock that surrounded us, and the water beaded up on the nylon; sliding off and on to the already slick rock.

The trail back was wet, and damp, and slippery and the rain kept pounding for the rest of the day.

Posted by skooter at 1:01 AM

April 24, 2005
when you come home to this, the world couldn't look much better

Georgia and Torie in the backyard.

Posted by skooter at 7:38 PM
Tags: Georgia

April 4, 2005
and how was your day?

here, it was sunny and warm and my after work walk took me in a neat direction.

Posted by skooter at 10:18 PM

December 29, 2004
fog in shaughnessy

The great thing about having a dog, is the way it forces you out in the mornings and at night. No matter how tired you are personally, this thing needs to get out for a walk.

So with that, I headed out for a walk yesterday; the city was so completely fogged in that it was hard to see in front of you at all. What a beautiful day.

I realize that what I didn’t like about living on Commercial Drive was that there was no beauty; it was a funky, kind of cool neighbourhood where you could buy great olives and salami, but it was ugly. Even the buildings were, for the most part, boring and dull. Commercial Drive has the view from Grandview Park, but that’s overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the poverty of that particular park.

Most areas of Vancouver aren’t like this; most have some beauty.

I’m glad to be living amongst it again.

Posted by skooter at 7:28 AM

December 28, 2004
Your Heroes at their Best

Far be it from me to dismiss the importance of collective bargaining and union contracts, but I could help take a picture of this - one of Vancouver’s finest banking while on duty.

And yes, that’s a fire truck stopping traffic on 1st Ave. - the busiest street in the city - so that this guy can pull cash out of an ATM.

Posted by skooter at 8:20 AM

November 29, 2004
give me land lots of land and the starry skies above

Bison in Montana Winter

Posted by skooter at 8:04 AM

November 18, 2004
The Best Commute in the World

There realy is no better commute in the world than this.

Posted by skooter at 4:53 PM

November 9, 2004
not every day ends like this one did

Posted by skooter at 9:03 PM

October 29, 2004
Rainy Season - Again

Leaf in the Rain
I always said that it rained a lot in the fall here; today was a particularly beautiful day.

Posted by skooter at 3:31 PM

October 17, 2004
New Forms Festival 2004

More to come, including some of the exhibits.

Posted by skooter at 10:36 AM

September 30, 2004
Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens, September 28, 2004
That there in the distance, barely visible is Mt. St. Helens as seen from a BMW travelling at about 140km/h

Better look out: she’s gonna blow!

Posted by skooter at 7:43 PM

September 27, 2004
Fort Lewis, Washington State

Driving past Fort Lewis I can’t help but think about how many of these kids have died in Iraq. Too many.

Posted by skooter at 10:55 PM

September 24, 2004
What a great flag

I’ve taken lots of pictures of Canadian flags, but this is probably my favourite one. Taken on the Bowen Island ferry on a gloomy, overcast day.

Posted by skooter at 5:59 PM
Tags: Bowen Island, Canada, Flags

September 10, 2004
Graffiti: Vancouver style

Posted by skooter at 1:54 AM

September 2, 2004
Self Portrait at Joffre Lakes

Posted by skooter at 7:25 PM

August 27, 2004
Joffre Lakes: Heaven On Earth?

I just got back from 2 days at Joffre Lakes and boy are my legs tired.

Seriously: my legs are killing me from the hike. Harder than anywhere else I’ve been.

I chose, as I so often do, to lug my entire Canon rig up to the lake. Boy was it ever worth it. More to come, but here’s a start.

The Stonecrop Glacier seen from Joffre Lake

My hike was rainy, and after camping at an interim location I arrived at Upper Joffre Lake the next morning to a stunning, but fogged in, view.

The hike up to Upper Joffre Lake shouldn’t be underestimated: although its only 5.5km in total, it’s quite rugged. It took me 2 solid hours of hiking just to reach the Middle Lake (4km) where I camped about 10 feet away from a sign that says no camping allowed. Plan on a minimum 3 hours to reach the upper lake, in part due to the ruggedness of the trail: while it is maintained, it’s not as clear and easy to walk as the trail to Garibaldi Lake. Fields of boulders present navigational hazards, and in the rain can be quite slippery. I carried not one, but two trekking poles and was thankful for them both.

The first picture is my favourite - taken with a 20mm lens standing just inches away from the flow of water - but this provides a wide view from the campground. Two glaciers are distinctly visible from the campground - the Stonecrop and the Matier.

While wandering aimlessly towards the Tszil Glacier, I heard a sound I didn’t recognize. After looking into the sky 3 times - it seemed most like the call of a raptor of some sort - I finally looked around on the ground and spotted a Marmot sitting on some rocks. Marmot’s are fairly rare at the lake.

The hike up towards the Tszil glacier is a rugged, boulder strewn field with water running through it in virtually every direction. The amazing thing was the sound - this much water running under this much rock bears an amazing acoustic resemblance to a plane passing overhead. I probably looked up at least half a dozen times before I finally stopped.

A lone duck in the lake kept me company for most of my stay, content to rule its own kingdom. The occassional winged visitor dropped by, but I didn’t recognize most of them.

With the mist hanging in the air, the rainforest was alive - as it should be.

For some reason I was surprised when I stumbled across 4 Bumble Bees. It makes perfect sense of course - something has to pollinate the flowers up here - but I just haven’t seen that many at altitude.

Posted by skooter at 10:46 PM

August 18, 2004
North Shore Views

West Vancouver at Night

Vancouver’s North Shore is probably the best place to live in the world; I miss it quite a bit, and hope to get back.

This is West Vancouver at night, taken from the pier near Ambleside Beach.

Posted by skooter at 10:58 PM
Tags: Long exposures

August 17, 2004
Cruising (the Alaska variety, not the Oldsmobile one)

Alaska was a compelling destination; cruising was not necessarily my first choice of ways to do it, but it’s not a bad one either.

Posted by skooter at 10:38 PM

March 5, 2004
North Vancouver's Port

8km on my bike tonight, and this is just a bit of what I got.

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Train and MoonCranes at the Versatile Shipyards

Posted by skooter at 8:08 PM

January 24, 2004
Geoff Berner at Pub 340

I have literally just gotten back from a Geoff Berner show at the Pub 340; I’ve been a fan of Geoff for a while, but never managed to see him.

If you haven’t seen Geoff you should; if you haven’t bought his album yet, what the hell are you thinking? Who knew the accordion could be cool. Light Enough to Travel and Iron Grey are his biggest hits so far, but for my money his best tune is Prairie Wind which may be the best song about Saskatchewan ever.

Posted by skooter at 11:25 PM
Tags: Accordion, Geoff Berner, Pub 340

January 19, 2004
Ghost Ships in the Burrard Inlet

At about midnight, I looked out of the upstairs window of this house at the view of Vancouver - fog was rolling in from the east, and the city was becoming enshrouded in mist.

A quick walk down to the waterfront for one of the clear benefits of living in North Vancouver (the view of the city) had me taking a bunch of timed exposures of the ghost ships in the Burrard Inlet and the city itself.

Exposures, all at f8

Ship: 90 seconds, Sigma 90mm
Ship: 180 seconds, Sigma 90mm
City with ships moving: 120 seconds, 50mm Macro
City: 90 seconds, 50mm Macro

Posted by skooter at 10:17 AM
Tags: Burrard Inlet, Long Exposures

November 30, 2003
Joe Who?

Joe Clark - who’s Calgary Centre riding just voted heavily in favour of merging with the Canadian Alliance - was quoted today saying that merging the two parties will hand a certain victory to Paul Martin’s liberals in the next federal election.

Joe - first of all, I love ya’ man. Well, not when you were Prime Minister - but certainly in later years. I think you did a hell of a job as a Tory leader. Seriously though - are you suggesting tha the alternative - keeping the parties separate - will do anything but?

This merger is really the only way to go, and it may be the only opportunity to kick maniacs like Larry Spencer out of the party.

Posted by skooter at 10:00 AM

July 6, 2002
Of ships and shoes and sealing wax

Ironic, isn’t it, that it’s cheaper for me to reach the west coast of Washington than British Columbia; of course, we have an island and they don’t.

Nonetheless, Olympic National Park is stunning and was home for three days.

Olympic National Park: South Coast Unit

Seattle, like Vancouver, doesn’t actually border on the Pacific Ocean. This was a distinction that meant little to me when I lived in Toronto, but is now of tremendous significance.

The shape of the coast is different here; while Howe Sound or Puget Sound make Lake Ontario feel like a fishing pond, the wild shores of the Pacific Ocean are another thing altogether.

With that in mind, I headed to Olympic National Park for a coast walk. Olympic can be reached by driving only, although a half-hour ferry ride from Whidbey Island makes the trip much shorter; at US$8.75 for passenger and car, this is much cheaper than getting to Vancouver Island.

I left after three days, with near perfect weather (save some rain at night, which put my new tent to the test.) I drove home through a storm; if I had known this was going to happen, I might have stayed.

More photos are stuck in my camera, but these will do for now.

Scott Bluff

Giant’s Graveyard, as seen from my tent

Posted by skooter at 9:36 AM
Tags: Camping, Coast, Washington

July 4, 2002
Its not always foggy in Vancouver, just most of the time

Riders learned a little about Vancouver weather while practicing on course at the Tissot Grundig World Cup

Posted by skooter at 8:38 PM

July 1, 2002
Who says Vancouver doesn't know how to party?

Canada Day in Vancouver turned out to be more fun than we thought it might be.

Posted by skooter at 9:38 AM

May 17, 2002
Maple Ridge isn't all bad

A recent hike into Golden Ears netted some good photos but no overnight stay.

Posted by skooter at 5:07 PM

April 18, 2002
There's Nothing Wrong With Polygamy, as Long as They're All Cute

Photos from Utah are finally scanned and assembled; between my EOS film, point and shoot film and a digital camera, there are well over 400 images to sort through. The bulk of these are from mine, although I’ve filled in some gaps when I was busy driving.

I’ve also added a search function to the site, although I can’t imagine why anybody would want to use it; nonetheless, here it is.

(I’ve pulled the search section on October 8, 2005 since Atomz no longer does free search without advertising, and Movable Type’s integrated search is fine.)

Posted by skooter at 11:45 PM
Tags: Road Trip, Travel, Utah

January 6, 2002
Bubar Ranch in winter

Bubar Ranch: December 2001

Our Christmas visit to the Bubar Ranch had us staying in the old farmhouse for four days. This gave us a lot of time to explore outside on snowshoes and inside on foot.

Bubar Ranch, January 2, 2001
Bubar Ranch, January 2, 2001

I had my fingers crossed for snow, and the mountains didn’t disappoint. On our first day, the ranch was blanketed with the kind of clean white snow that only people who don’t live in cities undertand. On our last day, large flakes were falling from the sky as we left, bringing a perfect vacation to a close.

Branding IronWindmillAn old branding iron is still at the ranch. Although it hasn’t seen use in some time, it hangs from the rafters of the shed.

The windmill is in truly amazing condition, with the original paint indicating that it was purchased from the T. Eaton Co.

Inside of BarnsThe inside of the barns is empty and unused, but in amazing condition.

Scuff KoteWaterman's InkThe inside of the house was a treasure trove of antiques, with many of them probably having been there since my mother’s youth. She has memories of using this box of scuff kote to tidy up her shoes.

Cookwood StoveThank god for the cookwood stove, which in the first couple of days provided much needed heat.

Leaving ranch
A little secret - this isn’t us leaving really, we were just going into Midway for the night. I like the picture though.

Posted by skooter at 9:55 AM
Tags: Bubar, Kettle Valley, Ranch, Winter

December 28, 2001
Charlottetown is a town, not a's right there in the name!

Some colour slides of Charlottetown have come back, including some of the first photos I took with my crazy-wide 20mm lens. Very nice.

Posted by skooter at 9:58 AM

November 18, 2001
Allesandro Nanini Crash, Montreal Grand Prix, 1990

Four photos of a crash sequence from the 1990 Montreal Grand Prix which ate the last of my film for that day.

Allesandro Nanini: 1990 Montreal Grand Prix

On my last trip to the Montreal Grand Prix, the race started wet and gradually dried up. Our seats were on an chicane like curve on the backside of the track.

Allsandra Nanini — driving for Benneton — went just off line and spun out into the barrier.

About two laps later, Jean Alessi - then driving for Brabham - repeated the exercise, with his car slamming into Naninis. Alas, I had no film at that point. (First rule of shooting a car race: take lots of film. You’ll use it all.)

Several months later, Nanini had a helicopter accident in which he lost his arm, althought it was later reattached.

Posted by skooter at 5:13 PM
Tags: Formula One, Racing

October 9, 2001
Mel Lastman could screw anything up

Since leaving Toronto, I haven’t really been saying bad things about the place but I certainly haven’t missed it. On my last visit there, it finally struck me as a beautiful place in a very different way than Vancouver - particularly as night fell. There’s something magic about night falling on a city: the silhouettes of buildings offer a stark contrast against the sky, and the artificial lights begin to let off their glow.

The doors of the subway, as it left Warden station, shone like silver, masking the ugliness most people see within.

Now if only you could get rid of Mel Lastman.

Posted by skooter at 5:19 PM

September 26, 2001
Whitewater Kayaking the Chilliwack River

Some photos taken on the weekend of whitewater kayaking on the Chiliwack River. The ones taken with the 500mm mirror lens strongly exhibit the doughnut effect of out of focus areas that is typical of these lenses, although in this case I think it creates an appealing effect of sparkling water.

Posted by skooter at 5:16 PM
Tags: Kayak, Photos, River

September 17, 2001
Barn, Richmond

Barn, Richmond, British Columbia

This barn was located on the side of Highway 99 when I took this picture, with horses grazing in the field. It was torn down sometime in 2002, although the big yellow house that sat beside it is still there.

I always liked the house, although it’s a little close to the highway now. I suspect it would be more accurate to suggest that the highway is a little close to it, and the house looks like it was there first.

Posted by skooter at 11:02 PM

September 11, 2001

On a recent visit to the village of Harrison Hotsprings, the Jeep turned up a logging road and found this.
Waterfall, Harrison Hotsprings

Posted by skooter at 11:39 PM
Tags: Black and White, Photos, Waterfall

September 6, 2001
The 70's are back; oh, wait - they're gone again

This is not a joke. I sat two rows behind this guy on the plane. The really funny thing is his head was tiny, it’s all hair.


Posted by skooter at 9:45 AM
Tags: Planes

August 1, 2001
It's Bubar, not Babar

I’ve added to the Bubar pages, with the story of the journey west. I originally had this story in a geneology project that I did when I was young. If anybody wants to put anything else up here, send it to me.

Posted by skooter at 9:47 AM

July 27, 2001
Cypress Bowl

Three black and whites that I particularly like from Cypress Bowl.

Posted by skooter at 5:20 PM

July 23, 2001
California Uber Alles

Finally, a “photo essay on our California trip.”:/california/ Be warned, this is 12 pages long and contains lots of pictures. Not to be entered lightly, or by the slow of modem.

Posted by skooter at 9:19 PM

July 20, 2001
University of Toronto & University College

My alma matter is the University of Toronto, Canada’s largest university and one of the most beautiful campuses anywhere.

Convocation Hall, CN Tower, Toronto The university’s campus is just on the edge of Downtown Toronto, and is a beautiful oasis of greenspace in the middle of a concrete jungle. In the summers, I used to ride down there from Scarborough just to enjoy it. Later, when I lived downtown and walked about an hour to work each morning, I usually made it a point of cutting through the campus.

The position of the campus creates some truly odd scenes. The CN Tower juts impossingly into the Toronto skyline from just about every angle on campus, but particularly above Convocation Hall.

Con Hall is an amazing round building, and a truly bizarre one to have a class in. It seats about 2000 people in incredibly uncomfortable chairs with three levels.

The hall is frequently used for Concerts (although the Who has yet to play there…the music tends to be a bit quieter.) I once saw Sarah McLachlan there, and the concert remains one of the more unique in my life.

Woodsworth College, Physics Building Physics students love their toys, and those toys require a smokestack to vent the waste - nuclear and otherwise - out of.

The physics smokestack is one of the tallest structures on campus, and sits just off of St. George street - the main campus drag.

Lash Miller Chemical Laboratory

Ventilation stacks on the Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories.

An air vent on the University College residences.

Posted by skooter at 9:24 PM
Tags: Toronto, University of Toronto

July 18, 2001
The queen called it the prettiest town in the world, but I find it quite ugly

A couple of Goderich photos on Ilford Delta 100.

Posted by skooter at 10:09 AM

July 17, 2001
Herons are the best birds ever

Two new photos added to the Heron page, scanned with the Canon FS4000 slide scanner. One heron in flight.
Two photos of Saraphina & Arry Noah Vasilodimatrakis-Hart, sometimes known as Len’s kids.

Posted by skooter at 10:12 AM

May 23, 2001
Long Beach is the most magical place in the world

Big time update. Pictures from our trip to Long Beach, mostly of the beach (more to come.)

Posted by skooter at 10:10 AM

May 15, 2001
Kits Beach has the best girls

Added photos from Kitsilano Beach; move to Dreamweaver is complete, and may stay that way for a while.

We’re off to Long Beach this weekend, this time camping in a tent. It’s rained for three days in Vancouver, so we’ve got our fingers crossed for sunny weather.


The shot of the sky from Kitsilano beach at left is also on my Vancouver
Sky page, but it’s taken from Kitsilano Beach so I thought it belonged
here as well.

We frequently walk down to Kits at night, particularly when it’s not


Kitsilano Pool - Shower

This shot was taken on a sunny early May day, when Kitsilano pool was still empty.

The pool is outdoors, located about 15 feet from the ocean at high tide (only a sea wall walkway lies between it and salt water.)

Vancouver used to be full of tide fed pools, one of which was Kitsilano (another was lcoated on the edge of Stanley Park.) These pools were filled by Tidal flows, and heated to more palatable temperatures (no one’s ever said the north Pacific was warm!)

These pools are now filled in more traditional ways, but the fact that they still exist in the same place is fairly amazing.

Posted by skooter at 5:21 PM

May 11, 2001
Vancouver's port

Added pictures from Canada Place, taken just a couple of days ago. The Alaska cruising season has begun, and there are boats in the harbour on a daily basis.

Other pictures from Vancouver’s Port, which lives across the tracks from Gastown.

Canada Place - Vancouver

Constructed as part of the Vancouver hosted Expo ‘86, Canada Place is the premier business address in Vancouver The entrance is located just outside of the gates to Gastown, and is one of the first buildings that visitors arriving through the Burrard Inlet see.

The structure itself is quite striking, with a farily modest business tower connected to the larger conference centre area. The roof of the conference centre is designed to resemble five sails when viewed from a distance.

Canada Place

A small portion of the building’s roof, seen from below. The intended sail appearance is fairly obvious from here.

Construction at Canada Place

In the spring of 2001, major construction is underway with an extension being built at the north end of the building.

Cruise Ship Bow

Cruise Ship

Canada Place is Vancouver’s main cruise ship terminal, with numerous large vessels leaving all year round. Spring marks the beginning of the Alaska cruise season, with ships leaving almost daily.

All of these ships are enormous, with many of them almost as large as the building itself. The first ship to make the trip in the spring of 2001 was over 40 stories tall, and at first glance looked like the building itself.

The decadence of these monstrous beasts irks me somewhat, but they are a major economic engine for this city.

Posted by skooter at 5:14 PM

January 30, 2001
Vancouver Sky

Vancouver Sky

Yeah, so it rains a lot. Big deal. This is what we get for it. (The scan doesn’t even begin to do justice to the colours in this photo.

English Bay from Kits Beach

When I talk to people who’ve never been here, I tell them Kitsilano is like Toronto’s Beach, but bigger. The similarities are many: endless beaches, dogs absolutely everywhere, and overinflated housing prices are just the beginning.

Kitsilano Beach is the eastern-most ‘city’ beach in Vancouver, on the south shore of False Creek. Walking there from our apartment takes about five minutes by street, or 15 by the much more scenice seaside trail.

This was shot on particularly clear night at sunset. While the clouds aren’t very dramatic, the colours were quite vivid.

Posted by skooter at 7:55 PM
Tags: Clouds, Sky, Vancouver, Vancouver Olympics

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