Archive for the 'night photography' Category

Coachella (the vacation recap edition — part two)!

While this was my second Coachella, I’d still consider myself to be pretty new to the whole music festival thing.  The sheer scale of it all, plus the sight of tens of thousands people together in one place just amazes me.  Not to mention the almost-spiritual sensation of surrendering to the music.  I just love it and only wish I’d known about it sooner!

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Plus there’s amazing fashion and larger-than-life art installations to see everywhere.

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But really, what I think is best about Coachella are the friends you’re with.

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Beautiful music, well-worn dancing shoes and big belly laughs really are some of the best things in life.

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A couple of winter scenes featuring trees.

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A few of many.

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Been pretty busy lately.  Have loads of new work that I’d love to share but, alas, have not had much time to do so.  So please be patient my darlings — I promise to be back soon!

In the meantime, here are a few of my favourites from the recent 4-day Epicure Selections Conference that just took place in Toronto.

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Just a coupla’ quick ones from Coachella….

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Love in Paradise.

We’ve been home a week and I still don’t have the words to describe how incredible Ngaio & Wilson’s Jamaican wedding was.  It was capital “A” Amazing.

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We’d only been back from NYC for three days before we flew off to Montego Bay.

It was a bit of a shock, experiencing the extreme temperature differences in such a short span of time but, if I had to, I’m pretty sure I could get used to the jetsetter lifestyle.

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The wedding was held at Coral Cove, an intimate and lovely resort in a little fishing village near Little Bay.  It’s about 10 miles south of Negril and, apart from us, was completely void of tourists.  It was peaceful, quiet, and beautiful.

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I haven’t written anything down recently but I do have a bit of a mental bucket list going.

Before this trip, I was so excited for the wedding that I didn’t think about much else, nevermind checking things off my list.  Things like snorkeling through caves (check) or jumping off a cliff into the ocean (check).   Both of which were awesome — though the latter had me pacing in fear for about 10 minutes before making the leap (which I mostly had to do because a 9 year-old went ahead and did it just before me).

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Really, the whole trip was just awesome and full with fun times.

Like the time we flew kites on the beach.

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Or went sailing on a 40 foot catamaran.

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Or went fishing and caught a 25 lb King fish (which Raina heroically reeled in herself and had the bloody knuckles to prove it).

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But when it comes down to it, we were there for our dear friends, Wilson and Ngaio, and to see them get married.

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Wilson is a photographer (he’s the other half of the awesome Raina + Wilson duo) and Ngaio works in advertising.  Together, they make an amazing team — as evidenced by all the thought, care, and effort they put into planning their wedding.

Case in point: a significant portion of their luggage was dedicated to lighting.  They brought down string lights for the reception, coloured bulbs for the main building, gels to tone down other lights that would’ve otherwise been overpowering / ugly, to name a few.

Of course, given that Wilson is a photographer and producing is something that they both do as part of their day jobs, I wouldn’t expect anything less.  But still.  It was impressive.

And like the rest of the trip, their wedding was simply beautiful.

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It was an incredible trip, in a beautiful place, and full with beautiful people.  My only wish is that we could go back and do it all over again.

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Brooklyn-bound… and Back – Part 3

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While in NYC, we stayed with my lovely childhood friend Suzy and her family.  They were living in Toronto previously but moved to Park Slope in Brooklyn ’bout a year and a half ago.

Back when Suzy was getting ready for the big move, I peppered her with questions about everything.  The visa process.  Moving costs.  Living costs.  The whole 9.

While still happy and comfortable in Toronto, I dreamed of New York.

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Aside from the sketchbook tour, we only had a few plans.  At just 4 days, ’twas a short one and I didn’t want to stress out by having too much on our plate.  So we mostly just went with whatever.

We enjoyed some great eats (at Talde, Parish Hall, and Sky Ice) and also went to the Brooklyn Flea — all of which I’d highly recommend.

We also checked out Sleep No More — which was amazing.  (And if I could give just one bit of advice, wear comfortable shoes and do NOT read anything about it.  At all.  Except maybe a Cliff Notes book on Macbeth.  But seriously — the less you know, the better.  Admittedly, the show has been running for a while so there’s tons of info out there — but if I could do it all over again, I’d go in knowing nothing.  Nada.  Zip!)

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One thing I realized early in our trip was that this was my first time visiting the big city while living in another big city.  Coming from Edmonton or Victoria, the difference is stark.  But coming from Toronto… this was different.

We already have art and artists and street noise and music and great food and culture and things to do every night of the week.  I’ve been here 10 years already and am still just scratching at the surface.

Of course, there is a vibrancy of spirit in New York that is unparalleled.

But Toronto is pretty awesome too.

And in real terms, the amount we pay for our house essentially would get us a teeny-tiny studio far out in the boroughs.  So there’s that too.

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Anyway, near the end of our trip, Suzy asked if New York was still on our radar.  And I paused.

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If we could afford to “do it right” in NYC, I’d still move there in a heartbeat.  But if and until that happens… I’m actually pretty happy, right now, right here in Toronto.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what this trip has meant for my relationship with  NYC and for our future together.  I’ve held on to the dream of living there for so long; I no longer know if it’s passion or habit.

But the one thing I do know, if it weren’t for New York, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  Living in a big city, doing work I love to do.

And for that reason alone, big and beautiful New York City, a part of me will always be yours for the taking.

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Snapshots from LA.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, it’s totally not my intention to turn what started as a “photo a day” blog into a “random post once a month” blog.  It’s just kinda… happening that way?

Life has been especially hectic lately and, truth be told, 2012 is turning out to be a challenging year.

But, as a perennial optimist, I’m choosing to look at the bright side.  Remembering the good times and being grateful for all that I have.

Speaking of good times, our little family vacation in LA was amazing.  That California sun really does work some magic.

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I miss you LA.  Hope we see you again soon.


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