Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
After six days of Florida sun, a plane ride from hell, and the first of several Christmas parties, I have returned. I'll share a few of the 300+ shots I took down in the Sunshine State over the coming days. Starting with.....
Posted by photoBlair at 9:05 am
Friday, December 15, 2006
It's that time of year again. Time to take a well-earned vacation to sunnier climes. To me, nothing says Christmas quite like 80-degree temperatures and fake snow in the middle of Florida. So, until next weekend, I hope you all stay swell and reasonably warm ;-)
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
With new toy in hand, I went for a drive through downtown Toronto last night, just as the snow started to fall. B&W season is upon us....
Posted by photoBlair at 9:26 am
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Wow! You're still looking here! I'm amazed and grateful for your attentive eyes! I've had a couple of occasions which have prevented me from posting here over the past few months. First, my grandmother recently passed away and since then, my brain hasn't exactly been on picture taking. Second, my dear HP R817 suddenly died on me last week.
I was attending a Sloan concert at the Kool Haus in Toronto and was taking some sample shots of the opening band, The Yoko Casionos (I LOVE that name! Great band, too), when the death occurred. My final shot, number 5772, was this:
(OK, it's not exactly "going out with a bang" but this is history we're talking about here)
What caused the premature demise was one of the camera settings called "Theatre Mode", which allows you to take indoor shots with a high ISO setting, no flash and a relatively quick shutter speed. Well, I set the camera to go into Theatre Mode on startup and turned off the camera. When I turned on the camera, it gave the HP version of the Blue Screen Of Death.
Perhaps this was the Universe's signal for me to enjoy the concert for once and not worry about getting killer souvenir shots. The concert was indeed wonderful, as it usually is with them, but I still managed to use my camera phone to get souvenirs that look like this:
Ugh. 2 MegaPixels never looked so so-so.
Numerous e-mails to HP support (and yes, I followed their instructions) hadn't fixed the problem, so I had to make a quick decision. The camera was out-of-warranty, so any repairs would cost me. Plus I had bought a spare battery and accesssory kit for the HP and if I were to return them, I had to move fast.
So, I bought a new camera yesterday. A Canon A710 IS. Gorgeous camera. 7.1 MegaPixels, 6x optical zoom, and DOESN'T USE PROPRIETARY $70 BATTERIES! AA's will do quite nicely, and cheaply. More details here: http://www.canon.ca/english/index-products.asp?lng=en&prodid=1099&sgid=23&gid=2&ovr=1
And thus begins a new era. I present you IMG_0001.jpg. Cropped and decoloured, of course.
So, on behalf of my cat Athena and myself, I'd like to thank you for reading through all that. I promise I'll stick closer to "just photos" from here on in.
Posted by photoBlair at 8:30 am
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Posted by photoBlair at 9:21 am
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Taken Friday, September 22, 2006 in Orillia, Ontario.
Posted by photoBlair at 8:18 am
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Andrew Scott on the drums, via Chris Murphy's bass arm
Patrick Pentland as Lemmy
Jay Ferguson as "The Cute Sloaner"
Posted by photoBlair at 10:10 am
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Taken September 15, 2006 on Connaught Avenue, Toronto.
This month, the city has been under seige from a whole bunch of movie types. Most notable of these is the Toronto International Film Festival (where I caught a glimpse of some Graduate-type, below), but also the filming of the remake of the film "Hairspray", which will feature a drag-laden John Travolta.
One of the unsung stars of the film, well two actually, will be the vintage PCC streetcars operated by the TTC for special occasions such as this, where the rollsign has been replaced for a permanent-looking Baltimore destination sign.
And now, with narry five minutes til Wapner, here he is. You know him, you love him, it's...uh...oh yeah, it's Dustin Hoffman!
Posted by photoBlair at 12:04 am
Monday, September 11, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Today marks the day that nearly a dozen American department stores disappear. Marshall Field's, Kaufmanns, Filenes, Foley's, L.S.Ayers and others will now simply be known as.....
(photo taken August 8, 2003 in Herald Square, New York City)
I feel particularly sad for the people of Chicago. Sure, Pittsburgh is "losing" their downtown Kauffmans, but Chicago is losing the venerable Marshall Field's after 125 years. I'm no retail analyst, but I do know how branding is important to me as a consumer. When I grew up, there were two types of folks in the city: Eaton's people and Simpson's people. The (Simpsons-)Sears folks lived out in the suburbs, so they didn't count.
I was a Simpson's person. My parents would take me down to the flagship store at Yonge and Queen at least once a week, just to wander around and maybe get a hot dog and an orange drink down in the basement. The neatest thing about the downtown Simpson's store was that it was connected to a parking garage across Richmond Street via an overhead walkway. This walkway preceded the admittedly more exciting one which linked to the Eaton Centre by many years, but it was still neat to watch the one-way traffic zip beneath you as you walked over to check out the latest deals on slacks.
Alas, the Hudson's Bay company purchased the Robert Simpson Co. in 1978 and erased the Simpson's name from Canada's retail landscape in 1991.
(screen cap from the TV series "Today's Special", linked above)
So today, I can identify with you folks who are losing a small piece of your past. Keep those souvenir bags and gift boxes and receipts and charge cards, because now, besides some cherished memories, that's all you've got.
Oh, by the way. My wife was an Eaton's person. At least it's better than Woolco! ;-)
Posted by photoBlair at 8:13 am
Thursday, September 07, 2006
For those of you who still think it's summer, here are a few memories of the 2006 Canadian National Exhibition.
Posted by photoBlair at 10:19 pm