BBJ@Edson

Points of Interest along this gig might be the 2006 Harley drag bike, the trip down memory lane with a Vardy, Fast Eddie McDonald, finding that the only money is at the top, pogo stick calamities, generous vodka and cran’s, super drone, being afraid of having the lights go dim, trophy rooms, and some great roast beef ends with beans to die for. The rest is either a blur or lost in the haze of sleeplessness.

Probably more of the latter.

bbj1

footstrike

I did my longest run of the year a few days back, 17.5 km, and although everything was good in terms of pace and cardio and whatnot, my calf did seize up with only a couple hundred meters to go. Not sure why, especially so late in a run, but it could’ve been because my stride shortened and I might have began landing harder somehow? Maybe. According to some sites it could also just be my changing form …..the body reacting differently than normal when tasked with the slightly longer distance – venturing into unchartered territories so-to-speak. Anyway I ran a laid back 5 km today and although the calf was fine at the start, it did speak-up a little later, although it wasn’t yelling like it was for the long run. I’m thinking it’ll be fine, and I’m thinking the more I up the distances the more the body will adapt and simply take them in stride.

AR@BBQ

The Ol’ America Rosa gang (or most of them that is) got together for nice little reunion/BBQ the other day. Yea!

Sergio packed up the band a few years back now and although a few of us have been in touch once in a while, a lot haven’t seen each other for close to three years or so, which meant there was some catching up to do. Cecilia and Hugo have a baby, Dave and family a new car, Erin and Mauricio’s kids are little adults already ….everything’s moving on it seems. Except me of course ….I’m kinda timeless ;)

Seriously though it was a nice hang and yes, there is talk about putting things together for a one-off or something. The Serg has tinnitus though, so he’s not keen on anything long-term. That’s something I’ve always been concerned about which is why I usually wear ear plugs …although I’ve been slack lately which means it’s probably a good time to rededicate myself.

This upcoming weekend for sure…

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WeddingCrashers@Muttart

Important memories from this gig include things like moving sound, doing sound, doing sound that I didn’t have to, having others do sound, having pretty tasty wine, watching singers feel each other out, not knowing Locked Out Of Heaven even though I’ve played it 50 times before, enjoying people having a good time, filling my car to critical levels, stepping out of my comfort zone with Zara-man, feeling fat in my Zara-man, liking the pyramids (in moderation) and finally being the last one to leave the building.

Apparently Elvis had left earlier.

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extra ‘ordinary’

Does this photo bring feelings of excitement, adventure, the wildness of nature and a once-in-a-lifetime moment through photography?! It does for me!

bear

Image from dailymail.co.uk

Or rather did that is. You see, it seems these kinds of ‘wildlife’ moments are more life than they are wild. I had a nice conversation with a fellow at the Prince Rupert airport who had just come from a bear-shoot where he and a group of fellow pro-photographers went on a guided tour of a nesting/feeding area just to the North of us. They safely floated along on a boat about 25 feet away from the frolicing bears while amassing hundreds of images with their expensive, cutting edge gear. It wasn’t staged photography per se, but it wasn’t exactly wild either. The bears have a ‘go to’ spot to eat or play or what have you, and the tour guides know how to get you into this location ….so the boat of 4-6 photographers experience a literal turkey shoot of ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ images. There’s no special moment ….not really, and it makes the impossible to capture image very much possible.

There’s a live webcam here for example (to where this fellow was heading the following week) showing you dozens of bears feading throughout the day ….but what you don’t see in it are the platforms of 50+ photographers perched in more or less the same spot, racking up thousands upon thousands of images and turning that special, raw moment into a certainty. Yes, the bears are in a ‘natural’ environment, but only natural when you ignore the hoards of people trained on their every move. Of course they’re hungry and are feeding as they’ve always done, but they don’t pay much attention to their onlookers because they’ve been seeing them at this spot for decades. Heck, the bears have even been assigned their own names/numbers, they have fans (followers) and detailed histories in terms of personality. It’s almost akin to being camped in a zoo ….aiming your lens through the bars and waiting for that ‘wild’ to happen.

And so what does this do for a great photograph you ask? For the unknowing viewer ….nothing. The image is still great. But for an informed newbie (like myself) it shifts the emphasis away from the extraordinary feat of capturing a wild bear eating a salmon to something much more mundane; focusing in on a good looking bear for example (one with non-yellowing teeth, an un-scared coat, an animated expression etc. etc.), hunting for a healthy looking salmon being grabbed at the right moment, framing a stunning backdrop with the perfect waterfall, lighting and treed or rocked compositional aspects …the list goes on. It also removes the natural and imaginative storyline of risk-taking and danger, replacing it with something more run-of-the-mill ….perhaps even shifting the interest away from such wonderful creatures and their exceptional abilities, not to mention normalizing a breath-taking natural environment. It’s like looking at a fashion cover model in a magazine; you know a great portion of the shot is ‘fake’ and unnatural so you just don’t care anymore. You become immune to the effect because you’re aware of the behind-the-scenes production of it all. However, that may be me….

Anyway I was kinda excited to find out how it was all done, and my fellow photographer was more than happy to share the juicy details on getting such magic shots (not just bears either ….most wildlife for that matter) – but then I was kinda disappointed at the same time. You see, I look at ‘taking pictures’ the way I look at a lot of things I suppose; as a journey. Sure, there’s a destination of sorts when you finally get an image you’re happy with …but don’t you dismiss that adventure by jumping the gun with things? Is it really in your best interest to rush to the end of an experience just to pad the portfolio and proclam “See, I did/got it!” And what of that prize ….can you finally go home and sleep with ease knowing you’ve accomplished all you’ve set out to? And then what’s next, more of the same great quality images of wildlife in action? More ‘setting up’ ….so you can get bears with perfect teeth? Eagles with the perfect beaks and feathers with their gaze in the right direction?

There has to be more to it as far as I’m concerned, and as much as you raise your game and cash-in on acquiring such gold-standard images, I think you miss the point of it all; the struggle you go through in achieving that something. I could be wrong too, and perhaps there’s a whole and completely different struggle among these pros to arrive at their perfect shot. Maybe they’re finding adventure and excitement in getting that picturesque bear bite, that perfect expression of rage, that crisp and vibrant action shot of a paw as it’s about to slice through a glistening, pink salmon? And maybe it’s just me who has set his sites too low in terms of what to expect when it comes to getting a ‘good’ shot ….and perhaps it’s the case that my good has simply become my good enough?

*I’m not exactly sure what this all means …but I’ll figure it out*

Jazz City

I found this poster/photo for the 1981 rendition of Edmonton’s Jazz City at a Goodwill store for $7 …I thought that was steal. It’s in great shape, and after looking at the lineup for performers, it had me wondering if there had ever been a better offering even under its current Edmonton International Jazz Festival namesake? Seriously though; Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard ….icons of an era for sure, and I haven’t mentioned Etta James, John Abercrombie, Art Farmer or Sonny Rollins. Oh, and there’s more. And so compare that with our 2016 offerings of Joe Lovano, Soil and Pimp, Gregory Porter etc. and I wonder if it was simply the nature of the beast; 1981 being Jazz City’s second event and they kinda blasted out of the gate so to speak ….with all sorts of money to spend. But then again, maybe there is or has been stuff under our noses that are just waiting for Father Time to place in the equivalent pages of history? Anyway, just musing really….

And my nobe is usually pugged in my ode age.

jazzcity

lineup

Happy Belated Canada’s Day!

I missed the annual Pancake Breakfast that I was hoping to scam some pancakes and takes some pictures of, but instead had a wonderful morning with some kids at a park in the sun. I know, that’s just who I am ;) Afterwards I made my way to Churchill Square to catch part of the Works Festival that seemed to be bringing the throngs of red and white together in an eclectic and multicultural way. The City Hall fountains were packed, lineups at all the food trucks, the beer garden seats full and more importantly, the rain gods took pity on us for the first in many afternoons by sparing us from their downpour. Music was played as well (Audrey Ochoa Super Slide Symposium?) which featured material as diverse as the crowds, and afterwards I headed out to a fine tasting BBQ featuring burgers that were substantially better than the McDonalds variety I had earlier.

I’m not dissing McDonalds burgers either, don’t get me wrong ….it’s just that even discerning food aficionados need a break from the routine.

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Lil’ Tom Tom; loves Canada …..and water fountains!

birds, big gulps and bushrats…

It was a hot one today kids. I squeezed out 13 km in the humid 27 Cel. and as somewhat expected, none of my personal bests via Nike Running were touched. What made it even harder was that I did an 8 and 9 km just two and three days ago. To make matters worse, today’s run finished around 6pm ….and the nutrient intake before that consisted of 2 super nibs, a small Big Gulp, a medium Slurpee and a 7-11 cookie. I know, it’s like the little chocolate donuts guy from yesteryear…..



Getting my head around some tunes for a little Rachelle trip next week. It’s not just the old stuff she’s doing though ….she’s put out a kids album! I know, pretty cool. I’m slogging through Dora the Bushrat, Mosquito Madness, Go Fish, Jeremy the Rooster, My Dad’s a Logger and I Like To Ski to name a few, and they’re all kinda fun. Simple, in the sense that they tell stories more so than cutting loose musically, but still each is different and unique in it’s own way …and all bearing Rachelle’s signature guitar and vocals. The gigs are up North a bit, and I’m going to bring my camera along for what are sure to be some picturesque moments.

Speaking of cameras, here’s a shot of a bird I grabbed at Mom’s place during my last visit. I was inadvertantly blocking access to her (his?) nest and it kinda waited on me to get out of the way. Being a stupid human and all I just stood there pointing this somewhat large, black, shinny thing in its face. I got the hint though, eventually, and hunkered down in another corner of the yard.

Yeah, stupid humans.

bird