Monthly Archives: September 2011



Pixoto AwardsI must admit it,  ever since I broke my leg (more on that later) I have become a bit of a hermit. I generally only go out when truly needed and to host a few of my Speak Spanish To Me language events. Aside from that, I have sadly spent most of the time indoors, healing and trying to come up with ways to keep myself busy.

On a positive note a few friends have dropped by and joined me for overpriced coffee at the Starbucks adjacent to my building. Also, I have taken the time to do some reading on craft of photography, sharpen my HTML and CMS skills and looked into creating a new online community here in Toronto. A metamorphosis if you will of the already existing Toronto’s 25-40 Social. So I have tried to keep myself busy, plus looking for a part-time job once the cast comes off next week. Can’t wait!

Now, since I have not been able to do a lot of photography lately, I began to surf the web to check out new and interesting photography websites, which lead me to Pixoto. A interesting startup where photographers upload their work so it can compete on ‘Image Duels’ where two photos are clashed against each other and you as the judge decides who wins. It is interesting as generally the photo with the most gravitas tends to win.  But is it biased? Totally. It all depends on who the judge is. Do I like photos of puppies over kittens, well, guess who is likely to win the next pet photo match.

Is the website doing well? As of last time I checked, over 2556 photographers have uploaded photos. Are they all good? No. However from what I can see, the quality in the top percentile are merited and it serves as a good barometer of where the quality of your photography lies in the tapestry of public opinion. Some of the work of the top ten photographers is outright amazing and top notch!

So how did I do? Check the email they sent me at the end of my first week! I looked into it and I stand at 76th out of 2556 photographers!  Basically I am in the top 3% according to their votes! Not bad. Not bad at all! A little bump to the ego never hurt anyone…

My Pixoto profile is here and I will be linking this page to my ‘Photography Dossier’ under Projects and Initiatives, so even though I am mostly stuck in a cast jail for yet another week, it doesn’t mean I cannot go out there and learn a few bits more about photography and heck, get a bit recognition too. Now, if only they started giving out cash prices…   

Fine Print

A while ago, a few friends and I decided to get together to have a Posada which is a very popular Mexican tradition. Which also means that it is a very Christian tradition in some Latin countries meant to represent and/or recreate Maria and Joseph’s search for shelter in Bethlehem just before the arrival of Jesus into the world.

In the old country, their search is formalized by a “celebration consisting of a procession with candles, sometimes with individuals selected to play the parts of Mary and Joseph, or sometimes images of them are carried in their stead.” Think of it as a large scale diorama!

“…The procession will make its way to a particular home, where a special song is sung. In this song those outside the house sing the part of Joseph asking for shelter and the family inside responds singing the part of the innkeeper saying that there is no room. The song switches back and forth a few times until finally the innkeeper decides to let them in. The door is opened and everyone goes inside.”

It is quite the spectacle to behold…
And of course we did nothing of that sort. What we did was the getting together part. Yes, that part we got right.

Got a ton of food and with the help of three authentic-yet-legal-Mexicans friends we got to cooking authentic empanadas, tacos and quesadillas. Plus we drank a lot of wine, which I think goes with the spirit of the Holidays, right? In the end it was a very enjoyable feast along with the company of some very (legal) good friends.

Now, this capture was taken while one of my non-Mexican friends and possibly an illegal Bulgarian was reading a tiny Bible we found at our host’s house. He looked hilarious and a bit on the adorable side so I took my camera out and clicked away.

This photo was taken using a D700 and a 50mm lens.

A Storm Is A Comin’

As you know, weather has been peculiar interesting in Toronto this Summer. With intense, dramatic thunderstorms the like we are more likely to see in movies than in our fair, humble metropolis. Personally, these news make me very happy, for you see, although you will get drenched from head to toe, storms, like many other meteorological instances are but the playground of photographers. What better way to dramatically capture mother nature in what she does best?

Earlier in the Summer, in the first of one of these major storms, I worked my way to the 28th floor in my building to capture this omnious storm front approaching. It was magnificent. To feel the wind pressure change against you, the droplets hitting hard on your skin, the cacophany of thunder and the overwhelming, humbling feeling that in the end, we are at the mercy of nature. Better than any Wonderland ride I have even been to.

This photo was captured with a Nikon 700D, 17-35 at f4. Near Yonge and Bloor, downtown Toronto.