Category : A Day In The Life
Today I am launching my new photography portafolio! This is something which I have been thinking of doing for quite sometime and finally, now that I had some free time, I managed to slap something together. Which by the way I have to admit, I am quite happy how that got slapped. Not too shabby if I say so myself. After some interesting learning curves I can finally say that it is a simple, straight to the point canvas in which to showcase one of my passionate hobbies. I am very excited and hope you take the chance to check it out it and share your opinions! Here is a bit from my “About” page:
‘Welcome to my photography portfolio which includes interesting and eye-catching slices of life. Feel free to visit, browse, comment or simple check through my slide show. I have been an avid photographer since 2005, although only began taking it a little more seriously in 2007 and I am looking forward to sharing some of my work with the world.
As time goes by, you will see an ongoing influx of my work and although I do not consider myself a photographer, I do enjoy the art of it.
For now, this site is development, so please don’t mind the clutter, alternatively feel free to check my project site and see my other initiatives I am currently working on.’
At the beginning of 2010, an extraordinary documentary caught my attention. In Crude, a group of activists campaign and sue Texaco Oil (now Chevron) who during the course of three decades literally laid waste through hundreds of Ecuadorian villages, leaving a legacy of contamination, countless cancer cases and ultimately death. The movie is a ground-level view of one of the most extraordinary legal dramas of our time, one which could set a precedent of how multi-national business is conducted.
Because of this, a movie event was scheduled through my Spanish Peer Speaking Group in order to bring further attention to as many people as I could. Since then, another documentary has also caught my attention, one which people must also be made aware of. In the Coca-Cola Case, a group of lawyers try to bring attention and an end to the myriad of human right violations from an even more unlikely culprit.
The Coca-Cola company (Inc. 1888) is a North American media darling and is currently the brand most recognized in the entire world. A friendly, bright & perennial brand, normally associated with sharing a good time with good friends. They have spend hundreds of millions of dollars to achieve this very goal. So very far removed from the reality of this media empire’s hundreds of alleged kidnappings, torture and murder of union leaders who tried to improve working conditions in Colombia, Guatemala and Turkey. Yet in fact, the non-profit network showcasing this very film, Cinema Politica received a letter from Coca Cola lawyers on Jan. 11th implying the showing of this documentary to be illegal! Come now, you just know, when Goliath is this anxious, it’s because he knows David’s is packing heat.
‘Why would they allow this?‘ If people are dying, why would they look the other way? The answer is terribly simple. It’s greed. Horrible, disgusting, all-encompasing greed. For example, the documentary interviews a number of workers, some of whom earn $15 for 15 hours of physically demanding labour, while in comparison, the top brass of Coca Cola in Atlanta gets paid almost $5,000 AN HOUR and that’s far from the the worst this film offers as proof. The actual focus is that in order to keep wages low, Coca Cola has gone as far as to use paramilitary forces to systematically murder anyone who wants to change the status quo. So far at least 9 men, all union leaders and all Coca Cola workers, have been killed while the company looks the other way, washes their hands and claims no liability.
Again, to help out, another movie event was scheduled by Speak Spanish To Me. With 1200+ members, just passing the word via email is a step in the right direction. With a bit of luck, the word got passed to two movie groups in Toronto and we all went to see the movie last night. The auditorium was packed and as expected the documentary showed the outright greed of multi-nationals who will throw as many wrenches into the legal system as necessary to slow down any justice to the men who have been murdered in cold blood. Going on for five years now, the case is just starting to get closer to a resolution, however if you don`t want to wait, we as consumers can and must speak in the one and best way they understand, through their money coffers!
In the end, our collaboration was to get educated and if I say so myself, monetarily speaking, the group’s funds we contributed paid half their rental expenses! But on a serious note, I highly recommend everyone to make the time to see this documentary and for us and most people who saw the movie last night, I think we are all switching refreshment brands… water it`s starting to look particularly healthy. And that’s the real thing.
Ever since I was a kid and started burning eggs while learning how to cook, I realized I truly enjoyed doing creative works. As such, and finally, 15+ years later I decided to try my hand at photography. As luck would have it I got a Canon A-series camera a few years ago as a birthday gift. For those who do not know, the Canon A-series are known for having a lot of manual options for the price. They are pretty straight to the point and although you would not utter their name in the same sentence along DSLRs, one cannot deny that for a budget camera and if you want to stay away from dumb-proof-yet-boring point and shoots, they about the best option you can have.
I remember I took some nice shots with that camera. Then it got stolen. Sadly during a move, the bag my camera was in *disappeared* from within my moving truck. A call to the moving company proved fruitless.
A few years ago, I managed to save enough to buy a new camera, another Canon, this time an A640. A 10 megapixel camera which again like my previous camera was heavy on the manual options. So I started shooting again. I would have to say some really nice pics came out of that. You can see them here on my Flickr! Which I am very proud off! Specially since my camera just stopped working and I do not think it is financially feasible to send it back to Canon for repairs.
BUT! Before the camera died, I was able to take a few more shots which I did enter in the City of Toronto Photography contest, and was able to earn a Honorary Mention for my work. Although monetarily speaking I get squat, I am truly proud to have been honored and that is proof that at least, photographically speaking, I am not burning eggs anymore.
It has been two years ago, already? Time indeed does fly by. It was two short years ago I was fortunate enough to help a friend to start off a project she had wanted to do for a long time. ‘Start an online travel magazine!’ she said, with people from all over the world contributing their experiences through both photography and written articles.’But with a focus in photography.’ It sounded like an amazing idea, just a few pieces of the puzzled needed to be set in place. She got to work.
First, a name, a catchy name was needed. She brainstormed and researched but nothing jumped up at her or like most of us, who have ever bought domain you find that most of the easiest and straightforward names -which online are your literal identity, have long, long ago been taken. As such, sometimes it tends to be quite hard finding just that right name. No one wants to slap two word together simply because they have not used by anyone else. So, like many things in history, the name found her, in this case in the way of her brother who just casually happened upon the idea of using a ‘compass.’ Fair enough, the idea of travelling and the use of compasses is as old as honeys and bees but without the buzzing and stinging. Then we hit some online search engines for a few play on words to see what was available on the interwebs and just like that, The Compass Culture was born. Then she hurried to register the name before some moron bought the domain first and used it to sell porn. Seriously, it happens!
Just like in any project, there is a time for planning and there is a time when you just have get to it –hopefully after the planning sessions are done, prim and proper, or course– and planning she did and with the help of her brother aka: her Art Director, the site was up in no time and ready to carve itself a chunk of the internet! And… then nothing happened.
Content was needed and I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to submit some articles from a recent European trip to Spain and France, which eventually they also found their way back to my blog. Then soon, with a lot of advertising from her part, whether it was online on sites like Craig’s List, Facebook, Kajiji and in the real world like Universities posting boards to let the word out to writers and photographers alike the site, like a flower, began flourishing. Not to mention she was then an editor in her own right! Which is never as easy as people think, but not too shabby for a side project. As I always say, "you want to be somebody? Don’t wait for someone to give you the job! Create it first and then just put yourself in the position." It’s not easy but so she did. She jumped right into it. The picture at the bottom left, was her first cover. Although I do like the contrast of both of them.
And so, fast forward two years and 90 articles later from just about every corner of the world, she unfortunately, due to time constrains decided to close shop. Which is sad to hear, however one cannot deny that a lot must have been learned from the experience which I am sure will help her to land that next job she wants. Shortly the site will be turned into an article repository, which sounds more than fair that at least the project leaves a legacy for all the writers who contributed and as a tool for them to still display and advertise their work. I wish you the best on your next project. Well done!