Category : Reader Friendly

Honorable Mention: My Photography 101

Honorable Mention: My Photography 101



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.

My Paintings (Part II)

This is one of my first *real* paintings where I actually tried to convey a message. The ‘Sandman’ is a piece where the observer might not be sure at what exactly they are looking at. Whether it is a wineglass or a hourglass, a surreal bowler hat adds to the anthropomorphic work and asks to be open to interpretation. In one, it might be a glass of red wine while if the latter, the contents of the hourglass seem to be spilling onto the ethereal.

All of the paintings are done in watercolor as I find the medium interesting and most importantly, fun. The idea of creating has always been a pleasure of mine and painting is merely another tool, a gateway in which to let some of those ideas that linger inside all of us a path into the real world.

I used to be more into poetry when I was young (read: early 20’s) heck, I ended up writing over 50+ poems! Some of he later, non-romantic ones have found their way in here but for the most part, I have kept it a poem-free zone as I tend to cringe when I read blogs which are 100% poetry. However I am thinking of putting some of the best ones up, you know just for kicks. As I have been feeling pretty creative in the last couple of weeks. Not only through painting but through some more serious matters which will eventually be making their way up here. So until then, feel free to ponder and give your two cents on the painting.

My Paintings (Part I)

A few weeks ago, I attended a star-studded and relatively new European Film Festival held in the glorious…well, actually my ancient-locally-owned independent movie theater about twenty minutes from my house… and on top of that, the screenings were free. So…maybe it was not all that but you really couldn’t go wrong with that.

Anyway, one of the last flicks I saw was a pseudo-historical tale called El Greco (PS:. You can watch the movie for free off from that link) that’s based on the actual life of, El Greco –one of the most influential painters of the western world, and no, I did not make that up. Which reminded me of exactly how bad my paintings are however, since I have never claimed to be in the same league and I love doing them –did I mention that painting can also relieve stress?

So, I decided to keep on going. I find it to be an excellent hobby which is useful as a ‘stream of consciousness’ exercise that preps your mind and focuses it into the right frame for any other creative projects. With that said, this little work over here is called ‘One Tree Hill.’ I know, I know, no pivotal proverbial peek into the human condition. Although I have been told, if you look closely at the blue sky lines above where they meet the red sunset that you can actually make out the shape of fishes on a stream. Personally, I do not see it but hey, the more seriously people take me ‘dashing’ on canvases, the closer I am to one day selling one. *I hope*

All Good Things: The Compass Culture

All Good Things: The Compass Culture

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!