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Category : Reader Friendly

¡Sí!

¡Sí! by The Torontonian
¡Sí! a photo by Mauricio Alas.

For 5 years, I have been running Toronto’s largest and longest running Spanish Speaking Group: Speak Spanish To Me. It has been a great adventure and I have meet literally thousands of people as they come and go on their journey to expand their horizons and learn a new language. A wonderful and romantic language, if I may add. 😛

Always in a friendly and relaxed environment, the group has grown for a few members to over 1300+! I cannot deny that I am proud to run and host such a successful endeavour. And to help socialize and mingle with like minded individuals.

I can also say I have meet a lot of kind and wonderful people. A few of who I can now be lucky to call friends.

Also, we have had many, many silly situations where we have, in a moment of comradeship teased the heck out of each other. Like this moment for example, Roger, one our regular members decides to show us the true ‘proper’ way to advertise our group to the masses. Ha.

Thanks Roger.

This shot was taken with a D700 with a 50mm lenses. I am sure pretty high ISO. 😛

Searching For Timmy

Shortly after seating for a few minutes on a rock in the middle of a stream, a began to toss a few rocks into the water, hoping for a nice capture [Ravine Zen]. All of the sudden, most likely due the noise of me tossing rocks, a Labrador Retriever splashed into the water trying to get at me. This was very funny, as not only was the river quite deep between us but it was horribly cold and I do not think the dog realized this when jumping in. However while it hesitated whether to go after me (to play, I am sure) or returning to it’s master who at this point was screaming at it loudly to return, it allowed me to get this great capture. Second later, the dog along with his jogging master we gone.

Looking at the shot during my workflow, the musical score of Lassie just kept popping in my head, since the palette and colour scheme do nothing but remind me of that old TV series. As the fearless and ever loyal dog searched for help for good old Timmy who had fulfilled his weekly contract by dutifully fallen into yet another well.

Taken with a D700, 50mm at what I think was f1.8.

Ravine Zen

Recently, I had been waiting for some surgery. True, it is not the one thing one usually waits for and although not fatal it does mean going to a hospital and getting mildly cut open. Not 1960’s style where they would cut you like a roast. No, in fact quite the opposite. Very minor. In at 7:30am and out by noon. Is it serious? Somewhat.

Either way, since it is still a bit stressful, I found myself taking a long stroll by my hood’s parks. You know, to think, relax and get my mind off needles and doctors. I took my camera and simply try to let nature speak to me. Since it is still quite cold outside, it really didn’t tell me much except perhaps to get my ass indoors.

However before that desire got to strong, i decided to externalize the zen vibe I was trying to achieve internally. So I walked to the creek at the bottom of the park and simply sat on one of the rocks and let a few minutes pass me by. Nothing happened, except for the streaming sound of the water from a nearby waterfall.

Then, deciding to take my zen in to my own hands, I fished a rock from the cold creek and tossed it as far as I could without tripping. I snapped this shot right before it hit the water. Yes, it reminded me of what I was trying to achieve.

A few days later, I am writing this as I am on painkillers. “Ouch.” Damn… they haven’t kicked in yet.

Photo was taken, with a Nikon D700, 50mm @ 1.8f

Firenze & Sunset

While travelling in the North of Italy, one of the key cities to visit was of course, Florence. The old town of the city, like most ‘old towns’ seemed to cater to tourists but with a twist. Although Firenze was guilty of the same, it was not like other cities, where their core is utterly shock-full of ‘tourist stores,’ selling nothing more than trinkets and cheap “I was in Roma” t-shirts.

Their core is full of classic architecture, churches and museums but meters away you have vibrant, if posh stores. Name brand stores, shoulder to shoulder to cafe’s, pubs, 1950’s inspired cafes. All while people go to the nearby grocery store along with church goers, hardly a tourist store to be found. This is a neighborhood, an actual functioning part of the city, not just a tourist trap. Like say, Niagara Falls.

The city is full of beauty, of history, a single visit does not do it justice.

This photograph was taken from the Piazza Michelangelo, atop a hill which overlooks the city. Photos from his viewpoint abound however, I specifically waited until sunset to make my way (on foot, no less, for that extra added touch of adventure) here, in order to catch something a little more mundane than this gorgeous city during midday. 🙂

Capture was taken with a D700, ISO 200Nikon 17-50, 35mm (for focus) @ f/4.0 Tripod