Thursday, March 23
Tuesday, March 21
Sunday, March 19
St. Joseph Guardians vs. Bishop James Mahoney Saints in the 2017 Saskatoon Men’s High School Basketball City Final
St. Joseph Guardians vs. Bishop James Mahoney Saints in the 2017 Saskatoon Men’s High School Basketball City Final. St. Joseph won the game and the 2017 Saskatoon High School Championships
Sunday, March 12
Last night was Dad’s birthday. We gave him his gifts and then went out dinner at Boston Pizza. As we sat down, there was a cloth bag of stuff and I through Mom had something she was going to surprise him with. Inside was two packages and Dad gave me one. It was a grip for my Pentax K-5 II. I had wanted one since I got the camera but couldn’t afford it. Then Pentax stopped making them so they got more expensive. Don’s Photo didn’t have any old ones in stock so I had hoped to get one used this summer or fall. Dad found a replica one that had good reviews and ordered it for me. He gave it to me last night.
The other weekend, Oliver was in Don’s Photo at the end of the day and was telling me about this incredible Canon camcorder. It costs $2500 new and ever since then Oliver has been shoveling snow like a madmen. He gets paid $2 a snowfall. He wanted the Canon Vixia HF R700 camcorder which just cost $200. I think in his mind if he could just produce a few Hollywood blockbusters, he can get the Canon XF 100. Makes sense to me.
Dad had a Canon HF Vixia R200 camcorder at home that we rarely used. He preferred some other gear. He bought Oliver this adorable Lowepro Adventura SH 110 II case, some SD cards, and gave it to him. Oliver did even want to eat supper, he wanted to leave right then and film an epic adventure. Since that camcorder (all camcorders?!) aren’t great with batteries, Dad ordered him in some extras.
Speaking of batteries, I will pick up a few extra batteries for my grip but it also came with a AA battery holder so I can use some AA batteries if all else fails.
Thursday, March 9
Sunday, February 26
Wednesday, February 22
Saturday, February 18
Thursday, February 9
Dad told me of a lens that came in used into Don’s Photo in Saskatoon that I might be interested in. It was the Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL IF DC WR. I wanted it right away. It’s weather resistant, and offers a focal length that is equivalent (in 35mm format) from 27.5 to 207mm. Dad has the same lens and I love borrowing it when I can.
It means that I am retiring my Tamron 18-200mm lens. It has a great range but focused slowly and was noisy. Two things I hated about it. The image quality isn’t bad but this is a definite upgrade.
Monday, February 6
Friday, February 3
You know a Steve McCurry picture when you see one. His portrait of an Afghan girl with vivid green eyes, printed on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985, is one of the iconic images of the 20th century. McCurry’s work is stark and direct, with strong colors, a clear emotional appeal and crisp composition. His most recent volume of photographs, “India,” is a compendium of the pictures he took in that country between 1978 and 2014, and it also gives us the essential McCurry. There are Hindu festivals, men in turbans, women in saris, red-robed monks, long mustaches, large beards, preternaturally soulful children and people in rudimentary canoes against dramatic landscapes.
In McCurry’s portraits, the subject looks directly at the camera, wide-eyed and usually marked by some peculiarity, like pale irises, face paint or a snake around the neck. And when he shoots a wider scene, the result feels like a certain ideal of photography: the rule of thirds, a neat counterpoise of foreground and background and an obvious point of primary interest, placed just so. Here’s an old-timer with a dyed beard. Here’s a doe-eyed child in a head scarf. The pictures are staged or shot to look as if they were. They are astonishingly boring.
Boring, but also extremely popular: McCurry’s photographs adorn calendars and books, and command vertiginous prices at auction. He has more than a million followers on Instagram. This popularity does not come about merely because of the technical finesse of his pictures. The photographs in “India,” all taken in the last 40 years, are popular in part because they evoke an earlier time in Indian history, as well as old ideas of what photographs of Indians should look like, what the accouterments of their lives should be: umbrellas, looms, sewing machines; not laptops, wireless printers, escalators. In a single photograph, taken in Agra in 1983, the Taj Mahal is in the background, a steam train is in the foreground and two men ride in front of the engine, one of them crouched, white-bearded and wearing a white cap, the other in a loosefitting brown uniform and a red turban. The men are real, of course, but they have also been chosen for how well they work as types.
A defender of McCurry’s work might suggest that he is interested in exploring vanishing cultures. After all, even in the 21st century, not all Indians go to malls or fly in planes. Should he not be celebrated for seeking out the picturesque and using it to show us quintessential India? What is wrong with showing a culture in its most authentic form? The problem is that the uniqueness of any given country is a mixture not only of its indigenous practices and borrowed customs but also of its past and its present. Any given photograph encloses only a section of the world within its borders. A sequence of photographs, taken over many years and carefully arranged, however, reveals a worldview. To consider a place largely from the perspective of a permanent anthropological past, to settle on a notion of authenticity that edits out the present day, is not simply to present an alternative truth: It is to indulge in fantasy.
Read the entire piece. It offers some thought provoking words (and photos) for all photographers.