We live on a planet

Vancouver 125: Summer Live

I shot this on the final day of Summer Live in Stanley Park this past weekend. We were out of town for most of the event that celebrates Vancouver’s 125th anniversary of being the city that it has become, and this was quite the party that the city threw.

Truth be told, sixty4media developed the website for the year long celebration(celebratevancouver125.ca) that is going on, and it was a little rewarding to know that Rebecca and I played a bit part to help spread the word about Summer Live. With everyone hanging out on their blankets, people throwing the frisbee around, all the folks hula-hooping, and so on, I really wish we could have been around to check out more on Friday and Saturday.

“We live on a planet” is what Beck said when I showed her this photo because of the way the moon slipped into the shot. All of this within a 15 minute walk from the west end makes me hope this becomes a regular event every year.

Don’t you know that it’s summertime?

Hats Off Day 2011

Snapped this photo while photowalking during Hats Off Day in Burnaby Heights on Saturday. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of this event, especially since Miss604.com was a media sponsor.

I feel like I caught summer in this brief moment, even though it’s still, technically, spring.

Bottom line, this is an impressive affair. So many people, so many sights, sounds, and food. You could not have asked for a better day, and my slight sunburn is a tribute to that.

See all of my photos in this Flickr set and the recap post on Miss604.com.

The Geography of Rock & Roll and the World Around You

I got a posting on my Facebook wall about a band that was from Iowa, The Autumn Project. The question was about if I knew about them because we’re both from the same state and the person really hoped they would come to Vancouver.

It seems like I’ve seen their name float by me at some point, but it’s tough to say that I know a whole lot about them. Reading up on them a little bit, I found out that they’re from Des Moines, Iowa. And actually, they’re right in the middle of one of those “indefinite hiatus” situations.

But the thing that struck me is when I found on that they were from the central portion of Iowa, my first thought was, “Of course I don’t know who they are, they’re from the central portion of the state.” And it’s completely true.

A night out at Gabe's Oasis (2003)

My hub for a music scene was Iowa City for a number of years. There were those two or three hour road trips for a show on occasion, and that was often for acts from other states or countries on their tour route.

I think that once you start to get into a local music scene, your efforts of venturing out of your home base doesn’t seem as important. It’s not about losing connection with it. You just have the ability to have close proximity to something you enjoy while having plenty of friends who are able to tag along (or drag along in some cases).

In the last six months before I moved to Vancouver, we took one of our popular WSUI radio shows on the road to a coffee shop in downtown Des Moines, and the neighborhood in the area of the downtown core that I discovered really surprised me.

There was a feeling of creativity in the area we were in, and the amount of concert flyers I saw for local bands and musicians performing in the downtown area alone was impressive. I recall thinking at the time that I had never given Des Moines much of a thought for a local music scene. That’s almost a regret… Almost.

And yes, Slipknot came from that city and is one of the only bands that many people know from Iowa. They were the only ones I could actually name around that time, but my knowledge was more populated with artists from the eastern part of the state. You never looked west.

Photo with Troubled Hubble at Gabe's Oasis in Iowa City (2003)

I became friends with a lot of bands who called Iowa City home or claimed it to be one of them. I’d get other friends to come along or have great nights out with those passing through town, sometimes to catch a good show.

Being in Vancouver, that’s what’s fun about finding a new music scene, and I’m still learning. Even brief excursions to Victoria, cover band or not, goes to show that getting out of your comfort zone is healthy more often than none. Even if you’re let down, that’s just apart of the education of learning what finding a diamond in the rough is all about.

Rebecca’s in Ghana Right Now

Day Two in Ghana - Nsiana

I have been so amazed by this trip that Rebecca is documenting right now in Ghana. It’s wowing me with the imagery she is sending back. You should check them out for yourself on her Flickr set.

The view from the Westin Whistler

Westin Whistler Weekend - Our view

At work, I have a screen saver that cycles through my flickr stream, and this photo popped up the other day when I came back to my desk.

I took this a few months ago when Rebecca and I had a great weekend at the Westin Whistler as their guests. We were able to experience an amazing look behind the scenes in their kitchen while their very talented crew of chefs prepared some amazing food dishes for a local children’s hospital banquet and fundraiser.

I’ve always like how I was able to catch the way the clouds sit over the mountains on the other side of the Sea to Sky Highway from the main Whistler Village. You could stare out the window for hours, watching the clouds hover over the slopes.

Going live from a new control room

With my experience in technical side the radio industry, there’s a subtle excitement that you get from setting up, rewiring, or moving studios around. And quite honestly, there are a lot of details to have in place before going live in a new control room for the first time.

This video was that moment for The Beat 94.5 when the mic went hot from its new studio and over the air.

Project’s not done yet, but getting to this point is certainly a relief.

Sparkler love on the 4th of July

Sparkler Heart

Going back to 2010, I took this shot while in Iowa during the 4th of July. When you have a camera, some sparklers, and low light around sunset, what else do you do than experiment with long exposure?

Rebecca is remarkably good at making shapes like this, especially reversing a word to make it appear correctly for the shot without horizontally flipping it after the fact.

Shameless fascination with the A&W helium commercial

I know it seems odd to be posting a television commercial after such a hiatus from posting, but there is something of a mass media critic in me that is fascinated with this ad.

Prior to doing what I do these days, I got my name on a couple of awards from the Advertising Federation of Cedar Rapids for some stuff I helped write and produce during my days at KRUI. Small achievements that almost had me consider getting into the advertising realm for a short period of time, especially if I could be creative as this commercial.

Ryan Beil - A&W funny guy at the 2010 Jessie Awards in Vancouver (photo by miss604 on Flickr)

This is where I find this ad to be somewhat brilliant. Maybe I’m in the minority of people who watch this commercial and laugh each time it pops on, and that’s even after it’s being re-used in a carbon-copy campaign right now that ran at least a year ago. I think that speaks to how well the creative was done on this commercial, not to mention a bit of pure luck.

In an era where it seems that Geico has 50 mascots and 20 spokesmen, you can develop creative to your heart’s content, come up with a funny script, and use all the CGI in the world, but the chances of having that single cut where the balloon shoots off the helium tank and deflates on the manager’s shoulder as perfectly as it does in that single shot is something that doesn’t just happen when you want it to. As soon as it cuts away to the product shot at the end, you have to imagine that the whole set burst out laughing.

“It’s a party! Everyone’s invited! Bring your kids!”

Maybe I dissect too much of what I take in terms of media, but hamburgers are something I certainly don’t ingest these days. However, it never hurts to laugh a little and appreciate another aspect of creativity.

A private performance with Lights

Lights stopped by work today for a private performance

I had a fairly big project going on with the day job today, but there was a brief moment that relieved a little bit of the stress. I forgot about the email that mentioned Lights was coming in for a performance in our lounge at the station. I snagged my camera and snapped a few shots for the one song that I could stick around for.

I caught Lights about a year ago when I shot photos of Jets Overhead at The Commodore. She was the headliner, but I didn’t have a photo pass for her performance, just the opening act.

Lights takes my musical tastes to realms not usually tread, and I can’t help but appreciate the passion she has in her craft. She was also pretty brilliant live.

Always remember what it’s like to be a kid

Photowalking with The Reverend Don Deeley

I shot this while crossing the Burrard Inlet in a Seabus to the north shore. This kid was a giddy as I often am while looking out the same windows at the city. It always makes me think about how lucky I am to be living in this city, and how thankful I am to all of my friends and family that made it possible for me to achieve everything I have.

I think that in a lot of ways, I’m still a kid at heart. That’s why I took this photo.