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 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

Moving into the DSLR world

In light of my recent birthday, I got an upgrade on my camera as a slight early gift. I’ve had my eye on the Nikon D90[wiki] for a matter of months now, but the push of going into the DSLR side of photography is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. As I said to Rebecca the other day, I’m back in the remedial class in terms of what I know, what I think I know, and what I don’t know. The last statement is vast, but I’m already in good company.

(The wise) John Biehler told me that once I got the model of camera that I wanted, there would be a lot of opportunity to meet plenty of other like minded folks who were eager to share their knowledge and insight on gear, techniques, and everything else you get yourself into when you make this kind of upgrade.

So just a matter of days after my purchase (of which Rebecca was in near constant contact with John via SMS), we had a birthday gathering at our place last Friday night, inviting John, Peter[flickr], and their collection of lenses and flashes for me to try out and get a feel for.

Still being a newbie, I’ll post a few of my favorite shots from the night with no edits or crops. Going through my own sense of discovery with this amazing apparatus and what it can possibly do. Click any thumbnail to see the full image.

Really liking the camera so far. I’m not sure how long it will take for me to get into purchasing extra lenses for it, but these trials have me gunning for a 50mm f1.4 lens, which many of the shots above are with. My only other goal with lenses would be to shoot some more concerts with. It’ll also be great for many photos that I’m sure you’ll be seeing on, starting with a recent post where I shot George Stroumboulopoulos chatting with Rebecca.

Rebecca interviews George Stroumboulopoulos

Just for kicks, this was my favorite shot I took from that interview.

Photos from Surrey Canada Day 2009

I know we’re almost through the month of July, but the City of Surrey held their annual Canada Day celebrations at Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre on July 1st. was an official sponsor of the day’s events (posts: Opening Ceremonies, Performances, Bif Naked), so Rebecca and I ventured out to wander the grounds, see the sights, and, of course, shoot some photos.

Just to highlight the very well organized event, here’s a few of my favorite shots from the day.

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Surrey Canada Day 2009

It’s a bit of a tradition to bring out a table full of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with red and white frosting, all arranged as the flag of Canada. Once the day is officially opened by the mayor of Surrey, people can come up and get one from various members of the city council, including the mayor herself, Diane Watts.

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Local hip-hop act, Sweatshop Union.

Surrey Canada Day 2009

An amazing performance by You Say Party! We Say Die!

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Bif Naked was loud and in charge, as expected.

Surrey Canada Day 2009

54-40 headlined the main stage and put on a stellar performance.

I have plenty more shots in my set on Flickr. Many thanks to the organizers of Surrey Canada Day 2009 for their hosting and making sure the day was a success. I keep being impressed with the events that Surrey puts on. Their events planning crew really know what it means to have something to do with your family and friends.

Surrey Winterfest 2009

Surrey Winterfest 2009 This past Saturday, Rebecca and I ventured out to Surrey to cover Winterfest 2009. I say “cover” because we were asked specifically by the city of Surrey to come out to not only enjoy the festivities but to also provide coverage of the day’s events as they happened.

Many of the folks that we met were excited to see coverage of Winterfest happening on, and there were a lot of praises coming from people who were very familiar with the exposure that Surrey gets from Rebecca’s posts about the city as well as everything else in the lower mainland. I think it’s safe to say that these people are getting what grassroots media coverage can do for a city on a hyper-local basis, even if it is strictly web based content. I think that says a lot.

Check out the various posts on for the full coverage:

I wasn’t providing commentary as much as being a photographer on the grounds, trying to capture as much of Winterfest 2009 as I could with my camera. There were people everywhere, plenty of things to see and do, and the entertainment on stage kicked off with some great stuff for the families while wrapping up the night with rock show that was an amazing lineup for a concert that cost you nothing to attend.

That being said, here’s a collection of photos that I took, and you can see the entire set on Flickr as well.
Continue reading “Surrey Winterfest 2009”

Photographs from Surrey Canada Day celebrations

Rebecca was contacted by the fine folks at the city of Surrey to be a media co-sponsor for their Canada Day events in Cloverdale. July 1st saw nearly 40,000 people crowd onto the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheater grounds to play games, see stilt walkers, get their faces painted, and see a jam packed line-up of musical acts on the main stage, including the likes of Rymes With Orange, The Payola$, and Loverboy.

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Events like this tend to find me with media access for the both of us, and of course that means I have to take my camera along with. You can read all of Rebecca’s coverage of the event [Surrey Canada Day 2008: The Schedule, Morning Recap, The Music], but the following are some of my favorite shots that I took.

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Will is a really amazing musician. See him live if you can because you must.

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

That’s Mr. Bob Rock[wiki], ladies and gentlemen, in the flesh.

Surrey Canada Day 2008

You can see all 104 photos on Flickr. Shooting outdoor events can be a lot of fun, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s loud in the photo pit, not to mention the sweltering heat on that day. Sometimes I feel intimidated by being surrounded with folks that have larger and much more expensive photo equipment, but the pictures that come out from my endeavors tend to speak for themselves. It’s not what you got that matters. It’s how you use it, and I’m doing my damnedest to learn my camera and get better with every shot.

The folks at the Surrey Canada Day event were amazing in terms of getting us the media access and letting us know the low down on what was going on, where everything was located, and were just generally awesome people. By far, the best treatment I have ever experienced in terms of media access for new media folks.

Playing photographer at the Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival 2008

Entrance to the Vancouver Dragonboat Festival 2008

About a week and a half ago, I had the extreme pleasure of joining Rebecca on a really cool experience of covering the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival for the festivities of 2008.

Cycling teams through

People come from all over to compete in this event, not to mention watch and enjoy the festivities.

The Festival was created to show off Vancouver’s growing cultural diversity and to promote racial harmony among Canadians – new and old. Vancouverites were invited to the festival to experience spectacular food, entertainment, arts and children’s programming reflecting Vancouver’s cultural diversity. At the same time, interest in paddling was taking off and more and more teams formed and registered each year.

Twenty years later the Festival still fulfills its mandate to promote cultural harmony among Canadians. It has developed into one of Vancouver’s most anticipated summer family events. [dragonboatbc]

Throw ring, win tinfoil!

This was just a little bit more than the run of the mill walking around, shooting pictures, and seeing the sights. Thanks to Anita, we had media passes to the event.

Pretending to be in the boat

Rogers team stretches before racing

Probably the best thing about the media access for this event was being able to ride in the media boat and follow the racers as they went from start to finish, paddling along until their bodies couldn’t give anymore.

Warming up


Keeping guard

Good game

With my trusty camera, I decided to try something a little different and shoot some video with it of an actual heat or two.

The Dragon Boat Festival is a real passion for some of these racers. There’s a community that comes from the numerous teams, and the action is just as intense. This is something that you don’t really get a sense of until you get away from all of the tents and vendors on dry land. When you get down to the water level, it’s a whole other experience that I’m really glad I had the opportunity to see.

Weekend camping at Cultus Lake for drunkcamp02

Camping on Cultus

Three days in Chilliwack, B.C. at Cultus Lake with Rebecca, John, and Duane. Lots and lots of sitting around the campfire, laughing a ton, good drink, good food, and the weather was… good.

Home for three days

Nerd City

The forecast in the days leading up to the trip just got worse and worse. Everyone we knew told us that we were nuts for going camping this weekend. It ended up being awful on Thursday night, Friday was actually really nice, and Saturday was off and on in terms of being cool from winds that would whip up from time to time. Other than that, everything went off great.

I like fire

I even busted open my right shin a tiny bit when a piece of wood I was chopping got away and clocked me. That’s about par for the course, no other major injuries.

Sunset behind the mountain

Drowning tree

I can still smell the smoke, if not taste it. That’s only the real complaint of the trip, even if the coolness kept us all pretty close to the fire. Couldn’t even fathom jumping into the lake, no matter how inviting or calling it might have been. Fleece under a rain jacket was just right. Bone chilling lake water from ice run off from the mountains in the area, not so much.


Ah yes, we indeed called this drunkcamp02, complete with lanyards. It’s more of a statement of enjoying the time away from laptops and technology and becoming one with nature. Even though there are public washrooms within easy walk and Duane’s family brought us amazing food(perogies, cabbage rolls, and KFC), donuts from Tim Horton’s, and fire wood in three separate trips on Saturday, it’s tough country out there “in the Wack”.

You can see more of my pictures from the trip on Flickr.