Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Stroke Month, FAST, me, and maybe even you

June is Stroke Month, and I’m thrilled to be working with Heart & Stroke to raise awareness of the FAST protocol. Four simple letters that can save your life - indeed, my wife knew them, and she saved mine.

I was privileged to speak with Kerri Breen from CBC News Windsor, and the resulting story is here:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/ontario-stroke-signs-poll-1.7223257

Please share as widely as you can. Stroke can happen to any of us. It happened to me.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Seeking discomfort in the storm

Winter, sort of
London, ON
December 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The early winter storm whips the sloppy mix of snow and sleet diagonally through the sky before it lands with a sting on my face.

I probably shouldn’t be taking pictures in this mess. But later on I’m going to want to remember what it felt like in the moment, and a photo is as effective a memory cue as anything, so here I am.

Despite the fact that my coat is fully zipped up and I’m wearing my warmest woolies, I can still feel the wind creeping in, the dampness soaking into my bones the longer I stay outside.

Yet as crazy as this place has become, I feel alive by being so directly exposed to it. After all, it’s hard to feel much of anything if we’re too insulated, too comfortable.

Soon enough the winds will subside, the skies will clear, and the grey landscape will regain its colour. Those colours will seem even more vibrant against the memories I’m making here and now.

#ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #throwback #flyyxu #yxu #tree #trees #fog #winter #weather #wx #onstorm #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #monochrome #photography

Related:

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Horsing around with my buddy

Neigh
Arva, ON
October 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


On a relentlessly grey October afternoon, I stand beside a busy road and watch these two lovelies catch up on their snacking.

By any measure it isn’t a particularly notable moment for any of us - they’re munching on grass and I’m standing around with a camera in my hand - yet for some reason it has continued to stick in my head all these months later.

Maybe it’s the serene simplicity of these gentle giants doing the things that gentle giants do.

Perhaps it’s the way the brown horse stands guard while the black one grazes.

Or could it be the soft curves of the pasture they call home?

Maybe it’s one of those questions of nature destined never to be answered.

Perhaps it’s nature’s way of encouraging us to slow ourselves down and appreciate moments that are all too easily missed as we rush from here to there.

#ldnont #london #arva #ontario #canada #throwback #horse #horses #horsesofinstagram #horsestagram #instahorses #neigh #green #grasses #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography

Related:
Black horse photobomb, November 2023
Lonely, July 2006

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Rain's hidden gift

The things we find on the back deck
London, ON
May 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The skies have been grey and rainy of late, which for some can be pretty depressing.

But threatening skies also bring much-needed life to flowers that would otherwise shrivel up under a brilliant sun.

I guess it all depends how we choose to look at it.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #pink #flower #bloom #nature #naturephotography #abstract #deck #stilllife #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photography

Related:
Explosion at my feet, December 2023
After the rain, May 2018

Monday, May 27, 2024

Is anything truly ordinary?

Cover me
London, ON
May 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Plain. Ordinary. Mundane. Trivial.

Maybe. Maybe not.

However we define the things that surround us, whether or not they’re compelling or worthy of our attention isn’t up to anyone else.

It’s up to us.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #uwo #western #university #elginhall #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #shelter #lines #geometry #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #monochrome #photography

Related:
Old football memory, February 2018
The clock strikes... December 2007
On the line, September 2007

Sunday, May 26, 2024

It's never too late

Come for sunset, stay for twilight.
London, ON
April 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The sun slipped below the horizon six minutes before this photo was taken, but it still had something to say.

That endings are never final.

That reflected light can be just as powerful as the direct kind.

That power can be defined any number of ways.

That some shades become visible only when others step aside and allow them to shine.

That stories can be told from places we cannot see.

That patience comes with its own rewards.

That it never hurts to stick around to see what happens next.

That tomorrow may be another day, but it’ll never look quite like this one.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sunset #cloudspotting #weather #wx #silhouette #optimistpark #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Crowds on Crescent Street

Follow the herd
Montreal, QC
September 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The one where I practice my street photography skills by following the Crescent Street crowd and try to avoid getting busted in the process.

#montreal #quebec #yul #canada #urban #downtown #city #throwback #streetphotography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photography

Related:
Subway shooting, September 2023
Not remotely disabled, January 2019

Friday, May 24, 2024

Always stop to smell the flowers

Purple pride
London, ON
May 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Does it make sense to stop the bike in the middle of a ride to smell the flowers?

I believe it does.

The road will always be there.

The flowers won’t.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #purple #flower #bloom #nature #naturephotography #abstract #sidewalk #stilllife #uwo #western #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photography

Related:
Purple and proud, July 2023
Purple and proud, October 2022
Pretty purple flowers, September 2022
Trees from Venus, October 2021

Thursday, May 23, 2024

The chains that bind us

We're only as strong as our weakest link
London, ON
May 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram

 
I’ve evolved a strange little habit over the last few months: as sunset approaches, I’ll look out the window and read the sky. If it looks interesting - some clouds, but not overly so - I’ll fetch the camera and head for the door.

Last night was one of those nights. The sky was actually looking somewhat meh, but I thought it would be fun to go for it, anyway. Sometimes we simply have to take that chance.

Well, by the time I got to my viewing spot, the clouds had drifted away and we were firmly in boringville. I hung around for a bit, but it was clear it wasn’t happening. I had wasted my time.

Or had I?

While I waited in vain under an uncooperative sky, my eyes looked for alternatives nearby. I was in a crumbling parking lot beside an elementary school, so the pickings were slim.

But at least there were pickings to be had. Like this well worn chain hanging off the corner of an equally well worn portable classroom, its links quietly tapping against the hollow aluminum siding amid the gentle late evening breeze.

As I peered ever more closely at this forgotten scene, I noticed more details in its weary texture.

In the end, I got my picture, even if it wasn’t the one I originally came for. The answers I had been looking for through my lens were simply lurking where I least expected them to be.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #building #chain #link #stilllife #optimist #park #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #monochrome #photography

Related:
Not the weakest link, October 2021
Red guard, August 2007
The cure of color, April 2006

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Apple down!

Sad fruit
London, ON
May 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Bad Haiku Theatre, Chapter 37:

Supermarket scene.

Green apple falls on the floor.

Somewhere a child cries.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #loblaws #grocery #store #fruit #fruitography #green #apple #shopping #retail #stilllife #poetry #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photography


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Let the thunder begin

Cloudbusting
London, ON
May 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram

Children stare at clouds.

Adults should, too.

Right?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sky #clouds #cloudspotting #weather #wx #onstorm #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #elginhall #uwo #western #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #monochrome #photography


Monday, May 20, 2024

When dogs ruin the shot

World in motion
London, ON
May 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


More times than I can count, I’ll be roaming the neighbourhood with Calli the Wonderschnauzer when the universe decides the moment merits a picture.

Photography with a bouncy schnu on the other end of the leash, however, presents its own unique set of challenges. Specifically, she’s a puller, which can make it somewhere between difficult and impossible to hold the camera still enough to take a reasonable pic.

Things get worse after the sun goes down, when even computational magic like Night Mode struggles to compensate for a wiggly puppy. We can’t outrun physics.

Needless to say, my photo roll is filled with lots of misses, mostly grainy, blurry messes that I don’t have the heart to delete.

Because as imperfect as they are, they’re in so many ways more representative of her spirit than the perfectly lit and composed ones.

I realize all of this runs counter to the aesthetic of perfection that seems to dominate our digital lives. We agonize over what ultimately gets shared - meaning only the sharpest, most spectacular scenes will ever see the light of day.

Everything else languishes unloved and ignored in the dusty shadows, this despite the fact that they are just as much a part of our story, if not more so.

Which is my way of explaining why this photo makes the feed today.

Because even in its staggering imperfection, it perfectly tells the story, evokes the memory, teases out a smile.

Seems pretty perfect to me.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #actofdog #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #night #shadow #blur #photography

Related:
Dog meets snail, June 2022
Schnauzer in fog, September 2020

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Brilliant battered steel

Hard life
London, ON
May 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The scene: a crowded grocery store. More precisely, the granola bar and cereal aisle.

Hordes of catatonic-looking shoppers are shuffling slowly in all directions, barely paying attention to each other. It is as depressing as it sounds.

Suddenly a flash of colour invades my peripheral vision. I stop the cart and turn to see a support beam between me and a collapsed display of no-name-brand Frosted Flakes cereal.

In a well designed store, the support beam wouldn’t have been placed smack in the middle of an aisle. But this isn’t a well designed store.

It’s wrapped in a textured kind of steel that reflects the drab shelving around it, and in doing so manages to add a certain sense of drama to this undeserving, badly lit aisle.

In fact, look closely enough at it and it seems almost breathtaking. It’s been battered by years of wayward shopping carts, yet it still manages to play with the light.

I guess you just have to be here.

Which is entirely the point. Because if hidden beauty can tap me on the shoulder in this most unlikely place, how many other hidden moments lurk in similarly unlikely places?

And are we stopping for a closer look when they, too, tap us on the shoulder?

I hope so.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #walmart #grocery #store #steel #abstract #reflective #mirror #stilllife #shopping #retail #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photography

Related:
Escape, April 2008

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Let's colour outside the monochrome lines

Sort of straight
London, ON
April 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram


As children, most of us were taught to colour within the lines.

As adults, we have the freedom to do as we wish with the lines.

And to dispense with most of the colours, too, if we feel so inclined.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #brick #lines #geometry #optimist #park #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #monochrome #photography

Related:
When infinity...isn't, February 2023
The grid, August 2021