Friday, July 31, 2020

Someone painted the sky again

Reach for it
London, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We live in a great, big, beautiful world, capped off by a sky that quite literally and perpetually redraws itself, in real-time.

Granted, if we spent all our time staring up at it, we'd never get anything done back on the ground. But there's no reason we can't steal away moments here and there to appreciate the things that take our breath away. Right over our heads.

I hope when you do, the sky puts on an even lovelier show than it did for me the other evening.

Because we all need an excuse to get outside. Because we all deserve to have our breath taken away.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sky #sunset #blue #sky #clouds #light #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

COVID Alert goes live. Finally.

If you live in Ontario, the pilot for the national contact tracing app, known as COVID Alert, goes live today and is available for download for all Apple and Android devices.

I’ve just downloaded it, and suggest you do the same. It’s what Canadians - community-minded folks who want to do the right thing - do.


Additional Government of Canada Links:



Little Man finishes his teens

Adulting at the altar of democracy
London, ON
October 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


And just like that, he’s 20.

In my mind’s eye, Noah was just born, our Little Man completing our perfect trio of kids, the final piece in the delightful puzzle that is our family.

But time has a funny way of moving faster than we might think, and before we knew it he had blossomed into a razor-sharp, creative, funny, and kind human being. My wife once called him “The Complete Package,” a phrase that very much fits him.

He is the natural center of whatever room he’s in, and a wonderful friend to a lifelong circle of many. He’s the kind of kid any parent could hope for, the kind of adult any parent wishes that kid would grow into.

We can’t wait to see what he has planned next. We love you, Noah Mayer Gideon Levy. May you continue to go from strength to strength.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #parenthood #birthday #boy #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Perseverance leaves for Mars

Ready to go
Merritt Island, FL
July 2020
This screen grab originally shared on Instagram


Some days are more historic than others, and today is one of those days.

I woke up early to watch a nuclear-powered rover - @MARSPersevere - leave Earth for the final time and point itself toward Mars. We've done this before: Pathfinder/Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity. But it never gets old, and each mission goes that much further than those that came before it.

I've written before about why space exploration matters perhaps more back home than it does out there. And this is probably more true now than at any time in history. When the planet runs into turbulence, we look for inspiring achievements to remind us of the best in humanity. That we're more than what we scroll past in our Facebook feeds, and better than what we see on the evening news.

So we watch the best of the best in the scientific community do their thing and send robotic emissaries to other worlds. And we hope their devotion to advancing the state of the human race somehow rubs off on the rest of us.

#Mars2020 #CountdownToMars #Mars #NASA #Perseverance

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Ball of sleep

What dreams may come
London, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I don’t know what she dreams about, but I’ve got to believe that whatever’s bouncing around between those schnu ears of hers, it’s being powered by bright, happy, comforting thoughts.

And when she wakes up, her favourite bone - okay, chewable, bone-shaped toy - will be waiting for her.

So she can make new memories, and new happies for future dreams.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Say goodnight, sky

Touch the sky

There's something resonant about the fading light of a late summer evening, the gradient of blue that sticks with you long after the final flickers have gone dark..

Which makes me glad I looked up this time. Because no one wants to miss the show.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sky #sunset #twilight #silhouette #night #trees #light #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Logo on a space shuttle's wing

Back home for good
Merritt Island, FL
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Meatball or worm?

I ask only because we're two days away from NASA's planned launch of the Perseverance rover - @NASAPersevere - to Mars, and talking about all things spacey, even a decades-old debate over the space agency's preferred logo, is the perfect antidote to a challenging time.

So it may seem like a trivial question. But in reality it is anything but.

Safe exploration today, gang, wherever your adventures may take you.

#kennedy #space #center #ksc #kennedyspacecenter #florida #fla #spaceshuttle #shuttle #atlantis #ov104 #rocket #science #meatball #logo #aviation #avgeek #spaceflight #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #google #pixel2 #teampixel #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, July 27, 2020

Stung!

‪Bee: 1. Carmi: 0.

Of course it’s a Monday.‬

Just shine

The look of efficiency
London, ON
June 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Be the light. We say it often, but rarely do we stop to think about its meaning. So let's start the workweek with a bit of a primer. Here's what I'm thinking:

Be kind to others. Not polite-kind, but truly kind, where you smile when you think of and interact with them. And when you smile, really smile. From your soul. None of this game-show-host silliness.

Skip a beat. Words and tones matter far more than we believe. And unlike a keyboard, once it's been said there is no delete key.

Be empathetic. We never know what's really going on in someone's head, home, life. Recognizing that everyone comes from somewhere, and is shaped by those experiences, can help us shape how we choose to interface with them.

Be the model. Don't just say it: Do it.

Be partnered. Life is not a zero sum game where someone has to lose in order for someone else to win. Our definition of competitiveness needs a rethink.

Be human. No one is perfect. It's perfectly okay to share your moments of weakness and vulnerability. And if you don't feel comfortable doing so, consider changing who you choose to share them with.

Cherish time - both yours and others. Remember that everyone is just as challenged as you to squeeze more out of what we've been given. Work together to maximize our collective moments.

I'm sure I've missed out on a bunch. Got any additional suggestions?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #light #bulb #led #power #light #lines #geometry #stilllife #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Pick a direction

Where Sunset meets Talbot
St. Thomas, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


On the road as in life, we'll all eventually arrive at a crossroads.

Humans being human, some of us may agonize over which way to turn. We'll twist ourselves into knots as we fret about making the wrong decision, going the wrong way, getting lost.

But here's the thing: On the road as in life, most of us are lucky enough to have been given the gift of time. Not unlimited amounts of it, or so much so that we can afford to waste it. But enough such that we're in it for the long(ish) haul.

Think marathon more than sprint. Now think none of this was ever a race at all. We get there when we get there. Even the concept of "there" is up for ongoing debate.

So if you take a wrong turn here and there, consider it a new chapter within an ever-unfolding journey.

There will be other crossroads ahead, other places along the road where you get to decide which way to go, other opportunities to discover things along the way you couldn't have begun to imagine when you first set out.

Besides, who wants to live life without ever once wondering what happens when we turn toward the unknown?

#stthomas #ldnont #london #ontario #canada #elevated #park #railway #train #bridge #landscape #green #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

The color of shoes

Choose your Kicks
London, ON
December 2016
This photo originally shared on Instagram


This may be the toughest decision you face today: Red or black?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #store #shopping #retail #red #black #white #converse #allstars #classic #style #light #shadow #stilllife #photography #throwback #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Grey is a color, too

Linear growth
London, ON
February 2012
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Not every day is going to have color in it.

But even monochrome days have their virtues.

And blacks, whites, and limitless shades of grey are colors all the same. We just need to change the lens we use to perceive them.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #monochrome #throwback #urban #street #landscape #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, July 24, 2020

Someone sits pretty

Is it playtime yet?

Who am I kidding? It's always playtime in Calli's world.

Her world sounds rather appealing, does it not?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Wherever the tracks may lead

Into the unknown
London, ON
March 2017
This photo originally shared on Instagram



Everyone is on some sort of journey.

They may not always know the destination, or even the route. Maybe none of that matters to them. Perhaps all that matters is the need to be anywhere but here.

The point is we never really know what's going on in the minds of others.

We could ask, of course. But even then, there's no such thing as a comprehensive answer. And most folks don't really listen, anyway.

Because we're probably all too busy with our own journeys to give much thought to the journeys of others.

We may want to rethink that somewhat.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #rail #train #throwback #urban #street #landscape #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Lines on a grocery store floor

Step right up
London, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Do you ever stop and wonder what certain periods in history might look like? What would it feel like to walk the streets the day Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, or when the Allies declared victory to end the Second World War, or when the Iron Curtain came tumbling down?

I suspect the current pandemic will be added to a list of major turning points in history that are worthy of such memories. Which brings me to this shot of a simple line of tape on a grocery store floor.

One of the first visual indicators of the crisis came in the form of signage - taped-on circles, lines, arrows, and other guidance - hastily added to every public space imaginable. Stores were given no time at all to rework traffic flows and re-teach age-old habits to keep us all the requisite 6 feet apart from each other. None of this was planned or methodical, and the fraying strips of tape betray the temporary nature of it all.

We'll be dealing with physical or social distancing for quite some time, so scenes like this beg the question: What next? What will these spaces look like? Will grocery stores continue to tape up letter-sized signs printed on the store manager's ink jet printer or will we begin to see a more permanent shift in messaging?

However this all plays out, I can't ignore what it all looks like now. And I want to be able to look back at this someday and remember not only what it looked and felt like to experience it, but better understand how it changed us all as people.

Because make no mistake: The signage may be temporary. But the change will be permanent. And I can't imagine not having a few visuals from the here-and-now to remind me - and us - what it felt like to be in the middle of it all.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #suburban #grocery #store #shopping #retail #stilllife #abstract #photography #covid19 #pandemic #physical #distancing #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Where the water meets the sky

Bands of temporary color
Port Stanley, ON
August 2018
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I shouldn't like the beach as much as I do. Between the heat and the crowds, I often feel overwhelmed just a few minutes after our feet first touch the sand.

But get out beside the water, where the crowds get thinner and the winds pick up, where you can hear the birds and feel the spray, where even a small wave washing over your ankles is enough to take the edge off and remind you why this place keeps calling you back.

On this day, a single boat roams the hazy lake between the shore and the horizon. You have no way of knowing who's on board, or what their plan for the day might be.

None of that should matter, anyway. Because they're out there, on an adventure. And some days it's enough to stand by the shore and feel inspired by the moment, and hope you're not the only one moved in some way by the magic of this remarkable place.

#port #stanley #portstanley #beach #ldnont #ontario #canada #throwback #great #lake #erie #boat #boating #wind #weather #wx #nature #summer #landscape #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, July 20, 2020

Protection from a hot star

Color above the horizon
Port Stanley, ON
August 2018
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The scene: An afternoon at the beach that was so hot and humid that you could practically see and feel the air.

The only relief from the relentless sun was found underneath one of the countless umbrellas that dotted the sand and swayed in the breeze.

Hopefully, one of them was yours.

#port #stanley #portstanley #beach #ldnont #ontario #canada #throwback #great #lake #erie #umbrella #color #texture #wind #weather #wx #nature #summer #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

#IfYouReadOneThingToday - Losing Democracy

#IfYouReadOneThingToday, make it this piece. It's a long read, but a necessary one for anyone who still cares about democracy, and may be struggling to understand how we got here.

By Anne Applebaum
The Atlantic



Recycling in Shanghai

Staying alive
Shanghai, China
May 2012
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I'd like to kick off the workweek with an image of a stranger eking out a living on the streets of Shanghai.

I crossed this man's path 8 years ago as I traversed a giant city halfway around the world. I was on my way to a technology conference, shooting photos out the window of a chartered bus filled with journalists. And in an instant, the very epitome of globetrotting advantage came face-to-face with a single man just trying to survive by collecting bottles for recycling.

Closer to home and closer to now, we've had our own reckoning with the realities of entry-level work, a knee-jerk response to the onset of the pandemic, a simplistic realization that without the unseen greasing the skids of our cities, nothing works. Of course, that conversation only flared for a few weeks in March and April before it faded from our attention-deficit public conscience. The forgotten are only worth discussing, apparently, when society deems them to be trendy.

This man will never be trendy, but he never needed to be in the first place. Because what others think, in Shanghai, in my hometown, anywhere, should never matter to us.

But I'll never forget his face. Like so many strangers whose images I capture as I move through the streets of cities near and far, I hope against hope that he's safe and secure, that he's found some measure of peace in the years since our paths crossed for the first and only time.

#shanghai #china #throwback #may2012 #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #random #urban #street #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #zoom #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Live TV from home

I often get to do some fun things between dawn and dusk, and yesterday was no exception: I did a live TV interview from my home office thanks to the wonders of FaceTime and a fabulous production crew at CTV News Channel. Angie Seth and I chatted about the two most frightening cybersecurity - or rather cyberINsecurity - stories from the past week* and why I've been awake at night more frequently of late.

CTV News has posted the video here.

*Twitter got hacked, and the Russians were revealed to be cyberstalking COVID-19 vaccine research in the U.S., UK, and Canada. We live in quite the disturbing digital age, apparently. Thanks Vlad.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Red skies at night...

Painted by the sun
London, ON
August 2017
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Sometimes you walk out of a studio after an interview to a sky that grabs your attention and refuses to let go until you somehow record the moment with a camera.

I'm lucky to have had the "right" camera with me that night. I'm lucky to have been given another moment worth remembering.
 
#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #519london #519ldn #519shooters #ExploreLondon #sun #sunset #orange #red #sky #light #photography #throwback #trees #ctvlondon #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #zoom #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Saturday, July 18, 2020

#IfYouReadOneThingToday - Losing John Lewis

#IfYouReadOneThingToday*, make it this, likely the last interview civil rights giant John Lewis ever gave, published in New York Magazine. 


If you’re looking for more than a glimpse into a life well lived, and a life of deliberate purpose, you’ll find it in this piece.

--
What's #IfYouReadOneThingToday, anyway? It is my semi-regular attempt to share some of the great reads I come across. Recommendations always welcome. All recommendations available here.

Making sense of turbulent waters

Energy, visualized
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


There’s turbulence, chaos, unpredictability, and danger in these waters. Probably a few more frightening elements mixed in for good measure, as well.

But there’s also boundless energy and texture in this scene and in this place. There’s the life-affirming sound of the crashing surf, the indescribable feel of waves breaking around your ankles, the delightful oozing sensation of your toes sinking into the soft sand below, almost like an anchor against the surging tide.

I could stand here all day. And during the precious times that my family and I get to visit remarkable beaches like this one, I often do.

Sometimes I wonder why I feel the need to repeatedly shoot the surf, to return to similar places and tell similar stories.

The answer is fairly simple: Every time will be different, every experience will be unique. Wind, light and surf conditions can vary wildly from day to day, or even moment to moment. Even who I’m with that day can change the very nature of what I see and how I capture it. Life has many variables, after all, most of which we can barely control.

Regardless, if it brings me joy, then what’s the harm? Shouldn’t we all have places like this parked permanently in our imagination, ready for a moment’s inspiration whenever the here-and-now becomes too hard to handle?

#cancun #mexico #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #surf #sea #nature #photography #naturephotography #landscapephotography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, July 17, 2020

Ending the year with a beachy sunrise

Feeling the energy of this place
Cocoa Beach, FL
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


On the last day of the last year before random wanderings on an empty beach became something we remembered more than we experienced, I stood in the dim predawn light where sand meets water and waited for the sun to return.

We weren't here for very long, just one night/morning before we loaded the car up once more and continued on our journey. But it was just enough for me to squeeze in a few minutes before we needed to get moving. Long enough to convince me we'd need more time here someday.

Because this wasn't just any beach. And it wasn't in just any other place.

Cocoa Beach is just south of where rockets - and humans - leave the planet. And while this day wasn't a launch day, if I closed my eyes just so, I could feel what this place would have felt like before an Apollo launch, or a Shuttle launch, or any mission that added to the history books.

Exploration happens here. It's part of the local language, the lore. Streets are named after those who have launched and returned. And those who perished.

It felt right, almost respectful, to reflect quietly by the water as the sun painted itself upon the landscape once more. Because every day tells its own story, and we owe it to ourselves to go to the places where the stories that matter most to us have been told.

Even if we only get to touch the sand for a few fleeting moments, the trip is always worth it. And I look forward to the day we can once again return, safely, to the places that stir our imagination.

#cocoa #beach #cocoabeach #florida #fla #atlantic #ocean #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #vacation #explore #sunrise #waves #water #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #zoom #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything @floridaspacecoast

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Looking for more jam

Residual sweetness
London, ON
April 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Don't cry because the marmalade jar is empty. Smile because you once had something sweet.

Or so I tell myself when the knife comes out empty and it slowly becomes apparent to my sleep-deprived mind that breakfast will be missing most of its taste today.

There are far worse things than running out of something you can easily afford to replace on your next grocery run.

I hover over that thought for a moment, acutely conscious of what privilege looks like through the narrow neck of a jar that once held my favorite breakfast garnish.

I realize how lucky I am to a) have a life sprinkled with small, weird indulgences like marmalade, b) be gifted with a storyteller's curiosity, such that even forgettable garbage can become moments and memories and signposts of a life that I hope is viewed by others through a similarly sweet lens.

I realize how lucky I am to have all this, now.

See, today I can shoot a kaleidoscope-like macro of the jar and amuse my wife and kids along the way. Today I have the ability to create visions out of post-consumption, pre-recycled, sticky glass. Today I can conjure up smiles where there were none previously.

Never mind that they're laughing at me and not with me. Funny is funny.

Tomorrow? Maybe not. I'm not guaranteed a tomorrow. Indeed, no one is.

So I play with jars and jam and light, and say stupid-funny things so that the people who matter most will smile. I try to make the todays memorable, because what if there isn't a tomorrow?

Today I scrape what little sweetness I can from the empty glass, and peer at what remains to find the perfect angle that might capture what this moment feels like.

And in the soft light of this particular today, I see why even the seemingly trivial castoffs of everyday life matter as much as they do to those of us who just want a tiny slice of sweetness to hold onto.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #marmalade #jam #jelly #glass #food #foodie #foodporn #instafood #foodphotography #foodstagram #stilllife #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

#TwitterHack: Planet Earth shudders.

No, Jeff didn't post this
London, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


So Twitter got hacked yesterday - in quite likely the worst possible way.

This isn't a run-of-the-mill security event - Bill Gates and Barack Obama didn't simply forget to stop using the dog's name as their password - and the implications for all of us digital citizens are more than a little grim.

This is keep-you-up-at-night cybersecurity stuff, and it involves a sophisticated social engineering-type attack targeting the weak-willed squishy bits - Twitter employees - with access to hugely powerful administrative tools.

In the middle of a pandemic, it may seem difficult for us to recognize that this, too, represents a clear and present danger to our digital health. But we can't afford to drop the cybersecurity ball, either, even if Twitter seems to have lost the script.

For the record, this is me. I haven't been hacked. At least I THINK I haven't.

Sigh.

#twitter #twitterhack #bitcoin #breach #cybersecurity #security #datasecurity

Related:
CTV News interview (via CTV Winnipeg Facebook)
CTV News story (with video)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

When a bird chases the sunset

Master of her domain
Grand Bend, ON
July 2017
This photo originally shared on Instagram


A single gull cruises the still air just above the calm waters, parallel to the shoreline as the sun sheds it final rays before tucking in for the night.

She probably has no idea she's in Grand Bend, or flying over the eastern shore of Lake Huron. But she likely knows this place infinitely better than any of the few humans gathered where sand meets water, awaiting the sunset before heading home for good.

I don't know where this bird's home is, and I can't tell if she appreciates the beauty she gets to sail through whenever she so chooses.

Whatever's going through her little bird brain in the 1/1250 of a second it takes to capture this shot, I hope they're happy thoughts. And that wherever she ends up, she's able to spend a safe and comfy night before the sun beckons tomorrow.

Wishing a good night to a bird may seem like an odd thing to think about as I peer through the viewfinder. But in life as well as photography, kindness takes many forms. And it never hurts to wish others well. Even if they happen to be birds.

#grand #bend #grandbend #ontario #canada #throwback #beach #great #lake #huron #sun #sunset #summer #nature #bird #birds #gull #flight #landscape #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

They could have been wine

Scattered fruit
London, ON
May 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The grapes of wrath, inexplicably dumped on a quiet suburban street.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #suburban #street #photography #grape #grapes #fruit #missedthewinebottle #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Watching baseball with his son

Just the two of us
Toronto, ON
July 2017
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Once upon a time, on an afternoon that now feels like it was part of another lifetime, my little family went to a ballgame.

Baseball being baseball, there were many stretches of time during which not a whole lot was going on on the field. So I did what I’ve been doing since childhood-me sat in Montreal’s old Jarry Park during Expos games: I took in the scenery.

The game wasn’t an important one: Just one of an endless homestand in the middle of another season without hope of making the playoffs. So the upper decks were largely empty.

Or were they? The introvert in me smiled when I noticed two people sitting all by themselves, almost as if they were deliberately trying to put as much distance between themselves and anyone else.

I couldn’t not reach my lens way across the field and capture the scene. I hope they enjoyed the game. I hope they did a better job taking in the action on the field than I did.

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #throwback #bluejays #rogers #centre #stadium #baseball #sports #sportsing #urban #streetphotography #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, July 13, 2020

Dog 1, Monday 0

Sphinx-like
London, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Some days these days are harder than others, yet I challenge anyone to stare at a dog - like this one - and not find some glimmer of lightness from the experience.

Calli doesn't know it's a Monday. She doesn't know the world is creaking at the seams. She doesn't appreciate that powerful politicians are reigniting the sins of the past. Or simply behaving like entitled pigs at the public trough.

She doesn't understand economic instability, unemployment, failing local businesses, or why punks driving old German cars with giant Canadian Tire cheese-cutter wings on the trunk and no exhaust systems are tearing through her neighborhood with annoying regularity.

She's just happy to be with her humans. To snuggle right up to them when she thinks they - nay, we - need her most.

Which is often these days. Because dogs make everything better, even if everything else about them - from waking up to the sound of her puking to almost losing an arm every time she sees a squirrel - seems to suggest we were insane to have ever gotten her.

But it's a good kind of insane. And she's a good kind of dog. On a Monday, and on any other day, too.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

The urban jungle to the east

You are my density
Toronto, ON
July 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Thought I’d start the workweek off with a crowded view of the urban jungle.

Seems like an appropriate way to transition into what I hope is a brighter week for us all.

Unless anyone has any other ideas...

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #photography #concrete #glass #reflective #mirror #urban #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #design #lines #urban #streetphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Watermelon down

Gravity is always the law
London, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


There’s a certain sense of poignant, trivial tragedy within this scene of a smashed watermelon in a sun-baked supermarket parking lot.

The events that led to this moment will likely remain lost to time, but it’s obvious no one was injured. Or worse. For that I’m thankful.

The only damage was to someone’s sense of anticipation. Whoever had bought it left the store hoping to indulge in a little - ok, not so little - treat when they got home. But gravity had other plans.

I’ll reserve comment on why they just left it there. Cleaning up our own mess seems to be alien to too many these days. But at least it’ll all be gone after the circling seagulls have their way with it.

And the rest of us are left with a colorful vision of what might have been.

I’d call that a worthwhile compromise. And if I was feeling particularly wistful, I might also call it a lesson to take better care of the things that make us happy.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #grocery #store #shopping #retail #random #watermelon #street #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Stumbling across an old bookstore

Literature for sale
Montreal, QC
August 2008
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The scene: Dusty, dog-eared books on a sun-drenched ledge outside a bookstore window in Old Montreal. I took this years ago, on a leisurely trip back to our old hometown, and it warms my soul every time I come across it.

That's because whenever I look back at this particular photo, I'm reminded that some scenes never get old, even if technology supposedly comes up with something better.

For the record, e-books aren't better. You don't magically stumble across them while walking the cobbled streets on a hot summer morning. You don't feel the aged paper in your hands as you idly chat with complete strangers about why Aristotle still rocks your world. You don't hear the joy in a bookseller's voice.

Algorithms may deliver the goods more efficiently. But they lost the soul of it all somewhere along the way, and no tweaks to the code will ever allow an app store to replicate the kind of experiences reflected, timelessly, in this window.

Economic models being what they are, it's entirely likely bookstores as we know them will slowly fade into history. Even if we aren't downloading e-books, these dusty, dog-eared books will eventually all arrive at our homes in Amazon boxes.

Which saddens me. Because no package on a doorstep ever ignited someone's fire for literature, and few experiences spark memories better than a chance encounter with a delightful old bookstore in the city you once called home.

#montreal #quebec #canada #throwback #book #bookstores #bookstagram #reading #read #retail #random #city #urban #street #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, July 10, 2020

Green leaves on a sunny morning

Life goes on by the roadside
London, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Everything looks better in the early morning light.

But we'll never notice if we're so busy that we never look down. Or up. Or over.

It was my turn to notice the other day, an unassuming plant in a lovely little garden hard up against the curb. The dog and I take this route most mornings, long before the rest of the neighborhood wakes up. And most mornings, I'm too busy holding her leash tightly and scanning for squirrels, rabbits, and birds who constantly attract our schnu-girl's attention.

Schnauzers being schnauzers, you're either ready for the freak-out, or you risk dislocating your shoulder.

But this morning was different. The air was already got, humid, and perfectly still. It was even worse when shade gave way to the beating sun. She was uncharacteristically chill, so instead of fighting her, I held her leash lightly and she trotted calmly. Quite unlike her.

Which gave me just enough time to notice this plant. Which she graciously allowed me to shoot - no pulling! - before we continued on our way.

By the time we got back home, the sun was even higher in the sky, the gentle shadows and quiet streets now replaced by blinding light and near-normal traffic.

I made a note to myself to start taking these walks even earlier. Because I fear we've been missing too many moments like this.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #green #plant #plants #leaf #sun #shadow #lines #geometry #nature #texture #urban #suburban #landscape #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, July 09, 2020

After the last train...

A park in the sky
St. Thomas, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


If you live in or near St. Thomas, Ontario, you're likely familiar with the giant rail trestle that dominates the intersection of Sunset Drive and Fingal Line.

This iconic structure was built in 1930, and when the railway disappeared, forward-thinking patrons of the community stepped in to turn it into one of the most innovative parks in the country.

We've been wanting to come to the St. Thomas Elevated Park for what seems like forever, and we finally shook off pandemic fear - it's a thing - and pointed the car south. We're glad we did.

There's something cathartic about standing on a bridge that's been lovingly converted into parkland, the landscape spreading out below you, offering up surprises every way you turn. It's a simple thing, really, this ability to be wowed by height.

But there's more to it. It's a resonant spot, a perfect place to plunk down on a bench and idly watch small clumps of intermittent visitors take it all in. I'm already planning to return here with a laptop, as it would be an awesome place to write from - and maybe even dial into a videoconference or two.

Pandemic life means we aren't exploring as much as we'd like to. We deliberately separate ourselves from others, and venture out only when we need to - as opposed to when we simply want to.

Time for that to change, even if it’s only tentative for now. I think we'll start with this place.

#stthomas #ldnont #london #ontario #canada #elevated #park #railway #train #bridge #landscape #green #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Goodbye, Aunt Jemima & Mrs. Butterworth

No longer sweet, or welcome
London, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Seismic change is coming to the land of pancake syrup thanks to recent decisions to kill off the #AuntJemima and #MrsButterworths brands. This is long overdue, and anyone who disagrees with me can pound sand.

The purist in me would say this wasn't real syrup to begin with. I grew up in Quebec, where pure maple syrup isn't so much a confection as it is a culinary religion.

But we know most grocery shoppers don't much care about religion. They want it fast and cheap. And these two brands have always filled the bill, overt racism notwithstanding.

Getting to lie down in the middle of an otherwise empty aisle for one last fast photographic kick at the racist can before these two disappear for good? Totally worth it.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #grocery #store #shopping #retail #loblaws #orange #syrup #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

When GPS loses its way

It only looks like I crossed the border
London, ON
July 2020
This image originally shared on Instagram


When technology fails, it often does so in a fascinating matter.

Exhibit A: This summary screen from my smartwatch following a quick wander around the block with the dog. The route is about 1 kilometre, and it normally takes 15-ish minutes because Calli the Wonderschnauzer can't tell time and she walks like she's drunk.

For reasons I can't quite explain, one km magically become 96, and instead of strolling an easy loop around the block, my watch says I blasted into the middle of Lake Huron in less time than it takes to make fresh pizza. 393 kilometres/hour? I'll take it.

It was probably a spurious data point or two, a glitch in the GPS network, or maybe it was a rift in the space-time continuum. But it made for a fun moment along a walk that might have otherwise felt like any other.

I wonder what uniqueness awaits us on our next neighborhood adventure. I wonder if I'll ever be clocked this fast again.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #screenshot #gps #samsung #galaxy #watch #not #so #smartwatch #technology #fail #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Speechless underneath a painted sky

Scene from a parking lot
London, ON
July 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram

Never miss an opportunity to have your breath taken away, especially when the forces of the universe were kind enough to literally paint the sky above your head.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #weather #wx #cloud #clouds #sun #sky #nature #urban #suburban #landscape #photography #masonville #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, July 06, 2020

Why I keep returning to Boston

Windows to a not-quite-vanished past
Boston, MA
April 2006
This photo originally shared on Instagram

I've been slowly flipping through the archives lately, looking for photos that bring me comfort.

I do that often these days, a semi-automatic response to turbulence, a silent attempt to find beauty in memory when it may otherwise be difficult to find it in real-time.

Architecture often seems to offer up the right kind of comfort to me. I look at scenes like this and imagine the stories playing out behind each window.

I think about the timelessness of architecture, the ability of these very same structures to outlive those who built them, to stand witness not just to today, but to a whole lot of tomorrows, as well.

And I imagine slinging my camera over my shoulder and heading out for another grand optical adventure in search of monolithic scenes like this that make me feel grounded amid groundlessness.

Because we all need anchors to hold onto. Even when they're little more than snapshots of moments lived years ago in places far away, when everything seemed just a little simpler than they do today.

#boston #throwback #random #urban #street #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, July 05, 2020

28 years...

Beginnings
Laval, QC
July 1992
This photo originally shared on Instagram

28 years ago today, I married my best friend.

Siri tells me that was 10,227 days ago, but the passage of time can be a funny thing. It can feel like it happened yesterday. It can also feel like I’ve known her forever. Indeed, both are true.

What matters more than anything is how each moment feels. Or how much we pack into it. Or how tightly we try to hold onto it. Or wish for more just like it.

I do that a lot with her. In 28 years, we’ve crafted a family, with kind, smart, passionately driven kids who’ve grown into accomplished young adults. Our house is truly a home, a welcoming place amid a sometimes turbulent world.

Everything we have and are started with Debbie seeing teenaged-lifeguard me and deciding I was the one. Everything we have and are is far more than I ever deserved. But I’ll take it, and will continue to count my lucky stars with each day we’ve been given.

So as much as the calendar reminds me that today is a milestone, I’ve always promised her that the other days - the non-milestone ones, the everyday days - will be just as worthy of celebration, too. She makes them so.

Maybe that’s the answer to this life thing. But even if it isn’t, today I got another day with my best friend to try to figure it out. Getting a day with her is always reason enough to celebrate, and it’s a gift I promise I’ll never take for granted.

Happy anniversary, my infinitely patient love. You are my world.

#LiveLaughLevy #family #everything

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Where Bessie pees

It's my pasture and I'll peen if I want to
London, ON
July 2008
This photo originally shared on Instagram

On a blisteringly hot July day a bunch of years ago, I got on my bike and pointed it toward the agricultural hinterlands just to the north of our suburb. My mission: Find cows.

As you can see from the photo, I succeeded. Not too far up the road, I found a herd of particularly friendly Bessies* hanging out in a paint-by-numbers pasture.

What I hadn't planned on was one of them peeing in the middle of the shoot.

The lesson is, I think, a simple one, and it's stuck with me ever since I stood on the other side of the fence that day: Plan all you want, but the universe will always write its own story. It may not be the story you originally intended, but it's just as likely it'll be even more worth sharing when you get back. Just roll with it and revel in whatever happens to play out.

I'll never know why Bessie #8 peed as soon as I pointed my lens at her, and I'm reasonably certain she had no clue, either.

But I'm glad she did, because an otherwise pastoral scene became something else entirely. Something even more worthy of a smile every time I've thought about it since.

I think I need to point my bike north in search of cows again. Maybe Bessie #8 is still around. Maybe she has another surprise in store for me.

* Every time I encounter a cow, I call her, "Bessie". I don't know why I assign terms of endearment to farm animals, but it has always felt like a fun thing to do. Just add it to the what-makes-me-odd.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #random #pissed #cows #farm #grass #green #street #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #zoom #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, July 03, 2020

The joy of sleep

Her happy place
London, ON
June 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Dogs sure do sleep a lot, don't they?

Why is that?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Let your fingers do the walking

When paper ruled
London, ON
April 2008
This photo originally shared on Instagram

Once upon a time, this was our Google.

White pages for regular folks, yellow pages for businesses, blue pages for government. If you lived in a really fancy part of the world, they put them all in the same book and endless hours of fun awaited children on Sunday afternoons who had grown tired of the dog-eared encyclopedia volumes in the basement. Or so I've been told.

These days, I can't even imagine what it would be like to revert to paper when complex answers are now just a voice command away. But part of me still misses the gravity of a big old phone book. It brought me comfort knowing it sat in its designated spot in the corner of the kitchen, ready to answer whatever question you could throw at it. New phone book day was a strangely happy day in my world. Or so I've been told.

As I ponder a planet whose definition of work for many of us now revolves around assembling bits into various value-added forms from our physically distanced home offices, then sharing them with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders in similarly physically distanced home offices, I ponder what we've lost in the shift from physical to virtual.

It was inevitable, of course, and no one can argue that it hasn't created opportunities phone-book-kid-me couldn't have dreamed of. But there was something visceral, powerful, real about letting your fingers do the walking, about feeling the flip of the super-thin pages across your fingertips, the tiny breeze they left in their wake.

It'll never hold a candle to the efficiency of today's tech-based tools. But efficiency doesn't necessarily leave you with memories like this.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #stilllife #throwback #phone #book #yellow #white #pages #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

When countries celebrate birthdays

Wave the flag
London, ON
October 2008
This photo originally shared on Instagram


You're not just seeing things: Your feed is a lot more red-and-white than usual today. It's Canada Day here in the Great White North, an opportunity to celebrate our country's 153rd birthday and reflect a little in the process.

But I'm not going to cut-and-paste an ode to the nation today. Maybe it’s pandemic life weighing on me, or the unmitigated fecal matter show playing out to the south. Whatever the reason, now is not the time for soft-edged platitudes explaining why Canada rocks.

We know it does. Let’s move on.

More significant in my mind is the pickle that now defines life on Planet Earth, where we as a nation fall short, and what we, both collectively and individually, must do to close the obvious and not-so-obvious gaps.

Part of that exercise involves recognizing what we’ve been blessed with, and not sitting back and assuming that’s enough. Canada’s an awesome country, full stop, which means we owe it to those less blessed to do more.

Sounds like a very Canadian way to celebrate a birthday.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #canadaday #ohcanada #madeincanada #iamcanadian #fĂȘteducanada #holiday #mapleleaf #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything