Friday, October 15, 2021

Spiders over Sault Ste. Marie

Way up
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I don't know why I feel the need to photograph random spiders who happen to spin webs in the wind and the rain just outside filthy third-floor hotel windows.

They may not represent conventional visual storytelling. But conventional isn't quite my thing. And since our daughter first noticed these busy insects on the other side of the glass, they had become part of the story of us in this place far from home.

It isn't remotely spectacular or normal to anyone else. But it strangely has meaning to us, a touchstone, if you will, of a couple of days in the history of our little family.

Which is more than enough to justify the picture.

As if pictures ever needed to be justified in the first place.

#saultstemarie #ontario #canada #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #spider #insect #hotel #window #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #instagood #photooftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Life outside a smalltown Tim Hortons

Local networking
Mount Forest, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The Parking Lot Coffee Club is now in session.

No word yet, though, on whether or not they're planning on applying for jobs inside.

#mountforest #ontario #canada #roadtrip #travel #random #timhortons #urban #street #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A peek into the death of retail

No returns
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


This is what I imagine it would look like when brick-and-mortar retail ends.

Except I don't have to imagine it, because the mall where I come across this scene is filled with empty storefronts just like this one.

It's easy to conclude that the pandemic has played at least some role in this - and to a certain that's true. But let's get real: this was an industry in decline long before anyone even knew what a coronavirus was. The pandemic simply accelerated the process.

I can write volumes about what it'll take for hybrid retailers to survive and thrive in this new landscape, and how intelligent applications of the disruptive technologies that helped empty out this space can help other businesses find a way forward.

But on this day, all I can do is take a picture of what it looks like when people cling to the old ways for longer than they should.

It just feels so sad. Hence the photo.

#saultstemarie #ontario #canada #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #empty #mall #stationmall #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #instagood #photooftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Distant bridge on a foggy day

What connects two nations
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


On a murky Saturday morning, I peer through the fog and see...a bridge.

The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge connects two cities not-so-coincidentally named Sault Ste. Marie - in Michigan and Ontario.

We hadn't been this close to America in longer than we dared admit. And while we didn't cross over - still not a thing, apparently, because of a virus you might have heard of - it was nice to be able to peer over the fast-flowing St. Marys River and see the shadowy shoreline in the distance.

Sometimes, proximity - to the promised land as well as whatever else we happen to covet - is more than enough.

#saultstemarie #ontario #canada #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #fog #weather #wx #bridge #monochrome #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #instagood #photooftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Monday, October 11, 2021

Why I'm thankful...

Everything
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I am thankful for many things, but nothing - and no one - more than my family.

May we all have ample reasons to be thankful, today and every day.

#canadian #thanksgiving #love #mypeeps #family #everything

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Back to the woods

Covered. For now.
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I don't think I'll ever get tired of that feeling I get when I stare up at the forest canopy.

Small.

Humble.

At peace.

Whatever that feeling - or, more likely, mixture of feelings - ends up being, it's the kind of place that would do us all some good, if only we took the time to step into it every once in a while.

We're lucky to live so close to one of the richest ecosystems in the area, a stretch of green that's been lovingly protected from development even as the city casts an increasingly long shadow across its borders.

It's quite the change from my childhood, as I grew up in a town where places like this were bulldozed first, with few questions asked in advance. Or ever.

I remember having to ride my bike far from home before I came across anything more substantial than a tersely carved out suburban park, a grudging concession to those who would rather pull in tax revenue from more and bigger homes and businesses. Or who measured success by how many seconds they could shave off the commute by plowing another road through greenspace.

Some things are worth a longer commute. This is one of them.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #green #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Waiting for class to let out

Does my nose look too big?
London, ON
September 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It's been a while since we shared a glimpse into the life of this little one, so let's correct that, shall we?

This is little more than a quick snap taken of her while she patiently waits for Dahlia to finish class.

This work/study-from-home thing comes with many challenges, but also many blessings. And being able to work and study together is definitely one of the blessings.

It's nice to know that Calli agrees, even if she'd rather be using that nose in the back yard to root out bunnies.

Patience, little girl.

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

Friday, October 08, 2021

The Hippo takes flight

Liftoff
London, ON
August 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram

Now I know why they nicknamed her the hippo.

And for the record, hippos are lovely. As is this aircraft, the latest J model of the venerable C-130 Hercules. When things need to be moved and lives need to be saved, this plane is the backbone of the mission, as it has been for 67 years.

I find it amazing how something that first flew in 1954 can be kept current and relevant well into the 21st century. And not just relevant, but so effective that no one has come up with anything better in the interim.

In aviation or any field, I find that kind of legacy rather inspiring.

#nikonskydrive @airshowlondon @nikoncanada #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #lockheedmartin #c130j #hercules #hippo #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #photography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Related:
Follow the mama plane, September 2020
Caption This 27, July 2007

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Cloudy with a chance of Rhino

Blue vape
London, ON
August 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


If there are no clouds in the sky, just make your own.

Blue Angel jet No. 5 takes this advice to heart with a bit of a vape show.

#nikonskydrive @airshowlondon @nikoncanada #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #boeing #mcdonnelldouglas #superhornet #fighter #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #photography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

On movement vs. action

"Never confuse movement with action."


Poseidon takes to the skies

Someone's always watching
London, ON
August 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I'm finding Planet Earth to be a challenging place these days, so thank you in advance for humoring me as I drop random plane pics into my feed.

Because everyone loves planes. Like this deceptively game-changing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

Not gonna lie: when I heard they were bringing one to this year's air show, I may have squealed with joy. It may nominally look like a 737-800 with the raked wingtips from a -900, but you're probably not getting in-flight drink service if you're ever lucky enough to find yourself aboard one.

More to come. I'll even take requests.

#nikonskydrive @airshowlondon @nikoncanada #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #boeing #p8a #poseidon #usnavy #flynavy #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #photography #lifeinthemargins

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Stories in textured brick

Visual history
London, ON
April 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Most of us would dismiss this sight as the sloppily painted brick wall that it so clearly is.

Maybe we shouldn’t.

Maybe there’s a story - or more likely many stories - hidden beneath the layers of paint and mortar.

Maybe we need to listen a little harder.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #downtown #urban #city #alley #street #building #architecture #brick #texture #monochrome #photography #streetphotography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Monday, October 04, 2021

Facebook goes down. I go bananas.

Happiness is a rogue nation
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It was a tumultuous day in TechLand, as the House that Mark Zuckerberg built suffered a 6-plus-hour outage that took down Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus VR services for users around the world.

As if Zuck and Co. weren’t already having a terrible day after ex-employee/whistleblower Frances Haugen’s explosive interview on CBS 60 Minutes. And she hasn’t even testified in front of Congress yet. Gotta leave some fun for tomorrow.

The lesson from today is a simple one: there’s life after Facebook. Or without it entirely. There’s no rule that says we need to spend every hour of every day with our noses buried in feeds and screens. Indeed, days like today remind us that there’s a glorious world out there that begs to be explored.

Like the Banana Kingdom, the stretch of the Thames Valley Parkway that’s been mysteriously branded for years by anonymous spray-paint-wielding pranksters.

I pedalled my bike there the other day, and the experience made me smile, like I was connected in some funny way to folks I had never met.

Screens down. Eyes wide. Cut the techie cord and get outside.

I get it now, even amid the irony of my sharing this on social media. Everything in moderation, I guess.

In the meantime, I’ll see you in the Banana Kingdom. The real one.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #tvp #thames #valley #parkway #banana #kingdom #cycling #cyclist #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Where we stare up at a brick wall

Plain. Not so plain. You be the judge.
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Recipe for photographic entertainment:

Walk up to a building. Any building.

Like, really close to it.

Look up. Way up.

Console yourself when The Friendly Giant fails to appear.

Appreciate how the building reaches for the sky.

Drink in the design, the texture, the geometry.

Even if it’s an uninspired circa-1980s brick exterior mall.

Because someone still designed it.

And we need more moments of silent appreciation in our lives.

Take out your camera (or smartphone, whatever you’ve got. We’re not judgy here.)

Compose the shot.

Try to avoid losing your balance or getting dizzy - or both - in the process.

Play with the lines to ensure they all line up in one way or another.

Resist the urge to use cuss words when the lines don’t cooperate.

Remind yourself that auto-everything photography still can’t fix lousy composition.

Quietly thank your third grade math teacher for those geometry lessons.

Smile genially at the passers-by who think you’re insane.

Tuck your camera away when you’re satisfied you’ve got at least one workable pic.

Resolve to stick more of these spontaneous shoots into those in-between moments - while waiting for an appointment, when walking the dog, as you toss groceries into the cart, whenever - that would otherwise go to waste.

Not a bad recipe, no?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #masonville #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #design #lines #brick #urban #monochrome #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Sunday, October 03, 2021

A simple flash of pink

The things we see while walking the dog
London, ON
September 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


In the forest as in life, context is everything.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #snake #creek #tree #trees #autumn #color #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Find the color...or not

Look straight up
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Mother Nature decided to sneak into the forest while we slept and splatter some brighter colors around.

We’re still far from peak color, that singular moment treasured by photographers who always seem to shoot most…in autumn.

But here’s the thing: color is all around us every day of the year. Sure, it looks different depending on the day or the month or the season or even our mood. But even a mid-winter blizzard offers up its own palette of color. And it’s always worthy of its own story.

So while everyone’s arguing over the best days to get out there to shoot the autumn colors, I’d like to humbly suggest an alternative approach: pick a day, any day. There’s no “peak” anything, because every day on the calendar is worthy of some lens love.

Just go. Shoot whatever strikes your eye. I’m sure it’ll be lovely, no matter when you bring it home.

I don’t get why we work ourselves into a lather now, only to let the cameras gather dust after the leaves have shrivelled to brown husks blowing down windswept streets before the first snow.

Those brown husks are plenty compelling in their own right, and I can’t imagine missing out on them.

I’m weird that way.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #tree #trees #red #green #blue #sky #autumn #color #colors #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Oil tankers in our midst

Ignore at your peril
London, ON
July 2017
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Everyone talks about climate change - as they should - but rarely do we ever stop and think about what the fossil fuel economy looks like, and how it shapes the places we call home.

Fossil fuel infrastructure is everywhere: gas stations on every major corner, pipelines running through residential neighborhoods, and miles-long trains of tanker cars like the ones you see here.

It takes a lot of heavy equipment to keep the fuel flowing, and I'm more than a little surprised at how effectively the industry has managed to camouflage it all in plain sight.

So as part of my personal mission to tell the stories of the everyday, I'll add this to the mix, as well.

Because maybe someday we won't need to have ticking time bombs like these rolling through our back yards. Maybe we'll find a better way to keep our lives moving forward.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #train #rail #throwback #york #richmond #street #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #lifeinthemargins

Not the weakest link

Collaborative strength
London, ON
September 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


A rusty old chain swings gently in the late afternoon breeze.

There are no weak links here.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #chain #yellow #stilllife #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins