Trees in black and white

I spend a fair amount of time in parks and forests — something something landscape architecture.  Something I've noticed is the intense contrast between the light in the shade where the leaves block the light and the light where the sun gets in and makes it to the ground. It's a big difference. So I figured I'd take some shots of it and edit them into black and white and push the contrast.

I don't know if this works.

Turning over a leaf

Aw jeez this is super impressive. I turned these around in less than twelve hours. That's gotta be some kind of record.

I am getting back into editing photos and it's been nice. It can also be hard and tedious but that's what happens when you leave stuff for ages. I stopped dealing with photos at some point during my MSc dissertation and never got back to it.

I've been in bad financial/mental shape ever since then and haven't really been up for dealing with it. Doing a couple of weeks of photos is one thing. Going through thousands (and I do mean thousands) of photos is daunting.

There's a part of me that wants things to be complete and orderly. Everything dealt with, in it's place. It's not great for the I was clueless and did this wrong and I'm less clueless now but just doing the best I can, which is probably woefully inadequate of life. I need to let go of this idea of every photo, every file, every this. Bit by bit. Some today. Some later. It gets better bit by bit, not all at once.

Sometimes you just have to lean into that being where you are thing. I also have to make sure to say no to that completeness voice. I am here and this is where things are at. I need to enjoy it and make it work.

I got into macro photography mostly by mistake. I did some flower pics for one reason or another with a low aperture and really enjoyed the blur effect and how they looked. So I kept doing more. There are lots of flowers and little curbside gardens in my neighbourhood so I've been thinking about doing some macro shots of them. It's really hot and bright during the day so it's good for an evening wander.

I have been hunting for a new doctor, which is stressful in general but extra for me because doctors make me super anxious. I hope this one works out. I spent far too long trying to find somewhere I could go and then decided to go to the woods because I was feeling super edgy. As they say the trees will heal you.

The trees will heal you

It's nice being so close to Pacific Spirit Regional Park — though I wish I was a bit closer. It's a nice forest and good for wanders. There are some things I find unpleasant about this community like the single-family homes and the drab suburbanism but it can also be nice. The Dunbar high street is cosy — and could easily be extended all the way along the road via good zoning — and I decided to go for ice cream after my wanders. My days here are numbered so I really need to do my best to get what I can out of being in this neck of the woods.

Pokemon + Bow

I have a thing for Pokemon cards. I remember thinking they were the coolest as a kid. It's fun to find them. Even if they are just dissolved and discarded and lying on the ground.

This spot where I was having a picnic with my parents is also a great spot for some classic yyc photos.

Drive from Calgary to Vancouver

Here are some shots from the drive back out to Vancouver from Calgary, one of the prettiest and most terrifying stretches of road out there. Highway driving freaks me out, a lot, so it's nice to have someone to do it for you. I enjoy being the passenger and getting to snap photos out the window.

Lac des Arcs is always a good idea.

Car Free Day Westend cellphone

A couple of cellphone snaps from Car Free Day in the West End.

The first is a book that I am confident I will enjoy. The chair disappeared shortly after I sat down — I was waiting for some friends and the festivals was wrapping up — but I had good banters with the guy who was putting them away.

The other is a broken chair I saw after I was rendered chairless.

Car Free Day Westend Mirrorless

I got to car free day on Denman in the West End around 6ish. It's been hella hot so I wanted to let it cool off then time got away from me. I was annoyed that a number of booths had packed up even though it said it runs until 7. Ahem.

Anyways. I collected numerous buttons and bought an on sale hat so it counts as a win.

I also made it to the library five minutes before it closed, averting the tragedy of having mistakenly taken out a book I've already read instead of a book I want to read that normally lives next to it at a different library. I plooped it on the counter and found another book in about sixty seconds. I am pro.

Car Free Day Mainstreet Mirrorless

Some shots from Car Free Day on Mainstream yesterday.

I don't love street festivals. Mostly they're overwhelming and hot. So many people. I do like some of the booths and I feel like I need to get out to these things because they are a car free day.

I do like that I got to wander free on a space that normally isn't mine. I do like that they're a chance for all of us to reconsider who and what streets can be for.

I will also add that normal pedestrianized streets aren't a street festival. They can be busy, they can have booths, but they're generally a bit quieter, freer, like the seawall.

Moscow 2012

I went to visit my sister in Moscow during my reading break the semester I was in Copenhagen. She'd just moved out there and I was nearby so I thought it would be cool to visit. The planning was challenging but it was cool to see the city and her life there.

It was my first trip to any of the former Soviet countries. I found the architecture a bit jarring at first. So many concrete tower blocks everywhere. By the time I left Copenhagen I'd gotten a lot more travel in and was pretty blaze about it but this was the first time I'd seen it.

TransSib 2014 Yekaterinburg

We also visited Yekaterinburg during my TransSib trip, another World Cup host city.

It was a pretty and small town. I'm not as in love with the Romanovs as they are.

One of the things that's easy to forget in this crazy world is that Russia is a diverse and rich place filled with lots of people just living their lives. Going to Russia and seeing a lot of the country showed me that. Never forget that people aren't their politics and that we have more in common than that separates us.

In the loop

There is some really really nice housing in Marda Loop. I wish we had zoning more like this everywhere.

The area could still working on having actual high street zoning so that the whole of the mainstream all the way to and then along 14th could actually have retail and active frontages but overall it's a good hood in yyc,