End of the Games

When I was in Ottawa, I took this photo of the Olympic flag flying in front of the Parliament buildings.

I don't think the pole was propped up in those concrete blocks that people use instead of proper footings for their backyard decks, but it certainly felt like a temporary installation.

Apparently some people really like hockey. After the final game, this is what it sounded like from our 16th floor balcony:

This is two-and-a-half minutes trimmed out of nearly half an hour, keeping mostly the beginning and the end with a bit of the middle thrown in as well. They're still going at it as I type this, long after the game ended.

What's really amazing is that it took well over an hour for someone to finally think - "Wait a minute, I've got bagpipes!"

(1008) National Rodent

I was playing with some macro equipment this weekend.

Actually, I was playing with all of my macro equipment at once to get this shot.
It's not much of a subject, but it's nice to know that it's possible.


The Colour White

When I come away from a day of photography with more than a few images that I like, there are only two possibilities.
One is that I've suddenly become a much better photographer, the other is that I've become a much worse editor.

My money's on the safe bet.


(1007) #082, Blue Down

I spent some very productive time in a parking lot yesterday.


#274, Hunting Moosehead

While I was on my field trip to the northern reaches of the city, I spotted this evidence of impromptu target practice.

While Keith would probably mock this for using an air gun, I'm going to mock it for using a CO2-powered air gun. They've fallen out of favour with the ten-meter air pistol shooters - it's an Olympic sport, you know - because they don't deliver a consistent charge and impair the accuracy of the gun.

Photographers can be so judgmental when people use inferior equipment....


#225, Crushing

Some words of advice for photographers is to avoid placing big blue rectangles of sky on top of their pictures, because it can crush the subject down under an oppressive weight.


Everyone has their own personal definition of hell;
I suppose lots of people wouldn't want to live downtown.

"Cathedraltown" under construction, Markham.


(1006) #287, Will You?

I thought this would be a cute photo for today.

(For PJC.)


#013, Cage

My final dinosaur photo, at least for a long while.

Shooting for a few hours with a tilt-shift lens was tiring enough that I wouldn't want to spend a day with it, but this photo wouldn't have been possible with anything else. Life's a barter.



Amethyst, Carbon, and Copper.

The ROM has a great minerals collection, ranging from jewellery to meteorites. One of the most amazing pieces in the collection is a large sheet of natural copper that has wonderful complex curves. It could easily have found it a home in the Art Gallery of Ontario. Next time I'm there, I may do a video based entirely on it.

Recording the audio might get me kicked out, though.


#070, Collection

In a way the entire museum is something of a freak show, but some parts come across more strongly than others.


(1005) #714, Green

This is a photograph of the side of a local fruit stand. It would have been a throwaway photo if it wasn't for the kind participation of its proprietors, two of whom were willing to take time from their busy days to harangue me about my lack of permission to take the photo and their demands to know why I was taking it. As I wasn't on their property, I thanked them for their interest, told them that I like the colour green, and have a nice day.

Incidentally, this Fruit Stand is a quaint little plywood establishment that brings the charm of a roadside rural stand to the Annex neighbourhood. It is located on the edge of a parking lot, and is supposed to have annual inspections from the health department; currently its last inspection results on file are from November 2008, which they passed. And while I don't remember exactly when the last person was stabbed in their doorway, they were quite efficient at washing the blood off of the sidewalk.


#058, Reach

One of the tricks with a photograph is to flip it and see if it changes. To me these feel completely different, with different connotations. The great part is that other people will find different connotations to the direction and balance of the image, and can then argue about it as much as they like.


#043, Barosaurus

The rest of this animal is about 25 meters long; typically for me, I only photographed one foot.

As seen at the Royal Ontario Museum.


#894, La Brea

A quick detour to the Page Museum at the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles.

The skeletons - not fossils - extracted from the tar at La Brea have a distinctive brown stain to them. I noticed a similar colour on many of the dinosaur casts at the ROM. I don't know if the replicas have been stained to match the look of the original rock, or if it's a colour that was chosen because it looks like what people would expect - but even if it's a coincidence, I thought it was an interesting one.


#028, Perkisaurus

If my skeleton wound up on display millions of years after my death, I bet I'd look pretty surprised, too.


#033, #051: Storage

Off to one side of the dinosaur exhibit, behind a door marked 'exit', are two more animals on display. This area doesn't fit in with the new addition, and has the more traditional rectangular windows of the older building. The feeling is of a storage annex or warehouse, and the idea of warehousing dinosaur skeletons stuck with me when I took these photos.

I have others where they aren't silhouettes, but like these better.

Shooting with the manual focus Perspective Control lens is tiring, but it's better than carrying a stepladder around the museum all morning.

I have broken the links to hundreds and hundreds of photos, which will take a long time to repair. The workaround is to replace "photo.matthewpiers" in the link URL with "matthewpiers.smugmug". Awkward, but only temporary.

This is happening because I have revamped matthewpiers dot com. More of what I write and photograph will be going there, so check it out as well.

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