Favorite Photo

Q: Which of your photos is your absolute favorite?

A: A tricky one, for sure. I think this photo is the one that taught me the most about life, and for that reason I’ll always appreciate it and hold it special.

The story: I was driving home from hanging out with some friends and this gorgeous sunset happened just after a storm. The whole thing is at an angle because I literally took this photo while driving and while in the middle of the intersection because that’s the only place that there weren’t buildings. I used to have my camera everywhere and it sat beside me, so other than scrambling for the zipper, it was always close at hand.

By the time I had gotten home to take a better version, it was already gone. This temporary image burned in my mind, even more spectacular than this mere frame would suggest.

The lesson I took away, and ultimately what started my getting out of photography is that everything is temporary and you can decide to try and take the picture or simply enjoy the moment for real.

So I certainly wouldn’t call it my best shot, but it might just be my favorite.

Illuminated Landscapes :: Benoit Paillé


How have your summers been? Good to hear. I’ve missed you all.

In the meantime, I’ve built a desk which I hope to post photos / build notes of eventually. Today I’m in search of a minimal / modernist lounge chair. I’m not really sure yet, but something comfy for reading and movie watching.

I don’t wear a pedometer, but I’m willing to bet I’m walking / longboarding 50+ km per weekend. It’s pretty glorious. I rarely take the camera, though, which takes some getting used to. There are lots of things that I’ve passed and thought “Man, that’d be an awesome photo” but then I remind myself how much better it is that I simply enjoyed it instead of trying to capture it. I’m learning to be selfish like that. Enjoy the world for my own sake.

Photos via Colossal


Hello everyone. Your summers have been going well, I trust? Mine too. I miss writing here a lot, you should know.

These photos were taken by yours truly over three years ago, when I had first bought my Canon XS. I remember this was one of the first trips outside of my comfortable home with it and was super paranoid of it getting hurt. Interestingly enough, this is actually the same place my T1i and tripod flipped over in the crazy thunderstorm I was trying to timelapse, and the side got all bashed in and I think I cried a little bit at one point. It was fine, however, and remains a faithful additional to my arsenal to this day.


In sad news, I’m not ending the hiatus – I’ve been really, really productive with my extra time – but I am excited to share a few things coming up.

That sunset is practically a Tycho poster, isn’t it? No Photoshop or filters there: that’s straight off the sensor.

You can see a fuller set here.

Stay awesome!

Solar Eclipse 2012.5.20

There was an eclipse in Calgary yesterday and it was cloudy. Whatever, weather. Just. Whatever.

So, here’s a picture from Tokyo of the same event; credit going to Kazuhiro Nogi who has a very, very diverse portfolio and no official listing of it. Odd.

We did, instead, as we’re apt to do, go and eat ridiculous amounts of very excellent food.


15 Brand New Banners

Good news, everyone!

There were some mediocre interim banners up when the redesign went live and they’ve been officially replaced.

To enjoy: 15 fresh photos, taken by yours truly over the past few summers. Some abstract, some less so. I hope to add another batch into the mix towards the end of the month for your collection and trading fun!

Abandoned Waterslides

This place was open and running when I was a kid. I wouldn’t say thriving, but busy enough.

The slides were horrid, the fiberglass worn thin from however many years of summer riders and Canadian winters. I remember sitting in the hot tub and with a raw back, not quite bleeding but probably close, shredded by a long day sliding. I’m not sure, in hindsight, if it was really as dubious as I remember or if, being a kid and all, over the years my imagination has made it that much worse. I do remember the milkshakes were fantastic.

Fast forward to me as a teenager. The park closed after some property deal or other went sour. In truth, I suspect they simply weren’t getting the paying traffic anymore. A few years after that there was a big thing in the news papers that it had been vandalized by some punks. Windows smashed, the empty pool filled with remnants of beer bottles. I remember wondering why anyone cared; it’s not like it’d ever open again without a pretty major overhaul anyway.

A few years after that I found photography and in the following summers we found ghost towns and toured all the neat old places we could find. This was, admittedly, the first and only place we ever ‘trespassed’ into to get photos. I say trespass in the sense that we hopped a small fence to get inside, but I doubt anyone would have raised any big deal about our being there; it had been abandoned for a long time by the time we came up.

They demolished the whole thing the summer of 2011, some years after these photos were taken. Other than those my friend took while exploring beside me, I’m not sure if many others exist out there. So that’s sort of cool. A surviving record, and a good memory of warm days spent with awesome people and then-brand new cameras.

You can see more here

Johnny Five

And with that the year is over!

We had two presentations of our J5 robot – one open house trade show style and one stand up presentation to leaders of industry for direct feedback. Both were really good and I speak on behalf of the group when I say we’re proud of the end result. The crowd response was really encouraging and I daresay we impressed even the professionals.

The robot itself is one of the ASNT projects (ASNT being SAIT’s robot division) and we were commissioned to design and build the panels to cover pinch points and generally look good. We used magnets on the panels and body so they’re removable and allow for the ongoing robot construction which will happen after we move on. The panels themselves are made of Sintra, which is a 3mm PVC foam that we hand formed to curve using a heat gun (it has a soft point of like, ~65 degrees C) and then painted on the outside with mica pearl and clear coats while black Rocker Guard protects the inside (and fades it out of notice). The grey and red bits are vinyl that we did up in Illustrator and plotted out. It worked out, actually, that instead of doing a bunch of difference random shapes we could just reuse the J5 logo over and over in it’s various pieces.

The group is (and this was chosen by random and just happened to work out) familiar: Alex Forrest and Duncan Carmichael, who you’ll recognize for our Stealth Chair. We’re an awesome group and a good spread of talents to combine into an awesome outcome. It’s been really good working with them again.

Peace Bridge

Met up with local photographers and cool dudes @MorganGarvin and @VernTheBunny the other week to shoot Calgary’s new Peace Bridge.

It’s nice to have spring again, but I haven’t picked up my camera in a long while and just wasn’t feeling it. Also: I think I take better shots when I’m alone. More shooting from the hip as I walk though an broad area as opposed to going to a specific area with friends and then staying in the same place trying to find things to capture. It’s just a different style, I guess.

That bug tried to kill me, I swear. I have no idea what it is but it’s much bigger than I thought anything that lived around here was supposed to be. Ever since those nuclear powered taxis started showing up…

J5 Teaser

Today’s open house went smashingly and I’m still processing photos and things from the event / of the project. Tomorrow we’re presenting the whole kit to a panel of industry leaders, so you’ll just have to be a wee bit patient.

Also in the pipeline: my sandal project.

Stay tuned, sports fans!

On Time Management

The question is usually slipped into the footnotes of emails. Normal big picture questions are posed and then at the bottom this by-the-way “How do you have so much time to do all these things?”

Since I usually answer it with some witty one liner I feel like a proper open reply is in order:

It’s not a secret, it’s just a matter of priorities. Most people look at my average 47.7 posts per month and although they range from lengthy writings to one sentence links to videos (the average is 373 words per post) they wonder where I get the time to do it at all. It’s not really about words, it’s about content and unfortunately that I can’t quantify to average. I admit it varies a lot. There are posts that are utter rubbish. There are gems of inspiration that I like; one sentence among many that really speaks back to me.

There was a saying in school:

  • Sleep
  • Work Quality
  • Personal Life

Choose two.

I’ve chosen, so it seems, sleep and work. I’ve chosen what I see right now, at this moment in my life, contentedness. I’ve been fortunate in that a lot of my work is with the people I would hang out with in my personal life (and I do, it’s not that I’m 100% shut in) so it creates a sort of mixed bonus.

People wonder where this comes from because they imagine adding it and maintaining their personal life which is simply busier than mine. I’m an introvert in the true sense which means that while I appreciate my social life, which I do enjoy, I can’t stand it for very long. I need this alone time to recharge. While I’m alone, I tend to do the things I love: reading, writing and working (I say work, but it’s synonymous with play in my case). I rarely watch shows or movies by themselves; I consume them while drawing or modelling. Compared to my friends, my video game play time is pretty low.

I enjoy what I do, which is this, so I do it.

It’s about priorities. Mine just happen to be here. No secret magic multitasking time travel involved.

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