Bikers, Cyclists, Pedestrians. Oh My!

The other day after I spent my time taking photos around the city, I decided to hop on a streetcar. Usually people don’t chat with the driver because their focus should be the road. However looking at the face of the driver, I felt this guy needed a change of pace. So what did we talk about?

Aside from photography which he was more versed than I would ever be with techniques principles and hardware, we got into talking traffic in the city. We swapped stories as vehicle operators and pedestrians, agreeing and disagreeing on a bunch of topics. The entitled cyclist and racing bikes and cars sprinting through the roads. Hearing from him, he mentioned he wants more warning especially for pedestrian crossing. However I quipped about the confusion about pedestrian crossings.

Here we have a countdown timer for pedestrians. As simplistic it sounds, the countdown was originally meant for the vehicle committing a right turn and to tell pedestrians to stop. Whoever planned and engineered these signs made it look like the lighting system makes you think you have a certain time to cross. I said to him the only way to stop pedestrians from dashing across is if all signs just told everyone to stop. A red light for cars and a solid hand for pedestrians. In lieu of a countdown, just a hidden timer until the next green light.

Sometimes a good idea just involves talking to people who have to live through those mistakes.

The city here is filled with literal and figurative signs of actions upon the infrastructure. Senior zones that cover just 2 city blocks, defunct or aging neighbour watch, unenforced school calming zones on 6 lane thoroughfares; there is no consistent idea what the city wants but works on the whims of those affected by them. In a chaotic system like traffic infrastructure, I would side with anyone who builds a logical and intuitive system of signage.

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It Could Be Anyone

I’m terrible at keeping this thing updated. I’ve been kind of just going on my own thing and I was planning a week long trip. Unfortunately all best plans fall short, especially with me.

With the recent ongoing crisis in my city, I feel like the aftermath brings so much hate and ignorance. Three months, a van attack with 16 injured. A shooting involving two children. Another that killed two downtown. Now 13 injured and 2 dead with the shooter slain. To each, a reason why. To each, a victim undeserved.

Watching the news about the recent incident causing mass bodily harm, I realize not just the victims can be anyone. The man with the handgun, 29, mental health in question, deceased.

We all make choices in life, acting mostly to the obvious and some the obviously easy way out. Of all the things I try to spearhead, mental health is the strongest issue I try to push onto others to learn. Since ever I identified my own demons, I was given another option. With everything I’ve learned in my short life, there’s always another way to fix all your problems – a peaceful and mindful fix.

For me, I do my best to help others and capture the intricate moments with my camera. I always felt like an outsider and tried to be in. But I’ve accepted who I am and now I’m just working on being comfortable with myself.

As much as anyone can be a victim, anyone can be their own bad guy. However a good human being is the power within knowledge and understanding the world around you.

 

 

 

Need To Make It Rain

The past winter, I bought 500 business cards. With my name and a web address to my 500px account. In hindsight, sometimes impulse purchases isn’t the best way to get business cards.

When I first bought this batch was because I saw the 50% off deal on Vistaprint. Great deal at the time considering it’s 500 cards. I made a very simplistic card, white lettering on black – no designs and a straightforward style.

When they arrived, they come in boxes of 250. Well right now I’ve managed to give out about  20-30 of the 500. Since the last purchase, the place has been having the 50% business card sales all the time. So looking back on it, I could’ve spent more time designing a card to be more appealing.

Speaking of business, I was invited to a business seminar. It was a mixed bag of thoughts. Firstly, the entire  seminar was highly focused on getting people into a business to sell products. Something I’ve had some recent experience with, however it just sounded very remotely a bit of a scheme to brainwash people. When I was accepted the invitation, I thought “I could give away at least a hundred of these bad boys.” I arrived with 50 and only gave two and one to a friend of a friend. It’s unfortunate but these folks seemed a bit high brow and disillusioned. I think I’ve tried networking at a seminar and now I just have to dial in where to distribute and market myself.

I do feel semi-serious about starting a photography job. However in a city of millions, it’s tough to compete with someone well established. However I’m not in it in win it all, I just want to at least make it to be independent. Just taking it one job at a time.

Local Resturants

After a week of eating at small dining establishments, I’ve learned a bit about my area.

In terms of variety and styles there is not much of I like or enjoy and when there is “variety” it’s only by presentation. It kind of bums me out that no matter where I go I find an Asian eatery or a cafe. The only thing that really changes is the scene that occupies inside the restaurant but not much else in terms of the taste.

Sadly wandering around the city I found the same monotonous cafe. As much as I like the hipster vibes, it lacks in a community feel.  I only say that because I want to drop my business card on bulletin boards. I still like a humbling place with the smell of roasted beans wafting, but it feels a bit empty without interesting or interactive wall decor.

I think for now, I can say my week long experiment to see this city in it’s culinary glory is successful but I wish I could’ve seen more. I might keep trying to visit more but for now, I’ll get close to what I know.

People are terrible.

Before I say anything, I’m going to say this. I’m a lurker at Imgur. I’ve never made an account on there but I like to browse through some of the content over there. Sometimes it keep things light hearted and some things I see there can make you feel passionate about things. As a hobbyist photographer and I don’t know why, I saw this and my jimmies were rustled.

For those who like to play it safe, let me tell you what you will see in that link. It’s a long list of pictures of people taking photos, seems innocent. However each image has those people abusing the environment. You would see a person standing atop a ledge, one harassing a large bird, and a person shaking a cherry blossom. Then the last one which had me wound up; a man wielding a camera taking a close up of a bird which looks like it’s being choked.

I was shocked and I’m happy I haven’t seen people do that yet. However the reminders are there when taking a photo, never jeopardize your safety and never harm your surroundings. Some people don’t necessarily think of their safety until it happens to them. It’s one thing to stand high and tall to get that majestic shot but once you lose an arm and a leg, not having a good picture is the least of your problems. After seeing the gallery I decided to see if there was a list of selfie deaths. Surprisingly, there is a list! Even worse is the list a long. A lot of folks doing, not much thinking. And I thought I was a bit impulsive.

Then there is the wildlife cruelty, I just hope there is a special dark place for people like that. Whether it’s animal or plant, I do think as a photographer I should be observing and not influencing. There is something about studio photography where you are capturing a subject but when you’re in the big wide world, you are just there to take what may come. If you’re using the world as your backdrop, then you should be responsible to minimize your impact to the environment. Don’t tread on a flower garden or shake a tree because it suits you.

Anyways, I will be doing a bit more photography as the days grow longer and sunnier.

Good Luck Next Time

I know I haven’t been staggering away from my traditional weekly blog posts, I’ve been caught up with work recently. A lot of out and about work and with the recent weather, I’ve been taking my camera out in the warm sunny days.

However I’ve been holding back writing a post about relationships because I should really be the last person to give relationship advice. I take that back, I should be the bottom ten people you should ask. In the past month or two, everyone is either getting in trouble with relationships or wanting to leave a relationship. As the nice single male I am, I always suck myself into these conversations with “Tell me about it.”

I want to be the helping hand and open ear for someone to feel good. A lot of people I’ve talked to drink heavily after a relationship; not going to lie if I had the money, I would’ve done the same. Usually drinking alone and suffering is the same, nothing is solved and it will still hurt at the end. The  weird thing is I find one within the pair who was seeking more than just a physical relationship and that’s what gets me.

I do believe in this century, there are variability in the definition of love but the still hardest to grasp I’ve seen and witness is romantic love. I’ve had closely had a romantic relationship and compared to people I’ve meet seemed to want the same, the love of another person. I almost want to tell them a daring truth that what they seek is not a physical embodiment of love but a love which can only be received in kind and care. Even then I don’t think they would reciprocate in the sense to understand romantic love but to rationalize their needs in that context. Romantic love is not a date on the calendar or a price tag, it’s the devotion and the willingness to weather hardships of not your own but others. Still as you read this, some will say it’s easy or asking how but that is the difficulty of romantic love and how I think it’s the greatest of loves. If done right it can reciprocate with bounty and if done incorrectly can hurt the most toughest of souls.

I would want that romantic love but it is just an idea most people see as unobtainable. From my point of view even if I don’t ever find that romantic love, I will still look for it and her.

This. Phone. Company.

A couple weeks ago while I was writing the last blog post, I kept getting calls throughout the week. At first I understand these people are being paid to call me to sell me the company I subscribe to for my telecom service. However after the third phone call in a week, I’m starting to get fed up.

Of course it makes sense companies call you by their means to be friendly to let you know you’re due up to renew your service after a contract (if you have one). As important is to keep repeat business going to make money off their customers. However I’ve been called a few more times than usual within the week. Prior to this, I would receive the occasional text about local discounts on entertainment and venues. Those customers similar to me might know this company.

It sounds to me this company is desperate. Their constant calls in the evening seem to be more hostile than informative. It’s really getting on my nerves that around 8:10 in the evening, a lady calls me to tell me about their “new fast internet service” they would like to  offer to me as a “loyal customer”. There are a bunch of problems.

Starting with the speed of about 25 mbps, it’s great speed – incredible speed, even. However at $50 a month, I am still paying for my internet. No matter how affordable it may be, my current living arrangement has given me access to the Internet. My income isn’t enough to pay more bills considering I would pay double for communications. So if my phone company is reading this, know this – please stop calling me. I’m set for the time being.

Thanks for “considering”.