August, 2011

Fan Expo Toronto 2011

Took myself and the girls to Fan Expo. Here are a selection of some of the pics I shot while there:

Fan Expo: Wonderwoman Holding a Dalek

Fan Expo: Wonderwoman Holding a Dalek

Fan Expo: Soviet Batman and Nazi Joker

Fan Expo: Soviet Batman and Nazi Joker

Fan Expo: Girls in Dr Who Costumes (Dalek and Angel) Along with Vanessa and Hailey

Fan Expo: Girls in Dr Who Costumes (Dalek and Angel) Along with Vanessa and Hailey

Fan Expo: Two Voice Actors from "Total Drama Island" with Annie

Fan Expo: Two Voice Actors from "Total Drama Island" with Annie

Fan Expo: Pokeman Balloon Costume

Fan Expo: Pokeman Balloon Costume

Fan Expo: Real Steel Robot: Atom

Fan Expo: Real Steel Robot: Atom

Fan Expo: Real Steel Robot: Purple Robot

Fan Expo: Real Steel Robot: Purple Robot

Fan Expo: Lego Hagrid

Fan Expo: Lego Hagrid

Fan Expo: Wall of T-Shirts

Fan Expo: Wall of T-Shirts

Fan Expo: Cowboy and "Test" Coming Down Escalator

Fan Expo: Cowboy and "Test" Coming Down Escalator

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Buskerfest 2011

Went down to the St. Lawrence Market to get some bagels and to take the opportunity to shoot some pictures of Buskerfest, which was happening on the street right in front of the market.

Didn’t end up taking too many pics, but these were my favourites:

St. Lawrence Market, Flatiron Building, TD Tower and CN Tower

St. Lawrence Market, Flatiron Building, TD Tower and CN Tower

Buskerfest: Wind-up Dancer

Buskerfest: Wind-up Dancer

Buskerfest: Sword Swallower

Buskerfest: Sword Swallower

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Warrior’s Day Parade 2011

Took the Go Train from Danforth station to Exhibition, and arrived at the C.N.E. grounds just as it opened at 10am.

My main reason for coming was to shoot pics of the Warrior’s Day Parade. I like taking pics at this event because, a) who doesn’t like a parade? b) the pomp and pageantry is fun, and c) I like capturing the moment where a personality is revealed under the uniform. Also, it is a kind of homage to my parents, both of whom did their part in WWII.

I saw a couple of old WWI-era planes circle the grounds prior to the show, and I wondered if there was going to be a fly-by to help celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the parade. The answer was no as it turned out, but they were still fun to see, though I didn’t have my 300mm lens which would have brought them into focus.

Instead I brought along my heavy-but-fast (f/2) 200mm lens, which was its first outing at a parade. Figure I would trade off getting the types of close-ups I could get with my f/4 300mm lens but which would likely be slightly blurry due to motion for being able to freeze the motion of the people going past. For the most part that seemed to be a good strategy, and in some pics it is even possible to read the names on individual’s name-tags in the pictures I came away with.

I think the most moving for me was this one:

C.N.E. Warrior's Day Parade #36

C.N.E. Warrior's Day Parade #36


Am guessing that this is the father or maybe older brother of the soldier in the photo who was killed in Afghanistan. [Postscript: I was right, the photo the man is carrying is of Joshua Baker, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010].

Here is a selection of some of the many pics I took:

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Bye-bye BlackBerry, Hello iPhone!

At the beginning of the month I was able to replace my existing phone under my plan, and instead of going for another BlackBerry, I’ve opted for an iPhone.

My old BlackBerry 8320 has been good, and has been around the world with me, but it’s time to move on.

BlackBerries have always done email well, but that’s about it. The Web experience on my BlackBerry has always been dismal/disappointing/frustrating, the games were usually uninstalled shortly after being installed, and they have a stupidly-low amount of on-board memory. When I saw that the new BlackBerries still had ridiculously low amounts of memory (512 MB vs. 16 GB on the equivalent “base” iPhone on the plan) that helped clinch it.

But it’s not so much the hardware as the software you can run on it. My wife loves her iPhone, and we have an iPad at home so am already very familiar with the apps that can be used on it.

So bye-bye BlackBerry! I think the only thing I will miss is the tactile mini-keyboard.

Here are a couple of pics of my battered BlackBerry:

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Goldfinches and Blue Flowers

Took the dog out for a walk early this morning prior to our trip to see the girls up at Camp Couchiching, and I finally got some decent pics of some male goldfinches flitting about some blue flowers at Woodbine Park. Here are my pics from what I shot:

A Trio of Male Goldfinches

A Trio of Male Goldfinches

Male Goldfinch #1

Male Goldfinch #1

Male Goldfinch #2

Male Goldfinch #2

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Small White Butterfly

Finally managed to get a decent picture of a Small White (Pieris rapae) Butterfly, better known to most people as the “Cabbage White”. The damned things keep flitting about, and are very sensitive to anyone near, so I feel lucky that I was able to catch one who held still on a nearby flower long enough for me to crouch down and take a shot with my telephoto lens.

Small White (Pieris rapae) Butterfly

Small White (Pieris rapae) Butterfly

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Bullfrog on the Boardwalk

Saw this little Bullfrog leap onto the boardwalk at Woodbine Park. He stayed still long enough for me to take some shots, of which this one was the best:

Bullfrog on Boardwalk

Bullfrog on Boardwalk

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Dragonboat Practice

Took the dog down for a walk down by Woodbine Beach, hoping to see some waterfowl. Instead I caught a group of people who were obviously practicing for a Dragonboat race. Took several pics, of which this was my favourite:

Dragonboat Practice

Dragonboat Practice

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More Mallard Ducklings

I predict that you are going to see many more pictures of the Mallard Ducklings that are calling the pond in Woodbine Park their home. There are clearly two small flocks of ducklings, each with its own mother protectively looking after them.

This was my favourite shot from the day, with a group of five ducklings heading one way while mother Mallard looks on. The white thing reflected in the water is the pond’s fountain.

Mallard Ducklings and Mother Mallard

Mallard Ducklings and Mother Mallard

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Mallard Ducklings

Had a chance to walk the dog down by Woodbine Park again today, and finally got a good look at the Mallard ducklings that I have only seen from a distance before, occasionally peeking out from the bulrushes. The mother Mallard was keeping a close eye on her little flock, which included making sure a seagull didn’t get too close.

Here are the pics:

Mallard Ducklings 1

Mallard Ducklings 1

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