Friday, 14 March 2014

Snowy Owls

beautiful white male swoops down. Perhaps the best shot of the bunch
Boy did I ever luck out. Chitaroni lent me his Canon - L series 100-400 lens and I went out to find my snowy owl friend nearby. I armed myself with jeans and a half full battery for the camera. No big deal, was only -15 out and the wind was howling like it usually is the neck of the woods (I actually mean flat fields). I couldn't find my friend nearby. So I took a drive down the 417 as I can usually find a spotted one down there. I had to go back and forth before spotting the…well, spotted one below in the tree. I am always excited to see these owls and this time was no different. With the L series lens I was able to shoot from further away, while maintaining great quality photos. After getting what I wanted and having walked through waist deep snow, I decided to move on in my frozen jeans. I decided to go a bit further and take a longer route home down a road perfectly suited for an owl to perch. To my luck I stumbled upon another photographer also snapping away at a snowy owl on that exact road. He was very knowledgable and friendly. Friendly enough to let me "poach" his session by allowing me to join in. I contemplated not using the photo of the mouse as it was live baited. With some research on the topic I found it the be very negatively looked down upon by people choosing to post their opinions on the subject. While I can see both sides of the debate clearly, I am also not overly opposed to it. Out of respect, the photographer will not be named to save him internet hate that really isn't backed by anything more than simple opinions. I have seen his work and it is outrageously good photography and he clearly knows what he is doing, where to go, how to find his work, and how to preserve it in a manner that keeps the animal alive and safe. Again, I see both sides. I just happen to not necessarily see it as a negative. I can understand why it is done. And my photos are a clear example. I (the hobbyist) got to enjoy something spectacular at hopefully little to no expense of the bird. The mouse you ask? Yeah, I could care less about mice. They come into my home and make a mess. And I get to take photos of this, instead of photos of a dead mouse that has defecated itself in a trap? I can't say I would do it myself, but I am not opposed to this specific method in this specific circumstance. I hope you can see past the debate and just enjoy my photos here. You will notice a second spotted owl towards the bottom. I found her (female I believe) while on my way home. 3 different owls in one afternoon! And that one big white male… nature can be so awesome. I am really thankful for these rare winter photo opportunities. And Chitaroni for lending me such a nice lens. Enjoy.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Merry Christmas and more

Snowy Owl

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, as well birthdays to Crazy Steve, Chitaroni and other people probably. Snapped a few photos of Kyle and Steve over the Holidays while observing at Taz. But let's get to the goods, what I am really excited about.

While my goods friends were visiting, I stumbled across a snowy owl landing on my garage right in front of me. I snuck into the house and even removed my keys and change so I could be stealthy with the camera. He was gone when I returned 10 seconds later though. Fast forward to Christmas day - while driving on the highway, I see him (or well, another owl at least) perched in a tree but I don't have the camera. Of course. Then yesterday while on the way back from my sister's on the backroads I spot him with Brenna perched on a fence post near the road. I have the camera but the sun has just set. I snap a photo that would have been worthy had I not found him today. So today I returned to the fence post area to see if he is around. I don't see him, but I see a large dark animal feeding on a carcass in the same field. It's far away and figure it might be a fox or a coyote picking up scraps. I ignore it and turn back, but as I pass the "animal" a second time I notice a distinct white head. I have sharp eyes, but they are not what they used to be. I can't tell what it is, my gut says bald eagle but my brain says no way not out here. I use the camera zoomed to the max and shoot a photo, then I zoom in on that blurred subject. Sure enough it is a massive bald eagle feeding on what appears to be a downed vulture, raven, or maybe a game bird. The photos of the eagle are cropped and attempted to be sharpened a bit. Thank goodness for my versatile 18-270 tamron lens! Excellent walk-around lens for stuff like this. A Raven actually comes in to feed and shoes the eagle away. I spot him flying away, snap a few photos in the distance and then race in my car to catch upto him. As soon as I got closer I snapped a few more, but his path of flight was where no car can go and all I could do was watch him fly away in awe. This is the third bald eagle I have seen (Florida and Pennsylvania) but I don't think I was happier for the others than this sighting. Right in my backyard! I had to hit crappy tire, so I made sure to take the long route along the highway since I was doing well for bird spotting. I knew I would likely see a hawk or two, and maybe the owl. Well sure enough I found the snowy owl. I had to exit further and turn back in the opposite direction. I snapped a few and scared him off in the wrong direction. So yes, I reversed down the 417 and got closer for some even better shots! And you know what? What I bought at crappy tire was on sale too! Wow what a day. Make sure to check out the birds down below. It's pretty well known I love animals. But I just really get into these predatory animals, there is something so neat about them. They really are at the top of their food chain it seems and it's really exciting to see these rare (to me at least) animals doing well in the area.

Have a safe New Year.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ode to myself


Yes, ode to myself. Just finished my second knee surgery and the surgeon said it was time to let go of snowboarding due to my knee conditions and bow legs. It was fun while it lasted, but also the easiest of all my hobbies to retire from. It's darn expensive, hard to get together and do with other people and my schedule, and as fun as it gets, doesn't have the replay value for me unlike at a skatepark where I can go and go and go - hit after hit. At the hill I have to wait for chairlifts and if I am lucky enough to find a jump I like it takes all day to hit it 15 times. That bothers me. That and I hate the cold. Oh well eh? Now I will save my knees for more hockey and bmx. That's a thought I enjoy.

Here's a few photos to celebrate the retirement. Self indulging loser!

Thanks to Chitaroni and Ray for the photos

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Happy bday Jorden and Ginger

Gordy and the wheel jam of death at L'Orignal. Shot on my t3i with Chit's 10-20mm wide lens.

 Happy birthday Jorden and Ginger. Don't know what dates or how old you guys are. I don't have Facebook and can sooner remember NHL pro's stats. But I don't love you guys any less. Here are some  classics of Ginger and more from an NYC/Philly/NJ trip we took in 2008. With the crashed hard drive I was extremely lucky to come across this cd with the trip photos (shot with the old 40D) I had burned for Chris way back when, but forgot to give the disc to him a thousand times. My fav part of that road trip with Jeff, Ginger, and Prashant, was Philly. It had amazing street and really felt like a true adventure with new things to ride around every corner. The only thing we mapped out were those cities. Nothing else. It was get in the car and go. A proper bmx road trip. Hope to go back someday. Do people ride street anymore though? And Hey, that trip made a lot of footage for Hate This. 90% of ginger's part was from this trip. Dude shredded it up road fools style. Won't be a ton of updates coming up here. People got lame for Hallowe'en, so nothing there to share. And I am off on a double knee surgery for the next good while. It's going well. hopefully I can be riding for Feb or so.

Happy birthday guys!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Beautiful September

Derek cruises with style on his Honda Shadow

September has proven to been one of the nicer months we have had all year. It's been sunny and perfect for wearing jeans and a tshirt. Can't complain. Check out some stuff going on in life while you are stuck at work not enjoying this weather. All shot with the 50mm on the t3i, except for the bmx photos of me, that was Chitaroni with the 7d and 15mm fisheye.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Lake Placid moto trip 2013

our first real stop for photos, that's white face mountain in the background

Frank, Ray, and myself packed up for a weekend in Lake Placid on the motorcycles for 2.5 days. This place and the surrounding area of Adirondacks is seriously a racetrack full twisty turns and hills surrounded by perfect landscapes of mountains, waterfalls, and rapids lining the roadway. It was insane. Like nothing else I have done before. It felt like linking the perfect run together in a skatepark. I certainly made use of the outer treads of my tires too. We packed light and I was only armed with the t3i with 50mm and my my buddy's gopro 3. Photos couldn't do this place justice, and to be honest we couldn't be bothered to stop in the best spots, because the riding was too good and stopping meant breaking the perfect flow we had going.  Everyone road really well and we covered a fair amount of ground considering the time we had, shorter days, and colder weather. Absolutely awesome. Can't wait to go back next year when it's not deathly cold out.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

It's a boy!

a bee themed event. What will it bee? I guessed boy and was right

What a busy weekend. Here is some non bmx content to poke around at. Myself and Brenna shot photo and video at her sister's baby gender reveal/baby shower. Then again at the River Float they held afterwards. Then it was time to celebrate Brenna's bday!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Sudbury roadtrip edit 2013

Here it is. I finally paid for a vimeo plus account. Not happy giving them $60 for a year, but at least this way I can upload video way sooner since I can never ever remember how to compress things while maintaining decent quality. It seriously took me days with my work schedule to just get this crap online. My internet is as slow a volkswagen and my brain is getting dumber. Now that onus is on you as riders to make me ride more and film more next year to and pump out more edits to justify this expense. I prefer wasting money on this from kijiji that I can re-sell on kijiji when I realize I don't need them. Anyone want to buy my edit? Didn't think so. Oh and make sure to have the HD option on.


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Big Nickel Trip 2013

Josh gainers unknown water off a train bridge in Sturgeon falls. We estimated this jump at about 48-50ft. He did the gainer first jump. Then did it again perfectly as well. Then he called it there like a wise man. Don't think you're cool by saying it's not that high. A: you can't even see how much more he drops into the water. B: he did it first jump, INTO UNKNOWN water. C: the friggin' guy jumped off a beam, sideways, no running start, just standing balancing on a beam. D: Josh is the shit
It's important to me to make it down to Sudbury at least once a year. I have good friends there that do lots of driving to hang out on my account. Last year I failed, I didn't even make it once. I was able to break the slump. I didn't ride as much as the maniacs pictured below, but I felt good and had a blast hanging out and laughing. And yah, this post can only start with the best move of the trip. Josh is nuts. Oh and that is Rich Red photoshop job above there there. I opened all the photos I wanted to make a sequence of in some foolish paint program for 4yr olds and cut and past Josh into the relative area he should be, overlap and all. All shot on the T3i with Tamron 18-270mm which has been acting up. I also broke my fisheye trying to film Kyle. But I just got a new 50mm lens to sorta make up for that. It's my third one after smashing one in Spain and having one stolen in Gatineau. Enjoy.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Costa Rica photos part 4

canopy ziplining
This is the last of the photos. All the ziplining photos were were taken by the company photographer. He did a good job considering the low light and foggy weather. There is a random go pro shot in there, and then some off a point and shoot we bought for Brenna for the trip. The point and shoot turned out to be an utter pile of junk. Anyway, thanks for checking in. Plenty of bmx photos and video coming in the next week.