Category Archives: uncategorized

The Surprise of Bhopal

When Margaret first suggested Bhopal, all I could think of was the terrible 1984 Union Carbide disaster, that poisoned and killed so many. What could we possibly find there? There is a large Muslim population and we’ve had such wonderful experiences with that culture, so I was all for it. We were very taken with the unbelievable friendliness in Old Bhopal. “Welcome to India” “What country?” “Hello Sir, Hello Madam” were said to us everywhere we went.

Women in Niqabs can seem very remote and mysterious, but when you engage with them, as Margaret did with the woman holding the baby, they are anything but.

The Taj ul Masajid (mosque) shown here is an example of typical Mughal architecture. It can hold up to 175,000 people.

The real attraction for us however is the markets. I love the narrow laneways and bustle of activity.

At a park one day, we met 6 year old Simra (meaning heaven) and had a long conversation with her mother and father.

  

Old buildings with funky Indian wiring.

The food markets are the noisiest, with the vendors announcing their fresh produce and haggling for the best price.

I’m always looking into alleyways. It’s where surprises are often found.

Remember you can enlarge these by clicking on them.

 

 

Happy Holi 2018, part 1

Two years ago, we accidentally encountered the Hindu festival of Holi. We were in Rishikesh, enroute to Delhi and home, when on the way to the taxi stand we were bombarded with colour and surrounded by shouts of “Happy Holi”!  Not being prepared with a cover for my camera, I knew I would have to return to experience the festival again. Nothing can prepare you for the blasts of colour, the happiness, and the reverence.

 

 

Mathura, the birth place of Krishna, and the temple town of Vrindavan are two of the best places to celebrate Holi. This blog shows how it was to make our way to the Bankey Bahari Temple in Vrindavan, which prepared us for the magic to be found once inside (that will be part 2).  There are stalls everywhere selling dye (gulal) which you’ll eventually be covered in.

 

 

 

Along the way, we’re greeted with intense joy and playfulness.

 

 

And the wonderment of children.

 

 

This time I was prepared with a cover on the camera. And Margaret, as always, brought her intrepid spirit and big smile.

 

 

 

A reminder that you can click on each photo to enlarge it!  Happy Holi!

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Why India?

We just booked our flights for another trip to India in February. Often I’m asked, “after so many trips there, why do you keep returning”? For me there are so many answers to that question. Maybe some of these images will help explain.

 

 

I love the markets, so full of sights, sounds, smells and frenetic activity. The diversity of people and cultures that come together is so enriching. A far cry from the “Mall” experience here.

 

 

The quiet reverence to be found at the Temples. Such a difference from the bustle of the streets and markets. The image above was taken at the Golden Temple compound in Amritsar. What the picture is unable to convey is the constant melodic chanting coming from the loudspeakers.

 

 

Of course the people. Particularly the rickshaw wallas, merchants and guesthouse operators. They show such generosity of spirit and respect that it inspires me to try to bring some of that home.

 

 

We really enjoy travelling by train. One great benefits of English rule was the railroads. The stations are so chaotic with travellers from all across the country mixed with beggars and cows and people sleeping on the floor. For a people watcher like me, it’s heaven.

 

 

 

When we need some quiet time it’s off to a rural area for some village life. Often these are roads less taken by tourists. Such a nice contrast to the cities. Pretty much everywhere but particularly in the countryside there is such an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables and of course delicious curry dishes to be had everywhere.

 

 

Tony Koch and the AltNews Band

Sometimes this business can take you to some very cool places to meet some very cool people. On this occasion we were shooting Tony Koch’s newly assembled jazz ensemble, the AltNews Band. The location, Bryan Adam’s famed Warehouse recording studio  in Vancouver’s Gastown. While they recorded we captured images for their CD release.

 

 

Tony Koch:  Writer, composer and lead guitar. A long time instructor at Vancouver Community College, Tony assembled this A list of Jazz musicians.

Campbell Ryga: A juno award winning jazz alto and soprano saxophonist. Cam has worked with Vancouver golden boy Michael Buble and got a grammy nod out of it. 

Miles Black: Composer, arranger, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Miles is also one of the most sought after jazz pianists in the country. 

Miles Hill: Bassist, producer, engineer, and composer, this guy does it all. He also recently opened up his own shop called Frequency Forward Studio. 

Bobby Ruggiero: Talented and humble drummer Bobby is probably best known for touring with Van Morrison.

The album will be streaming soon on itunes.

 

Lily Does Makeup

Lily Ling and I connected about two years ago. She is a fantastic makeup artist and hair stylist that always shows up with a smile on her face and ready to work. On set, Lily is an attentive perfectionist and my clients love her. Off set, Lily has done some modelling for several photo shoots in Canada and Asia. She was the perfect subject to try out new lighting and a concept I had seen on Instagram. I also wanted to get a portrait of her to add to the team page on my website.

 

The benefit of shooting a makeup artist and hair stylist is that they arrive in full hair and make up, ready to walk on set. Lily had brought a few fun wardrobe options but first up was her head shot.  We wanted to do something that reflected the spirit and sense of playfulness she brings to her work.

 

Next we tried a more dramatic lighting set up that gave more shadows and sculpting to the face. We added a leather jacket to complete the edgy look. 

 

 

For some colour we went with the floral top and grey background.

 

 

Another sample of our main reason for setting this shoot up.

 

 

You can check out Lily’s work here, Lily Does Makeup

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