Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rarrrrrgh grawg arrrrghhh... brraaaaains

The Toronto Zombie Walk was on Saturday. I took pictures.

There were zombies who hunt


Zombies who yell


Militant zombies


Sexy space zombies

Space Zombie

Zombies who liked their parties

Party Zombies

And of course someone who could help the wounded

Helloooooo Zombie Nurse!

Oh, and Urungus


The whole set is here, and I'll probably add a few more pics once I get time to sit down and finish processing the ones worth seeing.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

As Expected

For 12 seasons he played in the relative obscurity of Toronto. You know, the only MLB team outside of the US? The only team to win the World Series outside of the US? (back-to-back). The team that shattered attendance records for three straight years. The team that nobody outside of Canada seems to realize exists.

His second game in the majors, the last of the 1998 season, he threw a no-hitter into the 9th with two outs.

After coming back in 2002, after rebuilding his game in the minors, Roy "Doc" Halladay showed every one of the dwindling Blue Jays fans that he was, without a doubt, the best damned pitcher in the majors.

2003 was his first Cy Young year. 22-7.

He showed time and again that he is almost always a lock for a complete game. He's thrown more than most TEAMS in the span of his career. He rivaled Dave Stieb in Toronto when it came to near-misses with no-hitters. And the fans loved him.

And nobody outside of the city seemed to care. They talked of pretenders to the throne like CC Sabathia and Johan Santana as the "best pitchers in baseball". We knew better.

Freak injuries, no run support, shitty relief pitching (which I have no doubt is what lead to him pitching so deep so many times) - they all robbed him of seasons that would have demolished the competition. There is no doubt in any Jays fan's mind that Doc should have at least 3 or 4 Cy Youngs on his mantle by now (I think 6, but will discount one for the insane 2008 Cliff Lee had). If he was playing on better teams, or dodged a ball to the leg, he would have them.

But outside of the baseball obsessive, he seemed ignored. Right up until word got out that he could be traded. Suddenly, every team in the majors paid attention. Their fans scrambled to see the stats, but the stats lacked the nuances that the fans here knew. He was better than you thought. He was more than workhorse. He was the closest thing to a guaranteed win you could get.

And now, with the 20th perfect game in Major League history, the second no-hitter in playoff history, a lock for the NL Cy Young, and his first season under the real scrutiny of baseball media, Doc has shown everyone else what we already knew - he's the best.

And at 33, with the training and mentality he has, he might end up being the best ever.

Here's hoping that Cooperstown sticks a Jays hat on his head when he gets inducted.

Good job Doc. I dare you to do it again, but with one less walk.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

First Showing

My favourite of the classes I'm taking requires that we show some printed pictures throughout the semester. There's one guy who has been bringing in stuff for three weeks in a row. He's quite good, and like me, should really be in a more advanced class, but has his reasons for staying here.

After two weeks of his pics, a few other classmates jokingly asked him to stop bringing in so many good pictures, because they felt inferior to him.

I figured I should keep his ego in check, while putting mine on the line.

Because it's easy to admire your own work, or throw it up for friends to see (that's foreshadowing), and bask in their praise. But to actually put it out there for critical assessment by a group of people you barely know? There's some risk involved.

So I went through my older stuff, and decided to focus on a few of the HDR shots I've done. Interestingly, six from a single walkabout shoot stood out as thematically and visually similar, so I made them my set.

I expected the teacher to pull a couple out and say "these don't quite work with the presentation" or comment on the over-processed nature (especially since part of the reason for me taking these classes is to bring me back to fundamentals). At the very least, I expected one of the other students to say "this isn't really my thing, I prefer more realism."

Instead, I got, "These are lovely" from the teacher, which isn't sarcastic praise from him. No move was made to rearrange the presentation, no criticism at all was offered. He also told the class, "don't be intimidated by these, you'll be doing your own thing". This prompted another student to ask why I was even taking the course. The rest was praise, followed by many technical explanations of the process, telling people that their cameras could auto-bracket (and what that was), and describing the lens used.

I feigned mild humility, and was actually somewhat disappointed that the discussion turned to the technical. I was hoping for takes on the composition, style, theme... something. In the end, it felt somewhat that it was more the process than the product that impressed.

Metal Iceberg

Aluminum Disaster



Mike's Arch


So now the plan is... what? I'm thinking more HDR, although I debate putting the Vegas picture in, simply because I might have a hard time matching it with other pictures for a theme (but the Disney pics might change that). But mixed in with those will be non-HDR shots that fit whatever story I'm trying to tell with what I present. Maybe I'll be able to transition from one style to the next without anyone noticing...