Monthly Archives

March 2015

Lifestyle

“Fuck Cancer” Fundraiser at Pacifico

THIS PAST WEEK was chock-full of shooting and editing.

Fuck Cancer” is a charity organization. I bet you can guess for what.

They hired me to shoot their fundraiser hosted at the Pacifico club in Halifax. Attendees were required to buy a $20 t-shirt as ‘cover’, which was added to the fundraising pool.  As a photographer, here’s are two things to know about Pacifico: a) There are a lot of really cool disco balls. b) It’s really dim, so you have to know how to work with the available light, unless you want to rely on flash. Also, you need to be really quick with your settings, as you’re going from dark dance floor to fluorescent-lit hallway, to candle-lit bar. There’s all kind of lighting going on here.

As per most events attended primarily by university students, it didn’t really start to pick up until around 11:30pm. The crowd was great, and everyone was wearing their t-shirts. The different colour ribbons on the shirts represent different cancers. I was given teal, for ovarian cancer.

Canada Lifestyle

Zuppa Theatre’s Pop-Up Love Party at Lion and Bright in Halifax

EROS, PHILIA, LOVE and desire served up hot and weird in a seven-course snacks menu designed by a Michelin-starred chef with Zuppa Theatre‘s reinvention –  a live and interactive version of Plato’s Symposium.

Make up for every liberal arts course you never took in university by attending this carnal feast/rock star party.  I promise you’ll learn a word or two of Greek, and partake in many toasts. Bring some embarrassing stories of your own about love to share – you might just get the chance. Also: Who doesn’t love projections paired with good food and entertainment? Check out their website for more information.  Shows have been selling out daily, but tickets are still available to buy here.

Don’t forget to tip the amazing venue staff of Lion & Bright who’ll keep you rich in spirits all night long.

The Sunday Letter

Sunday Sundries | Vol. 7

Just when the sidewalks were starting to emerge and the faint hope of spring was fluttering in Nova Scotians’ hearts, winter once again reared her ugly head and took a 50cm snow dump on us.  That being said, it was fun to cavort amongst the fluffy white banks in snowpants; less fun shovelling the car out of chest-deep snow drifts (thank you boyfriend Rob). We went for a winter drive out to Peggy’s Cove yesterday, where the wind had whipped away most of the snow from the landscape. The family above was exploring the icy granite rocks.

Here are this week’s recommended internet corners:

Δ Sick of interior design websites? This might be the tumblr for you.

Δ Match Total Exposures is a Lightroom Feature I wish I’d discovered a loooooong time ago! 

Δ Yokoo is one of my favourite knit designers on Etsy. Before she was an Etsy superstar, she worked at a copy centre. Here’s a great little introduction to her and her work. 

Δ What English words come from Japanese? You might discover a few you didn’t know about.

Δ The Best Museums Around the World, I want to visit all of them!

Δ Jane Goodall is still wild at heart, by the NYT. 

Δ The Time Everyone ‘Corrected’ The World’s Smartest Woman 

Δ If you also have a shelving addiction, The Best Sources for Wall-Mounted Shelving is for you. I love organizing shit on my walls.

Δ I lived with my boyfriend before we even started dating, but for people who are thinking of moving in together (romantic or not), you might want to sit down and communicate your thoughts and feelings about your living space, maybe using a template similar to this.

Δ I Couldn’t Turn My Abortion Into Art is what happens when the will to be radical comes up against the very real wall of personal trauma.

Δ Why Korean and Japanese Students Can’t Speak English, in their own words.

Δ I’m giving you my top-secret, best-medicine for times when I’m feeling sad: I watch this little penguin. Really. I have it tabbed in my bookmarks. It’s the best. I can’t not feel happy while watching it.

Δ Have you done secret sushi in Halifax? 

Δ If you go looking for it, you can find a lot of people who can tell you ‘what to do with your life’, but Gala Darling gives some great advice on how to cope with that question yourself and look to yourself for guidance, rather than someone else.

Δ For those of you who don’t get Howl’s Moving Castle (either the book or the film version), here’s a tumblr post that actually explains really well the true magic of Sophie’s character development.

Δ Debt can create a chokehold effect on your life. Here are The 50 Best Ways to Get Out of Debt in Canada

Δ The Gulabi Gang is a badass ‘gang’ of women in India who dress all in pink and fight against domestic violence. I would love to meet them someday.

Δ 10 Steps to a Zen-Like Working Environment 

Δ How to Become Instagram Famous, hacking Instagram is something I’m not quite a master of yet, but this article gives you some insight as to how you can expand the reach of your photos.

Δ A fun thing to know: The Year 24 Group was an early group of manga artists in Japan who can be credited as begin the first major female and feminist impact on the history of manga in Japan. They created strong female protagonists who were fighters  

Δ Did you know you can download Google maps for offline viewing ? Very useful for travelling in order to save yourself from data roaming charges.

Δ This One Woman’s 140-Square-Foot Dream Home looks like a perfect writer’s getaway, to me. And so cheap! Large houses are overrated (and more to clean!)

Δ The Five Golden Rules for Self-Employment are words to live by. TL;DR: discipline! 

Δ Six Types of Photos Every Photographer Should Know How to Make, my favourites from this list are tilt and shift for miniatures!

Δ Listen to this cute little French girl tell a story.

Δ This woman from Oregon is on a quest to master all the languages of the U.N. A lady after my own heart!

Δ This guy has charted out the optimal road trip across Europe, and it looks fantastic. He’s also written an open-source python code for those wanting to calculate your own optimal roadtrips.

Δ This interview with Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge.

Δ Con Man is a new comedy project by Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion.

Δ I’m watching the Wildest documentary series on Netflix right now. Wildest India is a great one to start with. Nature documentaries are my go-to when I need to relax.

Δ This NYT Article on Blogger Burnout, and Design*Sponge’s response to it.

I’m heading to Boston this week for Women in Travel Summit, which features sessions with names such as, “How To Get Shit Done and Still Do Yoga”, and “Networking Without Pants”.  I’m also going to get a chance to explore Boston for a few days, so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way! Look for Boston travel articles to follow.

On June 5th I’ll be leaving my secure law firm job and paycheque to spend the summer travelling across Canada in an old Dodge Caravan with my boyfriend. We plan to visit lots of friends and discover new places along the way. I’m hoping to do a lot of writing on the road and photograph people, places and things along the way. I’ve been really busy lately both planning for this summer, working extra photo gigs to save money, and trying to maintain focus and attention to my law job in order to prepare my successor and make some more improvements for my team before I leave. It’s going to be an interesting next few months for sure. I also enrolled in the next module of my tea sommelier training, which begins in mid-April.

I think discipline is going to be key in getting through these next few months. I’ve started doing 10 minutes of guided meditation every morning (headphones in, facing a brick wall) to help lend some more focus and routine to my morning. Have I started levitating? Not yet, but it feels really good to take a stretch afterwards, and then go out and try to conquer the day. 

Best,

Mel

ps. I’ve changed the header design a bit for this weekly feature. 

Lifestyle

Wisdom In Colour

Quick note: I’ll be going on hiatus for one week to work on some projects.

In a perfect world, I would have flown myself out to some french lavender fields at sunset to shoot an image to go with this quote, but pending the deposit of magical mystery money into my bank account, I think this butterfly on some lilacs will do nicely as well.

First of all: spring is coming! (ignore that 30cm snowfall warning for Sunday, Halifax. Today is 7˚ and beautiful, amirite?)

Second of all: When I posted last week’s image in colour, I was like, “Colour is awesome!”. When I started these quotes, I went with a black and white preset I had developed because I liked the “timeless” look it gave (and I still do), but I thought it would be cool to share all the quotes I had done so far in colour as well. Some of them actually pop quote a bit more once you add the colour back. Click here to download your favourite for personal use. Throwing text on a photo is so easy (in theory), but I can already look back and see things I’ve learned from doing this regularly. Seriously, practice is everything.

p.s. This post is part of a weekly series I do of free wallpapers featuring my photos paired with a famous quote.   

The Sunday Letter

Sunday Sundries | Vol. 6

It might be a bit early to really call it spring, but today the sun in shining, it’s warm(ish) out, it’s International Women’s Day, I’m getting more and more excited about going to WITS in Boston in a couple weeks, and generally things seem to be looking up from the dreary dregs of winter. Here are some things to get you looking up and out on this auspicious ladies’ day:

Δ For Maritime travel-hopefuls, Corner Brook couple make it to  southern-most city in converted ambulance is an inspiring read.

Δ SheSource is an awesome website for journalists, producers and booking agents looking to get in touch with female experts.

Δ This is the most touching video I’ve watched about beauty in a long time. Her other videos are pretty sweet as well.

Δ Kinfolk’s In Praise of Slowness is an article about something very near and dear to my heart – the fight against ‘business’. People who live their lives too busy to enjoy anything. Not only does it talk about the psychological benefits of slowness, but also shows that productivity and slowness can live hand in hand. Unfortunately, you can only read the article if you subscribe to (or buy) the magazine, but Kinfolk is a great publication, and the most recent Entrepreneurs Issue is throughout a great read I’d recommend.

Δ K-Cup Creator John Sylvan regrets inventing Keurig Coffee Cup System, “I don’t know why people have them in their house,” he says in this interview.

Δ Stuff You Should Know is a great podcast covering a eclectic range of topics and their histories. Including “Why Do Lefties Exist?”; “How Does Stonehenge Work?”, “Rainbows: Delighting Humanity Since Forever”, “How the March on Washington Worked”, and many more.

Δ Speaking of podcasts, here’s an article about the revival of radio through the medium of the podcast. It’s a glorious thing. <3

Δ Photoshop is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. This video shows some of the original darkroom techniques that Photoshop and Adobe tools are based on:

Δ In his TED talk, Listen to Photographer Shantanu Starick tell you how he spent two years living on photography instead of money, by swapping his way around the world.

Δ Part of the fallout from the now-infamous tumblr dress, this article talks hypothesizes about how historically our abilities to see and define colours evolved, in No One Could See Blue Until The Modern Times.

Δ I can’t believe I never knew there was a Native American Zodiac. I’m a beaver, by the way.

Δ  A mother in the Northwest Territories is fighting to be allowed to use a Chipewyan baby name on her daughter’s official birth certificate. I can’t believe this is even an issue. Take five minutes, install the damn fonts on your computer, improve respect and quality of life for everyone. Bam.

Δ Science Shows People Who Love Cuddling Have A Proven Advantage Over Everybody Else. Finally! Our time has come.

Δ Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts – intriguing.

Δ 8 Ideas for What To Do With That Weird Space Above Your Toilet, Apartment Therapy saves me yet again.

Δ Fear mongering and fear politics have been used to assert control over other people since time irrecordable. Rick Mercer addresses some of the recent things Canadians have had to put up with.

Δ How To Style A Bookcase – a very important art.

Δ Drawn & Quarterly’s Fall 2015 Release List contains plenty of things to be excited about.

Δ Think Your Email is Private? Think Again.

Δ Turn Your Handwriting Into a Font for Free is digital typography made easy.

That’s it for today! Now I go in search of showers and cupcakes.

All the best,

Mel

ps. The photo above was taken in the town of Tsuwano, in Shimane Prefecture, Japan.  

Lifestyle

The World is Changed by Your Example, Not By Your Opinion

Happy Wednesday!

I decided to break the mold this week and post a colour image quote. Winter has been so dreary and determined to drag on here that I felt like I couldn’t post another black and white image. Sun, give me warm sun.  In a funny, related story, these artists have banned together to create Vitamin D acid blotters.  I like the idea.

p.s. This post is part of a weekly series I do of free wallpapers featuring one of my photos and a famous quote.  Click on the image above to download the full-sized wallpaper.