I am starting to plan a trip back to Canada. My passport and visa will expire next year, so it is time to renew both. It’s rather crazy how much this will cost me. With a limited time of two weeks, I’ll have to rush both the passport and visa which pretty much doubles the regular cost. In the end, it will cost more for my documents that for my flight home.

Post # 250

This weekend I met up with an old friend from Linping who lives in Beijing now. She was wanting to learn more about photography and how to take better photos, so I said that I’d give her a crash course. These are some of the shots that I took. A big thanks to Vivian for being out model for the day.


So I have an excuse for my lack of posts recently. I have been trying to shoot more film and less digital. The picture above is what I have been using. My trusty Leica M2 and on it is usually my Summaron 35mm f3.5. For the size, it can’t be beat. Sure, it isn’t the sharpest lens, but it is what it is. Plus, I must save up for my new apartment in August. Renting in Beijing is a little nuts. You must pay the first four months rent up front. That’s a fair bit of cash to round up, especially since I just dropped over $4200 Canadian dollars to pay off my student loans in one shot. I’d like to get a new and current 35mm lens (probably the Zeiss Biogon) but rent comes first.

Under the cameras are what keeps the inspiration flowing. Nat Geo, Photo China, Shanghai Photo, and various photographers photo books (the one on top being Redemption, by ZhaoJia). Another Chinese photographer that I really like is Muge. He rocks the China film scene. I really wish that there was more of a film photography vibe in Beijing. Seems like everyone shooting film is in the south. Might have to make a trip down some day…

Photographers shooting photographers

Last weekend I took off with some friends to a village outside of Beijing for a weekend getaway. The net result was a weekend of bliss. Good food, good people, snowboarding, mountain climbing and taking pictures.

Granted, climbing a mountain and snowboarding after a night of drinking and only 4 hours of sleep nearly killed me, it did so in a good way.

I shot most of the weekend with my 50 1.8. I love that lens. I also shot a series of portraits with it recently that turned out fantastic out of the camera. I love the color rendition of it. Muted and unsaturated. Sure the build quality is crap, but the colors can’t be beat.

After 5 years, 13 countries and way too many pictures edited, I think my trusty laptop is starting to give up the ghost. The DVD drive died after a fall in Hong Kong, the Screen is getting pretty scratched and lately the USB ports are starting to act up and not work. Could be time for a new Macbook. But I dread spending that much cash when it could be going towards a new camera body…

F***ing Paparazzi

Gord Waldner of the Star Phoenix gets star struck as Canadian Idol Judge Sass Jordan arrives at the 2007 Juno awards March 30th. Shortly after, Jordan commandeered Waldner’s camera and turned the tables on the photographer to the stars. (Vance Lester/Star Phoenix)
Turning the tables on the Star Phoenix photographers,Canadian Idol judge Sass Jordan grabs staff photographer Gord Waldner’s camera and demonstrates the proper way to take celebrity photographs. (Vance Lester/Star Phoenix)

So yesterday at the airport, I was shooting the Canadian stars as they came in. Same as the previous day. I see Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent. I ask him if I can grab a shot of him, he says sure, I take the shot and then as I am walking away he calls me f***ing paparazzi. Jerk. I have a big problem with this. First off, I identified myself as a shooter for the Star Phoenix, then asked if I could get a shot. He agreed. Whatever. In the end, i got two shots in the paper. Neither ones were what I would have picked. Ahh well, two shots is two shots. One color, one B&W.