Lain's Log

Photography and GPS

December 15/11.

There are thousands of things I don't know how to do.

Top of the list right now?

Photography, and using the GPS.

Trying to get a grip on both. Not much success on the photog front, (although this one in the Beaches turned out kinda interesting, I guess). GPS, coming along. Will keep workin'!

Ever since starting the blog back in February, have been attempting to master the art of using a digi-cam. LOVE posting pix and writing about them, but taking them? Not so much.

Despite countless calm, cool, collected construction workers at Princess Margaret Hospital, who attempted to show me how to use the camera, (during my 16 radiation days back in the summer - this was treatment #7), -plus "mini-lessons" from so many (frustrated) others,

my shots almost always, inevitably turn out blurry -

and bad. (Have been trying to shoot these particularly gorgeous blue Christmas lights on the Danforth for weeks, but can't capture them the way I want them to look!) Will keep trying.

a fabulous Facebook friend of mine, Matthew McMahon, (is he not adorable?) - gave me an unexpected gift about a week ago, leaving me in tears, in the process. (Granted, NOT tough to do these days, but this particular generous gesture got me, BIGtime).

I first met Matthew, (who uses the above, insanely crazy caricature portrait, as his FB status pic), on the Danforth, back in mid-September. Unbeknownst to me, while driving around on his motorized scooter, Matthew quietly witnessed (in hysterical laughter), my futile attempt to catch an auto-pic shot with my high school pal, Dean, in front of a church at Danforth & Hampton.

Once Matthew stopped laughing, he offered his professional services as a photog, to take this pic of Dean & me. (which is pretty much my fave of the two of us, EVER!) At the time, I thought, "What the hell?" - Handed Matthew my camera, he snapped the shot from his scooter, and the rest is history!

Flash forward, weeks later, and Matthew, (who works at the Second Cup building,
just blocks from my house), offered to GIVE me a tripod, because he'd read of my interest in photography on FB. I tried to stop by to pick it up, but couldn't FIND him! Then one day, Matthew proclaimed he was driving over on his scooter, (in freezing cold weather), to drop off the tripod -

at my house! I answered the door, makeupless, in a mess, and promptly broke into tears when I saw he had managed to leave his scooter on the sidewalk, somehow made his way up the front steps to my doorway, and handed me the heavy tripod in person. Some people are really TOO much. Matthew is one of them. He doesn't KNOW me. There's no REASON he needed to put himself through this, but he did it anyway. (I thanked him and will try to pay his kindness forward in the future!) And I hope to use the tripod soon!!!

Continuing on the the photog front, my cousin, Kev, told me about this weird contraption called a Gorillapod. You can use it to wrap your digi-cam around a tree, a branch, a pole, whatever, (to take an auto-pic), instead of always attempting to stick the camera on the hood of a car.

Since I was in the area of Queen & Church this week to visit St. Mike's Hospital, (in memory of the death of my beloved Uncle Ev there one year ago), decided to stop by a couple of camera stores. The first one had the mini Gorillapod selling for just under $27. WHAT? Then,

went to Henry's, where the Gorillapod was on sale for 17 bucks. Dealo!

My radio hero,
Howard Stern, recently got into photography. He loves taking pics of his stunning wife, Beth O, and all the money he raises goes to charity.

Beth's worthy cause - The North Shore Animal League America, receives the proceeds from the one-of-a kind 2012 calendar showcasing her with cute, cuddly, healthy canines and felines

found in local shelters.

Howard talks a LOT about his passion for photography, his fancy Nikon, expensive lighting equipment, etc., on SIRIUS. (I've been taking notes).

Howard says the true key to everything is lighting. I KNOW! Without great lighting, you might as well just jump off a bridge. - So, for fun, looked at fancy lights! (camera! action!)...

with really pretty pricetags! - Yikes!

Umbrella lights. (reminded me of my old master Global TV cameraman, known far & wide as Yhoram "every frame a Rembrandt" Pirotsky)!

(Without Yhoram's supreme lighting skills, I would NEVER have had a job at Global for 18 years!) - This pic was taken at his retirement from Global in 2009.

I tried to take some auto shots at Henry's, behind their fab, floor model lights,

(but of course, only I COULD manage to make them look blurry, in a pro-camera store)!

Left Henry's, took off, walked across the street and spotted a trio of wildly mismatched dogs in front of the Metropolitan United Church!

The owners were kind enough to allow me to photograph their beloved pets. (left to right) - Owner, Dexter, with tiny 12-year-old, pomeranian- chihuahua, "Duke" and teeny 6-year-old, chihuahua, "Bijou",

plus owner, Gary with his 18-month-old Great Dane, "Billy the Kid!" (These owners and dogs had NEVER met before)!

Hiked up to 133 Church Street to check out the over 70-year-old Ontario Specialty Company toy store.

WOW! Sure brought back a lot of wacky memories!

And sunglasses-r-us. Sadly, the store is closing its doors next year.

Also looked in many pawn shop windows. This one featured old Canuck dollar bills and a shiny sax. Thought my bro-in-law, Garth Mosbaugh, of The Nylons, (who plays a mean sax), might like to see this one! - OK, so photography 101 is over for the moment.

ONWARDS now to the dreaded GPS mission!

Decided to throw caution to the wind. My new-found photog interest draws my eye to things I NEVER would have noticed before!

Set myself a goal to drive to a random airport hotel. Typed the Airport Road address into the GPS and actually DROVE there,

& arrived safely, without incident! Miracle!

However, after taking an auto-pic, a guy drove up beside me

and seemed to be offering to shoot a photo for me. A surprise, but then, found out, he really just wanted to take a shot of me on his phone! WTF? Well, OK buddy. Whatever. Aiga Hessein took this wild & hair-raising pic,

and drove off before I could even ask him which direction was west or east! Got lost on the way home. Bossy GPS broad ordered me to make an immediate u-turn ASAP, which I did, in rather dangerous circumstances, and managed to make it back to the city, unscathed. (Maybe there's hope for me yet)!

Ended up back at the Eaton Centre,

watching Marilyn Monroe in the new Charlize Theron J'Adore Dior commercial!
(what MORE could I ASK for?)

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At December 17, 2011 at 4:04 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind remarks however I am hardly a professional photographer! The tripod has history. I acquired it and a "dinosaur" beta-cam from CTV years ago for $10 for both so if you feel that you have to return a favor, a cup of coffee would do it! As you can see on my card, I find stuff for people ( I'm a source-er-er) So if you need anything, let me know. I love a challenge! Best of the season to you and yours!

At December 17, 2011 at 7:41 p.m. , Anonymous Elaine Loring said...

For once, I know who this IS! YAY! - (even though it was posted as anonymous!) I know, my blog is practically IMPOSSIBLE to write on with an actual NAME!

Thank you, Matthew!
Doesn't matter what the cost - it's the thought that counts, and the fact that you made the trek to my place to drop it off!
Coffee? For sure!
And yes, you ARE a SOURCERER - (I'm spelling it this way for a REASON!)

Best to YOU, too!
Happy holidays.
Does Second Cup serve rum & eggnog?
(Just kidding. I know they don't, but maybe a festive Christmas coffee or something)!

At December 18, 2011 at 1:09 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less egg more Nog I say! The Cup has a Christmas Blend that I swear tastes like Christmas (pine) trees! YUCHHH


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