Canada · Travel

Vancouver Island and Canadian Rockies: Any Tips?

English Country Garden

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before but we have decided to re-schedule our Newfoundland trip for next year and hit the West Coast instead for two weeks in September. Yippee! I think our main destinations would be the Vancouver Island in British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, so I’m going to get to see the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, all in one trip! Exciting! Mind you, I’ve never seen both in person before.

I don’t know about my travel companions (Troy and his parents), but when I’m travelling, I always try to avoid tourist traps. Unless those tourist traps are places that I really, really want to see, I’d rather not go there. Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia just came to mind — it was the most touristy place ever, but how could I not see it?

So, if you have any tips on lesser-known places in Vancouver Island and the Canadian Rockies that are way cool and would make my camera beg me to shoot, please let me know in the comment. I know September is still a month and several days away, but I just can’t stop thinking about the trip!


Because I Like Photography

The Spot II

Uh, I guess I missed posting an entry on this here wee blog last week. Sometimes I wish I had a lot to complain about. You know how popular whiny and complainy blogs seem to be these days. I have to admit that I quite enjoy reading such blogs, though only when I’m in a good mood and I can afford to laugh at other people’s petty problems.

I’ve been working on my new photography portfolio. Last week I was so ready to move in to the darkside with an all-Flash portfolio site but now I’m not so sure about it anymore. For one thing, it’s not really super easy to update. Not to mention that people who have Flash disabled for whatever reasons wouldn’t be able to see anything and as a former web designer who always put accessibility on top of everything, it just doesn’t feel right. So I guess I’m going back to square one with the site.

While we’re on the topic of photography, I might be able to afford to buy a new lens soon. Yay! After checking out the prices of the Canon lenses, I entertained the thought of buying a Nikon D40 with the kit lens instead which cost about the same with the Canon lens that I want (in Canada anyway), but then decided that I want the lens more than a second DSLR camera. I’m thinking of getting the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM because it has image stabilization and the equivalent of a 5x zoom (well, almost), but we’ll see. The price might put my better half off, but personally, I think it would make a good investment.

Speaking of investments, I recently got a manual external flash off eBay to be used on a wedding shoot next month. It’s a cheap Vivitar one because I didn’t feel like spending hundreds of dollars on a fancypants Canon-brand flash that I would probably use only once or twice a year (I’m a natural light fanatic). I was just checking a wedding photography group on Flickr and turns out that even professional photographers prefer manual flash to the TTL one. It made me feel better for not investing too much on one. :)

We’re going to the cinema tonight to see the new Harry Potter movie. Here’s hoping that there won’t be too many noisy and annoying kids in the theater.


Happy Friday the 13th (Again)!

Floating Doll

If you went to Port Dover, Ontario today, you’d be able to see tonnes of bikers and their big bikes. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to see some naked biker chicks, but the first and only time I went to the Port Dover’s Friday the 13th thingy, I didn’t see any naked biker chicks. Only some really drunk ones.

Anyway, Troy had to go to Kentucky two days ago for work. He was only away for one night, but by gosh, I missed him so much! Maybe it was because the trip was on a very short notice, my brain just wasn’t prepared for not having him around. But he was back last night, just after midnight, on a Friday the 13th, and as he walked in, I couldn’t stop grinning like a fool. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

Oh, there’s a weird story about the night when Troy was away. I smelled my mum in the apartment. She might have died for four years but I could and would never forget her smell; the smell that gave me comfort for many years. Did I freak out? Not at all! I just looked around and smile. If it was really my mum checking me out, I’d consider it a good thing. She’d probably hate to see how messy this apartment is (she was a neat freak), but at least she’d be able to see that I’m happy and loved. All she’d ever wanted was for me to be happy. The night before that night, I had a dream about her. We were travelling together and we were just heading up to Paris, France when I woke up.

July has always been the hardest month of the year for me ever since my mum died. You see, every month my brain would recall all the memories of the most distinctive events from that month in my life. Like in May, I’d be all excited about our wedding anniversary and would relive every wedding-related thing we did that month in 2005. July just happens to be the month leading to my mum’s death. Not a happy month at all, but I’ve been keeping my mind busy on other things. I haven’t cried at all.

At least there is one good thing I’d be able to recall in the July of the coming years: my very first art show! It’s nothing major since I only have two pictures in it and it’s all for charity but I’m excited about it nonetheless. The photography goal I set for myself this year was to participate in at least one show. I’ve scored my goal. Next year’s goal would be a solo show. Can’t see it happening right now, but next year, you’ll never know!


Picture The Cure

Picture The Cure is an annual event benefiting the Canadian Cancer Society initiated by Irina Souiki in 2005. This year’s event showcases over 200 pictures from more than 80 participating artists from Canada and abroad and takes place in the Steam Whistle Brewery’s Roundhouse Gallery in Toronto (right across the CN Tower, on the south side) from July 4 to July 30. In the closing event, all of the pictures in the gallery will be auctioned off and all the proceeds will go to the Canadian Cancer Society. Admission to the opening event (starts at 6pm tomorrow) and every day throughout the event (noon to 6pm on Monday to Saturday, noon to 5pm on Sunday) is free. Admission to the closing event (July 30, starts at 7pm) is $15 at the door and includes a free drink and a tour of the brewery.

That said, I will have two pictures hanging in the gallery and available for auction (1, 2). I will also have one picture in the catalogue available for sale (not for auction) and is priced at $40 (12×18 print, unmatted and unframed, proceeds go to the Canadian Cancer Society). So, if you live in Toronto or happen to be in the Toronto area this month, do check out the event and help us reach the fundraising goal set at $10,000! It’s all for a good cause. I don’t know when Troy and I will be there but we will be there for sure some time this month.

You know, we have driven so far out East in our honeymoon, up to the furthest end of Nova Scotia, and yet Toronto seems so far away from here even though in actuality, it’s only about an hour drive. Damn you, Toronto traffic! :)