What World Photography Day Means To Me

A couple of people tagged me in a Facebook post because it was apparently World Photography Day. I had no idea but there’s a “day” for everything so it makes sense. Socks and Sandals Day is April 21st, mark your calendars. Being tagged in those posts made me think about photography and what it means to me. Turns out it means a lot.

My kid is my favourite subject
My kid is my favourite subject

I’ve become the person who always has a camera with them . Not a smartphone, a REAL CAMERA. My smartphone has an amazing camera for a phone but it can’t come close to the image quality of a proper camera. This has made it possible to capture wonderful moments with my daughter as she grows and learns. She even has her own camera and we go on photography adventures together.

This is a family heirloom. I spend a lot of time letting it teach me how to shoot.
This is a family heirloom. I spend a lot of time letting it teach me how to shoot

Photography has given me a chance to reconnect with my Grandpa who I lost when I was a teenager. The Pentax SP1000 pictured above was his and I’ve recently restored it using a parts camera a found on a local auction site. Shooting with film teaches me how to use light in a way digital just figures out for you. Using those skills with a digital camera has made me a better photographer.

I love long exposure photography
I love long exposure photography

Long exposure photography is awesome. You’re capturing light over a long period of time creating dramatic photographs. You can use long exposure to capture light streaks, light painting/writing, stellar photography. It’s given me somewhere to be at night that isn’t a bar.

Street photography, balancing art and not getting punched in the face
Street photography, balancing art and not getting punched in the face

Street photography can be a little intimidating but it’s given me a reason to get off the couch and explore the world around me. Not everyone wants their picture taken so it can be tricky. I switch between prime lenses and long zooms depending on what neighbourhood I’m in… You know?

Editing is not my thing but sometimes I make it work
Editing is not my thing but sometimes I make it work

Post processing isn’t my favourite part of photography. My editing (outside of Instagram…) is usually just cropping and straightening. Every now and then I dive into Lightroom to play around and I’ve come out with a few keepers. Overall though I like to take pictures that stand on their own and don’t need hours of work after the fact.

Better than a selfie
Better than a selfie

Portraits are so much cooler than selfies, that’s a fact. The only problem I have with portraits is how critical people are of their own appearance. It makes me turn away a lot of paid work because I don’t like hearing people pick themselves apart over the way they look. You’re hot, I’m hot, let’s take some pictures.

I love film
I love film

I know I’ve already talked about film but it really is a wonderful thing to use. You don’t get to take 300 pictures to get 10 good ones. It forces you to compose better, to be picky about your subject, and to understand the basic functions of a camera. Film cameras are very inexpensive these days because no one likes to do anything themselves anymore. Pick one up and shoot a few rolls of film. It’ll make you a better photographer.

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Fuji X-E1

I shoot with Fujifilm X Series cameras for most of my digital work. I was given an X-A1 which got me hooked on this great camera system. I picked up a used X-E1 body at a local camera shop a few months ago and I have 3 X-mount lenses along with some adapters to use some old glass I have. I also have a Pentax DSLR but it’s too big for most things I like to shoot. It’s a great camera though and Pentax uses a lens mount that gives you thousands of options.

Black and white is worth the fight
Black and white is worth the fight

What does World Photography Day mean to me? Well, nothing really. What does Photography mean to me? I’ll try to keep this short. It means I have a hobby that gets me outdoors, a hobby I can share with my family, a hobby that isn’t drinking beer or eating food in the name of “blogging”. It allows me to be creative, to be sensitive, to show the world the things that make my brain tick. Photography has changed the way I look at the world, it has changed the way I interact with people. When I take a picture I am stopping time.

There it is. You may now set your alarms for Socks and Sandals Day 2016.

Scott.

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ONE20 Public House – Consider Me Impressed

About a month ago I was invited to ONE20 Public House for a brewmaster’s dinner featuring Steel and Oak Brewing. Having never been to ONE20 I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was one of the best beer pairing dinners I’ve ever been to. Fantastic dishes, good pairings, great pacing, and top shelf service. I knew Steel and Oak was a fantastic brewery but the level of the food presented by ONE20 was above every other beer dinner I’ve been to except one. I would put this dinner on par with the now defunct Ensemble Tap and the Beerthirst dinner they put on a few years ago.

BEER!
BEER!

But here’s the thing. Beer pairing dinners aren’t usually a good indication of what the bar/restaurant does on a nightly basis. It’s a showcase for the chef and quite often the food is way above what is on the regular menu. So in the interest of accuracy I went back to ONE20 on my own time with my own money to see if reality matched a fantastic one night stand.

Albacore Tuna Tartare with house made BBQ chips
Albacore Tuna Tartare with house made BBQ chips

I started with Albacore Tuna Tartare with house made BBQ chips. The tuna was fresh, light, and properly seasoned. The BBQ chips were great. House made BBQ chips… That’s an easy way to make something simple become something people want to come back for.

Braised shortrib with horseradish mash, grilled scallions, and red wine demi-glace
Braised Shortrib with horseradish mash, grilled scallions, and red wine demi-glace

For my main I had Braised Shortrib with horseradish mash, grilled scallions, and red wine demi-glace. The portion is BIG. The beef was tender, juicy, flavourful, everything you can get out of a relatively low grade cut of meat. Shortrib done properly is magic and this was just right. The mash and scallions paired up well with the beef and the demi-glace tied everything together. This dish wouldn’t be out of place in Yaletown or Coal Harbour for 50% more money and you can get it at a pub on Scott Road in Delta!

The beer list is very good, 15 craft taps, and it’s overseen by Cicerone Ben Treen. Their wine list is extensive and their cocktail menu is equally deep. Executive Chef Ryan Praskey, who arrived at ONE20 in 2014 after stints at Momofuku, Terra, and Ferrovia, has brought a farm to table approach to the menu embracing local producers and fresh ingredients.

One20 Public House is a pretty special place in a sea of suburban mediocrity. You should go check it out for yourself.

I’ve posted a few pictures from the Steel and Oak dinner at the bottom of this post.

Twitter – @120publichouse

Instagram – one20publichouse

Facebook – One20Pub

Interwebz – one20pub.com

Scott.

Beer dinner - Chicken and smoked hefeweizen consumme, mushroom, chorizo, chicken dumpling, parmesan tuile, herb oil
Beer dinner – Chicken and smoked hefeweizen consumme, mushroom, chorizo, chicken dumpling, parmesan tuile, herb oil
Beer dinner - Red pilsner beer battered Halibut, sauce gribiche,  haystack potatoes
Beer dinner – Red pilsner beer battered Halibut, sauce gribiche, haystack potatoes
Beer dinner - Plated oyster
Beer dinner – Plated oyster
Beer dinner - Fried queso and crispy sausage
Beer dinner – Fried queso and crispy sausage

Quick Bite – The Sugar Shack in 70 Mile House

Ah 70 Mile House, the gateway to Green Lake and a place you’d probably miss if you blinked while driving through it on Highway 97. 70 Mile House isn’t known for much but that is about to change. There’s a new spot about a mile past the general store that feels like a slice of Quebec in the middle of rural BC. The Sugar Shack has everything your inner Quebecois desires. Tourtière du Lac-St-Jean, Poutine, Montreal Smoked Meat, Maple baked beans, Cretons, Maple syrup, Maple toffee, Maple bacon… They also do some kick-ass breakfasts and make maple sweetened coffee.

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I stopped in to check out their smoked meat sandwich and poutine. The poutine is very good. hand cut fries, house made gravy, and real cheese curds. It’s up there with anything you can get in Vancouver and wouldn’t be out of place in Quebec. The smoked meat sandwich was just ok. The meat is very salty and a bit dry.

The maple sweetened coffee and poutine make The Sugar Shack a “must visit” kind of place if you ever find yourself in this picturesque part of BC.

Facebook – The Sugar Shack

World wide web – thesugarshack.sfobc.com

Scott.