The Truth About Buying A Camera

So I get asked almost everyday what camera people should buy.  Literally.

As a pro that's been shooting for almost 30years (I started in highschool with borrowed cameras) here is the truth.

It doesn't fucking matter.

Buy a secondhand 10 year old camera from craigslist for $100 or buy a $10,000 new setup.  

It doesn't fucking matter.

I currently own a Fuji X-T1.  I LOVE IT.  I sold all of my Nikon gear after I started shooting with the Fuji.  I own two lenses. That's it.  I also own a Sony RX100M3 pocket camera and here's the big secret....

I shoot 90% of the shots I share online on my phone.  My Samsung S7 is awesome.  Why?

Because it's always in my pocket and it shoots RAW.  It also is what I use to do 98% of my photo editing.  I am a pro at Photoshop and Lightroom and I'm in those programs everyday... but 98% of what you see in my Instagram or Facebook... came from my phone.

So if you're in the market for a camera, first ask yourself why?  Why do you want one?  Unless you 1. Know how to shoot manually or plan to learn, or 2. Need a certain capability (ie. high-resolution, or bokeh, or macro, or a certain focal length for portraits... SAVE YOUR MONEY.

Don't spend thousands of dollars on a tool you don't even know how to fucking use.  That would be like me buying some $10,000 pro oven so I can cook better pasta?  Fuck it.  My stove is fine.  It does what I need.  It's me that needs to learn to cook better.

So again, before you geek out and read reviews or get caught up in the marketing bullshit about Megapixels or 'FASTER AUTOFOCUS' or whatever bullshit they use now. Know that...

It doesn't fucking matter.

Some examples:

 This was shot on a Nikon D80.  You can buy one for $150-$200 now.

This was shot on a Nikon D80.  You can buy one for $150-$200 now.


 Shot and edited on a Samsung S7.

Shot and edited on a Samsung S7.

 Shot on a Canon G10.  You can buy one for under $200 now.

Shot on a Canon G10.  You can buy one for under $200 now.


  Shot and edited on a Samsung S7.

Shot and edited on a Samsung S7.


 Shot on a Canon G10.

Shot on a Canon G10.


 Shot on a Fuji X100s. 

Shot on a Fuji X100s. 

And check out my Instagram.

Life's A Beach

Expectations:

 

Reality:

 

So,

we decided to take Luca to the beach for the first time.  It was forecasted to be 28+ and Sunny wanted to get his feet into the ocean.

So, we packed up the car with the family and the dog and off we went to Spanish Banks. 

I read on a Vancouver blog that the farthest end of Spanish banks is best as there is an off-leash dog park AND we could find a nearby patch of sand on the water.

Well… fuck you random blog.  We parked all the way down there.  There is no sand there… it’s fucking rocks and small brown waves.

So, Sunny (with baby/stroller/& wild sniffing dog ) start walking down the path towards the 'sandy' beach.

Fuck-my-life, it’s far.

I run back to the car and move it ahead to another lot closer to the beaches.

Double back on foot to meet them, on the path.  Note… the ‘seawall’ along spanish banks is NOT paved.  It’s light gravel and dust.  Whomever decided to put hard plastic wheels on strollers should be tied down to one and pushed around the bumpy sidewalks and gravel paths of Vancouver all day!

*Note to self… never buy a stroller without air tires.

Off we go towards Jericho.  

Fuck-my-life again.  As we approach we find ‘No Dogs On Beach’ signs.  What the fuck.

 Not the beach we were on!

Not the beach we were on!

And we still see more rocks than sand.  Keep going.

Annnnd… back to the car I go as they walk.  Move the car AGAIN to another lot next to the Concession stand.  There’s a burger at the end of this corduroy brown rainbow for me.

I hustle back to meet them.  Rocco has given up.   Too much walking in the sun for the little furball. In the stroller he goes.

We decide to walk even further and setup next to one of the beach logs just before the East Concession stand. 

It’s too far out in the sand to push the stroller, so I begin carting our stuff over a load at a time.

I went to Canadian Tire yesterday and picked up a Beach Umbrella.  We have a baby, and according to anything you read, he will instantaneously get cancer if a single mere glimmer of sun touches his skin. Modern parenting is a constant barrage of fear mongering and misinformation.

When I was young, 'SPF' was the sound that came out of your mouth when someone warned you of any impending danger.

As I walk back to the stroller I see a similar umbrella roll past us in a gust of wind as a West Side mom with oversized implants chases it down.

Hmmn.

I unpack it and start trying to jam the pointed end of the pole into the sand.  Fuck me.  Under the first two inches of dry sand is rock hard, wet packed sand.  This cheap ass, oversized tooth pick isn’t going in too deep.  I dig a small hole, jam it in, bury it and lean it on a log.  I take three steps back toward Sunny waiting with the stroller and a gust of wind fucking launches it across the beach.  It flies off like a tumbleweed.

F-M-L.

I chase it down.

Walking back I find an abandoned kids plastic shovel.  I begin digging with it like Tim Robbins in the fucking Shawshank Redemption.

I dig a hole a foot deep.  I angle it into the hurricane, grab a small log with a ‘Y’ notch in one end and jam it against the flimsy pole.  That thing ain’t going nowhere now.  

It’s windy as fuck out here.

Ever try laying out a blanket in the sand when it’s windy?  
Toss bags, shoes, dog, wife on corners to hold it down.  Run back and carry the stroller over.

We’re not there 5 minutes and Luca needs to be fed.

Cue breast feeding.

Throw a towel over the log as a backrest, get wife and baby into the shade of the umbrella that has the quality and coverage of a large kleenex tissue.  Hide the dog between us to avoid some bullshit fine.  Feed the baby.

Suddenly my phone starts playing music all by itself.  Well something unexpected that isn’t bad.

Get my shirt off.  Lay back to get some sun.

Wait, the dog needs water.  Pull out some water and his travel bowl… give the dog a drink.  Dog thirst dealt with.

Lay back to get some sun.

Shit, Luca is done feeding.  Sunny sits him up.  Within 30secs he pukes all over himself and the new beach blanket.

Clean him up.  

Sunny tries to enjoy what remains of her morning coffee and croissant.  Rocco wants some too so he is now criss-crossing his leash around us to get closer.

How is there already 12 bucketfulls of sand all over this blanket?

Lay back to get some sun.

Luca pukes again.

The wind continues to gust.  

Sunny wanted to get his feet into the water, so I decide to take him since its 2016 and you can’t leave anything unattended so she has to stay with the stuff.  When I was a kid, you left your car window, your front door, your cooler, everything open.  You didn’t worry about people stealing your shit.  Today, if you leave anything alone for a second, it’s gone.

I grab my tripod and Luca and head for the water.

A note on Vancouver beaches… they’re covered in rocks.  Walking barefoot holding a baby is no happy Cialis commercial.  I look like I’m walking on hot coals without the heat.

Get to the water.  Setup the camera, hit record.  I gently lower him so his feet can feel the water.  It’s cold as fuck.

He cries.

Ok.

Step back let’s get some sand… actually more like fine gravel… between his toes.  Gently lower him down and let him stand on it.

He cries.

Back we go.

In my mind, his first day at the beach was going to be like a foreign film of sun, warm sand and new tans.

In reality it was an exhausting walk through an aggregate field in a windstorm as I moved a car load of dollar-store supplies while dog sitting. 

I’m sure it gets better.  But fuck if the transition from how you used to do things to how you do them with kids isn’t a minor mindfuck.

We pack up.  I consider giving away the shitty umbrella, but we’ll keep it.

The prize at the end is burgers at the concession stand.  This is a saving grace.  Ketchup, mustard and relish.  Some things don’t change. In a good way. :)

Life’s a beach.

 

10th Anniversary Dinner

We stepped out to our new neighbourhood Italian Restaurant, and as before, it was an amazing meal.

Our meal:

Housemade Orange Soda
Housemade Rhubarb Soda

Formaggi with Walnuts, Bread Crisps and Local Honey

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms ( Damn Good)

Tortiglioni with House Ragu (Damn good meat sauce)

Suckling Pig with Fried Egg and Crackling over Salsa Verde

A side of Smashed Potatoes with Prosciutto & Rosemary

We were full. :)