Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shooting from the inside out, Montreal's 2014 Zombie Walk

Excellent picture of me at the 2014 Montreal Zombie walk by the very talented Josée Massicotte.
I haven't posted in a while because I've been busy mastering the basics of photography. I'm pretty good on the technical side of things and I've been busy at the more philosophical side of photography. I've also been studying older processes but that's for another post.

I've been wanting to do the Montreal Zombie Walk for a while but this year was the first time I had a chance to attend. The fact that this event is high in colour, the low number of Police personnel and the total absence of the riot squad guaranteed a high number of pro and amateur photographers to cover the event. I had to find another angle to get different shots than everybody else.

This is the reaction when being photographed by a zombie!

So I decided to join the walk as a Zombie myself. Not just slapping some make up on my face and walk around with my gear. I went all out with a full outfit, actually walked and growled like a bonafide living dead. I had a working film point and shoot around my neck and carried my Sony a230 in my hand during the walk. The DSLR was pulled up for a shot at the last minute while growling to people on the sidelines.

Being inside the parade makes for some great shots as well. Especially when you are one of the zombies! People react differently, or lack any reaction, when you are one of them. People rarely pose the same compared when confronted by a gear laden photographer(My observation anyway). As a practitioner of candid street photography, this is gold for me.

Hope you enjoyed as much as I have.

Until next time, grrrooooaaaarrrr!

Gerry :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Montreal's St-Patrick Basilica

One of the best hidden treasures of Montreal, the St-Patrick Basilica sits on René-Lévesque boulevard in what is now the business district. Back when it was built in 1843, it overlooked the homes of its Irish parishioners in Griffin town. Now hidden between towering skyscrapers, it is a treasure waiting to be explored and admired.

Keep in mind that it is still an active place of worship. Do not walk in there and blab away as if you were at Marineland, show respect and keep it down. It is also important to know that you cannot take photographs while services are being performed. Go outside and shoot the building and its surroundings while you wait.

The Basilica was used in the movie "The Punisher" that came out in 2008.

The facade of the church.

There are 150 saints depicted throughout the church.

My favourite depiction of Joan of Arc to this day.

Each of the church's bench has a hand sculpted decoration at the corner.

Detail of the bench hand made sculpture.

The organ was built in 1895 by Casavant.

 I hope you enjoyed this little visit and that you get the chance to go explore it for yourself.

Gerry  :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sandra McNeil's 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

For many of us, the 250 GTO is the Holy Grail of Ferraris. If Marylin Monroe was a car, this would be it. Only 39 were ever built and 33 are still confirmed to exist. This is one of 17 built as a right hand drive car. One recently sold for $25 million dollars.

James and Sandra McNeil bought chassis #3467GT in 1967 for $7 000.00.

Now to put things in perspective, Top Gear had a 250 GTO on an episode of their show. However, Jeremy Clarkson explained to us that the BBC couldn't afford the insurance the run it on the Top Gear track. So there it sat looking pretty and not much more.

Now a few weeks ago I show up at the Mont-Tremblant circuit for the Summit of Legends race week-end and here sits a 1962 250 GTO!   What does Sandra McNeil do with a car worth anywhere between 9 and 25 million dollars? Race the tires off of it. This car is not pretty, it shows its age but that's ok, it's a RACE car. The GTO was flying on the track and I had a hard time snapping it. The pictures are missing one key element, the roaring sound of that 12 cylinder engine. What beautiful music.

An extremely rare site, an actual racing 250 GTO.

Pictures taken with a Sony a230 and a Fuji X10.

Many thanks to the McNeils for sharing this wonderful car with us gearheads.

Gerry :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Shrewsbury Church, now it's gone.

The last known picture of the Shrewsbury Church taken with a Graflex Speed Graphic on photo paper.

Nestled in the Lower Laurentians in the County of Gore was this little white church that was the last standing building of the long gone village of Shrewsbury. Built around 1856 by hand it was still intact when I visited the place back in 1990 with it's furniture, organ and the original bell. I remember that visit very well since it was in the Spring and we were attacked by countless bugs. When your car gets banged repeatedly by kamikaze bees and mosquitoes, it kind of stays burned in your mind.

Interior of the church taken with the same process.

Fast forward a few weeks ago when a photog friend posted pictures of the little white church on his wall. I couldn't believe the state it was in. Vandals had trashed the place over the years and despite the concern and implication of local residents for its preservation, the church was just a shell of its former self.
Inside the chucrch where the alter used to be. Shot with Fuji X10.
My new found passion for photography and my concern as an ex-resident of Gore called for documenting what remained. So off we went last Sunday after packing the car with photo gear. After fighting the crazy micro weather of Gore we ended up in front of the church. I pulled out the Graflex and shot it with photo paper and the rest was done with Sony a230 and Fuji X10. Thankfully the weather cleared and I was able to take some decent shots. I was planning to come back in the Spring for a more green setting.

Bell tower where the original and replacement bell were stolen.
That won't be happening. It turns out that a few hours after I left, some morons burnt the church to the ground. I hope these idiots find out soon that Karma is a bitch.

Detail inside the bell tower shows hand cut beams probably made from local timber. Those weren't made in a sawmill but with axes and elbow grease.

Thanks for watching.


Monday, December 23, 2013

This is why Medium Format film is so amazing.

I recently got myself an Epson V500 scanner to scan my film. No more half-ass rigs with my digital camera. What a difference. I was scanning some of my 120 medium format film and started to blow them up a bit to see how good they came out and found this. A picture inside a picture, pretty cool. The negative was scanned at 2400 dpi and it was shot with a Yashica A on Fuji Acros 100 film.

Picture of a Vintage Chevy at a car show taken with a Yashica A.

Look closer.

Here's me taking the shot with the Yashica A and a fill flash. Pretty amazing.
Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)