Photography

CDMX: A Zócalo Walkabout

Standing here, in the Zócalo, the heart of Mexico City, I can see the city’s entire cultural history laid out. Layers of history spanning thousands of years. I can see it and I can touch it, all from this vantage point.

Physically, the Zócalo itself is nothing more than a large central plaza, a stone-paved platform for events, sacred and profane, bureaucratic and royal. It is the city’s place to protest or celebrate. It is the place where its people come to be seen and to be heard.

It is also the centre of the colonial-era city, a legacy best represented by the Cathedral Metropolitana, a vast heap of Baroque and Neo-Classical stonework dominating an entire side of the square. Construction started in 1524, just as the invading Spaniards began redefining Mexico City in their likeness.

Yet, just off to the right side of the Cathedral, tucked between it and a ring of Hispanic buildings, is the site of an earlier civilization, the one demolished in order to establish the Mexico City we see today.  (more…)

CDMX: Night of the Dead

One of Mexico City’s sixteen boroughs, Xochimilco is, in some respects, the heart of the city. The vast lake that once covered the Valley of Mexico—including the entire site of today’s Mexico City—was tamed 1,000 years ago with a network of canals defined by artificial islands, called chinampas. Canals were once the main mode of transportation throughout the valley. Since colonization, that vast network has shrunk to what remains in Xochimilco. Today, it’s not more than a remnant, an endangered World Heritage Site. Yet what is left is a remarkable, enchanting place.

Today, Xochimilco is best known as a playground. This is where Mexicans come on Sundays and tourists come at all times for an entertaining afternoon ride along the canals on colourful trajinera boats. 

But, for Gail and me, the goals for our journey to Xochimilco have been deliciously disrupted. This is November 1, the first of two Days of the Dead.  (more…)

You’re Invited to my upcoming gallery show: Walking Styxx

08-06_White

It’s been more than a few weeks since my last blog post. Since completing the Navigating Hope series on WalkClickMake, I have been hard at work preparing for my upcoming exhibition:

Walking Styxx
a month of psychogeographic walks with a greyhound

Winnipeg Architecture Foundation (WAF)
266 McDermot Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba

September 28 to October 31, 2018
Opening: September 28, 7:00 pm

Walking Styxx is presented as part of Winnipeg’s Flash Photographic Festival, running from October 1 to October 31, 2018. (more…)

Mobile Backup Choices: RavPower FileHub vs. Verbatim MediaShare Wireless

You may recall my quest for the perfect mobile backup strategy for photographs taken while on a long walk. 

First there was the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2, a nice, compact, lightweight means of transferring image files from my SD cards to flash drives. Unfortunately, the backups have proven to be unreliable with the MobileLite often stalling or freezing mid-transfer. 

That led to the MediaShare Wireless by Verbatim (about CDN $32), also compact and lightweight and successful in backing up my camera cards to flash drives. My review was quite glowing. But I became frustrated with the software. First, it took far too long for Verbatim to upgrade the software to iOS 11. And once it did, I could not get the app to upload photos from my SD card to my iPad. That led to a two month long email debacle with Verbatim support that, in the end, provided no answer.                                                  

That frustration led me to the FileHub RP-WD03 by RavPower (about CDN $50). It’s very similar to the Verbatim unit. It has a slot for USB flash drives or hard drives and another for an SD card. It connects by wifi with an iPad, iPhone or Android device and a dedicated app. Verbatim has its MediaShare app and RavPower has the FileHub Plus app. (more…)

What’s in my Camera Bag, 2018 Edition

It’s fair to say my technical approach to photography has shifted. Gone are the days of lugging eight pounds of Nikon bodies and lenses across Europe. Or backpacks loaded down with Cirkut panoramic cameras. Or car trunks filled with 4×5 view cameras, massive tripods and film holders.

No, my gear kit is decidedly minimal these days. With my new emphasis on photographing my walking experiences—let’s call it street photography with velocity—too much equipment simply gets in the way. And it kills my back. (more…)

Little White Walks: Assiniboine River

The third in a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: a January 7, 2018 walk alongside the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg.

It’s a well-trod path, this one. From our home in the Wolseley neighbourhood, it takes me west along the south side of Assiniboine River to my destination, Assiniboine Park, and then back home along trails and quiet streets skirting the river’s north bank. (more…)