Sunday, January 22, 2017

Assorted Scenes From 'Nam

Welcome to season 9 of my very own little corner of the inter webs! I returned from a short trip to Vietnam recently, but haven't had the energy or time to sort through most of the photos, so this set will seem incredibly random, which I will agree is an accurate descriptor.

My trip was awesome despite 1) stepping in a pile of dogshit with my white as snow Adidas sneakers the day after I arrived, and 2) people assuming Anita and I were having some kind of marital problems (because apparently there is no possible alternate explanation for why we wouldn't have gone together).

The trip's main purpose was to attend my uncle's wedding (pictured below), but also encompassed eating too much food and drinking too much beer (I gained 8lbs in my first 8 days there), taking tons of street photos, watching beautiful sunsets, impromptu bottle flip contests, exploring many local markets, and otherwise just hanging out with my relatives. Good times.

Vietnam - Dec 2016-13

Vietnam - Dec 2016-12
Sunset on the beaches of Phu Quoc Island.

Vietnam - Dec 2016-10

Vietnam - Dec 2016-7

Vietnam - Dec 2016-6
Drinking beer the Vietnamese way: warm, with a chunk of ice in it.

Vietnam - Dec 2016-15
Drinking beer the proper way: draft, craft, and cold on tap.

Vietnam - Dec 2016-14
Who knew there was such a selection of interesting craft bia (beer) in Ho Chi Minh?

Vietnam - Dec 2016-16
Because OF COURSE seahorses are for making liquor... right?

Vietnam - Dec 2016-9
Street shooting - a mobile vendor hawks Baos (steamed buns) off the back of his moped.

Vietnam - Dec 2016-8
I can never get enough of the sights and sensory overload of local fish markets.

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Vietnam - Dec 2016-4
Thai Ice Cream rolls.

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This has to be one of my favourite photos, EVER. My mom (far left) looks like she's having so much fun!



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Another Year In Photos

As we put a wrap on the year that was 2016, I thought I'd share another mosaic of some photos I shot over the past 12 months. In this year's selection, we have portraits, food, beer, travels, and mountain summits - which pretty accurately describes my life. But most importantly, the person square in the middle that makes all of the daily shenanigans so much more enjoyable - the Missus, who unfortunately was not able to join me in Vietnam this trip.

In the 8 years since I started doing these 'my year in photos' posts, I've shot an awful lot of stuff. Most of it is complete crap, and the occasional photo is passable at best. But there's something deeply satisfying about continuing to create content, even if I barely have a viewership of like 3 people. So if you are amongst those 3, I humbly thank you for your continued visits to this lowly blog. In the year to come, I hope you are able to do things that bring you unparalleled joy like photography does for me. See you in 2017! Now go party likes it's the end of the world! After all, Trump is getting inaugurated soon.

A year in photos - 2016

Previous annual mosaics: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dinner at the Mach Household/ Photographing the Pupils - Part XI

While we were preparing dinner last night, Anita whispered '...love you very much.' I smiled, and then turned to give her a kiss, only to discover she was talking about the frozen package of shrimp she was defrosting. I kid you not. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be jealous that she was whispering romantic sweet nothings to a 1 pound frozen block of home-wrecking prawns, while I was clearly within earshot. Sigh... at least I know what to buy her for X-mas now.

Anyways, I taught my last photo class of the year the previous week, and a few of my students volunteered to sit for a set of portraits, shot with the Hasselblad 500CM on Ilford HP5+. It now seems appropriate for me to say that "I love these so much."

And if you're curious to see what the 'love you so much' prawns were used for, scroll to the bottom to see the clam and shrimp paella we feasted on.

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Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-6

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-4

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-2

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-1

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-3

Photographing the Pupils - Dec 2016-5

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I call this: Home-wrecker Paella.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A pre-Xmas Moment of Zen

HOLY CRAP, Christmas is only 10 days away. Commence mass panic! Okay, now... relax for a second and breathe. Santa Mach is here to bring you a moment of zen. Enjoy another selection of serene scenes from Tibet.

But once you have ohmed your way to complete calm and serenity, resume panicking about finishing up your Xmas shopping. Just try not to forget amidst all the gift hunting, holiday parties and binge eating/ drinking, that there are many folks struggling just to make ends meet in these tough times. A small donation here or there may not seem like much to you, but en masse, these go an incredibly long way to making the lives of the less fortunate easier.

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-18

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-17

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-2

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-3

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-4

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-5

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-6

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-7

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-10

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-8

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-9

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-11

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-13

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-16

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-14

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-15

Tibet - Get Your Zen On-12

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Drink and Ski Weekend

I haven't snowboarded in a couple seasons, due to a lingering back injury, but I decided to stop being a cripple and give it a go this weekend. The boys (plus Gabrielle) drove down from Edmonton and we hit the slopes together for the first time in years. We started by drinking till 3am, caught 3 inadequate hours of sleep before the unwelcome call to rise at 6am, and then shook off the hangovers while driving 2 hours to Lake Louise in minus 24 degree weather. Despite the frigid temperatures showing on our weather apps, it actually felt okay, and by the early afternoon, the sun peaked out to blanket the resort in an incredibly beautiful warm light. What a perfect day.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-9
Sunset on Mt. Temple, as seen from the highway, on our return home.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-8
View from the Larch Express Quad Chair. This is one of my favourite rides, with stunning views of gigantic snow ghost conifers to the left, and Mt. Temple and the Valley of the Ten Peaks to the right.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-6
Gregg and Tytus admire the view before embarking on the next run.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-5
Snowflakes shimmering like diamonds in the afternoon sun.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-7
Jeremy's beard was all frozen crystals after the chilly -20 degree morning.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-4
The beautiful afternoon glow of the sun and hoarfrosted trees, as seen from the Gondola up the front face.

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Selfies with the gang, sans Dean.

Ski Trip - Dec 2016-3
Ice crystals form on Dean's 'stache.


Watch the falling snow shimmer in the sun like diamonds in the sky. (choose the high def options... the 360p doesn't do it justice).


The beautiful afternoon light, as seen from the front side gondola.


The mesmerizing view of snow ghosts from the Larch Quad Express.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Exercise Makes You Fat

Exercise makes you fat!!! <-- a provocative statement, I know. But the logic is fairly simple. Person tries to lose weight by exercising. Does vigorous workout. Feels good about burning calories. Then eats disproportionately large meal, overestimating the actual amount of calories burned. I don't even know why I'm talking about this, as clearly, I haven't seen the inside of a gym since ... ever. But as an analog, Anita and I went to donate blood yesterday, which is pretty much like working out cause you're left feeling drained and tired, but you feel good about yourself afterwards. So to 'replenish', we indulged in a rather calorie dense meal at Re:Grub Burger bar, with AMAZING milk shake concoctions. See photo for yourself.

Rather than stop there, we went out for beers, cocktails, ramen, unagi poutine (eel topped poutine, with bonito), and sea urchin. And then followed that up with more shots and beer, including feeding a prairie fire (tequila shot w/ tabasco) to an unsuspecting colleague.

I feel fat today. Can't quite figure out why.


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My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...

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Uni - (really, the guts of a sea urchin). Our absolute favourite type of sushi.

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And as a present to myself, I bought a book that will hopefully teach me how to brew my own delicious beer at home.