soap dish

I found this object bizarre and disturbing. It is a soap dish in one of the large mass prisoner washrooms at Auschwitz. All around were the signs and history of brutality and mass murder, yet someone had made the soap dish look quite aesthetic.

on the road again

I am on the road again in China - this trip will take me close to 3000 miles - I will have internet access but may not be able to update photos easily so I will be posting photos from the archive over the next few days.

reflections on the rain

So you may think me odd taking a DSLR out into the rain. But the D300s is supposed to be weather resistant and I also used a professional weather resistant lens. I thought the D300s would have been okay because although my previous D70s and D80 have both failed in damp conditions (and came back to life), they are not weather resistant and the D300 series is. My previous D300 never failed even though it has been out in some storms; so why would the D300s fail?

A wiser person would learn from this, but not me. What is the point of a camera unless you can take it out there in the elements and capture life itself? So expect me to continue pressing the D300s to its limits, and expect me to whine when I exceed them. Nevertheless, I hope you find that pictures like this one, taken in the rain, are well worth it.

D300s weatherproofing

Yesterday at close of day
The D300s control screens all turned grey;
The camera had entered the dark night.

I did not know dark is right,
For after a little rain and forked lightning,
How could a Nikon could go into that good night?

This wild man who caught with no sun did not take flight,
Learned, too late, and grieved it on his way,
That Nikon did not get weather resistance quite right.

But then the control screen flickered ever so slight,
Yes a Nikon should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

This good man now crying about how bright
His frail deeds may not have destroyed the LED display,
Could it be that the Nikon will be allright?

The grave D300s, near death, was seeing with blinding sight
Sparks blazed on the back screen like meteors and be gay,
The Nikon was coming back from the blight.

Some full 12-hours after I thought it doomed,
The D300s came back to life no worse for wear
With all its functions now resumed.

china rain

I am in China again where it is raining lots. Rain, however, makes for nice photo opportunities and it should not be a problem for the D300s and the Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 lens, which are both water resistant. Problem is after a couple of hours shooting in the rain my D300s died! And soon I am going trekking across Sothern China to some of the most amazing photo opportunity places. Oh well, never mind, I have a D60 as a backup. And hopefully the D300s will come back to life.

palatine trees

Looking up at the trees on Palatine Hill - what better place to sit and dream.

steps of tears

I first walked along this street in Rome late at night. It was quiet, dark and lonely. In the shadows a few homeless people sat not showing their faces and almost invisible blending into the night. They were not sleeping, but from the darkness they were keeping watch. I sat for a while wondering what this place might have been. As I sat one of the homeless people left the shadows and drank water from a small fountain, then returned the the shadows from where he came. The entire scene seemed profoundly sad.

The next day I came and took this picture and found that this was the place in Ancient Rome where early morning prisoners were led from their cells and executed. I imagine the relatives keeping watch through the night and saying their painful goodbyes on those ancient hard unforgiving mornings. A profoundly sad place indeed.

roman arch

An arch in Rome - a part of the Colosseum. Unlike the ancient Egyptians, the Romans understood and used the arch which opened all kinds of construction possibilities. The Romans also invented concrete! Well they did not actually invent it because the Egyptians used a type of concrete in the pyramids - but the romans came up with "opus caementicium" which for all intents and purposes is the same as todays modern concrete, which gave them even more architectural possibilities because it was much lighter and stronger than stone.

mamertine prison

This is the Mamertine Prison in Rome. This this very place the Apostles Peter and Paul spent their last nights before execution. I don't like all the religification (I think I just made that word up but you get my point) of the place, but even so for me it was moving to be here.

street corner society

Another Toronto street corner. Social scientists among you may recognize that the title I have given the photo is inspired by the Chicago School.

wood nymphs

I am not sure if this is a Wood Nymph convention or a an Ancient Athenian girls reunion, but I saw them on a Toronto street corner, so I took a photo.

los mambie

One of the Los Mambises in Havana.

midnight architecture

Architecture in Montreal - taken at night.


The next evening my neighbors knocked on my door and said, "M has new wheels - can you take a photo?" Of course!


This evening my neighbors knocked on my door and said, "R is wearing a sari - can you take a photo?" Of course!

good idea

This is a bike rack in Montreal. A bit like a vending machine - you insert your credit card and out pops a bike - you then ride it. Once you are done you take the bike back to any of the many locations like this in the city - you put the bike back in the rack - insert your credit card again and you are charged for the time you have used. Neat eh!

airport limo

I have been back from Montreal a couple of days now - this is a shot I took waiting for my airport pickup. I took a picture at the same spot about 4-years ago.

trailride (video)

The trail ride I cycle each evening. I don't usually do it videoing though. Look out for me running into a tree at 1:29, ouch!


narcisse bar à vin montréal again

This is the scene leaving the narcisse bar à vin montréal, a couple of days ago I posted the arrival picture. I went to this place before a couple of years ago, so it was nice to visit again.

GPS: N45.506183, W73.552580

old montreal restaurant

I am still in Montreal, without a very good Internet connection, but with some very good restarants, especilly this one where I had dinner tonight with some colleagues.