Thursday, August 31, 2006

Lab Work

A typical lab desk?

Today while visiting the set of Re-Genesis I wondered what it would be like to work in a lab. Would it be a sterile environment like the ones depicted in the Andromeda Strain, James Bond (specifically Moonraker), or the Island? Where everything is white and sterile? Or would it be more like Doc's lab in back to the future, the crazy mess with junk (mostly random wires) all over the place?

On set, on one of the characters desks, I noticed a dehydrator. See the box like thing on the left of the picture. Not knowing what exactly it would be used for in a real lab I wondered how a real lab tech would use it. To do what? Would they use it only for work? Perhaps use it for other non-work related functions. Such as make beef jerky, or any dried preserved fruits, a sea weed crisper, or take the extra water out of a camera body that was exposed to humidity.

Favorite lab movie... Real Genius. Although not really in a lab it's the crazy experiments done to entertian oneself to fight the bordom of going through university that gives this movie a bagelhot rating of full bagel.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Night of the Beach Burgers

The Beaches boardwalk at night

For some reason I found myself on the beach. I had gone to the "Burger Joint", a fast food restaurant located down there near where people play volleyball. The sun was just starting to go down and the volleyballers were leaving by the time I purchased the burger with fries and gravy and had sat down on the boardwalk next to a lamp post.

It was one of those days. I found myself wondering aimlessly around looking for something to shoot. I had slept most of the day thanks to doing a bunch of correspondance to London, England all morning (around 4am). So my schedule has been a bit messed up.

The Leuty life guard station at night

London is five hours ahead of Toronto so by calling at 4am Toronto time I had hoped to get a hold of people in London just as they were getting into work. This is why email is so much better in some ways.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Island Foods

Gudrun and Natasha in front of Island Foods

I met up with Gudrun today to submit my "Macho Baby!" and "Girl meets Boy" films into the phony Balogne film festival which takes place on the 16th of September. A bunch of people are submitting small short films they've done and getting together to socialize. It would have been nice to see some of the films that have been collecting dust over the past few years. Too bad I won't be able to make it.

Nat waves "good-bye".

I took this quick shot of Nat going back to work. She had this funny expression on her face which inspired the text. It was going to be "This person just kicked your dog." but that seemed rather cruel to animals.

Oh right, I went to see "Snakes on a Plane" and "BeerFest" a double header in the land of vegging. I'd rate "Snakes on a Plane" a 3/4 bagel where as "BeerFest" gets a quarter bagel. I think my frame of mind had something to do with the odd ratings.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Big Joe

Big Joe at ABC books

For some reason this is the only picture I took today. There may have been more but Roger (of Monster Records) quickly darted out of ABC books before I could get my camera out. That's pretty darn fast I might add.

So without further ado let me introduce you to Papa Joe Mambo. Comic collector, movie fan, blogger of the obscure (like the opening sequence for Rocket Robin Hood).

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Don't Rock the Boat

Partying on lake Ontario

"Don't rock the boat, don't rock the boat baby..."
This seemed the perfect song to end a trip sailing on a cruise ship with 500 other people partying and dancing the day away.

At 11am I had made my way to the harbourfront dock area to board the Captian Matthew Flinders. A ship with three accessable levels to the passengers. The main deck that had a huge buffet table. The Upper Deck that featured Boyd the DJ and a open space for dancing. The lower deckwith a large disco/dance floor in case it rained.

Boarding started at 12:30pm and by 1:30pm the ship set sail. There was a lot of fog initially. As the day blurred by and the cruise made it's way around the Toronto islands the sun eventually came out.

Hands up!

Originally I was told that it was just a party on a boat. Later on, during the cruise, I met a nurse who informed me that it was actually a singles cruise. Maybe that explained all the drinking? Probably not.

(Girls x 2) + Beer = Party

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Lisa's House Warming

Something I was thinking about while munching on food

This afternoon was Lisa's house warming/barbecue. As opposed to the tradition of buying a plant I brought over an extra large 30 something rolls of super soft toilet paper. The logic being there's a lot of people at the house warming, and even if there's left overs someone will eventually use it... in hindsight I should have made a cake.

I seem to recall as a house warming gift I got a plant from someone. It was a cactus. It died less than a week later. The needles had fallen off and the cactus shriveled up like a brown deflated balloon. I cursed the apartment gods at the time and swore off planting. Years went by before realizing that it might not have been my fault that the plant died (at least not entirely) and tried planting a garden in the backyard. For those that are keeping track I have a bunch of spearmint and the tomatoes are actually growing (they're still green though).

Tomatoes a plenty

Speaking of tomatoes, Lisa had a bunch of her own that she plucked fresh from her garden to create the dish above. All day we sat around eating (or grazing) and as the food on the table started to disappear another visitor would come bringing more food and we'd start all over again.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Sweeny for City Council

Keith Sweeny interacts with neighbor

Today I was asked to take a few shots of Keith Sweeny for his campaign. He's running for Toronto's city council in the upcoming November election. On our way to do a shoot in front of some recognizable buildings in the neighborhood we bumped into people who seemed to pop out of the wood work just to talk to him.

It was like that small neighborhood feeling where everyone seemed to know everyone or at least everyone seemed to know Keith. What might have been a five minute walk turned into half an hour. Conversations ranged from telling a guy where to get a free suit for a job interview to telling some women where to look for voting information on the web. It's nice to see that there are people that are genuinely helpful still left in the world.

So as a favor to Keith if you're in the North York neighborhood look him up. If you feel he's up to the task go to your local polling station and help vote him in.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fashionably Late

Juliet changes shoes

I raced down to the Ultra Supper Club after doing a day of video installation for Re-Genesis season 3 and dropping off my kit of tools at home. The cab ride cost me $15.00 but I managed to get there at 10:20pm. Ten minutes before I was supposed to meet Juliet (the editor for

The odd thing about the Ultra club is that the line up to get in really isn't a line up. It's more like a small mob of people bunched up at a roped off barrier watched over by bouncer security guard types. I had waited for 40 minutes about fifteen minutes past the window Juliet was to show up in. What is it with people that say they'll show up at a specific time and not show up?

At 11pm I decided to go into the club to start checking out the space for a good place to shoot the fashion show. The patio was a lot busier than last night. I wondered where the runway would be.

After asking around I found out the fashion show started at 10pm and was already over. F@*#, not only was I standing around outside for nothing I had bad intel. Now there are times when people do make mistakes (including me) but I was pretty pissed off. I think it was mainly due to making my way out and paying $15 for a cab.

Steve (human) and Abigail(dog) perform at the Osgoode station

Juliet showed up around 11:15 and we ended up going to the Queen Mother for food then eventually home via the subway.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Ed Hardy Collection

Rock N Roll Junkie panties.... interesting...

Tonight at the Ultra Lounge a fashion show showcasing the work of Ed Hardy was on at midnight. For those readers out there that may not know, the Ultra Supper Club is one of those swanky night spots that seems to have an endless flow of good looking people drinking, eating, and just socializing in general.

We arrived at 10:30pm and while Juliet (the juicy stuff editor) made a bee line to the bar I cased out the joint for a prime shooting location. The stage wasn't completely set up and there were workers trying to install a pole (to be used for pole dancing). I noticed the base of the pole had the flirty girls logo on it.

Then I noticed the Flirty Girl performer. Although she wasn't one of the girls I already met at Fame a while back, she was pretty fit looking, and cute. Probably a prerequisite of working at Flirty Girl Fitness.

Flirty Girl performs acrobatic stunts

The show started off by said performer doing a few acrobatic pole stunts. Once finished the fashion models walked down a small runway to the pole. Now I know you're thinking "Wow a pole to interact with...". Maybe you're not thinking that. The pole from a photographer's point of view was bad. They might as well put a potted plant in front of the models coming down the runway.

The pole got in the way. I found myself sneaking around the video guy (Grant) and squeezing inbetween other photographers for better angles. Ah well, Live and learn I suppose. The clothing was nothing really that new. Mainly existing clothing with words painted on them. Sexy underwear and jackets are all well and good if you have a good looking model showing them off.

Sex Drugs Rock and Roll Jacket

Sexy model + underwear = Sexy underwear?

Do the Lightbulb

Leona shows Emmanuel Bollywood dance techniques

Leona, Fan of Bollywood movies, Indian food, and India in general met up with Emmanuel and I for some vegetarian food at the Udupi Palace (1460 Gerrard street east). During the eating of foods new to us she described dancing in the movies using hand motion similar to petting a dog and screwing in a lightbulb. Yep, she might be on to something.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Life's Weird Ass Turns

The new Ex poster in the local bus shelter featuring Wei Chen

Every now and then I'm sure everyone thinks "What ever happened to...". Rewind a few years back to high school. There was this guy who seemed to play every musical instrument imaginable. You'd think he would be a composer or something.

Fast forward to the present. Nope, he's happily married with kids (I wonder if that's them in the poster) and does work on movies and TV shows being an extra. I bumped into him on "Blueprint for Disaster". Wei still dabbles in music. He teaches piano.

If you asked me in high school what I'd be I probably would have said computer games programmer or a programmer of some kind. It would take about five years of programming databases and unimaginative applications for other people to figure out that programming wasn't in the cards for me as a career.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ashley Floats Around

I did not pull the camera out today. Yes, I know it's odd. Instead I spent the day backing up the files from one drive to another, did a bit of web surfing... and found this (click here). One of my images being used for something. I don't even know what language that is.


ps. The original post is here.

I wonder if they could have used other pictures from that shoot?

"Hold up the test tube against a white piece of paper or lab coat."

Brainy girls are sexy!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Canadian National Exhibition

Tiny Tom donuts a Toronto staple when going to the Ex

After a long day at the Docks shooting young women in bikinis, Simon Photographer to the Stars, indicated that he was going to the Ex (the CNE) to meet up with his brother Norman. As I had nothing better to do to the Ex we went. Below is a accumulation of photos I took. Enjoy.

The donuts made right in front of you

"Yeah, I need a plastic comb"

Food and other ways to suck money out of you

Alon and Norman entertain Simon as they go against each other

"This isn't a comb."

Cheesy computerized fortunes told.
When's the last time you saw a color plotter?

It slices, it dices, it's German engineering at it's best.

So good and yet so bad for you.

The Food Building

Katrina of the Hollywood Canteen knows her movies

Tickets for rides anyone?

The funhouse and the ferris wheel

The swing thing

Bikini Day - day two

Dawne Furey poses for the camera

Urban Male Magazine held a small party at the Docks today. To help launch the new BOBBi magazine they threw a bikini contest. The weather was quite grey and although it did not rain it was a bit cold. As far as a photo op it was great. The looming clouds meant no harsh shadows. Kind of like a giant softbox in the sky. The low temperature... well, uh yeah.

Among the contestants there were familiar faces. Laura from the Brampton Hooters, Amy who won the Toronto Island title yesterday, Anisa the winner of the 2006 CHIN bikini pageant, Sunny the winner from the 2005 CHIN bikini pageant, Speedorama model and Dawne from last years Miss REEF contest, Molson Indy and Molson street party, were just a few that I recognized.

The turnout at the Docks for this particular event was pretty low. Perhaps it's because of the weather (it is a big patio afterall), maybe the advertising wasn't there, maybe people were still recovering from the Island Party, or maybe with all the rumours being spread of the Docks losing their operating license due to disturbing the Wards Island neighbors have somehting to do with it.

From a photographer's point of view it was nice to get clear shots without having to worry about someone's hand in the frame with a cell phone camera or getting pushed out of the way by some other photographer with no etiquette (that happened to me yesterday).

Amy Lynn or should I say Miss Toronto Island 2006

Amy had won todays contest as well making her the UMM bikini model for 2006. This had a deja vu affect on me. Didn't I just shoot this yesterday?

Anisa Xhakolli aka Miss CHIN bikini 2006

Laura from Brampton

Some new faces

My favorite candid shot for the day

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Toronto Island Party

The Wards island ferry waiting at the dock for more passengers

The Toronto Island Party sucked me back to the islands for a second week in a row. The hilights being 11 straight hours of DJ music and the Canada Swimsuit Bikini competition. As our ferry approached the Centre Island dock. Maybe even while we were half way across the lake you could hear the thumping of large speakers from the "test" music they were playing.

As it was before 11am the party hadn't started officially yet. Getting off the boat I confirmed this by talking to the two ticket sellers. Guys that seemed tired even before the long day ahead of them. So off for food I went.

My travels took me up to the north part of Centre island where there was a Pizza Pizza food court (if you will) and hopefully burgers. The burgers were non-existent. Maybe I was there too early? I wondered around the beach a bit debating what to eat, where to eat, and shooting water crashing into the rocks every now and then. I decided to skip the food thing and wonder around for a bit.

A small statue of a rhino on Centre island

Along the path of blower beds and well groomed plants I noticed some small statues on the lawn. They were a new addition since I was last here. The one that I seemed to gravitate toward was the rhino. Maybe it was the detail.

The next item on my list was to look at the Maze. As a kid the Maze was a huge source of entertainment. I would spend hours playing tag with all my other fellow day care kids, running through the shrubs oblivious to the adults walking around at a snails pace.

The maze of hedges was donated by the Dutch-Canadian community to commemorate the centennial anniversary of confederation 1867-1967
(taken from the rock plaque in front of the maze)

The maze seemed smaller and a bit neglected. You could see the chain link fence where a hedge might have been years ago. The maze seemed easier to navigate as well. Did I mention smaller? So much for the reminiscing value. Kind of like watching those old cartoons you used to see as a kid. They were great back then. If you watched them now they'd be simplistic and repetitive.

By this point it was time to go back to see if they were letting people in for the Island Party.

The TAG girls

The first thing you noticed upon entering the main party grounds are the TAG girls squirting guys at they pass by with their product. Kind of like cats marking their territory. In the distance there's a topless women reporting for the Naked News. Other than that there really aren't that many people. The people that have showed up are milling around waiting for something to start or they are on the other side of the island restaurant listening to some current DJ, maybe even dancing to the music.

It feels like you're in a club in that you can't hear what the person next to you is saying and there's a droning in your ears. A club, with the exception that you're outside. I decide to break down and buy a $6.00 burger. Since they have you trapped on an island the prices are a kin to eating at an airport.

Eventually the girls start heading toward the change room behind the stage. Hey, it's Amy, the girl from this is london and the last Playboy runway show. I say "Hi". Dawn, the girl with her, introduces herself. I wish them both luck and jockey into position in front of the stage. While waiting Alon, a Photoshop artist, and I wonder where everyone is.

Then without warning the media is let in to shoot. They are on the other side of the fence between the stage and us, effectively blocking our line of sight. The lingere part of the event takes place.

Amy poses for her fans and the media

I snap a few pictures of the "media" in the foreground and the models in the background. It gives a bit more info of what was going on and how crowded it was. I hear a noise... above me? I look up to see this female photographer sitting on a guys shoulders taking pictures. Why didn't I think of that? My attention on her is broken by the grunting sounds coming from the guy under her. He looks like he's going to fall over. The only thing keeping him up is the sheer determination of getting good shots. As he wobbles closer to the fence so she can get better pictures I decide to change my vantage point.

A photographer sits on a guys shoulders to get pictures

As I didn't want all my pictures to have Alon's head I walked out of the crowd of photgraphers and on lookers and did a quick survey of the event. There were picnic tables for press and a evenly dispersed crowd all around the stage. About twenty meters away I saw some empty picnic tables sitting off to the side of the park.

The line up

With the camera bag over my shoulder and camera in hand I marched over to the vacant tables and dragged one over to the back of the crowd. I'm surprised no one else did this. Once on the table I could see the girls with minimal interference from the crowd. It was during this moment of logistical victory that it started to rain.

Bagelhot Model Tip: To increase your chances of being published "Make eye contact with the camera".

Normally I'd be running for the indoors with my camera in a bag or covered by my body but after the WakeStock fiasco Nikon had proved itself and a little rain really wouldn't hurt. I continued shooting through the misty conditions until, lo and behold, Amy won.

Miss Toronto Islands 2006

I wanted to get a shot of Amy with this orange background. She looks good here.

I stayed around to shoot a rapper from England. His thing was that he could do all the sounds using the mike and his mouth. Kind of like that guy from Police Academy, Michael Winslow. After that I took a few shots of people standing in the rain and decided to leave. The thumping sound was starting to get to me.

Party goers still party despite rain.