Category Archives: photos

The real reason we love Wes Anderson movies

grand-budapestA friend posted a link on Twitter the other day to what seemed like an interesting story for film fans. The headline heralded “The science behind why we love Wes Anderson movies.” Anyone who has seen and enjoyed the director’s films, which include Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and his latest The Grand Budapest Hotel, couldn’t possibly resist clicking.

Anderson is known for a number of things: his colourful visual palettes, weird and quirky music, excellent uses of Bill Murray, and of course, his symmetrical camera shots. It’s here that the writer of the article tries to bring science into the equation:

Research has shown that human beings can be obsessive about symmetry in general. This desire plays a big role in what or who we find attractive. Science has shown that, consciously or subconsciously, we judge others’ appearance based on the symmetry of their features. That’s why humans almost universally tend to find features like high, prominent cheekbones (and Brad Pitt) beautiful… Our love of symmetry is hardly a social construct; the instinct that Anderson is tapping into is almost primal, in fact. Some incredible research has shown that even infants as young as 4 months old recognize and prefer symmetry. And other animals, like honeybees, seek out symmetry, too.

There’s no doubt that Anderson loves symmetry. As the writer notes, the director spends an inordinate amount of time and effort getting perfectly balanced shots into his movies. The only problem is, that’s not why we love his work. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in movies, photos


Lots of room for innovation in cameras

nokia-lumia-1020-thumbA couple readers took exception to a post I wrote last week in which I extolled the virtues of the Samsung Galaxy camera, a gadget notable for being a full camera that has cellular and wi-fi connectivity built into it. It’s not that they objected to what I thought about the camera itself, but more that I had previously dismissed the Nokia Lumia 1020, a new phone that packs a whopping 41 megapixels.

I’m not sure my point about the importance of Samsung’s device came across clearly, so some additional explanation is necessary. I recently noted that we’re currently in an innovation lull - new, exciting things are happening, but we may not see revolutionary new products and leaps happen as fast and furiously as they have over the past decade. That’s probably a good thing, because it would be nice to have a bit of a breather and digest before the next wave comes along.

One reader suggested that Nokia’s new phone/camera went against that grain - its 41 megapixels and loss-less image quality might be enough to drive that final stake into the heart of point-and-shoot cameras. That’s probably true; point-and-shoots are clearly on their way out. But is that revolutionary or even particularly innovative? I don’t think so, since it’s been happening for years. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 15, 2013 in mobile, nokia, photos, samsung


Galaxy camera heralds the future of all cameras


Not a bad shot of Gene Simmons… from an Android device.

I’ve spent the past week playing with the new Samsung Galaxy camera, a gizmo that’s most notable for its wi-fi and cellular capability. It’s a nifty idea that’s another step closer to ubiquitous wirelessness, where everything is directly connected to the internet.

The camera’s main feature is that it lets you email or upload photos directly to the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, thereby saving you from having to connect to a computer, or from removing the memory card and then popping it into your laptop. It’s as simple as shooting a pic, then hitting the share button and bam - it’s online in seconds, very similar to how we currently do with smartphones.

The Galaxy camera is indeed a giant smartphone; it uses Google’s Android operating system and in fact has the same user interface as a Galaxy smartphone. It’s got the same grid of apps, the same Google Play app store, the same web browser, the same $599 price tag, and so on. The only thing it doesn’t have are phone and text-messaging apps. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 8, 2013 in photos, samsung


The humble photo booth: a wedding’s best friend

Me and the missus.

I’m back and Claudette didn’t change her mind at the last minute, which means I’m a married man. Sorry ladies, this Lego Death Star-building man is taken.

We had a great time and a fantastic wedding. We picked the absolute best time of year to go down to New Orleans, as it was just a shade below hot and sunny all the time (aside from Texas tornado-inspired rain early last week). It was also great to spend a week with our friends, seeing the sights and carousing, even if it meant the days were too often spent recovering from the nights before.

When we first decided to get married, we knew we didn’t want to do it the regular way. The average couple spends $25,000 on their big day, which seemed like utter madness to both of us, so we thought we’d keep the event itself small, but fun. New Orleans was clearly the best place to do that.

Along the way, we discovered what every other married couple we knew had warned us about: that the wedding industry is a giant scam. As one person mentioned to me on Twitter, it’s about getting as much money out of people as possible to put on events that are just like everyone else’s. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on April 11, 2012 in photos


Photos from the AVN red carpet

I’m in the process of wading through all my stuff from the Consumer Electronics Show and Adult Entertainment Expo, not to mention tying up a few last assignments from both, so I thought I’d post some photos from the AVN red carpet in the meantime.

I took a ton of photos and posted a bunch to my Flickr account (viewable to everyone here), but I only included those people who I actually recognized. Let’s face it: even the most hard-core porn expert would be hard-pressed to identify everyone in the two-hour cavalcade of adult entertainers that went by us on Saturday night.

For a sample, here’s the lovely Jenna Haze:

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Posted by on January 11, 2011 in AEE, AVN, photos, sex


Photos from the book

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I don’t think I could have told the 100,000-word story laid out in my book in just 100 photos. Nevertheless, the photos and images in Sex, Bombs and Burgers go a long way to fleshing out the written part.

The book has a dozen images - one at the beginning of each chapter - that help tell the story of each particular section. The illustration on the left, which I like to call “Angry Monkey Eating Burger” because it looks like an angry monkey eating a burger, appears at the very beginning of the book. The imagery is in reference to the recent discovery of Ardipithecus Ramidus, the oldest human skeleton, which gave rise to the theory that people originally became bipedal thanks to a link between mating, fighting and eating. I posted on the topic back in October - it’s a fascinating theory that warranted a late addition to the manuscript.

The image was specially done up by my friend and designer extraordinaire Stefan Woronko. In a way, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Stefan. Back in university, he was the artistic hand behind a cartoon called Heroin that ran in The Eyeopener (Ryerson’s student paper). Being as it was in the pre-internet age, I unfortunately can’t find hide nor hair of that cartoon online, which is too bad because it was freakin’ genius.

Heroin (the cartoon, not the drug) really did inspire me to get involved with The Eyeopener. I thought, “if the paper can produce such a cool cartoon, it must be a cool place to work.” If I hadn’t become a contributor, I probably wouldn’t have landed a job in journalism after school. Heroin, therefore, is indirectly responsible for setting me on my path.

These days, Stefan is creative director at Crush Inc., a production company here in Toronto that does some amazing stuff, including a recent music video for R.E.M. I can only hope that some day he’ll decide to dust off all those all old strips and publish them, at least online.

To see all of the photos featured in Sex, Bombs and Burgers, head on over to my Facebook group (and feel free to join). Over the next little while, I’m going to be experimenting with a few things - like a giveaway - exclusively on Facebook, so check out the group if you haven’t already.

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Posted by on February 8, 2010 in photos


Trivia day 4: Photo booths, a magnet for flesh

Odds are, at some point in your life you’ve taken a picture in a photo booth. The odds probably increase the older you are - they were, after all, quite the rage back in the fifties and sixties.

If you have taken a picture in a photo booth, odds are also fairly good that you’ve done something naughty for the camera, whether it’s stick your tongue out or flip the bird. Many, many people have gone a step further, either by flashing the camera or performing an illicit act with another person.

Why? Well, there’s something about the photo booth that brings out the inner exhibitionist in all of us. Even in an age where every cellphone has a camera, the photo booth provides a quiet, discreet means to record ourselves doing whatever we want. And because the photos are printed instantly with no copies kept, it’s a very private act.

In fact, director Brett Ratner - of Rush Hour fame, and also of the ruining-the-Xmen-franchise fame with the atrocity that was Xmen 3 - in 2003 published a book of pictures he had taken of his celebrity friends with a photo booth he’d installed in his house. What did all those celebrities do for the camera when left to their own devices? “There were a lot of middle fingers, a lot of people with their tongues out,” Ratner said. “There was also a lot of flashing, although I didn’t publish those.”

These days, photo booths are almost obsolete because you can replicate everything they do with your home computer. But in the days before ubiquitous digital camera technology, they were pretty much the only way to take a photograph without having someone else see it (the Polaroid would have been the other way).

In a less sexually-liberated age, if you took a picture of someone in the nude and tried to have it developed at the local photo mart, you could get arrested. The photo booth provided a means to take such pictures without running the risk of getting charged for obscenity. Booth manufacturers knew this and encouraged it. One American maker, Auto Photo, gave out pamphlets at a fifties imaging convention that showed a women exposing herself, with the caption, “Make sure he remembers you! Send a foto to your boyfriend.”

This actually became an issue for some people. Woolworths started getting complaints that there was too much whoopie going on its photo booths, so the department store decided to remove the curtains from them. I’m sure the booths were used considerably less after that happened.

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Posted by on July 30, 2009 in photos, sex


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