Today is an absolutely beautiful day. It’s way too beautiful to be inside! But here I am, because I’ve promised myself that I’d be more diligent about blogging about things while they’re still relevant. If I delay this post by even a day I’m likely to put it off for a week instead, and in the age of Twitter posting about something a week after it happened just doesn’t fly. I’m going to avoid being wordy here, though. Let me just gush a little bit about this beautiful bakesale. Heena (Tiffin Tales) and Niya (Destiny, Domesticity & Dirty Secrets) decided to organize Toronto Bakes for Japan after seeing the footage of the tsunami on TV. It started out as just an idea, but shortly after putting out a call for help the support for their cause came pouring in. It started as a single bakesale at Liberty Noodle and quickly snowballed into 6 bakesales across the city! Most of the sales are on Sunday, so if you’re reading this on Saturday night you might want to clear your schedule and make time to visit some of the other locations tomorrow. A complete list of venues (and lots of other important information) can be found on their official site: Toronto Bakes for Japan.
The table was overwhelmingly full, but as you can see from the last photo there were also loads and loads of baked goods waiting in the wings for restocking. It warms my heart thinking about the amazing generosity of all of the people who donated their time, money and elbow grease to the event. I wish that I could gather them all up and hug them.
If you’re reading this and you volunteered, please let me a comment and tell me what you made so that I can give you proper recognition, because you REALLY deserve it!
One of my favourite things about the whole day was watching the look of pure bliss on the faces of the kids who came by the table. I’m sure that a lot of adults felt the exact same way when they saw us, but as adults we learn to get better at concealing our excitement about cake. :)
After seeing this are you understanding why I told you to clear your schedule for tomorrow? I’m actually planning on getting to one of the venues tomorrow as well, because I know that there will be totally different things tomorrow and I’m really excited to see what everyone has come up with! If you’re baking for one of the venues tomorrow, leave a comment and tell me where you’ll be and what you’re baking! Inquiring minds want to know.
EDITED TO ADD: I’m not sure why my photos are all squeezed like that. If you want to see the photos in the right format, visit my other blog: http://iflookscouldfill.wordpress.com
Tonight I was photographing an event for the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers at the Ontario Legislative Building in Queen’s Park. After the event wrapped up I tried to leave the building, but the doors that I came in through were locked!
I have to admit that I wasn’t very worried about leaving the building with any haste. It’s so beautifully decorated and royal-looking. I would have snapped pictures all night long if I knew what the rules were about being a photographer in a government building after hours!
I’m very proud to say that I’m going to be volunteering my event photography services to Toronto Bakes for Japan on April 9th at the Evergreen Brickworks.
Toronto Bakes For Japan is an amazing yet simple concept: A huge bake sale happening at venues all over the city, with all of the profits going to disaster relief in Japan. As their homepage says, “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” (Howard Zinn)
In addition to photographing the event, I’m also donating one of my prints for their raffle. It’s a small act, but when so many other amazing people are participating, it feels a lot larger.
Want to come out and buy some delicious baked goods for an excellent cause?
Here’s where and when you can find the Toronto Bakes for Japan events:
Saturday, April 9, 2011, 9 am to 1 pm (New!)
- Farmers’ Market at Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto
Sunday, April 10, 2011, 11 am to 3 pm
- Liberty Noodle, 171 East Liberty St, Toronto
- The Rivoli, 334 Queen St W, Toronto
- Cafe Diplomatico, 594 College Street, Toronto
- Amaranto Café, 809 St. Clair Ave W, Toronto (New!)
Sunday, April 10, 2011, 10 am to 5 pm
I hope to see you all there!
Yesterday I visited the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. Someone that I know once called George Eastman “the big yellow father.” And he is! If the name George Eastman doesn’t sound familiar, the name Kodak probably does. George Eastman invented roll film and changed photography forever by making it accessible to the general public. Kodak’s slogan in the early days was: “You push the button, we do the rest.” Many people regard him as the father of consumer photography. I visited the museum once as a student, but it was wonderful to go back as an adult and see it again. I got a lot more out of it this time!
First we were given a tour of George Eastman’s mansion. He was a hunter and a music enthusiast in addition to being an amateur photographer. All of his passions are apparent in his house, especially his love of hunting and going on safari. The elephant bust in the sitting room was a real elephant back when old George lived here, but it was taken down and replaced with a fake one when the house was turned into a museum.
George Eastman was never married (although our tour guide assured us that he had plenty of female company), and his mother lived with him. I enjoyed browsing the items in her closet and bathroom immensely. I imagine that she was a very classy woman.
And, of course, everywhere you look in the house you find old Kodak cameras and paraphernalia, as well as other vintage items. I was in heaven!
In addition to a house tour, we were also given a small tour of the archives. The George Eastman House keeps archives of images created with different photographic processes and buy out large collections of images when the price is right or the subjects or photographers are too good to turn down. One of the archivists took us down to one of their work rooms and showed us 10 prints from their massive collection. All of them were just in mats without glass, so it was a really unique opportunity.
I saw a Julia Margaret Cameron albumen print of Sir John Hershel (he invited cyanotypes and fixer). It was such an engaging photograph. It had so much emotion and energy! I’ve admired Julia Margaret Cameron since I first learned about her as a student. It’s such an inspiration to see her work up close and without glass!
They had also brought out 2 massive prints of the Hotel De Ville in Paris. One showed the building before the war and one showed it after, so that you could compare the two and understand the scale of the damage. They were contact printed from glass negatives, which would have been an amazing amount of work! The detail in them was unbelievable!
And they showed us a large daguerrotype, which was the very first photographic process. Most daguerrotypes are quite small - usually the size of a business card or post card - but this one was larger than 8x10! Daguerrotypes are always amazing to look at. They’re prints that are made directly onto a polished silver plate, so they’re actually negatives, not positives, but the way that the glass plate reflects light they look like positives. They also look almost 3D! The archivist talked about the fact that they seem to have more of a sense of the person in them than other images made with negatives, because with these daguerrotypes the plate that you’re looking at was actually in the room with those people and their energy. I can understand that.
We also saw an Ansel Adams print. I’ve seen his work before when the Art Gallery of Ontario had an exhibition, but I’ve never seen it out of glass! The piece that we saw showed a mountain range with snowy evergreen trees in the valley and dark, wispy clouds in the sky. The dynamic range of that image was unbelievable. Even using HDR software I couldn’t get a digital print to look like that. I certainly wouldn’t be able to shoot film like that. I don’t know how he did it! And the detail in his images was stunning as well. He also did most of his work through contact printing (meaning that you press the negative right against the paper to expose it, rather than using an enlarger), which meant that he had to take massive box cameras with him when he went on his hikes. Imagine!
Until March 25th, I’m donating the entire listed price of the prints in my Etsy shop to disaster relief in Japan. So if you buy a print for $15, that whole $15 will go to charity.
My heart is so heavy for Japan right now and I needed to do something. Please reblog this or buy a print. Help me help Japan.
Visit my shop at instantt.etsy.com
Yesterday I did a maternity shoot with Jaspal and Aastha. They’re 6 months pregnant and recently learned that they’re having a baby boy! They’re a wonderful couple with a fantastic sense of humor, and they were very warm and welcoming. We had lots of fun during our shoot, and afterwards they made me an Indian lunch. It was delicious!
It was so much fun to photograph you, Jaspal and Aastha! I can’t wait for our next shoot and to meet your baby boy!