Shooting Film

Maybe it’s not even about taking pictures, with film there is nothing else you can do, especially using a simple camera like the Olympus trip 35, there are no focus to fuss with, no exposure settings to worry about, no lens to should have packed. Just point and shoot.

Out of focus, who cares!

It’s freeing, not knowing. It doesn’t matter. Who cares anyway? In our minds it was and will always be fantastic. It’s a moment we enjoyed enough to think to put on film. No need to fuss about, perfecting every little detail. No worries.

It’s not what film gives you, it’s what it takes away that truly makes it quite unique in this day and age. with everything offering more and more, film takes away just about everything except for the ability to take pictures you can’t even see right away. It is truly a different experience.

Tourist shot

What was most important to me was the freedom from the limitation of film. There is nothing else you can do other than make photographs with film cameras, limitation is the very best thing about it. You can’t take videos so you don’t even think about it. No panorama mode, no selfie mode, and none of those fake film simulation stuff because you got the real deal.

With the XPro2, digital is great!

I also feel with shooting my 5 dollar value village film camera I have a less of a “omg this is serious” kind of mentality. Maybe because I can’t and don’t control everything with the camera so it provides me with some excuses if the shot didn’t turn out well. With that comes with the freedom to do many things, take photos of things I normally wouldn’t. The best part is when I see the film it’s all a surprise for me.

It is so much fun to shoot film, the freedom provided by the nature of film, that surprise when the film is developed, makes it a fun and enjoyable experience. Of course I’m not ditching my digital camera for a film one but I am carrying both everywhere I go. Try a roll, you will get hooked.


Printshop with Marku

Had the opportunity to visit the print shop my friend Markus is doing some silkscreening over the christmas break over six months ago, finally processed the pictures. DSC02644_1280

It took so long to process these is because I was trying to get the pictures to show off the nice rainbow inks he was printing with. It never felt right. There was too many colours, too many different colours to make the pictures come together as a whole.


Soon as I converted to black and white however it clicked, the light was surprisingly good thanks to the window and the work lights, but it was really hard to see with all the colours getting in the way. I think these pictures are much better served in black and white than in colour despite my initial thought of the importance of showing off the colours.

I wanted the black to be really dark to accentuate the window and work light on the work surface, he’s arms and occasionally he’s face. Trying to emulate the look of tri-x but not recreate it.

Through doing this set of images I learned for me colour could get in the way of seeing the light. I had a hard time seeing through the mix of window light, artificial lights with both soft white and blue-ish, not quite daylight colours, perhaps in these sort of situations black and white really is our friend. Throwing away all the colour reduces distraction leaving us pure light.


Centre Island

Sometimes the closer you are to something the less it is appreciated.

Last time i went to centre island was when i was just a wee lad. With my parents and can barely remember what had happened.

For most tourists it’s a must go, for the barbecue and the view of the city.

A few tips:

  • skip the line by purchasing your ferry ticket online. We did it on our phone while we queued up for normal ticket purchase. Once you have your e-ticket they just scan it at the booth and you are through.
  • Bike rental is not cheap, they will take debit for deposit if you are cashless.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and pack some snacks, you are in for a long walk.
  • Pack a jacket, it can get cold at night.

New lens!

I usually talk about how to save money however we all have our hobbies. I did buy this second hand and saved at least $300, so perhaps the money saving tip for the day would be to look on kijiji or craigslist or any second hand classified of your choice before heading to the store for your money burning exercises!

I have a 35mm which sometimes I feel is too close, something wider would be very nice to have so I picked up an 18mm, and I went shooting.

I enjoy this lens quite a bit, some have mentioned the sluggish autofocus due to being an older lens but I had great experience with the autofocus, it hunts a bit during close focus situations.



Words in Old Books

I like buying old books, one reason is they are cheap, another reason is sometimes they come with interesting inscriptions.

Here are a few I have found so far:


I enjoy reading them, it gives a book history, a bit of story behind it.

Budget is for losers

Every personal finance guru suggest the best thing for your bank account is a budget, I think not. Let me explain why.

It takes, in my opinion, a lot of willpower and effort to adhere to the budget, it takes up mental real estate. Consult the budget each time something needs to buy, did we go over the budget for weekly grocery? Do we have budget for that nice jacket? Any money left in entertainment budget for us to go to the movies? Questions like these becomes constant nagging, perhaps drive you to less consumption or, I think, more likely to rocket you away from even pretending to care about the budget.

Build a habit of responsible spending instead of a budget. It will not be as easy to having a budget, but will result in a much healthier financial future, and reduce the stress and anxiety associated with strict budgets, and the best part is it can be done one step at a time.DSCF0198_1280

Knowing how much money coming in and fixed cost is important for what I am proposing, that is all the “budgeting” you will do.

What is responsible spending? It is a spending behaviour that will create the most amount of good for us and the people we care about in the long run. An extreme example would be spending money on illegal drugs would be very high on the detrimental scale while the same money spent on a MBA course would be very beneficial.

We can take a few steps to help us along.

First “Did I do my best to make sure this purchase is necessary?”, evaluate the necessity of an expenditure. For example paying electricity bill is high up on the necessary list. If you are not sure then it’s not essential. Once the bills, mortgages, maybe student loans has been paid most of our purchases are in the “want” category, and these bears a little bit more consideration.

Next “Did I do my best to make sure this is the best use of my money?”. This is a tough question because it is often hard to know what is the best decision. We make decisions based on the information we have, take time to research, explore as many options as we possibly could. We often spend time to find the best deal but rarely pause to figure out if this is what we should spend money on. For example buying a new TV, many hours spent reading about 4K, HDR, 120fps or curved. Little or no time thinking if the money would be better spent invested in retirement fund, save up for that vacation, or spent it on gas for road trips during the weekend, or perhaps the money could go to build a family library. You decide how best to use your money, sometimes we are so set in spending money a certain way we fail to see better alternatives. We have limited funds, explore all the options.

Then “Did I do my best to make sure this purchase will make a positive impact?”. That new car you’ve always wanted will surely make a positive impact in life right? Perhaps not, it will definitely increase monthly car payment, more expensive insurance, maybe more on gas, a huge cost in depreciation, not to mention jealous coworkers asking “You got a raise or something?”. What about that 4500 sqft house? Perhaps you can afford it but how much of a strain would that put on your finances? Other costs like home insurance, possible renovations, heating and cooling bills and property taxes could become unbearable in the long run. Think beyond just the purchase cost, many major expenditures come with many strings attached.

Lastly “Did I make the best decision for the long run?”. When we buy a house we consider all sorts of things, thinking about all decision in terms of longer time helps us avoid decisions that only generate short term or immediate gratification. Like buying a piece of clothing that will be worn once then stashed away never to see daylight again, not the best decision, but if we spend money on high quality clothing and with good care will last us many years and will make us feel great each time we wear it, it may end up saving us money by reducing future purchases. Being cheap usually doesn’t save money, it might end up costing more in the long run. Buy for what it is worth to you, not the number on the price tag.

Did I do my best to make sure the purchase is necessary? Did I do my best to make sure this is the best use of my money? Did I do my best to make sure this purchase will have a positive impact? Did I do my best to make the best decision for the long run? These questions are designed not only to help with spending habits but also to tell us a bit more about ourselves. If we don’t know ourselves how could we be expected to now how to best use our limited wealth.

These are just a few things I find useful and helpful in my life, try them out for yourself see if it helps you. Remember also we are not our own slaves and nothing good comes from forcing ourselves to do things we do not want. We strive for balance for spending habits just like everywhere else in life.

Nickle and Dime

I asked my coworker today, who makes decent wage, pays little mortgage and doesn’t have car payments how much money he’s saving he said almost none.

It’s not uncommon, despite making a good wage very few of us end up with a steadily increasing saving. Why is it so hard to save?DSC00213_1280

“I would rather make more money than save more money!”

You have probably thought about that many raises ago and yet still have not find the money to save despite making twice as much or more than when you started. It is hard to save because our spending keeps up with our earning.

The hardest part is keep spending low even while earning increases, that is the only way to save. Surely we need some material goods to reward ourselves for a job well done, that is no problem on it’s own but becomes one when we make a habit of it.

Eating out once in awhile is a fantastic way to spend time with family or friends, but eating out three or four days a week it comes a huge drain on the good old wallet. Each meal averages out to about $60, three times a week is $200 per week and $800 a month, $9600 a year, almost $10,000 a year just by eating out three times a week.

Entertain at home is such a great way to have a fantastic time with friends and family without breaking the bank. While it does take more time and effort, but for me it is better. Not only does it cost much less, in my experience we always have a better time because we are in complete control of the environment, no noisy customers, no music that is too loud for you to hear yourself talk, and no waiting for the waiters to ask “would you like another round?”

The other thing is pack lunches, it seems like a bit of a hassle, but if you ever make dinner just make some extra and you have a packed lunch. Or try meal prep, I personally don’t do it. My wife and I make food for lunch about twice week, once on Sunday and once on Wednesday. If you can pack lunch 4 days a week, that’s anywhere from $40 to $80 saved, that’s $2000 to $4000 a year.

I like to buy whatever is on sale at the grocery store and build my meals based on that. For some people it’s hard, I think you can buy whatever you want from the grocery store as long as there is no eating out, cutting out restaurant would save a lot more than saving a dollar or two at the grocery store. At my local supermarket they clear out the unsold prepared foods by the end of the day around 8pm, that is usually when I go to the supermarket, lucky me. Sometimes I find meals with rice, vegetable and chicken for $3, that is pretty hard to beat.

Buy second hand stuff. Not everything is good for buying second hand, don’t buy underwear, or toothbrushes second hand. However just about everything else you can buy second hand. I won’t mention cars for now because I think that is a huge topic all on it’s own.

Books are the best thing you can buy second hand, not only do you get a deal, you can feel good about recycling, and sometimes there might even be a nice note on the first page or a bookmark. Another thing I love to buy second hand is electronics such as cameras, monitors, TVs, or even lights. it won’t be the latest and greatest but the hefty discount is totally worth it. Home decor and furniture are great to buy from your local thrift store or craigslist/kijiji.

I’m not suggesting not to spend money, just a bit of attention and care before spending will result in a much more responsible buying behaviour, saving money and reduce financial woes.

Armed with these few tips you will sure to keep money in your bank account working for you and not working for someone else, you can also read about how to get your money working here: