I’ve been back from my whirlwhind trip to Denver for a few days now, and I’m finally beginning to go through the hundreds of photos that I took with my X-E2. Denver’s recently invested quite heavily in restoring its Union Station (and environs), and it shows. The building is gobsmackingly gorgeous! I can only hope that when Toronto’s Union Station restoration is complete in the next year or so that it looks even half as swank as Denver’s.Read More
Don’t use Canadian Visa debit cards while in the USA, it leaves you open to merchants doing post-purchase shenanigans that your bank can’t do anything about. Of the five places I used my bank card in Denver, two did hinky post-purchase adjustments that ended up costing me roughly $20 (thankfully I didn’t use it more!).
I spent an hour with my bank manager, and he said that this was not something he had ever seen before and that it was not related to foreign transaction fees. It was the merchant (or their banks) refunding my original purchase and then ringing it in at a higher rate for some reason. My bank felt bad that they couldn’t do anything about the mystery charges, and weren’t aware that this was even a potential issue with the Visa Debit cards, so instead refunded my $14 bank fee from this month for the hassle (thanks TD!)
Also, because the US machines read the Visa debits as flat-out Visa cards you aren’t asked for a PIN or signature if the amount is less than $50US, which means anyone can use your card should you lose it.
TL;DR — Use cash or credit only in the US, don’t use your debit card *especially* if it’s the Visa Debit that some banks now use as their bank cards.Read More
Last week I joined the FujiTuesday meetup group for a photowalk on Toronto Island. Sponsored by Aden Camera and FujiFilm Canada (they paid for everyone’s ferry tickets), they not only gave our prize packs of Fuji sling bags (of which I won one!), but also a shiny new X100S (of which I didn’t). The ferry was an hour delayed in taking us over, so the walk itself was a bit rushed. I would have enjoyed more time to stop and smell the roses as it were, but it was still a great evening out and I liked the opportunity to get a few pointers from other Fujinistas
I had recently bought a circular polarizer, which had been left on for most of the walk, so most of my photos came out underwhelming. This was the first time I’d shot with it and was something of an experiment, so I can’t say that I’m surprised. I’ve definitely learned that unless shooting into very bright light to remove the filter unless I want everything dull and kind of meh.
These here are some of my favourite pictures from the day, but you can view the complete collection on my Flickr page.Read More
Big on Bloor is a Toronto street festival that “celebrates business, community, arts and culture, with a unique community and city-building festival featuring hundreds of events, activities and exhibitions”. Even though this was its 8th year it was the first time I’d attended and I was eager to check it out. With hopes that this wasn’t going to be just another tacky street festival like Taste of the Danforth or Taste of Little Italy, with maddening crowds, bouncy castles, and tacky dollar store tat for sale, I packed up my camera and headed to Bloor Street.
It was awesome!
Instead of all the crap that makes the other festivals events to avoid, BIG on Bloor had tables with artists selling their creations, interesting food, a hula-hoop station for the kids, and even a snake table! The only thing it didn’t have was sunshine. I went on Saturday, and within minutes of arriving it started to rain. After stopping to take pictures of this friendly ball python here, I put the camera away and took out the umbrella so that I could walk the length and back of the festival.
This was the first time I’d been out with my X-E2 in inclement weather, and I was nervous about damaging it in the rain. The only photos I took were under the safety of a tent where I could be sure no water would fall on the camera. I threw the shutter speed into A and hoped for the best. Of the photos I took, only the one at the top turned out as expected; the snake moved too much for clear shots. Had I not been nervous (or in such close quarters under the tent), I would have liked to spend some time playing with the different shutter speeds in hopes of getting clearer photographs.
Oh well, next time!Read More
Now that I’m taking photos on a nearly daily basis, I’m looking at a number of solutions for sharing my images online. There’s this blog, Twitter, Flickr, 500px, Facebook, Google+ — so many possible communities! I’ve resurrected my Flickr account for now, as I’m really keen to see what other X-E2 photographers are coming up with and I really like the little EXIF data graphic it generates for each photo, but I’ve always preferred the artistic community on 500px a little more (plus it’s made here in Toronto!).
Any photographers out there? What are you using for your online photographic community needs?Read More