Friday, July 31, 2015

Toronto Oktoberfest - September 18 and 19, 2015 - Discount coupon

Dig out your lederhosen and dirndls and join us for Toronto’s only authentic Oktoberfest party! Inspired by traditions started in Munich, Germany over 200 years ago, Toronto Oktoberfest brings a taste of Munich to the City as it captures the essence of authentic food, drink and merriment. 

Guests will experience the best in Bavarian fare, German and European biers, entertainment, and an atmosphere so authentic, you’ll feel like you’re in Munich.

Gord and I went to Toronto Oktoberfest last year and had a blast!

We're going again this year and you should too!

Early bird pricing for tickets has now ended but by using this special link, you can save $5 a ticket!  The code is TITO5OFF.

See you there!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The James, Chicago, IL

Gord and I have been in Chicago since Monday afternoon ... our home away from home was The James.  It was just a couple blocks from the Grand subway station (which made getting to and from the airport easy).


Here was the lobby ...


Here was our room ...

West Egg Cafe, Chicago, IL

Gord and I had breakfast this morning at the West Egg Cafe (on N Fairbanks).


Gord ordered The Grabowski.  He said it was good and he'd get it again.

Book ~ "Posing, Composition, and Cropping Master Techniques for Digital Portrait Photographers" (2012) Christopher Grey

From Goodreads ~ Successful poses are shown to be achieved through a thorough understanding of the client's personality and their objectives for the image's use. Next, the mechanics of positioning the human body are thoroughly explained with special attention given to each part of the physical form to make it look its best. Specialized techniques for different styles of portrait (including head shots for actors, senior portraits, aand editorial fashion portraits) are offered, allowing photographers to better tailor the pose. 

Also covered are different approaches to directing the subject, from very hands-on in which the photographer refines every aspect of the pose to a more relaxed strategy of general guidance with only occasional instruction for selective posing refinement. 

Using the techniques presented in this book, photographers will be able to more efficiently and effectively present their subjects in flattering ways and in eye-catching compositions.

I like reading books about photography.  Gord and I have taken classes and I'd like to get better at it.  Books remind me of this.

This book's chapters include:
  1. Conceiving a Successful Image - what is the primary use of the image, how much drama is necessary, what will the client(s) wear, what is the condition of the subject's hands and nails, etc.
  2. Posing - working with the face, hands, arms and shoulders, posing an executive, posing of the feet and legs, secrets to working with couples and groups, etc.
  3. Composition - rule of thirds, power of triangles, etc.
  4. Cropping and Making the Most of a Large File
  5. Avoiding Common Mistakes
  6. Creating Attitude

This is a good book for beginners right up to pros.

There were tons of pictures to show what the author was talking about.  For example, showing the difference between the placement of the shoulders and/or the tilt of the head on the picture.  Or the placement of the legs and feet.  Or the effect on the picture if you crop it at a joint (an elbow, etc.).  These are probably things that pros do naturally but for some of us, we wouldn't think about it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Goose Island Wrigleyville, Chicago, IL

After the ballgame, Gord and I had supper at Goose Island (it's about a block from Wrigley Field).  It is a brewpub and Gord likes their beer.

Chicago Cubs 3, Colorado Rockies 2, Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

Gord is a big baseball fan.

This afternoon we went to Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs - Colorado Rockies game.  It was my first ball game other than the Toronto Blue Jays games.

Me and Gord

The main floor is a hub of activity as that's where the bathrooms, food vendors and drink vendors are.

The Irish Oak, Chicago, IL

Gord and I had lunch today at The Irish Oak, which is a block or so from Wrigley Field.  It was hot out so we sat inside with the a/c.


Gord ordered Beer Batter Fish and Chips.  He said the fish was good, though he found the fries a bit too salty.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blackfinn Ameripub, Chicago, IL

Gord and I had supper tonight at Blackfinn Ameripub (on W Kinzie Street).


Gord ordered the Pub Burger with mac 'n cheese on a lettuce cap rather than a bun.  He said they were excellent.


I'm a big fan of chicken parm and that's what I ordered.  The pasta was good (oil and garlic) but the chicken tasted funny.  I gave Gord a piece and he agreed.  I let Brittany, our server, know and she had me order something else.

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago, IL

Remember the water fountain in Married With Children?

It's the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago ... and Gord and I walked to it this afternoon.  There's no charge to see it.


It's a beautiful fountain and it was fun to see it up close!

Millennium Park, Chicago, IL

Gord and I walked to Millennium Park this afternoon.  There's no charge to walked around the park.


We headed to Cloud Gate and had a lot of fun with it.

There's Gord
There's Gord and I

Architecture Boat Tour, Chicago, IL

Gord and I did the 12:30pm Architecture Boat Tour today.  It was 75 minutes and about $32.  It is a guided tour.


Discover hidden architectural gems as well the city’s most renowned landmarks along all three branches of the Chicago River while you relax with a drink from our cash bar.* Chicago River Architecture Tours depart from Shoreline’s dock at Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier (southwest corner) and also from the Michigan Avenue Bridge (northeast corner). 

Off we went ...

Centennial Fountain, Chicago, IL

Gord and I walked to Centennial Fountain this morning.

Nicholas J Melas Centennial Fountain is located on the north bank of the Chicago River at McClurg Court in Near North Side, Chicago.  It was dedicated in 1989, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, perhaps best known for its major achievement in reversing the flow of the Chicago River in 1900; and in 1999, this system was named a "Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium" by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The fountain is designed by Lohan Associates, architects. Every hour, on the hour, the fountain shoots a massive water arc across the river from a modernist tiered waterfall for 10 minutes.

The fountain was named after Nicholas J. Melas who was elected in 1962 to the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Melas was re-elected 5 times, serving for 30 years; the last 18 as President of the Board.


Standing inside it provides a nice background

We walked around to the river side of it.