Introducing the New!

I have been working on this one for a long while, trying to make everything perfect. While I will likely continue to add additional images, I think its finally ready for prime-time. Check out the new

The website is designed to showcase my images and services much better. No one used the original website as an online store as it was originally designed to be, so I think this is a much better site to direct people to who are interested in me and my photography.

Of course, I’ll still be running the blog with my most current photos and the stories behind them. No worries there!

I encourage anyone who checks out the new site to tell me what they think!

Yarr! Ahoy me hearties

Arrr mateys, September 19th marks a special day on my calendar: International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

To commemorate this special day, I’m going to skip ahead in my travel photos slightly to post a few pictures fitting of today. On August 8th we took a walk down to the port of Varna and stumbled across a peculiar ship:

Desi asked if I could take photos of it, and we were welcomed aboard. This ship is the only one in Varna powered exclusively by the wind. The deck area was set up with tables and glasses, and appears to be a ship you can rent for drinking parties. That’s not the best part though, the best part was the pirates.

Yep, the ship was filled with people in full pirate garb. They were very charismatic (if not a little crazy) and were laughing and carrying on. While they let me pose with them, they had a better idea for Desi, and let her borrow a very elegant dress that was on board. I must say, she makes the most beautiful pirate ever:

After taking enough photos to fill my memory card (I’ll have more to share later), we headed on our way back down the shoreline to meet with Desi’s dad for dinner. This pirate encounter was one of my favourite moments in Varna 🙂 Really was quite fun and unexpected!

P.S. sorry for the lack of updates. Currently I’m working ~60 hours a week and my free time since work has started again has been limited. Hopefully the updates will continue soon 🙂

Yarr har har!

Another walk in the woods

I was pleased with the photos that I had found last time I went for a walk in the woods, so yesterday I headed out again (third time this year). The sky was threatening rain for most of the afternoon (and had been raining most of the morning) but I still wanted to get outside on my day off. It was one of those days where everything smelled very fresh after the rain, which was enough to convince me to head outside and enjoy the day. I went to the same patch of woods I had been to before, partly because I don’t know of many more less that five minutes from home. I should look into other places for next time.

It’s interesting to see how things change even only after a few weeks. Everything was much greener, and felt more “alive”. I spotted some interesting things here and there, and I thought I’d share.

This Red Trillium was a little off the beaten path. I hadn’t seen them in the area before, so it was a nice thing to find. There were two plants, and this was the bigger of the two.

It had just finished raining when I was out, so the water was still collected on many of the plants along the forest floor. This patch of greenery was a great example.

There are many more pictures below. I’m not sure what the names of the plants and critters are, but if anyone is reading this wants to fill me in it would be quite helpful!

Edit: Thanks for all the hints and identifications! I filled out the descriptions a little better 🙂

Blog name change

So after some thought, I decided to slightly change the name of the blog from “The Universe (as seen by Don)” to “The Universe (as I see it)”. A minor change, I know. What do you think? This is just another excuse to test out my new polling plugin. 🙂

Also, I added another six banner images to the rotation. Below is my favourite, followed by the poll!

Do you like the blog name change?

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Video Games Live: Kitchener

Many people know I’m a fan of video games. A few people know that I am a fan of video game music. Many games include completely original orchestra scores these days, some of which are extremely captivating. Other older game music has been remixed into very pleasant compositions as well. Video Games Live is a group of people who use local orchestras to perform some of the most popular music featured in video games over the past two decades. Everything from Mario Bros to Halo 3 and everything in between.

I’ve attended every performance they have done in Ontario so far.

Actually, more than that. I’ve volunteered to help out at every performance in Ontario. On March 13th and 14th they performed in Kitchener, where I helped out by running their costume contest and worked as a photographer. This grants me full backstage access and the ability to sit anywhere in the concert hall I’d like, which is simply amazing. So I spent my evenings last weekend taking photos of something I was passionate about, and filled my 16GB memory card twice. Here’s one of my favourite photos from the show:

Needless to say, it was a sold-out show both days.

The conductor, Jack Wall, is a video game composer himself. His recent success was with the Xbox 360 and PC game Mass Effect, one of my favourites from last year. He also did a lot of the music in the Myst series of games, among many, many others.

Tommy Tallarico, the main guitarist, is quite accomplished as well. He’s done a lot of composing himself (Earthworm Jim, Advent Rising to name a few) but also was a co-host on the G4/TechTV show Electric Playground.

The music was performed by Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. One of the best performances I’ve been to! They always use the local orchestra to do the performance.

Splitting Adam was touring with the group this time. They work for Electronic Arts and had a song featured in the game Need For Speed: Undercover. Great tunes from these guys as well, I wish them the best of luck!

All in all, it was a great show. There were a few new segments I hadn’t seen before, but even the older ones were great to hear again. Each show they always play a different set from their list of 30-40 different segments so it’s always something different. You’ll find a larger selection of photos below, and if you want the whole set of “keepers”, you can grab ’em here (warning: a lot of photos). I’m not sure when they’ll play next in the area, but I’ll be sure to help out. Always a blast!

P.S. Almost all of the concert photos were taken at ISO 3200 or ISO 6400. I am extremely impressed with my cameras performance at these settings!

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