living downtown is exciting v2.0

I figured I’d add this post with a few more photos to the mix, just to give you something a bit more interesting to look at.  Back on October 21, 2009, an armed gunman took control of the Workers’ Compensation Board building in downtown Edmonton.  He was a disgruntled worker who apparently didn’t get what he wanted, and decided to take matters into his own hands.  Luckily, no one was hurt, and the gunman eventually surrendered later in the evening.

This event was a big deal for me, because I got the call from Getty Images to cover the story.  Getty is a very big photo agency based out of the USA.  I have a relationship with them through my work with the Oilers (Getty Images owns every single photo taken by every NHL photographer).  Apparently, since they were on the story late, their usual “go-to” guys were not available to cover the story, so they called me.  I work about 5 mins away from where this all went down, so I left immediately and started shooting.

It was an exciting and frustrating time.  On one hand, I was there for Getty Images, which is a huge deal to me.  They are a gigantic company, and I knew that my photos, in their hands, had the potential to be distributed to a very wide audience.  I wanted something exciting, something dynamic, something worth submitting.  On the other hand, by the time Getty had called me, the whole hostage situation had been underway for several hours, so there wasn’t much action going on.. it was mostly just waiting it out.

I was relegated to shots of the surroundings, very broad and general photos.  I submitted what I had to Getty, and was ok with what I got, considering the circumstances.  My photos were eventually carried by dozens of newspaper/websites, and were seen in Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Lethbridge, Newfoundland, and best of all, on LIFE magazine’s website.  It was something new to experience, and I was very happy that all of the other “real” news photographers weren’t available to cover. 

Here are the highlites:

_DJL9703.jpg _DJL9744.jpg _DJL9749.jpg _DJL9697.jpg _DJL9792.jpg

Here’s hoping that I get the call again some day soon.

living downtown is exciting.

Sunday is usually my big day for getting caught up with everything from the past week, so as usual, I was editing this morning.  I was interrupted by a loud alarm coming from outside, peeked out, and saw about 8-12 police cars speeding right towards my place.  They all went into the Healy Ford parking lot, and immediately blocked all exits from the dealership and from my building’s visitor parking.  They snooped around for a bit, and some of them even took cover behind cars and took their guns out..  In the end, nothing really happened, but it was pretty neat to see anyway.


It’s beautiful out.

under great white northern lights, the new white stripes trailer.

I am so, so, so, so, so, so, so damn excited for this movie.  I went and saw them while they were on their Canadian tour in Edmonton, and it was just incredible, Jack White is insanely good.

Under Great White Northern Lights

movie poster.

The versatility they have as a two-person band shouldn’t be attainable, they go well beyond what you’d think is possible.  I’d probably call Jack White the most important musician of the decade.  He has done so much with the White Stripes, not to mention the very good Dead Weather album, and not-so-awesome Raconteurs stuff, the It Might get Loud documentary, the James Bond song with Alecia Keys, producing for Loretta Lynn, the list goes on.. He has done so much this decade it would be hard to call anyone else most important or influential.  There will definitely be a White Stripes album on my upcoming Top 10 of the Decade list which should be out Sunday night.

This trailer increased my level of excitedness by about nine million times:

 Add this to the Under Great White Northern Lights box set that they just announced for pre-order, the White Stripes just made this a very, very good Christmas.  Pre-order the box set here, I just did.

before this what did we used to do.. sloan in edmonton/calgary

Sloan has been one of my favorite bands for a very long time.  I can remember being near-obsessed with them since I first heard their incredible album ‘Twice Removed’ in grade 5.  They’ve always been underappreciated.  I hope one that one day they’re recognized as the Canadian icons that they are.  Studio and live, they are an excellent band, with a very consistent output over the course of 18 years, 9 studio albums, 2 EP’s, a live album, and a singles album (This may be wrong, I’m going by memory).

Taking into account that I have been into them for so long, it makes the fact that this weekend marked the 15th and 16th time I’ve seen them live a little less scary.  16 times is a lot for one band though, and they deserve it, I wish I lived out East so I could see them more. 

A surprising fact is that although I’ve seen them 16 times, I’ve never photographed them.  This weekend they played Friday night at SAIT in Calgary, and Saturday night at the Starlite Room in Edmonton.  I took the Calgary show as an opportunity to finally bring a camera to one of their shows.  I decided against bringing the digital, in case security felt like going on a powertrip.  Instead, I brought my 1950’s era Nikon S2 rangefinder paired with a Nikkor 5cm f1.4 lens.  Discreet, manual focus, beautiful, and built like a tank, it seemed appropriate.  I loaded it with Kodak TMAX 3200 film and hoped for the best.  I went with my friend Carolyn, who has been my sidekick to Sloan concerts a half-dozen times or so, she was packing her Olympus OM-1 with 50mm f1.2 lens.

The show was outstanding as usual.  High energy, great harmony (with help from new band-mate Gregory Macdonald), good setlists and a decent crowd are always things you can count on at a Sloan concert, this time being no different.  The one glaring thing missing was the patented Chris Murphy leg kick (2:30 mark), but I’ll let it slide bearing in mind his recent surgery after some asshole committed a hit and run on my favorite bass player. 

Sloan's Patrick Pentland

Patrick Pentland sheds your face off.

Sloan's Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott on the drums, allright!

I’d like to thank Greg Macdonald for pointing out my Andy Sabola shirt that I wore for the show in Calgary.  He actually said “I feel we have to point out the awesome Andy Sabola shirt that the dude in the front row has on, that’s cool”.  It’s a bit of an inside joke for Sloan fans, here’s the abridged version (from what I understand.. this is mostly heresay):  Sloan’s drummer Andrew Scott bought his first drum set from a guy named Andy Sabola, so the drum skin for the bass drum said “Andy Sabola” on the front.  He kept this on there, and when it came time to buy a new kit, he got “Andy Sabola” put on there too, one would assume for nostalgia’s sake.  There have been a few different versions, The Andy Sabola band, Andy Sabola, etc.. I watched the Money City Maniacs music video a few times and copied the logo as accurately as possible and made it in MS Paint, printed it, and threw it on a shirt (This was quite a few years ago.. it wasn’t the first time I wore it to a Sloan show).

yeah.. I’ve painted in it a few times.

So, after the Calgary show I decided I’d stick around to see the band, and make a request.  When Chris Murphy came out, I let him know that I’d seen them 15 times, and they’d never once played Marquee and the Moon, which is my favorite Sloan song.  We went over a few details, discussed the set list, and decided that Autobiography should be dropped in favor of MatM, I was ecstatic.  Carolyn and I, like we do most things, both happen to have the same favorite Sloan song, and I had a good time bragging about the fact that I’d see it in Edmonton.  We couldn’t wait to develop the film, so we developed our Sloan shots at about 3am after the concert in our film developing lab (aka bathroom).

Sloan's Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy takes over on drums while Andrew Scott plays a few of his own songs.

Saturday came the Edmonton show.  The setlist was very close to the same, which was a little bit of a disappointment, not that the songs are bad, I’d just have liked to see more variety.  I got a glimpse of it and noticed that Autobiography was on it, and I was scared that MatM wouldn’t get played.  I won’t hide the fact that after Autobiography I was a bit bummed, and it showed.  I wasn’t my normal vibrating-with-happiness-because-Im-at-Sloan-live self.  I was totally down that they didn’t play it, and I was sulking like some asshole kid who deserved better than what I was getting…. until the encore.  They came out for the encore, Chris pointed at me a gave me a little nod, as they made their way in to my favorite Sloan song ever.  This completely made my entire Sloan experience complete, after 16 trips, they finally played it.  I thanked them profusely after the show and acted like a 9 year old who had just met Batman, it was really, really rad.

Patrick Pentland’s KISS sticker adorned guitar.

Rock out Chris.

Two more memorable shows under my belt, including the most memorable ever.  They are awesome and you’d be a total goofball to miss them next time they’re in town.  Buy their new EP Hit & Run (How appropriate) here: Hit & Run, Sloan’s website is here:



1987 camaro; badass central.

So, my friend Sterling recently bought a red, 1987 Chevrolet Camaro, and I’m in love with it.  It’s loud, it’s huge, and it’s got T-tops.  I knew we had to shoot it.  We met Ster at his work, and told him to dress a bit “white trash-ey”, he pulled it off.

With help from Carolyn Brown, Keagan and I bossed Ster around for a bit and got a few nice shots.  Due to space and lighting constraints, we didn’t get exactly what we wanted of the car, but that’s how things go.  Sterling was very cooperative, and I was impressed with his patience as we tried to figure out some tricky lighting conditions.  When I told him that we wanted a shot of him and his car, I think he expected me to show up with my camera, take a few simple shots, and leave.. When we showed up with lights, cameras, stands, etc, he was a bit taken back but went with the flow (After being bribed with Wendy’s).

behind the scenes

carolyn posing

After a few different setups, we ended up going with a spontaneous portrait of Sterling in the driver’s seat.  This wasn’t planned, he just went for the pose and we got it, perfectly fitting for the situation.  The scar on his forehead was already there (beginner mechanics on 1987 Camaros was obviously a class he had not taken, yet.. but I won’t embarrass him here), and we decided to play it up a bit by adding a black eye.  This made for a rough, tough portrait of a dude with a rough, tough car, Sterling loved it, we love it, so I guess the job is done.


I can’t get enough of this car, paired with Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden.  I could druise for house with that song blasting way louder than sensible out the open t-tops, I can’t wait till summer again.

herman miller x eames = beautiful.

I picked 4 of these chairs last week from an awesome store in Edmonton called Populuxe Retro.  Populuxe specializes in mid-century modern furniture, and has an awesome collection that changes weekly.  The story of these chair is a good one, so I’ll tell the whole thing chronologically:

-I saw the chairs on Friday morning, and loved them.  There were 4, but I only wanted 2.  Unfortunately, they were only willing to sell them as a set.

-I spent all Friday afternoon trying to find someone willing to split the set with me, 2 and 2, no luck.

-Friday night, at 2am, I decide that I’m going to sell my couch and chair, so that I could buy the whole lot.  At this point, I figured that I would either sell the extra 2, or convince myself to keep them.  So, by 3am, I have the chairs on Kijiji.

-I find a buyer the couch and chair Saturday at 10am (7 hours overnight turnaround, and I actually sold them for $150 more than I paid for them, not bad hey?)  I tell my buyer “They’re yours, come pick them up tonight”.

-Phone Populuxe to tell them that I’ll take the set of 4, and that I could pick it up over lunch.

-Informed that they are no longer available, and that they’ve sold.  This ruins my day.

-Sulk around like a grumpy 11 year old for a few hours.  The fact that I’ve sold my couch and chair sinks in, and I realize that I now only own one single chair, that’s it.  This won’t do, so I embarrassing send my buyer an email telling her that I can no longer sell the chairs, because it would leave my new apartment in a dire need for sitting surfaces.  I send this email at about 4:45.

-Get a message at 5, saying “Someone from Populuxe Retro called and says that they’re available again”.  This saves my day and I bounce around like an excited 11 year old for a bit.

-Email my buyer, tell her “haha.. uhh… just kidding?  You can still pick them up today”, leave a message at Populuxe, and all is well in the world.

I’d should also mention that Populuxe Retro is only open on Fridays and Saturdays, from 12-5.  Despite this, the owner actually met me at the store on Sunday to open it and give me my chairs.. Not only this, but since I paid cash, he knocked another $50 off the total price.  Stand up guy, stand up store, definitely worth a regular browse.  Populuxe Retro.

So.. the chairs that took me on this rollercoaster ride of chair buying drama are none other than the Eames designed, Herman Miller made molded plastic stacking side chairs.  They’re perfect for my tiny place, because they have the stacking bases.  Although the stacking H-base is not as attractive or rare as an eiffel base, they are more practical, and that was the entire point of these chairs.  I’m trying slowly to get a mid-century modern look going for the new place, and I’m happy with the start these have given me.


blog = now

Back to blogging.

I’ll fill this space up with my thoughts on photography, in every aspect.  The business, the industry, the equipment, the photographers, I’ll hit all the topics here, I hope.  Also, this will be used for anything else I see fit, which I predict will be music, art, design, interiors, architecture, etc etc etc.  Hopefully, I’ll keep it dynamic enough to make it worth a regular check.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

^The Visual Dynamic -

A cooperative portfolio of Keagan Brooks’ and my own work.  The Visual Dynamic focuses primarily on commercial, architecture, and product.  Feel free to check it out.

Sports - Images by Dylan Lynch

^Dylan J Lynch -

This is my place for my editorial work.  I mostly will focus on sports, live performance, and general editorial work.  This site will be my portfolio, and this blog is associated with it as well.