1shot #213-hey, take my picture!

DTK Wednesday 013

“Hey, take my picture!”


“I know these pictures are going to the people, right?”

They are.

“Hey, you got 85 cents?”

All I got is a toonie. It’s yours, brother.

“This is going straight to the soup kitchen.”

Ok. What’s your name?

“Dudley Do-Right.”

Fair enough.

On King Street, this is Kitchener.

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Kick-ass photog Barbara Davidson rocks FLASH 2015

FLASH 2015 event 243

Friday was like a wedding: all the people you like in one place, a great party, and then it’s over far too quickly. Pulitzer prize winning photographer Barbara Davidson came all the way across the continent from LA back to WR where she started her career. The combination of Barb’s inspiring talk, the work of 97 selected open call photogs, and our 3 local featured photographers made the inaugural FLASH photo show a success across the board.

Last week I introduced the FLASH organizing team, and it’s important to recognize that we got help from a lot of people and organizations including:
Christie – as the top sponsor for the event kicking in cash and their brilliant tech. Barb said it best on Friday: “These screens are epic.”
The Laurence Group of Companies – who funded rental of work from the selected open call photogs
Canon – a recent arrival at Communitech of this innovation partner and they’re already in the cultural mix.
Communitech – the great connector of Waterloo Region, not surprising to find them in the mix
• Downtown Kitchener BIA – committed to making things happen in DTK
Cober Solutions  – we needed posters, postcards, and stickers and Karl and Cober came through for us
makebright – yup, me sitting here typing this up on Monday morning
•  Foto:RE – a catalyst and rallying point for photography and photographers
•  eventpeeks  – making sense of the live social media feeds from the event
Taylor Jackson for help with the videos
• volunteers  – Kristen Gillette, Victoria, Jessica, Lauren
• the community like Shirley Madill, Craig Norris, Cory Bluhm, Eric Rumble, Graham Whiting, and a whack of other people that helped spread the word and simply said “tell me what you need.”

And we’ve gotta thank the photographers who do the work and share the work: Barbara Davidson, Andrew Wright, Mina Ao, Karl Griffiths-Fulton, and the 97 open call photogs.

To the most frequently asked question “when is the next FLASH event?”, I will say on behalf of the group: stay tuned to flashwr.ca, @flashWR, and our FLASH Waterloo Region Facebook group.

An unreasonable number of photos follow. Happy Monday…

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FLASH traffic—in the pipe, ready to rock

FLASH pipes-046

Tonight is, in fact, the night. We’ve got everything hooked up at The Tannery Event Centre, our headliner Barbara Davidson is in town, videos are cued up, and open call photos ready for projection.

Help us increase the awesome:
• Have your printed or smartphoned ticket ready to show at the door. There are no ticket sales at the door, and y’all know we’re nice people, but on this point we’re firm: you gotta have a ticket to get in.
Buy photographs! You are going to see the work of 101 photographers at this event. We’re encouraging the direct-to-audience model, so if you like an image, take note of the photog’s name and connect with them directly on our Facebook group or via info@flashwr.ca. We’ll leave it to you to work out availability, prices, and delivery with the creator. FLASH is deleting all submitted images immediately after the show and we’re not taking a cut of any subsequent sales. We love it when photogs get paid.

Doors open at 6:30pm. See you there.


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1shot #212-sky geometry

Bowling Alley Crane 001

On the way to meet some friends this morning for breakfast in UTW I saw this crane building condos where we used to cosmic bowl. Seemed like a giant compass scribing lines in the sky.

From Princess and Dorset, this is Waterloo.


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FLASH traffic—faces of FLASH

FLASH planning meeting 003

Only two more days until the big FLASH photo show on Friday night. We are super-excited to deliver the show we’ve been working so hard over the past several months. I thought it might be a good time to introduce the team. This is especially important to me on my quest to humanize all connections in 2015 and undo anything anonymous. But first a single FLASH note of the day:

If you’re not able to join us on Friday and you have a ticket, please turn it in on Eventbrite so we can admit someone from the wait-list. Although there are no longer refunds, you will get a credit in your cosmic karma and make somebody very happy. If you’re thinking, “Aw hell, I can’t be bothered to figure out Eventbrite”, please email us at info@flashwr.ca with the name on the tickets and how many you don’t need. Please.

Everything that happens in the community, happens because people think it up, meet and discuss it (a lot), plan it, do the legwork, and then run the show. A lot of the time those people are unpaid volunteers who are carving off time from their families, their jobs, and their other responsibilities. Our FLASH team typifies the “sandwich generation” who are raising kids of various ages and also helping aging parents. When we’re working on the event, there’s somebody at home feeding kids, driving to guitar lessons, and checking homework. It takes a village to put together an event like FLASH.

My reasons for squeezing FLASH in and around my work shifting makebright into a for-profit business are the same as many of my community investments:
1. It’s cool, which is to say it is something I want for myself. Build the community in which you want to live.
2. It’s important. It enriches the cultural ecosystem, gets photographers paid, and hopefully goes into a positive feedback loop to persist beyond one event. That’s inherently good.
3. If I don’t do it, who will? Sometimes the incremental difference of one person’s efforts flip the switch from off to on (and vice versa). On the off chance that I am that person, it seems like a good idea to get in the game.

Above, here is Tony Reinhart, Director of Editorial Strategy at Communitech. Tony has a busy family life and has worked on The Grand Porch Party and Open Streets. He is a modest guy, but I’ll tell you he’s an excellent photographer and he stays sharp by posting daily to Instagram. To his right is Catherine Bischoff, Senior Business and Market Analyst at Canada’s Technology Triangle and co-owner of GoGo Mart serving up fresh healthy food weekdays in DTK. Catherine and her crew are culturally engaged in all sorts of events in the Region and it’s rare that I can tell Cat about a current art show that she hasn’t already seen. She spent a number of years wrangling photographers across Europe for CORBIS so we’re very lucky to have her input on the FLASH effort.

But wait! There’s more…

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Hub Haps #014-build

Hub 026

Looking out the front door toward 1 Victoria construction, this seemed like a solid visual metaphor for what’s going on here at Communitech.

Build on, hubsters!


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1shot #211-Boathouse. Open. Go.

Boathouse reopening-153

The Boathouse, a local joint in Victoria Park renowned as a music venue, lit up again last Thursday after a long process of ownership change and renovation. Bill McTavish, whom we love as the driver of Imbibe over on King, is now also at the wheel here, too. With Tessa Jennison on music and Natalie Herzing on bar and Bill’s usual selection of awesome beer, you’re going to need to go early. Brohemus and I rolled in there at 9:30pm and there wasn’t a free seat in the house as The Short Films were setting up. Chris Plunkett half-jokingly advises: “The trick is to go right after work. And then stay longer than you should admit publicly.”

Nice to see Stephen Preece as the quasi-greeter standing by the door. I thought he was joking when he mentioned the bar had opened for drinks only a few hours earlier. Rumour has it that somebody had to 5-hour drive round-trip to Toronto to get the liquor license so they could open the taps.

So, WR you know what to do when you see awesome: show up and spend a few bucks to keep it all going. Cover for the band was only $2. Parking is across the street by the ice rink or over on David Street.

Get there.

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Maker’s artist Michelle Bellemare kills at UWAG

UWAG - Michelle Bellemare 019

It’s not a trick photo. It is the amazing work Casket (2006/2007) by Toronto-based artist Michelle Bellemare with my good friend Melissa Doherty’s feet in frame for scale. The opening reception at UWAG for this show When push comes to shove, curated by Ivan Jurakic, went down on Thursday night.

Sarah Kernohan reached out earlier in the week to invite me to the concurrent open house at UWAG of the MFA students. Then on Thursday morning, Agnes Niewiadomski shot me an email to say get down to UWAG. Later Thursday, Brohemus said we had to start Brother Night with a stop at UWAG. Apparently Melissa had shot us an invite. Ok!

The TL;DR: go see this show. It runs through March 7 in Gallery One at UWAG on Phillip Street in Waterloo. It inhabits an intersection of engaging concepts, makerly engineering, and flawless execution. High five!

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FLASH traffic—got a handle on hand stamps


Anything worth doing is worth doing four more times. So fresh from my kwartzlab laser training, I was back at the lab solo yesterday to laser more FLASH hand stamps and fab some wooden handles. A few pics from that, but first, today’s FLASH notes:

Refunds for unneeded tickets are available until 7pm tonight on eventbrite. Share some love with those on the waitlist. Please.
• That’s it. Today, I’m just asking you to not leave seats on the table
• Oh, one more thing: one week to the big show. Whoo!

On to the stamp/laser pr0n…

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FLASH traffic—stamp of approval

kwartzlab TON 034
Photo: James Bastow  Hand Model: Darin White

Subtitle: The delightful Venn diagram intersections of my life here in Waterloo Region

I’m working on the big photo extravaganza FLASH while at the same time serving as artist-in-residence at the ever-awesome makerspace kwartzlab. In a meeting this week we discussed stamping hands as people enter FLASH and at the same time I was thinking I needed to arrange to be trained on the kwartzlab laser cutter. You put those two things together and –boom shaka laka (as we say at my house)—I decided to raster FLASH hand stamps for my laser training. Lasers, photography, community meetup… that’s a big bag of awesome.

FLASH thoughts for today, before a relatively small number of pics:

• Ticket holders have until this Friday Jan 16 at 7pm to get refunds on unneeded tix. No refunds after that time. Reclaim your cash + share some love with those on our waitlist.
Notifications for the open call were all sent out yesterday morning. Please check your email/spam filter for subject line “FLASH Jury Selections” sent the evening of Jan 12 and morning of Jan 13. If you’re stuck, please email us at info@flashwr.ca
• Even if you are an open call selected photographer, you still need a ticket. I work here and bought three tickets myself.

Now back to the lasers…

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