Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Wasting Your Greatest Opportunity

September 14, 2009

I can’t help but notice how many people are wasting one of the greatest opportunities of their life. Most people in university come from middle class families. Some are better off and others are worse, but that is the average. This makes me wonder why so many people take on such dead end jobs while they are in school.

Right now you have huge saftey net (your parents), little responsibility, and a ton of time. These three things combined mean you can try anything and risk it all for an idea, a project, a job. At the end of the day if things fail, even if they fail horribly you will pretty much end up in the same place as you started. Your crappy job will always be there for you to fall back on, so stop wasting time and go do something worthwhile.


Some Books 2/2

August 15, 2009


So you see how there are two photos above? And how on the right there a three books photographed on my desk and the one in the left photo is on it’s own? That’s what happens when someone moves your things in a hostel while you are sleeping and you don’t check the whole room before you leave because it’s 6am and you are rushing to the train station. Douche.

Smile When You’re Lying” by Chuck Thompson shows what can be described as the unpleasant side of travel. Not having been able to read the whole book I cannot vouch for it’s overall awesomeness. But if you pick it up I guarantee you wont be disappointed by the first half, I will certainly be buying it again to finish reading it. The problem with Europe, at least book wise, is that most countries don’t speak English and by association don’t read in it either.

This makes tracking down a good book in English, to replace the one you bought in England and forgot in Amsterdam, a challenging task. After visiting what seemed like a dozen bookstore, whose English sections were comprised of copies of Lipstick Jungle and Twilight, I had begun to accept a book-less future. One rainy evening in Berlin, while searching for what would turn out to be an amazing Thai restaurant, I walked down a staircase and into heaven. A bookstore with half of it devoted to this wonderful language called English. Dostoyevsky, Joyce, Bryson all waiting for a new home. That is how “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck ended up spending the final weeks of my journey by my side.

“East of Eden” revolves around love and the wide range of characters show the emotion from all angles. Like other Steinbeck books “East of Eden” is full of twists and turn, sometime ending well, but mostly resulting in tragedy. If you want a tale of adventure and a character study, this is it.

“It doesn’t matter that Cathy was what I have called a monster. Perhaps we can’t understand Cathy, but on the other hand we are capable of many things in all directions, of great virtues and great sins. And who in his mind has not probed the black water?”

John Steinbeck

BlogTO Maps

August 13, 2009

BlogTo Maps

I was in Queen West yesterday and saw one of these BlogTO Maps in Tealish, and about ten other stores. So what you say? Glad you asked, I’ve got a few of my photos in there, that’s what! The maps are in awesome stores all over the city and even feature a few discounts as well as a bunch of cool places to check out in the area. If you are able to grab the West one look for my photos of Jezebel, The Red Light, Sweaty Betty’s, and Thieves Boutique.

Thanks for stopping by.



Some Books 1/2

August 11, 2009


About a year ago whilst traveling in Ukraine I read a little book called “The Favourite Game” by Leonard Cohen, I haven’t stopped since. To say I didn’t read before would be a gross understatement, I spent time with the occasional novel, and satisfied my curiosities in non-fiction. However, ever since those few weeks in Ukraine I have always had a book by my side, usually more. I set out to Europe with two books in my backpack Vegabonding” by Rold Potts and “The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger.

I flew through Vegabonding” while on the plane (only a little bit of a pun intended). The subtitle of the book is : An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, and that is exactly what it is. It takes you through preparing for your trip, what to do once you start traveling, and even how to deal with life back home once your trip is over. There are tons of little tips in each section and collections of books and website to help and inspire you. All of this is delivered with a slight bit of humor woven in, for example;

“In Israel, I did away with transport altogether and walked across Galilee, Jesus-style.”

– Rolf Potts, Vegabonding

The only problem was that I didn’t read “Vegabonding” before my trip, I’ll be sure to correct that when going on my next adventure.

“The Catcher in the Rye” was something I had wanted to read for a long time and totally caught me off guard when I actually did. The book revolves around what most would now call teenage-angst. I wont to go into further detail as I think part of the books success is it’s uniqueness, but I will definitely be reading this again. Here is a taste;

“That’s the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they’re not much to look at, or even if they’re sort of stupid, you half fall in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.”

– J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

In the interest of keeping things a reasonable length I’ll be writing about the other two books tomorrow.


I’m Off

June 18, 2009

Niagara© Eugen Sakhnenko 2009

During the past year a lot has happened, I’ve met my wonderful girlfriend, have found a great job, have reunited with some old friends, and worked on inspiring projects. I enjoy this momentum. That is not to say that there haven’t been downs as wells as ups, however I like a good balance. Going forward, this upcoming year is already shaping up to one-up the previous. I’ll be moving downtown in September, working on my thesis project at school, finishing university, and working at a great job. All that however, is months away so I won’t bore you with the details. Today I’m jumping on a plane and flying across the ocean to France.

For the next six weeks I will be traveling thoroughout Europe, visiting nine countries and 11 great cities. This, many have said, will be the adventure of a lifetime, though I have promised myself it wouldn’t be both the first and last trip of its type. The backpack is full, the camera is eager take it all in, and a blank notebook is ready for whatever I throw down on its pages. Goodbye iPhone, Google Reader, Twitter, goodbye commitments, appointments, invoices, hello world.

I’m off.

Gung Fu Tea Ceremony

May 29, 2009

TeaCeremony (2 of 3)© Eugen Sakhnenko 2009

Last weekend my family and I enjoyed a Gung Fu Tea Ceremony for the first time.  Gung Fu is a type of Chinese tea ceremony used for tasting Oolong teas. I highly recommend you try this if you have get a chance, there are a lot tools required  so you will probably have to seek out a tea house or someone with their own set. If you would like to learn more about the details of the ceremony itself then check out the Seven Cups video podcast going through the entire process.

Here are a couple more photos from the ceremony:

TeaCeremony (1 of 3)Here you can see the various components required.


TeaCeremony (3 of 3)The shorter cup is the actual “Tea Cup”, while the tall cup is the “Aroma Cup”.

CONTACT Film Picks

May 4, 2009


Cankun Factory, Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, 2005 - © Edward Burtynsky

Cankun Factory, Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, 2005 - © Edward Burtynsky



All of May TVO is showing various films on photography, there is quite a range of films so be sure to check out the full list. This is a great chance to catch some documentaries that you might otherwise have a hard time getting hold of. Here are my picks:


Eloquent Nude & Peppers and Nudes: The Photographer Edward Weston

Two consecutive films about Edward Weston, the first about his wife and their relationship, the second about Weston’s life in general.

When: May 10, 9 & 10pm

Hansel Meith: Vagabond Photographer

A documentary about a female LIFE photographer who immigrated from Germany.

When: May 13, 10pm


What Remains: The Life & Work of Sally Mann

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this film which explores the post-“Immediate Family” Sally Man. It takes an detailed look at the creation of a new body of work and her life in general.

When: May 17, 9pm


The True Meaning of Pictures

A great film about Shelby Lee Adams and his work documenting families in Appalachia. An interesting look at how photographs represent people and cultures.

When: May 21, 10 pm


Dolce Vita Africana

A film about photographer Malick Sidibe and his photographs of post-colonial Mali during the 1960’s.

When: May 27, 10pm


Manufactured Landscapes

I’ve seen this film twice already and will definitely be watching it a third time. A documentary following Edward Burtynsky as he photographs China’s industry and its effects.

When: May 31, 9pm


Make sure you set your PVRs or mark down the dates in your calendars! Also let me know what films you think are must sees.

Next up in CONTACT coverage will be Gallery Shows.


The Index Card Expirement Revisited

February 28, 2009

Index Cards

At the beginning of February I decided to experiment with index cards. I wanted to use index cards as a tool to help retain information that I consumed. Two things came out of this, I realized that index cards don’t work for me as a note taking tool and I also realized that index cards are a great to-do done tool.

There are several reasons that I am abandoning index cards to take notes while reading/watching content. Mainly because I have a notebook where I write down ideas, plan out project, jot down quotes etc. What happened was that I started debating if I should write something in my notebook or on the index card. I figure if I can train myself to take notes on index cards then I can train myself to do it in a notebook. Second is that index cards are somewhat flimsy, this makes them difficult to write on if you don’t have another surface, they also become worn very quickly. Finally, index cards are small, I found that I was constantly running out of space and was numbering them 1,2,3, this seemed kinda ridiculous considering I had a notebook. I came to these conclusions fairly early in the month and started to think of other uses for index cards.

Because I work mostly from home when I’m not out on actual shoots I have to keep myself motivated and concentrated at the tasks at hand. Every morning I started to write out the things I had to finish by the end of the day aswell as a few things I could work on if I finished the mandetory stuff early. This gave me a plan for the day, it also allowed me to jump from one task to another as I grew weary of it, without forgetting or permenantly delaying it. It was great having a constant reminder beside my keyboard, rather than some app that I would have to bring up to see. There is also a great satisfaction, come the  end of the day and all of the tasks are crossed off.

All in all the experiment was a success though perhaps not as I initially intended. I will definitely be exploring more things in this experiment format which will hopefully lead to more new discoveries and habits.

Blog-o-rama: Comic

February 21, 2009

Welcome to round two of Blog-o-rama, this next set up blogs is all things funny, clever and at their best insightful. 


One: xkcd


xkcd  is home to little stickfigures trying to understand the world around them. This is probably one of the funniest and most inteligent comics in existence.


Two: Jake and Amir


Jake and Amir is made up of short skits with a never ending story arc. It’s about two guys working in an office, one of them, Amir, is obsesive and not very bright, the other, Jake, is a regular down to earth guy. Jake and Amir never fails to be hilarious. So Ace!


Three: Questionable Content


Questionable Content is a geekier, more indie, current version of Friends (the T.V. show). Go subscribe.


Four: Indexed


If you like graphic represenations, think bar graphs, pie charts, and venn diagrams, of everyday life then you’ll love Indexed.


Five: a beautiful revolution


a beautiful revolution is full of tredgedy, heartbreak, and regret, what more can you ask for?

Credit Crisis FTL!

February 20, 2009

We all know of the credit crisis in the US of A, but unless you are studying or follow economics you probably don’t know exactly what it is or why it happened. Fortunately Jonathan Jarvis, an MFA candidate at Art Center College of Design, has created this awesome animation explaining exactly how it all went down. Make sure to hit up YouTube for Part Two.