Dear Kids That Egged My House

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I cannot think of any reason why you would’ve chose our house out of all the ones on the block. We do not know you and have never provoked you in anyway. I’m sorry for whatever reason you think that we deserved to spend a few hours cleaning our window.

I’m sorry you have nothing better to do on a Wednesday night but get into mischief in the freezing cold. I thought that in age of video game systems, social media, computers, awesome toys, there would be hundreds of other things to do. Sorry your life lacks those things and had to spend all your money on eggs instead.

I’m sorry that the eggs didn’t stain my house. They took mom an hour to clean, but it eventually got removed.

I’m sorry your mother has never told you not to waste food. Think of all the starving people all over the world who would have loved to eat those eggs.

I’m sorry you like Justin Bieber because that’s the only way you’d think egging is cool. Justin Bieber is not cool. I’m sorry that you have been brainwashed.

I’m sorry that I didn’t catch your face or your name but next time I’ll make it up to you and post it on all my social feeds so the world can know cool you think you are.

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Ride the Tempo on CBC Music!

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Today my music blog Ride the Tempo was featured in CBC’s list of “Canadian Music Blogs You Need to be Reading”. Normally I don’t care for lists but CBC was one of the early outlets that got me caring about Canadian music and influenced me to change the blog’s format to focus entirely on it. It was actually a difficult decision to make. Canadian music is not as popular or hit-generating as some of the bigger indie artists out there. Blogs that write about everything get a lot more hits, and return generate more ad-revenue.

I don’t blog because I think I’ll one day get rich off of it. I love exploring the Canadian music landscape. I care about it and will continue to do so.

Ride the Tempo Redesign

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A new year called for a new redesign on my music blog Ride the Tempo. For a while, I was obsessed with the purple dark background of the past. I’ve been wanting to change the colours and make it easier to read for long-form posts. Yesterday, in light of my resolution (or lack of) just do it, I did it. I went into the CSS and made all the necessary tweaks. Other changes including making the Disqus comment box larger and switching the plugin I used for related posts. I also redesigned the logo a bit so that it would match the new colours.

While tweaking the site is a continuous endeavour, the new colours make it easier to test new features. I’m very happy with it so far and excited to continue sharing emerging Canadian musicians with all my readers.

How to Photograph a Funeral

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While photographing a funeral may seem morbid to some, it is normal in some cultures to want to capture the moment. Funerals tend to be one of the very few times where entire families and friends gather in a room, even those who haven’t seen each other for 10 years. Asian funerals tend to have a lot of tradition and are quite interesting to document.

To be honest when grandma asked me to photograph grandpa’s funeral, I thought it was weird. I thought I would be shy, break down (well I did occasionally), or that it would be awkward. However, I learned a lot from this experience and think I became a much better photographer because of it.

Here are a few tips:
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1. No Flash
Having a photographer at a funeral can be awkward enough for some visitors, don’t be intrusive with a giant flash. I used my 50mm 1.8 lens for the majority of the shots so that I could absorb the most light as well as purposely blur backgrounds.

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2. Be Considerate
Funerals can be a great opportunity to be photojournalistic, but at the same time you have to still be sensitive. Don’t stick cameras in people’s faces and be as invisible as possible. In my case, it was a little bit more difficult because I was part of the immediate family.

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3. Edit Photos to Fit The Mood
Photos shouldn’t really be high of contrast and colour, that doesn’t really fit the mood of a funeral (or at least not the ceremony/wake). Don’t “bloom” your photos, apply appropriate filters that aren’t too bright and cheery. A mix of black and white and colour is okay too.

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4. Watch People Interact With Each Other
Chances are if you’ve been asked to photograph a funeral, the person doesn’t just want to remember the deceased, but also all those who came out.

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5. Be Confident
If you act like you are unsure you are supposed to be there, than it makes it awkward for everyone else too. If you’re confident than people will know you are doing your job.

If you ever get asked to photograph a funeral, treat it as a honour to help someone keep their last memories of a loved one. For now, most of the photos are for my family’s eyes only but they are some of the most intimate and emotionally beautiful photographs that I have ever taken.
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