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Apr. 11th, 2011

11:52 pm

Is this finally the time that even though im unsure of everything around me, everything changes for the better?

I'm happy with most things everything around me.

I have a muse that drives and inspires me. I think she's more than that though.

I'm beginning to understand how to master film. Its the artistic medium I've always loved.

I understand how to become faster.

I dont know where to go though, or what to do.
But I'm not worried.

Oct. 16th, 2010

01:19 am - Its not the same...

All those new social networking sites... they're not the same.

I remember when "blogging", even before the word came out... people wrote about things deeper in their lives. On xanga, heck on livejournal.

Call it emo or whatever. Strangely though Id rather be able to read that once in a while. At least I know what people are writing comes from deeper within them.

Twitter dosent cut it. Facebook updates are on the surface. Notes are just as bad.

The irony is that were all connected closer together socially.


May. 20th, 2010

07:26 pm - May Lolita Meet

A couple photos from the "Van Tea Party" meetup.

May. 6th, 2010

07:24 pm - City Of Glass Interview

Shot this for a friend. Was waiting for the article to be published before I went around with shameless self promotion.


May. 4th, 2010

12:22 am - cross posting photoblog.


Apr. 23rd, 2010

12:08 am - "Can I Wait"

Its wrong for me to hang on to the thought of her like this, for this long. Four years ago to the week or so, I guess. How is it we can hold on to moments so vividly for so long? I think thats whats bothering me. I can still feel my heart flutter everytime I think about that moment: That sense of confusion, how I wanted to go back and let her know I existed. How we talked. And then it ended as soon as it began, as if just a moment. Im sure we all have memories like this, thoughts that take you so far away from your life as you know it, for a moment. Its all you see in your minds eye.

Then I think, its not so bad.

I dont think about what we could have been or what I could have done. Ive always been glad what happened, happened. I just remember what it was. And go back when im reminded. Today happens to be one of those time.

It proves the hope in my heart hasent died yet. Hope that i have a lot of.

Current Music: Can I Wait - Jason Harwell

Apr. 4th, 2010

11:56 pm - "Volunteering"?

Most conventions seem to require volunteers to pay for admission or membership before applying for volunteer positions. This means their "volunteering" base comes from the people attending themselves. By volunteer I'm talking about the people that do a lot of the work during a convention weekend, the actual work. These are the people who control the crowds, help out attendees, maybe even pick up the garbage. The problem with this is that most people helping out at an event never intend on attending in the first place. There are problems with recruiting from the already limited attendee base. The reasons for why conventions would want to only recruit from their attendee base is unknown to - and escapes – me. If conventions were to recruit from outside their attendee base it would help out an already taxed system.

I'm concerned since I'm one of the photographic coordinators at Anime Evolution. Up until a month ago their volunteer system was the same. I'm running into the issue where I need skilled talent and don't have much to attract their attention. To have people who come in to help out because they want to and expect them to pay to help is absurd. Under the old system, they were asking a lot from people who themselves didn't expect a lot in return.

Anime Evolutions 2009 volunteering system required one to purchase a pass and then apply for a volunteer position, this was even included in the registration confirmation email that was sent to you. If you worked a minimum of hours then you would be reimbursed with the cost of your pass. That system relied on the volunteers faith in the organizing staff, which was abused for the most part.

This isn't inherent to Anime Evolution alone however. I only identify AE since I have first hand experience with the old system.

Below are the volunteer FAQs for Anime North, Sakura Con and Anime Expo:

Anime North:

"Yes, you must register for Anime North BEFORE you can sign up as a volunteer at the volunteer’s desk (to be in the Doubletree hotel). If you work enough hours, you can earn your membership fees back."

Sakura Con:

"Must be a registered/paid attendee."

Anime Expo (for 22h+ volunteering):

"Register online as an attendee. Purchase a full convention pass (membership pass)."

At AE 2009 I was a staff photographer, which technically is a volunteer position. I had paid $35 CDN for a three day pass intending to be a regular attendee. However the communications director at the time gave be the opportunity to be a staffer. At this point I was under the impression that I was a volunteer photographer, which in all technicalities I was. After the convention volunteers are supposed to be reimbursed their pass fee. However, the process is long winded; My experience was getting a bounced cheque from AE Corporation and not getting a real refund until 3 months later. The cheque wasn't even issued by AE officially, mine was from one of the senior staffers.

A conventions attendee base is usually limited by nature. 2009's Anime Evolution had an estimated 5000 guests in attendance. Consider something like the Vancouver Motorcycle Show, which had an estimated attendance of 35000 in the same year. The motorcycle show ran on a Thursday to Sunday schedule and was located in Abbotsford, about an hour away from downtown Vancouver. The latter is a more mainstream event thus its attendance would be higher. AE is a niche event, most people would not go to an anime convention due to its connotations. For one to call on its already small attendee base to volunteer means that the actual attendance is smaller than the estimated number. It also means it self limits its volunteer base. In 2009, there were 46 registered volunteers, which is less than 0.1% of the entire attendee base. Based on that percentage, even if the number of attendees increased it would mean that same percentage of volunteers increase by the same amount. At the same time the amount of work needed to be done by volunteers would also increase. Using this “volunteer from attendee base” of recruitment would mean the number of volunteers is fixed to the number of attendees. I should point out using a percentage is an assumption since this may change every year.

Recruiting from the attendee base directly affects the funding for the convention. Based on the same numbers as above 0.1% of money made from passes sold was lost since volunteer passes are reimbursed. If the percentage of volunteers was increased, that would mean the total number of attendees would decrease, at the same time reducing income. Regardless a loss is incurred. Economically it means the funds needed to sustain the convention leave with the volunteers. Obviously one wouldn't keep the money from volunteers since that would put the convention in bad standing with the general public.

If the number of volunteers was independent from the attendance base it would directly change two things: The number of volunteers available for the convention to work with, and the amount of income a convention could directly make. If recruitment of volunteers was from the general public, it would mean people that otherwise wouldn't attend would volunteer because they have no intention to gain anything from being a participant. Most volunteers intend to give something to the organization they are volunteering for, or to gain experience volunteering for the organization. By recruiting from outside the attendee base there is no income lost made by reimbursing the cost of passes which means money from every pass sold goes directly into the operating cost of the convention. A side benefit is that there would be no need for book keeping of refunds. The last point only applies to anime conventions since they seem to be the only ones that require volunteers to buy passes.

The main reasons for requiring volunteers to pay for passes seem to be as deterrent for not volunteering. I do not agree with this since the amount of people that would do so is small. If volunteers were drawn from the general public and the numbers were very high, even if a few decided to not show it would not affect the entire volunteer base. Those who do decide to volunteer and skip out could just be banned from attending the convention altogether. These are just some of many ideas that are done by other organizations who rely on volunteers to do work.

As a note, it seems like a lot of these conventions are trying to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to running the show.

As of 2010, the volunteer system has changed to something more in line with most other events I've seen, such as the Olympics: VANOC's volunteering page. The only “catch” being filling out a five page application form.

Animethon does something different from the conventions mentioned above:

“All volunteers who pre-register with us will be allowed free admittance without having to pay for a pass day-of, provided they are registered before August...”

Finally AE's 2010 volunteer application process:

“This year for 2010, it is not mandatory to hold a 2010 attendee badge.“

Which its self is modeled after the Vancouver International Film Festivals volunteer system:

“Work 32 hours - shifts can be flexible, but you should expect to work four-hour shifts“

As for photo staffers, they register as modified staff: A staff form and a portfolio showing relevant work. I have the flexibility that I do not need to rely on the attendee base for volunteers, since the number of skilled photographers is already low. Add to that the number of skilled photographers tho would attend an anime convention would mean I would have very few people to draw upon.

This is something all conventions should look at carefully, especially if they're small like AE is. They really cannot afford to put anymore burden on their small attendee base by calling on a disproportionately small amount of volunteers. They deal with more than their share of attendees.

Dec. 8th, 2009

11:45 pm - HCB and Albert Watson.

They were both right in their own way. About photographers.

In this day and age, with digital cameras, I'm taken by the amount of people who would spend thousands on photo gear, and not a dime on printing equipment. Isn't the printing process a part of photography anymore. Fuck flickr and facebook, picasa and all those other websites. Gelatin, fiber, paper, canvas. Photos should be printed, they have been for the last 100 or so years.

I guess the real difference is if you're a photographer that's a photographer or a photographer that is an artist. There's a subtle difference.

A photographer who's just a photographer would be like HCB. He had no interest in the process of printing, just capturing moments. Which is fine. The art was in his craft, his method of working.

Fast forward to about now, and Albert Watson in an interview bluntly comes out and says a photographer who's serious about their art should be printing their own prints. "This should be set in stone."

I agree with that, if you're not just capturing images though. Its only if you're an artist that happens to have a camera.

You've got to live through your print. The print is the end product of your vision, why let anyone else decide that?

Unless that is, you don't care how your work lives on.

Print your own work, I don't care how. Old school with the fixer and chemical trays or digital print.

Unless you want to be just called a photographer. Just. Who just makes images.

The digital printer is easier I think. But darkroom puts more soul into the photo.

As for me Ill eventually have both.

I'll be printing my own work.

Nov. 30th, 2009

08:14 pm

I take it back.

Maybe I will use this. For the same reasons I had this from the last time. Stupid Facebook is linked to Xanga so people can follow it there. I know I can take the association off but whatever. This is easier.

Sep. 19th, 2009

11:19 pm

Not again.