2011 was my 6th year attending the Northern Voice personal media conference. I took the opportunity this time to play around more with my DSLR camera. I got to talking with photographer John Biehler about shooting using a fisheye lens, and he was kind enough to lend me his for the second day of the conference.
Fisheye is such a different perspective, it took me some time to get a feel for what it works well on. Here are a few of my favorite fisheye shots from the day (click to enlarge):
The eastside cultural crawl inspired me to buff up my photography. Thinking about what I would show if I was displaying a photo exhibit, I went back and remastered one of my all-time favorite shots. Click to enlarge.
Lantern Park - Beacon at Main and Terminal is an entry in the VPSN "Where's the Square?" design competition, created by myself and 2 friends. It's a re-design of the large park between Main St Skytrain station and Pacific Central station in Vancouver.
Critical Mass uses ad hoc organization through the ride. Every cyclists looks out for each other. It's important for safety that all the bicyclists stay together in one large group. Safety in numbers.
Stop and "cork" open intersections to cars. This is a very rewarding experience and a good opportunity to see the beautiful parade go by. After corking you'll be at the back of the ride, and can play the peloton game of racing to the front.
People at the front need to choose the route in real-time and shouldn't get too far ahead. The group will stop after the top of bridges or big hills and let everyone catch up. If the mass is big it should stay on larger streets so we have more lanes and can ride together.
Karen Fung is doing an amazing job captaining the SkyTrain Unconference Blog. There's an open in-person meeting on Saturday with Translink. I don't think I'll make it, so here are some thoughts on their targeted issue of Safety.
SkyTrain stops are are hubs that lots of people pass through. Usually when there are many people around safety is not a concern. Problems can arise when a hub has relative down-time (empty except for a few people) or in quiet areas close-by.
The worst case is when you get off a skytrain or bus in a totally deserted area, or with only a few sketchy people and nobody else.
One powerful path to improvement is to build more community and commercial services around our transit hubs. A coffee shop, restaurant or bar right beside a transit hub is a world above a deserted hub in terms of safety.
Vancouver doesn't do this very well. Many large transit hubs are completely devoid of any services. These hugely traveled areas could support a variety of businesses, or serve as excellent locations for community activities if allowed.
Location, location, location! Translink needs to build more sticky activity in its centers. Safety through active community is the real way to improve the situation in and around transit hubs.
Locking the system down with turnstiles or more cops is an easy sound-bite solution, but doesn't address the root of the problem.
Zipcar and the Co-operative Auto Network both have cars parked right outside my building. Members can use the cars when they need one. This would be great except for the fact that neither of them will let me join.
Zipcar and the Co-op both require customers to have 3 year driving records. I only recently got my BC driver's license, and I still have my N, labeled as a novice driver.
As a new driver, I think I'm the prime demographic for a car sharing service. Lock me into your program when I'm young and getting started driving and there's a good chance they'd have me as a customer for a long, long time.
It's been good to see the 2 services competing against each other by adding more locations around Vancouver. I'm hopeful that one will see the opportunity here and create a way for new drivers to join.
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