Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ontario Garter Snake

At Heart Lake Conservation Area


Chris by PJMixer
Chris, a photo by PJMixer on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
I took the family to Heart Lake Conservation area for the afternoon. After a tiring longer-than-planned nature walk, I let the kids cool off in the splash pad area. As I sat down to relax and read my book in the shade I noticed this man playing guitar and singing. I read for a little and as he was packing up I told him I liked his music and he told me he'd only been playing for a few weeks.

I'm not certain exactly what prompted him to offer up more about himself, but when he told me he was a professional sports coach, I was all ears and quickly introduced myself and opened up the idea of a photo and the 100 Stranger project.

Chris was full of stories, most of which revolve around boxing and his side job as a movie stunt double. Chris is originally from Guyana and moved to Canada when he was 12, he lives in nearby Brampton. He excitedly showed me lots of pictures of his current boxer along with celebrity shots with the likes of Gretzky, Jamie Fox, Mr T. (who he doubled for, mohawk and all), and most impressive, Muhammad Ali. He'd even met Princess Diana during a charity event.

But boxing is Chris' passion. His uncle, brother and cousin were all Olympians, with his cousin Troy Ross/ being his training focus today. Troy is Canada's top professional boxer, current Commonwealth Champion and 3rd ranked in the world today in the cruiserweight class. Chris has crossed paths with many famous boxers and grew up with and worked with Lennox Lewis.

He was at the park with his daughter and we talked a little about meeting people and the relationships and connections that can be made. My wife came over and Chris didn't tire of telling telling us stories and sharing his excitement for life. We touched on photography briefly and Chris said he still enjoys his Nikon D50. I took a few shots, but asked him to take his sunglasses off for a shot - and I'm really pleased with this boxer's stare down shot ! I just finished reading his Ringside Report interview online and found out that he is also a mechanic for CN. Wow, he really does have a lot going on in his life, but as he says in closing, "Whatever I’m doing I give it 100%".

Almost of an afterthought, Chris says to my wife, "look up Valerie Amos". Valerie Amos is another famous cousin of Chris', she is Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator for The United Nations. How many more connections and stories does he have ?

I'm so pleased I made the simple gesture of complimenting him on his music which opened up into meeting such an interesting man. I hope I'll have the chance to meet him again one day, maybe take a few shots of Troy and definitely hear more of his stories.

Chris is #98 in my 100 strangers project.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Via Flickr:
I noticed that Orchard View Blvd in the Yonge Eglinton area has been closed off for the last few weeks with chairs loosely arranged for locals to have a chat or enjoy their lunch. On my walk home today, it was the spot for a farmer's market and I looked around for a daily shot. I spotted the beautiful fresh fruits and veg at the Highmark Farms stall and Zac asked me to sit down for a chat. He works the 100 acre farm in Cookstown with five other members of his family and enjoys coming into the Toronto 3 times a week for local farmer's markets. Zac wasn't that keen on a portrait, but he let me take a few shots as we were talking and this last shot was my favourite as he had a little fun with the camera. You can find Zac and the farm on twitter at!/highmarkfarms.

Zac is #97 in my 100 strangers project.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Layout D bid

Layout D bid - #207/365 by PJMixer
Layout D bid - #207/365, a photo by PJMixer on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
The GOAT player in blue kept hold of the disc.  For more shots of this big game click here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Olympian kids

Olympian kids - #203/365 by PJMixer
Olympian kids - #203/365, a photo by PJMixer on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
My kids just got back from camp today, there were pretty tired, but my son summoned just enough energy to put a smile on my face for this one.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Via Flickr:
It was a very hot day in Toronto and I was looking for a shot of someone playing in the water fountains at Yonge Dundas Square. I usually avoid photographing children for obvious reasons, but in this case I thought I'd take a chance at a more direct approach. The boy's Mom was the enjoying the water as well and they both looked so happy and relaxed, so I simply asked the mom if I could take a photo of her son. She quickly said "sure" and asked if I was with a newspaper. I told her photography was a hobby and after a few shots I gave her my card so I could share the photos with her.

Hardev and his mom are from Burlington, Ontario and were visiting Toronto for the day.

Hardev is #96 in my 100 strangers project.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


38c - #201/365 by PJMixer
38c - #201/365, a photo by PJMixer on Flickr.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Sun...Priceless! - #200/365 by PJMixer
Sun...Priceless! - #200/365, a photo by PJMixer on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
My wife on her birthday.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Art by Rothko; composition inspired by Carolyn

Via Flickr:
Part of The Abstract Expressionist New York exhibit at The Art Gallery of Ontario.

My brother used to be a professor of art, this work and Mark Rothko are perhaps his favourites. My sister-in-law took a shot like this with my his silhouette a few weeks before I got a chance to see the exhibit. Unfortunately I visited the exhibit alone so only had a strangers to use for this version of the shot, thanks a ton for the idea Carolyn.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Why write stuff down

Via Flickr:
...when you've got a decent camera on your smartphone to record big or small events; nice back nine 9 buddy

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Friday, July 01, 2011

My American sister-in-law and my English Mom on Canada Day

Late night silly bugger time

Via Flickr:
This is the first time in 596 days, that I've had to cheat a little with the time for my daily shot. I had family and friends visiting all week and time just flew by and on this occasion we had a late dinner and before I knew it it was past midnight and I hadn't taken a single picture all day. I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped this one about 12:40am (although the exif info shows a wrong time thanks to PS Elements bug, but that's another story). I think I may have taken advantage of a late night / early morning shot the other way around (classifying it as a shot for the next day), so I hope you'll understand and agree with my family that it's ok to give yourself a break on occasion !