Subscribe in a reader

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ruth Roach Pierson

Doors open at 7:30pm tonight: featured reader Ruth Roach Pierson at the Tree Reading Series. Royal Oak II Pub, 161 Laurier Ave. East, Ottawa

Ruth Roach Pierson reading from her second book of poetry, Aide-mémoire, in front of an Ottawa audience at the Tree Reading Series. Upcoming Tree readers include Steven Price (March 13th) and Don McKay (March 27th where this reading will be held at the National Library and Archives on Wellington Street in Ottawa.) My first experience reading Pierson's work was about 18 or 19 years ago at Concordia University where I read her academic text, They're Still Women After All: The Second World War and Canadian Womanhood for a undergrad history class. It was interesting read as I remember.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Anarchists are a tough interview

One of my all time favourite photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson, appeared on the venerable Charlie Rose show a few years back. Normally, I love each and every Charlie Rose interview I watch. Not quite so with this Cartier-Bresson session. Most of the interview was like pulling teeth. The photgrapher was so self-effacing and modest it made for an interesting yet awkward interview at times. Still, it is worth to watch in case you missed it the first time around when it aired in 2000. See for yourself:

(interview runs nearly 1 hour) via

Little pleasant splashes


Thursday, February 22, 2007

A New Queen Crowned

'Vocab' aka DJ Morales was de-throned last evening from CBC's annual slam poetry all-star face off. CBC's Alan Neal relishes in the moment while wresting the crown from Vocab, the 2006 winner.

Q the Romantic Revolutionary aka Queeverne Kirk the newly crowned queen (again) for 2007. She won the prize originally in 2005 in Ottawa.

Q the Romantic Revolutionary muses on this year's poetic theme of Made in Canada.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

CBC Poetry Face Off All Star Edition 2007

Wednesday night at 6:30 at the NAC Fourth Stage
Come hear the "best of the best" Ottawa winners from the past five years:
Matt Peake, Jim Larwill, Q The Romantic Revolutionary, DJ Morales, and John Akpata

(nice to see my headshot photo on the CBC site for Jim Larwill. He looks so moody, but he's a heck of a nice guy who's going to be a grandfather shortly. Congrats, Jim!)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Baby Matthew

Matthew posing for a glamour baby magazine.

Not really.

He's eating oatmeal and rice mush now. He had some steamed acorn squash the other day, too. He's a good kid and we loves him to bits.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Four Horsemen Project

coming to Ottawa March 13 - April 1, 2007!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Love-Song by John W. MacDonald
Love-Song, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Love-Song is dedicated to my wife, Julie. On this day, a decade ago, I proposed to her. It is also dedicated to all the wives and fiances who are fighting overseas in the Canadian and American Forces. (Thankfully, my wife is not one of them.)

You may have seen a similar photo online before and mine is just a copy of this same technique. As I did not have a red filter I de-saturated the outline leaving the colour as photographed with a high kelvin white balance. When you click on the photo, be sure to view photo at its largest size.

Strobist info: item is lit by one strobe. SB-800 without diffuser on Manual x 1/32 from above and behind angled down to cast the shadow on the Compact Oxford English Dictionary.

Learn how to light at Strobist.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love Your Photo

FAQ 1:"Hello, Mr. John. W. MacDonald. I love your photo of ___________. I would like permission to use it for __________ publication / display / calendar, etc.. Is this possible? Of course, I would give you credit. Thanks!"

Wow, thank you. I am flattered. And more importantly, thank you for asking permission. So many people may think that it's okay to cut and paste and use it at their discretion. Mostly this is unintentional. Thankfully so.

Providing credit to is great. However, I consider myself a 'freelance photographer' and I derive my sole income as such. That said, providing photo credit is a good first start. Just because the photos on my site are freely visible to the public does not mean that the content is free for the taking.

If you represent a business, a for-profit organization, an educational institution, bookstore, receive government, advertising, and or grant funding, then I can quote my rates depending on your needs. The ideal situation is that you (the interested buyer) offers an amount initially and we (quickly) negotiate from there. To me, starting off the request with, "We have no budget for your photography but will give you credit" is not a great opening line. I don't expect to work for free and would not expect the same of you. Potential offer of "promise of future work" is also poor form, in my humble opinion, especially when simultaneously requesting free photos.

Usually the goods are delivered the same day the request is received, and I can work to a tight deadline. I provide (printed/electronic PDF) invoice(s) for your use. Chances are if we cannot ultimately negotiate a deal I will have to, unfortunately, decline your request.

Normally, I put a (copyright watermark on my published, online photos. This can be removed for your purpose if you require light box comps. Additionally, a higher resolution 300 dpi photo can be provided for your print needs. Just ask!
In most cases, photo will be delivered before payment is made. It's just a good, old-fashioned and efficient way to do business.
I hope this clarifies your question. Thank you again for stopping by. I would love to do business with you and provide photographic imagery that exceeds your needs.

I love to take high-quality (photo-journalistic/candid-style) event photos, and with your patronage I can do more of what I love to do. Contact me at john @ for details or call 613-282-1568.

FAQ 2:"I love your style. Do you shoot weddings?"

Yes. Even though I do event and portrait photography, 'wedding photography' demands an intense and intimate communication with the client with specific shot requirements and usually on multiple locations. There are usually many photographers in your area who just do wedding photography. That's-all-they-do. They are usually very good at what they do. That's why they earn the big bucks. Looking for a selection of great wedding photographers? I suggest start looking here: or just contact me and we'll discuss your requirements.

FAQ 3:
"I don't care that you're not a 'wedding photographer'. Would you at least shoot my engagement photos?

I certainly can. The flat-rate fee is $500 CDN for a two to three hour session in the greater Ottawa area. It would be a very informal and fun affair done in a classic, creative photo-journalistic style. Wedding rates start at $2000.00 CDN. Contact me to discuss your requirements and dream day.

FAQ 4:
"You photos are amazing! You must have people calling you for work all-the-time! Who are some of your clients?

Thanks. There is always time for more work! Here are some selected clients and publications:

A+U Publishing Co.
Amnesty International Canada
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE)
ASICS America Corporation
The Globe and Mail
Grass Roots Press
Rufus Books
Urbann Lecturne
Accenture Inc.
L'actualite magazine
Maisonneuve magazine
Sabian Ltd.
Carleton University
University of Regina
Edmonton Journal
Ottawa International Writers Festival
Pearson Education Canada
The Onion
Palimpsest Press
Salt Spring Theatre Alive Society
Sierra Youth Coalition
Children's Aid Society - Ottawa
Rotman School of Management -University of Toronto
Award magazine - Canada Wide Media
Canada Army Run
Halcrow Yolles
Maclean's Magazine
Locus Magazine - Oakland, CA - New York City
Yoga + Joyful Living magazine
VIA destinations magazine (Les Éditions Gesca)
University of Alberta in partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
ArtVoice (Buffalo, NY) magazine
CanWest News (Asian Heritage Month site)
Ottawa Citizen newspaper
New Yorker Magazine
Pearson Education-Longman Publishers
Quill & Quire Magazine
Canadian Business Magazine
ECW Press
Chaudiere Books
National Capital Commission - NCC
Nightwood Editions - Harbour Publishing
Broken Jaw Press
Brick Books
Signature Editions
Arsenal Pulp Press
McGilligan Books
Investors Group
Pooka Press
The Buzz, P.E.I's Arts & Entertainment newspaper
Ottawa Magazine
DCI Studios (greeting card)
Various authors & artists
Insert your name here!

Call 1-613-282-1568. Based in Ottawa, Ontario. Travel is welcome.

FAQ 5:
Do you offer hair and make-up services for a portrait session?

Not as a matter of course. But I do have several recommendations. You may hire someone yourself, or I could hire someone on your behalf. Please note, the fees will be adjusted accordingly.

FAQ 6:
Do you sell prints of your photographs?

Yes, I do. Thanks for asking!

À La Carte Price List for Prints:

I have put together a selection of print costs for your information. Please specify which photo you are interested in. These prints are for your personal, non-commercial use only. Copyright remains with the photographer.

Print Size $CDN (each)
4x6" = $20.00
5x7" = $20.00
8x10" - 8.5x11-12" = $40.00
11x14" = $60.00
12x18" - 13x19" = $75.00
16x20" = $175.00
20x24" = $195.00
24x36" = $295.00

Most times I can quote a custom size to fit your framing requirements.

All prints are made on quality photographic paper. Please add $6.00 for s&h. Prints larger than 8.5x11" can be shipped in a tube to avoid any damage to the photo(s) in transit.

Please note that some photos may need to be cropped to fit certain size formats. I also can make photo calendars, greeting cards, and more. Please inquire for details.

There are several options for payment: I take online, secure payments via, and also accept cash or cheque. Let me know how you intend to proceed. Thanks again for your interest and support!

Kind regards,

John W. MacDonald

Surreal Cereal Serial

My little story takes place at a tropical villa.
I fell in love with a flavour, yes it was vanilla
Mi-ni wheats wheats wheats I wanted vanilla for so long
Mini wheats wheats wheats it's high in fiber you can't go wrong
Vanilla flavour mixed with wheat put it together it can't be beat
Vanilla flavour mixed with wheat tastes so good, what a treat
New vanilla-flavoured mini wheats cereal
Tastes so good, good, good

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Conejo Muerto

Conejo muerto en Ottawa en una caminata de domingo.

Tony Fouhse’s Lens

Just followed a link from Fouhse's blog to a recent profile article written on him by Erin Letson of Capital Arts Online.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Million Penguins

Interesting developments across the pond. Jeremy Ettinghausen of Penguin Publishing has created a wiki style collaborative project where practically anyone can work together on creating their novel in progress.

One of the first questions in their blog: "Can a million penguins sitting at a million keyboards together write a novel? Let’s find out."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

All Fecund In Its Nuttiness

This salty youtube vid is a must view for fans of Samuel Beckett and James Joyce.

Pitch 'n' Putt with Joyce 'n' Beckett

Where's Amanda Congdon?

Oh, here she is. Amanda appears online at ABC News. A bit of a career upgrade from her former days on's vlog.

daily monster via rocketboom

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Christmas Card Favourite

Little-Matthew-as-Santa-in-the-buff didn't make the card cut last Christmas. As you may remember we chose another photo for the 2006 Christmas card from "the MacDonald's of Greely". Looking back at some of the *thousands* of photos of Matthew, I really like this one. It's the hint o'cheek factor that I find so cute.

Archiving the Blog

Yet another blog title that sounds dirty but really isn't.

Spent the majority of tonight working out the kinks and pains of archiving when you're clueless about file names and paths in directories and sub-directories. FTP vs. SFTP, etc. Anyhoo, I've decided on a black background for my weblog. I might switch back to white later. But let's give this a go for now. There still are a few tweaks left to be done, but I'll save these headaches for later. I want to make the page wider to accommodate wide photos without wrapping over the right side of the page.

*Hopefully*, the page will be somewhat faster to load for you. Sorry about that if you didn't have high-speed Internet access. I have enabled automatic archiving on a monthly schedule. This sounds reasonable, right? Also, there will be only seven days worth of posts at any given time on this page. Also, very reasonable. Now I'll have to get some sort of blog links entered on the page to the right to make it look like I have friends.

Who am I kidding? Ta for now.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Lacing Up

Part of the skating activity is waiting: waiting for a bench to sit on, waiting with a hot chocolate to warm your hands, waiting for others to don their skates, waiting to catch your breath after 7 km of skating, waiting for your toes to thaw out, waiting in line to return rented skates, and waiting for the right moment to snap a photo.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

2007 Skating Season of Rideau Canal Opens

It's official - the green flags are raised. The world's longest skateway (7km) on the Rideau Canal opens fully, anyway, tomorrow at 6:30 am. Just in time for Ottawa's Winterlude. Come to Ottawa and eat Beaver Tails! I am thinking of heading down to snap a few pics but we'll see if I am awake or not at 6:30am.

FYI, Get your ice condition updates here on the NCC website. Or call 613-239-5234 for skateway conditions (updated daily) or go to the Capital Infocentre, 90 Wellington Street, Ottawa (across from Parliament Hill). Conditions are currently good to very good for skating today.