Went to this months Full Indie game developers meetup and recorded the presentations. Some great work is going on and I am arranging for a group of people to attend with me for the next meetup. Here are links to the websites.
Last night all the images from the camera were pulled to the computer. There were just over twelve hundred over the last two months. Its going to be a lot of work to organize all those images!
In this weeks gallery some images that stood out to me are DownTownVancouver_002 and GilfordMall_018. I thought they both had nice composition, the latter one looks like it’s a still from some modern art movie 😛
Something often noticed when reviewing pictures is that photographers get stared at a lot. Almost always I see people looking strait into the lens in the photos. Not sure if they are concerned that someone is taking their picture or if its boring to walk around you look at people doing something different for entertainment.
For the last few weeks there has been a focus on taking themed photos so we can begin the process of making easy to search reference on TheEnvironmentGuy. You can look forward to gallery’s of things like doors, machinery, pipes, architecture, plants, signs and so on. Random art photos for entertainment and drawing/painting studies like these will continue to be posted as well.
For the first time in two years there is finally a Blender Meetup in Vancouver that actually meets up! I had the opportunity to meet a couple of industry artists as well as hobbyists at the groups first ever event. You might recognize a few of them, the organizer Mike Pan created the splash image for Blender 2.72b start up screen, there was also Eoin Duffy an academy award winner for the short film ‘The Missing Scarf‘, and a software developer from Nerd Corps came.
Despite the impressiveness of an academy award I though the most interesting highlight was a hobbyist named Julio. He said he was a chef that quit his job to learn 3D graphics full-time so he could get a job as an artist at a studio. Really look forward as to what becomes of him, he showed us his first ever environment scene and I have to say it was way better than most people’s first.
You can check out the group and even join if you’re in the area here. I love to meet and we had some great discussions.
Photographic reference helps thinking up new environment ideas, so in this week some interesting things found was a train station in plastic wrap… I thought it was interesting. Along with that there are some interesting architectural items in this weeks selection.
Something that’s going to change in future photos on TheEnvironmentGuy.com is a reduction in branding scale. I feel the previous overlay elements are too distracting and take away from the true purpose as reference/inspiration. There is also a plan to make themed photo selections so that its easy to search the site for a specific reference, such as if you wanted to make a light fixture you could do a site search and get images of lite fixtures.
Quite often I pass by homeless people begging for spare change or food when traveling through downtown Vancouver. The sharp pain of an empty stomach is not at all pleasant and I know that the person begging isn’t just trying to rip me off if they ask for a meal instead of turning everyone’s pockets inside out.
Trapped in a hallway about to exit to the street and surprise a homeless man standing right in-front of the entrance to ‘shake sown’ the pedestrians. Normally this means look busy and give a simile and wave with a sorry sort of look as you quickly pass by. This time I thought I was lucky because someone else got there just a few steps before me giving an opportunity for the next person to slip unnoticed behind him. Little did I know just how efficient this man was.
As I passed he sharply turned around and held a paper cup right at my chest asking if I could spare some change. It wasn’t that I disliked him personally but I was broke without a job and had deadlines coming up the next day. In no more than another month I too would have a financial situation like his own. But instead of getting away he stayed uncomfortably close to my side and asked a new question that asked if I would give him something to eat.
Food seemed reasonable and how much would a meal cost anyways, six maybe seven dollars? So I asked him what he wanted and he replied “just a sandwich, we can go to the store over there”. So I thought alright, this will only take a minute or two. I did ask what he wanted so it would be hard to back out now.
No more than ten seconds later we are in the store with the homeless guy in the lead. Obviously he had done this before and knew exactly what he wanted. And that’s when it happened, he started asking for other things such as three packs of cigarets. Unfortunately for him I am strongly against smoking so there was no way I would give him that. But that was only the first thing he asked for. Once we got to the aisle where the food was I realized what he meant by a sandwich was actually a jar of jam, jar of peanut butter, loaf of bread. Now that cost estimate in my head multiplied three times but knowing he was homeless and that it wouldn’t change my already dismal bank account it rationalized in my head. All the while he was asking for approval of each item just as his hand was about to pick them up and I agreed to all of it.
After that he wanted a box of Cheerios. It seemed the last thing he wanted so I was thinking give it to him and it will be over. So he got that and we went to the register. At the register the counter had a glass top with lotto tickets under it. He tapped and pointed at the ticket he wanted. Lotto being one of the other things I am against it was easy to decline, but if it wasn’t for personal feelings its possible he would have it.
Finally paying for the food he asked if its ok if he went outside and he was gone. Didn’t see him again, no talk or anything. Feeling disappointed I went on with the plans for the rest of the day with an foreboding feeling in my gut since I just spent $20 that could break this months budget.
Thinking about it now I realized that experience had a huge potential opportunity that went almost completely wasted. The only reason it’s not wasted is because of the gains from spending the time to analyze and write about it. Not only was that man a great negotiator but had I been upfront and spoke with him I could have gained more from his knowledge and experience as well as got some pictures which would help me with my art along with a possible friendship. So focused on the future the present slipped by.
The environment around us is largely shaped by humans. Including the homeless whose entire life is in the public environment. Their contributions deserve our respect and appreciation. To ignore those who live within and effect it comes as a great loss to any artist who wishes to better his or hers ability to create compelling art. Even if your socially awkward they are go to resources for photographers looking for interesting sites and an ideal source of life story’s.
One week afterwards I now keep some non perishable food in my bag to hand out. Not only is it easy to give when there are items on hand but its an instant way to meet an often overlooked social group. That $20 was an investment that has had payoffs far greater than its monetary value.
For the last two years I have been riding the public transit system in Vancouver Canada and the surrounding city’s. So many times we sleep, pretend to have something important to do on the cell phone or otherwise zone out of the environment around us. A tragic sin which even I must admit to being guilty of. So this week I made a conscious decision to stop at some stations I usually don’t stop at and pay special attention to all the things in the area. There is so many cool things that have gone unnoticed and unfortunately the pictures here cant possibly do justice to the cause. Every object is unique and every surface tells a life story. A story that can only be read if you take the time to silently observe and reflect.
I think my favorite image from this gallery is Chinatown Train 003. The way the potlights create such defined ring patterns on the floor is unusual for a light fixture. Not only that but the location was unusual as well. Its a secluded underground tunnel to give wheelchair access to the trains. Despite its busy location it holds a very quite and secluded atmosphere, it even has a glass wall where you look into the unlit train tunnels. Unfortunate it was simply too dark for the camera to take a decent photo.
As an ending note In the next couple weeks there will be more photos from the transit system coming up, as well as some digital sculpture and painting.