Here are some photos from my summer (so far – it’s not over yet! Right?).

In more web-related news, I spent a lot of July working on the Toronto Kiss Map, an superfun interactive web app dreamed up by Chris Kay Fraser where people place kiss stories on a map of Toronto. This was definitely the most comprehensive project I’ve done to date, in that I did the design, front-end development, and programming. I’ve made a lot of websites before, but I’d never made anything quite so interactive (or JavaScript heavy, for that matter). It was definitely a challenge, but totally worthwhile. It also proves that you can use WordPress for almost everything these days – I routed all of the map submissions through WordPress and have them storing as comments (for ease of moderation and spam filtering). Totally not what WordPress was ever intended for originally, but there you go.

Cherry Blossom Girl

Today I went to High Park for what is probably the last day of Toronto’s cherry blossom season. In other parts of the world, they bloom earlier and last a bit longer, but because of the climate here, our peak cherry blossom season only lasts for a few days to a week! Tomorrow calls for rain, which will probably wash most of the niceness away. :(

But hey, that’s why cameras were invented! And on that note, here are some of my own photos from today.

B&W Cherry Blossoms

B&W Cherry Blossoms

B&W Cherry Blossoms

B&W Cherry Blossoms

In conclusion, I’m excited that spring is finally here! I’ve been keeping busy these days with a few freelance web projects, as well as doing some graphic design. I just completed a fairly self-centered project: designing my own business cards. I can’t wait ’til they show up some time next week! I’ll post pictures once they arrive.


• The collage above is made with my own pictures, using one of my favourite toys, Poladroid. I know I’ve mentioned Poladroid enough, but it’s so fun (and kitschy) that I can’t help myself.
• Post title is referencing the song — wait for it — Cherry Blossom Girl, by Air. Have a listen. It’s pretty.

Hello from Austin!

Because photo posts are my favourite, here are some photos from my very brief visit to Austin, Texas.

Here Kitty Kitty
Here (or hear), Kitty Kitty!

Ohh, so pretty. Down by the river.

Relieves Fatigue
Only 5 cents! Relieves fatigue! If this picture were a bit more zoomed out, you’d see that this is referring to Wrigley’s Spearmint gum.

No Parkin'
(I guess people didn’t take the sign too seriously.)

As a Canadian, this was the first time I’d seen The Onion out in the wild like this. I was obviously pretty excited.

Photos: Colours of London

Very Red Café
Red: At a café in West Kensington.

The Headless Horseman :D
Green: A headless horseman! (ha ha :D)

Lord Nelson
Blue: Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square

As some of you might know, I travelled to Europe (specifically, England, France, Italy, and the Netherlands) this past May and June. I am just starting to process the photos, and what a daunting task it’s proving to be! Digital photography is convenient and cost effective (no more wasted film!), but also opens up the possibility of taking thousands of pictures that you’ll never have time to edit. I’m really enjoying going back over the photos, though, because they remind me of my awesome trip that now feels like a crazy dream. I was only in London for two days (tragic!!!) so that part of the trip really did go by in a whirlwind! More travel pictures are available at my flickr.

♥ Dara.

Photos: High Park Noir

Old school

Sometimes, there’s something to be said for imperfection.

Although I get (usually) crisp, clean images out of my digital cameras (except in low lighting situations where I stubbornly refuse to use the flash), there is something to be said for the grain and noise and imperfection of pictures that come out of a film SLR. Now, these images are more speckled and worn-looking because they were developed at home and I’m not exactly the most skilled film developer, having never taken photography in school. My brother and I use a bathroom with no windows to develop our rolls of film, and block off the light coming through the door with a blanket, hoping it keeps light tight. It’s a lot of fun in the end, though it’s a bit time consuming and frustrating when you’re trying to open film canisters and load film onto spools in the dark! After we’ve developed and washed our film, we scan it and then deal with the images on the computer. Somewhere along the way, a bit of dust and scratching made their way into the final product, but I think it adds something to the old look of the photos. These photos look like they could have been taken decades ago, instead of within the year. I love film for totally different reasons than I love digital cameras, in the same way that I enjoy vinyl but mostly listen to MP3s in reality.

High Park Noir

High Park Noir

Speaking of film, I’m quite sad that Polaroid is stopping production of its film sometime this year… it’s time to stock up! :( I hope that another company will keep producing the film so that I can freely use my Polaroid camera (a $6 Value Village find!) without wondering if the shot I’m taking will be my last.

♥ Dara.