Top Photos of 2016: The Hike to Silverton Falls

Top Photos of 2016: The Hike to Silverton Falls

On the flank of Castle Mountain, there is a short hike to Silverton Falls.  This was found just before you head up the mountain and the stream that comes off the falls.  It’s a short but great hike with an amazing view of the falls and the Bow Valley.  Taken with my Samsung WB30F, a camera I had wished Samsung had kept making and updating.

Mark’s latest project

Last fall I saw that Mark was taking Yearbook as a class.  I kept telling him that there is no way he gets a credit for taking yearbook.  We had that conversation at home, on the walk to Bedford Road (to fix his computer generated schedule) and right into the guidance councilors office where I found out that yes, he gets a credit for it.

As part of doing this, he has been assigned to photograph the guys basketball team all season long.  You can find his shots from the game on his website.

Senior boys basketball action at Bedford Road Collegiate.  Photo by Mark Cooper

He took a lot of photos, only a few turned out and he realized he photographed the ball too much and not the players but he had fun and now has a season of both junior boys and senior boys basketball to photograph.  I guess that means I have a season of photos to help him critique. 

Some new gear

Some of you care about this more than others but I bought an Olympus OM-D E-M5 II the other day.

I don’t really need another camera but if I am going to start posting a daily video, I wanted something that would do a good job.  I have a couple of video cameras but I wanted something better with a larger sensor and a better lens.  I also wanted good sound so it needed to be able to have an external microphone.

Yes, my Pentax K3 takes video but it is compressed and doesn’t focus well at all.  It looks like the video was taken with a potato.

I looked at a Canon EOS Rebel T5i as well.  It’s cheap right now, a good camera, and Canon has the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 pancake lens.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 II takes good video, amazing stills, has a port for an external mic and has five axis image stabilization.  Perfect for video.

It’s very similar to the Olympus OM-D E-M10 II that Wendy uses but it has a flip out screen and has the external microphone port.

It is also much smaller and lighter than my Pentax  If we are going to hike at Lake O’Hara next summer in Yoho National Park, I am going to have to lose a bunch of weight.  I see no point of losing weight and then bringing all sorts of weight with me back up those peaks.  For that a lightweight kit of a mirrorless camera and lenses makes a lot of sense.

That being said, I may bring my Pentax and a Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM with me.  If I am ever going to want an ultra wide angle lens, it will be for that trip.  There is the Olympus  M. Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0 – 5.6 but it isn’t as wide (I know it looks wider but it isn’t, trust me) and it is expensive.

This means for video, I will be taking a Nikon Keymission 80.  it is a camera that is literally designed for video while hiking.  I will pick up one this spring before we go.

The Disruptive Career of Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor

An unflattering look at the incoming National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn.

In 2012, Flynn became director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in charge of all military attachés and defense-intelligence collection around the world. He ran into serious trouble almost immediately. I’ve spoken with some two dozen former colleagues who were close to Flynn then, members of the D.I.A. and the military, and some who worked with him in civilian roles. They all like Flynn personally. But they described how he lurched from one priority to another and had trouble building a loyal team. “He made a lot of changes,” one close observer of Flynn’s time at the D.I.A. told me. “Not in a strategic way—A to Z—but back and forth.”

Flynn also began to seek the Washington spotlight. But, without loyal junior officers at his side to vet his facts, he found even more trouble. His subordinates started a list of what they called “Flynn facts,” things he would say that weren’t true, like when he asserted that three-quarters of all new cell phones were bought by Africans or, later, that Iran had killed more Americans than Al Qaeda. In private, his staff tried to dissuade him from repeating these lines.

Flynn’s temper also flared. He berated people in front of colleagues. Soon, according to former associates, a parallel power structure developed within the D.I.A. to fence him in, and to keep the nearly seventeen-thousand-person agency working. “He created massive antibodies in the building,” the former colleague said.

Flynn had been on the job just eighteen months when James Clapper told him he had to go. Clapper said that he could stay for another nine months, until his successor was vetted and confirmed, according to two people familiar with their conversation. Flynn was livid.

After he left government, Flynn followed the path of many other retired generals and got on the television and speaking circuit. He wrote a book with Michael Ledeen, a controversial neoconservative foreign-policy analyst, about defeating terrorism. Islam is not a religion, Flynn and Ledeen wrote, but a political ideology bent on destroying Judeo-Christian civilization. Flynn began saying that he had been fired because President Obama disagreed with his views on terrorism and wanted to hide the growth of isis. I haven’t found anyone yet who heard him say this while he was still in the military. In the past, I’ve asked Flynn directly about this claim; he has told me that he doesn’t have any proof—it’s just something he feels was true. (Flynn did not respond to requests for comment for this article.)

As Flynn’s public comments became more and more shrill, McChrystal, Mullen, and others called Flynn to urge him to “tone it down,” a person familiar with each attempt told me. But Flynn had found a new boss, Trump, who enlisted him in the fight against the Republican and Democratic Party establishments. Flynn was ready. At the Republican National Convention, Flynn boiled over in front of an audience of millions. He led the crowd in chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” His former colleagues say they were shocked by what they saw.

What Flynn saw was corruption: Clinton, the media, the Justice Department, the intelligence community—they are all corrupt. I spoke to Flynn three months ago, while working on a profile of him for the Washington Post. “Is this some kind of hatchet job!” he roared into the phone when I asked why, exactly, he thought Clinton should be in jail.

The lifelong intelligence officer, who once valued tips gleaned from tribal reporters, has become a ready tweeter of hackneyed conspiracy theories. He reposts the vitriol of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim commentators. “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL,” he tweeted in February, linking to a false claim that Islam wants eighty per cent of humanity enslaved or exterminated. “U decide,” he posted one week before the election, along with the headline from a linked story that appeared on a Web site called True Pundit: “NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w/Children, etc. . . . MUST READ!”

Last week, Trump announced that Flynn would be his national-security adviser, a job that requires strategic vision and consensus-seeking among competing big-dog agencies. Mullen, this week, suggested to me that Flynn would need to change in order to succeed in his new role. “Mike Flynn was a terrific intel officer when he worked for me as a two-star and was both dynamic and often contrarian,” Mullen said. “Those qualities need to be tempered as national-security adviser in order to serve the next President as a thoughtful and strategic adviser.” Whether Flynn now learns to bottle his rage, whether he reëmbraces fact over fiction, whether he’s capable of playing the role of a contemplative counsellor, will determine the outcome of his most difficult and important mission yet.

Conspiracy theories, false facts, making decisions with no evidence.  All of the characteristics you want in a National Security Advisor.

The Most Influential Images of All Time

Time Magazine curated and presents the 100 Most Influential Images of All Time.

Windblown Jackie by Ron Galella

From Time

People simply could not get enough of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the beautiful young widow of the slain President who married a fabulously wealthy Greek shipping tycoon. She was a public figure with a tightly guarded private life, which made her a prime target for the photographers who followed wherever she went. And none was as devoted to capturing the former First Lady as Ron Galella. One of the original freewheeling celebrity shooters, Galella created the model for today’s paparazzi with a follow-and-ambush style that ensnared everyone from Michael Jackson and Sophia Loren to Marlon Brando, who so resented Galella’s attention that he knocked out five of the photographer’s teeth. But Galella’s favorite subject was Jackie O., whom he shot to the point of obsession. It was Galella’s relentless fixation that led him to hop in a taxi and trail Onassis after he spotted her on New York City’s Upper East Side in October 1971. The driver honked his horn, and Galella clicked his shutter just as Onassis turned to look in his direction. “I don’t think she knew it was me,” he recalled. “That’s why she smiled a little.” The picture, which Galella proudly called “my Mona Lisa,” exudes the unguarded spontaneity that marks a great celebrity photo. “It was the iconic photograph of the American celebrity aristocracy, and it created a genre,” says the writer Michael Gross. The image also tested the blurry line between newsgathering and a public figure’s personal rights. Jackie, who resented the constant attention, twice dragged Galella to court and eventually got him banned from photographing her family. No shortage of others followed in his wake.

I love these kind of features (and also this photos).  There is so many amazing photographs chosen. via

First Nations housing should be ‘front and centre’ of national housing strategy, chief says

From the CBC

First Nations housing should be 'front and centre' of national housing strategy, chief says

B.C.’s regional chief is calling on the federal government to prioritize First Nations housing in its national housing strategy.

Yesterday the federal government released a report detailing the results of a four-month long national consultation on its proposed national housing strategy.

According to the report the majority of Canadians said the national housing strategy should support those who need affordable housing the most — low income and homeless families and individuals.

Shane Gottfriedson, the B.C. Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, emphasized improving conditions of First Nations housing should be “front and centre” of the new strategy.

Overcrowding, mould and old run-down houses are perennial problems on reserves and Indigenous Canadians are over-represented in the homeless population, he said.

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