It has been about 10 years since I have been to Canada and from what I remember about both entering and leaving Canada it was a major pain in the ass especially with all the Camera gear I carry. The questions are:
Why are you coming to Canada
What is your business here
Are you going to leave your Camera equipment here in Canada
How do we know your not going to leave it in Canada
Upon Leaving Canada
What was your business purpose in Canada
How long were you here
How do we know that you did not buy this camera gear in Canada
Do you have receipts to prove that you did not buy this here
These don’t seem that bad on the surface but through the mouth of a bitter government employee it was a pain in the ass. With those memories, I was less than enthusiastic about traveling to Canada. During the month of August I was going to be experiencing Canadian Customs 3 different times, Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg.
I don’t know what has changed within the Canadian Customs and Immigration but it was not what I expected. The Customs agents were actually pleasant, when I explained why i was entering and leaving their country they just said have a good trip. No hassles…
As I said in an ealier post, I took a 3 month break from this journal just because I was too busy and could not find the time to update this blog. So since my last travel blog was I’m going to update this with 3 different posts each highlighting each month. Let try to see how much I can remember…which is the main reason I decided to start this.
August 6-10 Assignment was to go to Seattle and photograph an Mitsubishi Evo for Import Tuner magazine, photograph Formula D for both Import Tuner and Super Street and then some models for Super Street. For once I was prepared to travel to the Pacific Northwest buy bringing cold weather gear even though it was summer. Aside from the cold weather Seattle is one of my favorite cities, for most part its clean, has great food and as far as cities go it is very scenic. One of the best things about being in the Northwest during Summer are the variety of fresh berries that are available all over the place and they are very inexpensive.
Formula D is always a good experience to shoot, mainly it is a chance to see friends and colleagues that I normally don’t get to see. As always the hospitality at the Falken VIP area is great and I finally got to try Chris Harrington’s chili at the Scion team trailer.
Sunday was nice, no shoots. So I got a chance to visit a good friend of mine who lives on Bainbridge Island. Had to take a half hour Ferry ride there which is nice in itself, get to relax and enjoy the scenery. It was also nice to spend an afternoon with long time friends and have a home cooked meal.
Due to a lack of planning of one of my editors, I flew home on Monday the 10th then had to go to Vancouver for 4 days on the 16th. Nothing special to report from the Vancouver trip.
I was home for about 4 days then I went back to Canada for about 13 days, but before i could leave there were a couple of photoshoots for mini-truckin and up to Camarillo to shoot Neuspeeds Audi TT. I have been shooting Neuspeed cars since 1989 and its always good to see Aaron.
On August 26th went to Toronto, Canada for 6 days, its been over 9 years since I went there and was looking forward to the trip. Assignment for this trip were for Honda Tuning Magazine and Import Tuner and included 2 EK hatches, 2 DC-2’s and a Honda S2000.
The hotel I found was right in the heart of downtown Toronto at the Toronto Hilton, since it was in the financial district the rates for the weekend were only $80 per night so it was nice to stay in a nice hotel.
Here is a view from my room
There was an Irish pub in the building next to my hotel and it had one of the best breakfasts I’ve had.
One of the most difficult parts about my job is finding locations to photograph the cars I’m assigned to shoot. It seems simple enough but since we don’t pull photography permits we have to be creative and find something that #1 the chances of getting kicked out are slim #2 is a location suitable for the publication. So my subjects had someone who take me around to find a place, nothing worked, we drove around till sunset so couldn’t shoot that day. I hate wasting time when I travel and that day was a waste of time. The location we ended up finding at sunset was a great place. It is an old airforce base that is now being redeveloped for commercial uses. Wish they would have brought me there in the first place, lots of old buildings, vast expanse of concrete. Security guards that didn’t care that we were there. I shot all my cars at that location each with a different look.
Here are two of the Cars I photographed for Honda Tuning
That was about it for Toronto, didn’t get a chance to do much aside from work in the room, each day was editing and trying to keep up with work.
Next stop Winnipeg and Calgary