This was the neighborhood where we stayed in Montreal. On one side, Chinese, with some Korean and Vietnamese (that's the shops I saw... I didn't go everywhere). On the other side, the start of the business district. So many interesting details to photograph.

The graffiti alone could have given me months worth of photo projects (Montreal's graffiti is amazing).

I don't usually take photos of people on the street (I have a strong "shyness" about it, even though I love photos with random people in them). I pushed through the shyness and allowed myself to capture these awesome people going about their awesome lives. Having the Fuji X10 helped with that since I can turn the shutter sounds completely off and hold it in such a way that I'm taking photos almost completely surreptitiously. Awesome! I plan on doing more of that in Thailand next month.

I love documenting life as it is. And when people notice the camera it takes them out of the previous moment and becomes about the camera.

A cautionary tale:

The first time we went to Europe, we stayed with several friends of friends of M's family. One family, in particular, took us around and showed us off to their large network of family/ friends. (This was in Lyon and surrounding areas, including to their family vineyard, which was an amazing experience in and of itself.)

At one stop, the lovely couple who welcomed us into their home had an awesomely French academic vibe about them. M wanted to capture that and asked to take a photo of them. The husband removed his glasses before smiling at the camera! But the glasses were the part we loved most about him. Without them, they weren't the same couple, though they were still lovely (and kind and welcoming). M and I still get a giggle out of that story, fifteen sixteen years later.

The photo that remains is a reminder that trying to get all the details isn't going to happen. Some things, we have to remember.

And some things we will forget.

I cannot remember what type of camera it was we took with us to Europe all those years ago, in 1997. I had that basic film point and shoot for many, many years - most of my teenage years - and cannot remember even what brand it was! Which goes to show, really, just how little it is the camera that matters:

It's all about noticing what you notice and capturing it somehow - be it in a memory or in a photograph.

And that's what I am noticing today.