Its been a pretty cold and blustery winter. Since getting my new X-Pro2, I’ve had little opportunity to get outside and take some shots. A little while ago, the weather was (relatively) quite warm, and I took the opportunity to get out and get a quick walk in before it rained. I brought along the new camera, and threw it into the Acros film simulation. I’m not much of a fan of black and white photography, but there has been a lot of good comments on this simulation. Given that this time of year is pretty monochrome, what better time to try it out.
I’m still not convinced that black and white photography is the best, but I had a good time, and the photos here are decent enough. Enough to try again for sure.
Over last weekend Ottawa was invaded…sort of.
As a part of the Canada 150 celebrations, a street theatre company, La Machine, came to town from France to put on one very large and expansive show. Involved, were two mechanical beasts – a horse dragon (Long Ma) and a spider (Kumo), operated by a team of people controlling legs, heads and other things.
They were in the city roaming about starting Thursday. Where the show started, with Kumo perched on the basilica near the art gallery of Canada. The story goes (the very short version) that Kumo steals a sacred temple from Long Ma, and he’s come to get it back. The ensuing four days has these two machines roaming the downtown core, engaging in battles. The final battle, where Long Ma gets his temple back, occurred Sunday night.
We popped down on Sunday afternoon to see some of the event. It was pretty cool and really well done. We managed to catch up and follow Long Ma to the War Museum, where Kumo was. They had a spat that send Long Ma running away to recuperate (and later that night, finally win).
All in all some fun. Apparently over the duration of the events, there was near 750,000 people who came to see the action.
Photos taken with the Fuji X-T1 and 16-55 f2.8 lens.
While waiting for the train mentioned in the previous post, I had some time to kill (in the hopes I didn’t miss the train altogether). With camera in hand, one looks for interesting patterns, shapes or compositions. Thus, when looking up I saw the outline of wind-swept trees, giving a very northern Ontario/Canadian look. So I framed it up and took the shot. A little monochrome treatment worked well with the dark tones of the tree and bland sky background.
Shortly after the shot, I heard the train horn, and my attention was shifted.
Shot with the Fuji X100T.
A couple of weeks ago it was a foggy night in Ottawa. I took the opportunity to head over to the VIA rail station. Being the train geek that I am, I knew a train was due, and I was keen to get some foggy light-beam shots. I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 and a tripod and headed to Fallowfield station.
As is typical, the train was a wee bit late, but the end result was worth it.
While waiting, I took a shot of the signal lights. All red. Shortly after, a yellow over green over red appeared, meaning stop at this location, then carry on and proceed with caution to the next signal.
The train did show. And while passengers debarked, I set up this shot. The ditch lights (lower lights on the locomotive) are off at the station. They come on when its set to depart. That’s when I took this shot. The black and white treatment made for a more interesting photo.
After the train had left, I went over to the parking for the bus commuters and got this shot.
All in all, a good set of photos for a last minute decision to see what I could get. Of course, the entire duration was some hour and a half, but it was worth it.
It was a beautiful spring day. No wind, 12 degrees (54 Fahrenheit) and sunny. I took a stroll down by the Ottawa river. I brought along the Fuji X100T and the additional teleconverter and wide angle converter (although the teleconverter remained on the whole time) to grab some shots. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, and decided to make the effort to shoot a “roll” of film – 36 shots or so.
These are a sampling. I set the camera to Classic Chrome simulation and there is only minor adjustments in Lightroom. With the much reported Nik software now free, I downloaded it and a few shots were edited using it.
The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa is a well known, much photographed location. So how does one do something different with it?
I went up to the arch leading into the Centre Block that includes the peace tower and shot straight up.
I used the Fuji X100T with the black and white film simulation. The JPG looks great. It has a 1950s feel to it.
I’m not one to go for the Internet fads, but I found this photo in my archives, and figured bringing it out for “Throwback Thursday” was an option.
A few years back I took an online photography course through Harry Nowell. It was a six month span where he would provide a topic or theme, give regular video updates and at the end of the month critique a selection of photos. It was a lot of fun. I took it not so much to improve my skills as to get the creative juices flowing. It worked, and some of the photos I ended up selling as stock on istockphoto.com. Double bonus!
This was the first challenge/theme in April of whatever year it was – slow shutter speed. And if memory serves, the speed had to be no faster than 4 or 5 seconds. I thought of rushing water and it drew me to the Rideau Falls in downtown Ottawa.
I used my Nikon D700 with a 16-35 f4 lens. To get the soft flow of water with the 5 second or more exposure, I racked the aperture as small as it would go and put on a ND4 and polarizer filter. The filters caused a bit of vignetting which I had to crop out. But the end result was great. The black and white treatment works well, given the time of year when everything is brown and grey anyway.
Over Thanksgiving, while visiting family, I went for a walk on the RailTrail. It was for many years, a railway ling for the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway (TH&B). After a landslide washed away part of the track, the line was abandoned. In its second life, it became a trail. The rails were taken up, the roadbed resurfaced and is now a major exercise hub with people walking, jogging, biking and the occasional horseback rider using the line.
But I digress. This particular photo is a group of Sumac trees that have died off. The look of a group of tangled branches caught my eye, and I knew it was destined for a monochrome photo with my X100.
Its getting warmer! As March moves in, the temperatures rise, and its no so bad being outside again.
Today I made my way down by the Rideau Canal locks. It’s still a bit icy in some spots as I made my way down to the Ottawa river. So I doubled back and went under the Plaza bridge, which traverses the canal. This is a really neat place – not creepy like some bridges can be. One one side is the canal, the other a seemingly art deco set of stairs and lights, and as a bonus, the remnants of the original Sapper’s Bridge, built in the early 1800s.
I always like the look of the bridge from underneath. It has that hidden city look to it, and the straight lines and angles merge well with the curves of the bridge arch and openings.
I had my trusty X100 with me, and with all the monotone colours of cement and snow, put the camera in B&W mode and took a few shots.
It’s been a long, and very cold winter. The Rideau Canal has been opened for a record 47 (and counting) consecutive days. That’s cool, but it means it’s been cold for a long time. And after these long cold days, one starts to look longingly at the calendar for spring. And it’s the little things that crop up, unknowingly that brings out the hope of warmer days ahead.
This photo is one of those signs. It’s a garden lamp that runs on a solar-rechargeable battery. It has been dark for much of the winter, with little sunlight available during the day to charge the battery (and cold temperatures on it don’t help).
But last night I looked outside and saw it glowing away. Still holding its own above two feet of snow. The hope lies in that there is enough daylight hours to charge the battery and have it enable the little LED inside. I was excited, and the pattern it threw on the snow was perfect.
I grabbed a smallish tripod and my X-T1 with the new 16-55 f2.8 on it and put it outside. Being the wuss that I am, I stayed in the house and placed the tripod in the snow outside. And thanks to the wi-fi on the camera and my iPhone, once I framed up the image, I shut the door and did all exposure adjustments from the warmth and comfort of the living room.
The end result is great. A black and white treatment looks the best, compared to the odd blue cast of the LED.