landscape

Beaumont Hamel

While in Belgium, we visited the site/memorial of Beaumont Hamel.

The Newfoundland regiments signed up to fight for King and Country in a time when they were their own dominion, not yet a part of Canada (not until 1949). They sent a contingent over to fight, and on July 1, 1916, at the beginning of the battle of the Somme, they attacked. The Battle of the Somme was the regiment’s first major engagement, and during an assault that lasted approximately 30 minutes the regiment was all but wiped out.

Newfoundland purchased the land and preserved it and it stays to this day untouched. Shell holes and trenches remain. Although not a part of Canada yet, this is truly a Canadian place. The walking paths encircle the battlefield area and one can tour around from the Newfoundland side to the German side. From the German side, you can see a clear view of the Newfoundland position and can see how they had easy sight lines to mow down the opposition. Its terrible.

One of the cemeteries included a number of tombstones next (very close) to each other. I wondered why. I later learned that those this close together indicate comrades who died in close proximity or in the same battle together.

This is a very powerful site to visit.

The calling Caribou – iconic monument

Died in 30 minutes, brothers in arms.

Tree line

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 day for a walk

Its been a nice few days. After last week’s snow storms and dump of 50cm of snow, this weekend was well above normal, and freezing temperatures was a happy change. It was Family Day in Ontario, which means a day off from work, so we went to the Jack Pine trail for a bit of time outside.

Others did too, so it wasn’t quite as quiet in the woods as one would like. But still, nice to see people outside and not sitting in their houses watching TV.

I brought along the Fuji X-T1 and wide angle lens to get some photos. I’ve been lacking in photos for a while. While I did get some good shots, a telephoto lens would have been useful for some bird shots. In this area, the chickadees will land on your hand for some seed.


Winter Wonderland

Happy New Year!

January in Ottawa always brings some crazy weather. Storms, rain, snow, warm and cold. In this first week of 2017, we had a nice bout of freezing rain followed by 10 cms of snow. It made for crappy driving, but the ice on the trees looked magical.

This shot is from my office. I was hoping to catch some sun before it became to warm and everything melted away. As expected, the sun came out, it got above zero and the wind picked up, shaking off the icy designs on the trees.

And believe it or not, this is a colour image.

Taken with my Fuji X100T.

Hometown Holidays

It’s a regular event, possibly a tradition, that I go down to visit my family in Dundas the weekend before Christmas. This year was no different. We took some time to go into town and do some shopping.

Downtown Dundas is a classic small town with a main street full of small shops. Rarely do we not come away having found something interesting or new treasure. Its the way I like it, unlike in Ottawa in the suburbs where there is no central location like this.

I few shots of the town, all decked out for the holidays. All shot with my Fuji X100T.

Foggy night

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.

Early morning ride

Over the summer I’ve taken up cycling as a way to stay in shape and keep some weight off. There are a few bike paths near the house so I don’t need to ride on the streets. I find that going out early in the morning on the weekends the best. Most people tend to sleep in so there are less people on the paths other than joggers or dog walkers. Not that its a problem, it makes for a hassle-less ride.

Last weekend I awoke early and saw on the weather site that there was fog. I jumped to it to ride to a spot I knew there would be fog. I brought along my X-Pro1 and 35mm lens to get something.

Sadly, at 8:00 am the fog was burning off already, such that by the time I got to where I wanted to be, it was too late. I carried on though and ended up down at the Rideau river by the locks. There I scored a few photos. So all was not lost. There was still mist on the very calm waters.

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And in an inlet the water was perfectly still allowing me to get these photos for my reflections series I’m poking along with.
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As the days get shorter, and my ability to get out for a ride after work continues, I hope to maybe get some nice sunset photos as well. We shall see.

Wild Backyard

Living in the suburbs presents an interesting dichotomy. While it is a bunch of humans in big boxes, there is still the ever-present wildlife, who have adapted to having people around.

Our backyard on some days, is like something out of a Disney movie: various birds and animals coming and going. From the birds at the feeder (Chickadees, Finches, Cardinals, Grackles and now Red-winged Black Birds) to other wildlife in red and black squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits.

Tonight there was a couple of visitors, one being a new little bunny. We have a couple of domestic bunnies, and to see the wild ones are fun to see and forever welcome in the backyard. I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 and affixed the 60mm (my longest lens) to get some shots. And the chipmunk also made an appearance. Both these shots have an extreme crop to “zoom in”. The 60 is my longest lens, and I’m thinking its time to invest in something longer to get some better shots.

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Let it Rain

Here in Ottawa, and in most of Ontario, it’s been pretty dry – near drought conditions. In the last couple months, there has been half as much rain as any given one month.

So today, the sky has opened up, and over the full weekend, it’s promising to be wet and grey. Sucks for those on camping trips and vacation, but it is needed.

As I was finishing up breakfast and getting dressed, it grew darker and darker. The thunder clapped and the rain came down in torrents. I love a good thunder storm, and this one didn’t disappoint.  I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 and fitted with the 16-55 I went out to get some shots. Both are weather-sealed, so I wasn’t concerned about the water problems. I was a bit damp, but got some photos. All taken with a longer exposure to get the water motion.

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Trillium

On my recent rides, I saw a bunch of trilliums in the forest. The Trillium is the official flower of the province of Ontario. It’s actually illegal to pick them. They flower in the spring and are easily detected by their three (typically) white petals and three leaves.

Shot with the Fuji X-T1 and 60mm macro lens.

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