Winter in Ice

Its that time of year – freezing cold, snow and ice, and…Winterlude! An annual festival to get people out of their warm houses and into the fresh air and take in the beauty of winter.

Over three weekends in February, events take place outdoors. Skating on the canal, snow slides, snow sculptures, various wintery demonstrations and the highlight, the ice sculpture competition. This is where teams from around the globe (yes even warm locales) come to Ottawa to create works of art in ice.

Being downtown, I was able to go check the ice sculptures at lunch time, and avoid the throngs of weekend crowds. Some highlights are below.

Ice is a difficult thing to photograph. A lot of detail is lost in its translucency, and really, each piece could garner a dozen shots each to show the detail. Night time is the best viewing, as LED lights add an extra dimension to the work.

All photos were taken with the Fuji X-T1 and the 10-24 f4 lens.











Job Hazards

Winterlude in Ottawa starts this weekend. In Confederation park, things are starting to take shape as organizers put up tents, scaffolding and ice sculptures. The main competition will come later, but for now, some of the decorative ones are going up now.

Today I watch this guy working away, snow flying in his face as he worked away on the art.

Taken with the Fuji X100, back in colour mode again.


Icy Wonderland

This weekend saw a wintry blast of snow, followed by a few hours of freezing rain, followed by a flash freeze as the temperatures dropped to -15 Celsius overnight. Ottawa is in the grip of winter with the promise of an overnight temperature of -30 Celsius on Wednesday.

The snow is great, but the freezing rain followed by a deep freeze means tough going for cars and people as everything turns to ice, and salt not doing a good enough job of melting the ice away.

The upshot is the trees and everything else is coated with ice. On a sunny, but cold, day like today, I braved the -22 windchill to venture out and get a few photos with my X100, which held up well in the cold. I can’t say as much for my fingers and face.




The good news is that with all this cold, the Rideau canal skateway will be on its way to opening soon. Now it just needs to warm up a wee bit, or at least drop the wind so lunchtime skating can begin.