Fort Henry

A few years back, we went to Scotland. We stayed in Edinburgh a couple of days, and during that time, we went to the Royal Mile. Within the castle grounds, they were setting up for the Tattoo. We didn’t get to see it. There is also a Tattoo at Fort Henry in Kingston, a short 1.5 hour drive from Ottawa. While looking up when that was, we came across a Sunset Ceremony. It involved pipes and drums, army maneuvers (circa 1867) and fireworks.

We made a plan to go and see it. It was pretty cool. We arrived at the fort with enough time to get a tour of it before the actual ceremony. If you haven’t been, it is a replica of the fort that was originally built in the 1812 era to defend against the United States invasion – the only time Canada and the U.S. have been at odds.

The fort fell into disrepair after the war, and in later years was rebuilt and abandoned again. The fort was gain rebuilt in the 1930s as a museum piece, and that is what is there today. The really cool thing, is that it includes regular army reenactments from maneuvers, to punishments, and all the re-enactors are “on stage” when in public view. It’s like you are a silent observer of life 150 plus years ago.

But I digress. The sunset ceremony is pretty neat. It includes projection on the fort wall and audio. After our tour we found a spot in the bleachers and took in the ceremony. These photos are a few of the night.

All were shot with the Fuji X-T1 and the 16-55 f2.8 lens. The ISO was cranked to 1600, f2.8 and the shutter at 1/128.


Sunset with the Union Flag flying over the Fort.



Pipe and Drum band






Full battle line with canons.




Fireworks to cap off the show.

Synchronized World

I have mentioned before, that my girlfriend is a synchronized skater. A team of between 16-20 skaters basically dancing on the ice.

Last weekend was the world synchronized skating championships in Hamilton, Ontario. Being only a short hop down the 401 from Ottawa, and my hometown of Dundas (meaning a place to stay), we took it in. Now, I watch the amateur competitions each year, and am very impressed with what I see. So imagine how it was to take in a world class competition. It was awesome.

I brought along my X-T1 and my longest lens, the 60mm in hopes of catching some of it. I don’t have anything extremely telephoto, which is a good thing, because they wouldn’t allow big lenses in. The 60 did a good job. Getting shots at ice level is tough enough, but in the stands even more so. All photos were processed and cropped in Lightroom.

The costumes are always interesting as a part of the interpretation of the music. I don’t recall which team this was, but I’m feeling Latvia.



I think a lot of the spectators were synchro fans and skaters. When team Canada came out, the crowd went crazy. They knew the team and the costume.


There were two Canadian teams. I don’t recall which one this one was, but they did a fantastic job in the short program.


The United States had two teams as well. Hamilton being fairly close to the United States, there was a decent contingent of American fans on hand.On the Saturday for the long program, one team did a fantastic performance. It brought my girlfriend to tears of emotion, and a standing ovation from the Canadian spectators. Sadly, then didn’t end up with a medal. It was an outstanding set. The photo below is their stance at the beginning of the long program.


In the end, the home team won by fractions of a point, followed closely by the Finnish team, and the Russian team.


I can’t think of many other things that raises ones pride in their country than a sporting event when there is a large crowd waving flags and cheering. It was great to see not only the Canadian fans, but the Americans, and a large contingent of Finnish fans as well as others.

And it was fun as we left the venue, to see the various team skaters trading flags and mementos of the weekend. Particularly the Russian skaters as they collected Canadian flags, and begged for red and white scarves and hats.