Parliament hill

Doozers

The other day was a really nice crisp bright winter’s day. The kind that make you want to be outside because the heat from the sun makes the cold air feel tolerable. A nice warm cold air.

I was wandering around Parliament Hill and saw workers setting up scaffolding on the East Block. The whole grounds is now 100 years old and in need of constant repairs. With the clear blue sky as the back drop, the safety vests of the workers stood out so I grabbed a photo.

It also reminded me of Doozers. They were little construction guys on the TV show Fraggle Rock in the 80s. The Doozers were constantly constructing things that looked like scaffold, which the Fraggles would eat. They were always building, like the endless repairs on the Parliament buildings.

Shot with the Fujifilm X100T.

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Peace Tower Perspective

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.

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Lights of Parliament

This week was the launch of the Christmas lights around Parliament Hill. Each year its a big event with carolers, a fire pit to roast marshmallows, free beaver tails (if you are willing to wait in line for eternity), and fireworks.

We went down to take in the festivities. This year, as the countdown ended, a five minute projection story shone on the centre block of Parliament Hill before the fireworks and lights were turned on.

It was a nice evening weather-wise, with a balmy 5 degrees Celsius and no wind – which was a minor problem with the fireworks….see the photo below.

I just upgraded my X100 to the X100T and a wide angle converter, so I put them both to good use that night. I live the new camera. Its great. The new and upgraded features are totally worth it (even if I did ponder it for four months).

Ironically, being at the opening of the start of the Christmas lights season, I actually didn’t take any photos of those lights. No worries though, they are on until January 7th.

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Fireworks!

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What happens when there is lots of fireworks and little wind? This. More smoke than a Pink Floyd concert.

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Christmas and such

Ahh the holidays. Christmas. Noel. That time of year when everyone is frantic to get gifts, buy gifts, spend money! Boxing Day!! All the calamity that goes with it.

This year we took some time to remove ourselves from that and went downtown to Parliament Hill. There is always a great display of lights around it and the city in general. As a bonus, it was warm (well, for Ottawa) and no wind.

As usual, a nice display, although I’d like to know who’s idea it was to stick a projection trailer behind the eternal flame. See, there is an eternal flame on Parliament Hill. It would make an awesome photo to have it in the foreground, and the lit up parliament buildings in the background. But someone thought it better to stick a big, white trailer in between the two. Yes, the result (as you see below) is nice. But I think the alternative I mentioned would be better.

Oh well. It was a nice, quiet evening just the same. Shot with a Fuji X-T1 and 10-24 f4 OIS lens.

Parliament Hill

Things have changed

Its been an interesting few days, as the eyes of the world focused in on Ottawa and the events that occurred. Living here, and working not a block and a half away from the entire thing, I was front and centre for it all. The building where I work was on lockdown, and I watched from my window as the police gathered, and dispersed to make sure the streets were safe.

Quite. A. Day.

One of the things that I love about the city, and country, is our freedom and openness. As I mentioned earlier in a post, I enjoy walking up to Parliament Hill, and being able to wander the grounds, and be near the building. It is, after all, where things happen. And I liked seeing what the protest of the day was. I have a few photos of various protests. The beauty of the country and city, is that there is freedom of speech, and the freedom to protest whatever you believe in. For example:

The protest against abortion (or something like that, it wasn’t fully clear), but the entire front of the lawn was decked out with pink and blue flags.

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And just last week, a small protest about the cancellation of the mail being delivered to homes by Canada Post employees. The protest was surprisingly small, and I only knew of it through some online media which I don’t even recall. There was more media there than actual protesters, but the guy talking was some pissed and shouting his cause.

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And finally, this guy, who is there every day. He has his signs, his chair, and rain or shine, he is there for what he believes in. Most people I’ve seen ignore him or at least read the signs. But he has his rights, and he’s exercising them.

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Now, I may not agree with their protests, but its their right, and freedom to say what they need to say. That’s the beauty of this awesome country.

But after Wednesday, that bit has been stripped away. Today I walked by the Parliament buildings and the gates were closed, two RCMP per potential opening, and no one on the front lawn, not even old man gay marriage.

The city will stay on alert for a time, just in case some other nut-job tries one on in the same fashion, but I suspect that this freedom that was there before may just not be the same again. Too bad.

Ironically, the same morning as the shooting events, I got off the bus a few stops early, and decided to walk by the Parliament buildings, just because I like to be near them. Its Canada; its history. On my way, I happened to see “old man gay marriage” walking towards his “job” of giving his opinion. Knowing I had the above photo, I thought this would make an interesting post. Little did I know, that an hour later, it would most likely be his last walk there for some time.

Things have changed.

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