Rideau Canal

Christmas

Its Christmas eve in Ottawa and its 16 degrees Celsius. Blame it on El Nino, global warming, climate change, or just dumb luck, its kind of nice for a change. I find as I get older, winter becomes longer and more of a pain.

However, I must say, the lights downtown are not the same without the bounce light from the snow, and the Rideau Canal is far from ready for skaters. But still, being able to go to work with a sport coat on this late in the year? I can get used to it. Maybe.

The shot below was the fates giving me a break. I follow a blog called fujilove.com. They recently had a contest for a sweet camera bag. Now, I don’t need yet another camera bag, but this one was way cool. The stipulations of the contest was to show one’s hometown with only on photo, and hit had to be shot within the last week. I had some great ideas, all of which involved some cold, snow and other winter affects, and it had been raining all week. To top it off, I had to pick up my son from school this week, and that negated staying downtown long enough for it to get dark.

As it happened, the rain held off one night before we were to go away for the weekend, and my son went to a friend’s after school. Sweet. I put off leaving work a bit later and managed a few shots like this one.

X00T4222

Shot with my Fuji X100T and the teleconverter. I rested it on the bridge railing for a long exposure.

I didn’t win the bag, but did have fun finding a photo – which really is the point, in the end.

Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope it is a safe and happy time.

Reflections

Every once in a while, one needs a project to keep the creative juices going. I’ve been in a wee bit of a slump lately. Partially because I’ve been busy in other avenues to focus on making pictures.

XP014443The last post I put up, the reflection of the Laurier bridge over the Rideau Canal, coupled with a “missed shot” (I didn’t have a camera with me and the picture showed up) has me inspired to do a project of reflections. Specifically, but not limited to, water reflections. Each lunch time, I walk down the Rideau Canal and see the reflections of the buildings in the water, or the boats in the water, and think what a neat shot that would be. So hey, why not do a series on reflections!

Take this shot to the left. It is the Department of National Defence headquarters. I’ve seen its reflection a number of times but today as I saw this. I had my Fuji X-Pro1 with me with the 18mm f2. I had to back up a few steps (a few times) to get it all in.

Yesterday was not the best day as a bit of a wind rustled the waters. I would prefer a calm water like the bridge shot. But, there were still some opportunities for some shots.

 

This one for example, of the trees in the water, and some runners along the pathway. Surely better with a still water. Also with  the X-Pro1 and the 18mm f2.

XP014444

I’ll keep trying. I found some great Lightroom presets from Thomas Fitzgerald. Check them out. They are pretty cool.

Spring has Sprung

Ah yes, spring is back. And so back it just stopped by for 15 minutes and we skipped over to summer weather. From the forecast, its a short respite, but the warm temperatures are welcome after a very cold winter. And how can we tell besides the warm weather?

For one, the daffodils are out. This shot was taken along the Rideau canal. The entire banks are covered in daffodils.

XP014119

And the canal, which in the winter months was the place to skate, has been filled again. Fish are in the water, and before the boaters come in, I spotted this guy paddling down the canal towards downtown. A great way to spend a warm afternoon.

x100_DSCF4538

Under the Bridge

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.

DSCF4411

The wide view looking south towards the National Arts Centre. The canal is to the right.

 

DSCF4412

A closer view of the stairs. Curves and lines in grand designs.

 

DSCF4420

If you look at the other photos, there are little archways. This is shot from one of those, looking north. The building on the right is the Chateau Laurier. I love how this photo looks like it could have been taken in 1915 as much as 2015.

 

Skate

Here in Ottawa, one thing in winter that everyone looks forward to it the opening of the Rideau canal for skating. Touted as the world’s longest skating rink (yeah, there are a few others, but not as practical), its eight kilometres (almost 5 miles) of skating on the canal. Its a prelude to Winterlude, the annual winter festival.

Cold temperatures arrived and were sustained, and finally, the canal was open. I endeavoured on Friday to skate the length of it. I did it, pitifully being out of shape and practice, in about 45 minutes. The ice was in fine shape, and kudos to those who make it usable (there is a team that floods and cleans off the snow).

During my efforts, I took a number of breaks. This one I took the time to take out my X-Pro1 and grab a shot of the Pretoria bridge. The lighting on it was fantastic.

XP014034

Gone fishin’

With the fall fast approaching and the temperatures cooling off, I take advantage of every chance to get outside.

Today, I took a walk along the Rideau Canal in hopes of getting some fall colours on…er…film. Digital film. Not too much just yet, but I happened by these two gents fishing in the canal. I don’t know if the fish are worthy of catching, or for that matter, eating if caught. But sometimes its just an excuse to hang out with a friend and wile away the day.

XP013804

Shot with the Fuji XPro-1 and the 35mm 1.4 lens.