Over Thanksgiving, while visiting family, I went for a walk on the RailTrail. It was for many years, a railway ling for the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway (TH&B). After a landslide washed away part of the track, the line was abandoned. In its second life, it became a trail. The rails were taken up, the roadbed resurfaced and is now a major exercise hub with people walking, jogging, biking and the occasional horseback rider using the line.

But I digress. This particular photo is a group of Sumac trees that have died off. The look of a group of tangled branches caught my eye, and I knew it was destined for a monochrome photo with my X100.


Patterned Array

Downtown Ottawa seems to be in constant construction mode. Most buildings and streets are being upgraded, fixed, or rebuilt. Most of Wellington street in front of Parliament Hill is, or has been, in a state of repair, such that the city could be renamed Scaffold Town. I presume most of this is due to the fact that in 2017 it will be the 150th anniversary of confederation in Canada, and things need to look all perfect for the country to come visit.

Recently, another building has been swallowed up by scaffold. It does make an interesting pattern, such that one day I made this image with my X100.


Never Forgotten

Remembrance Day was this past week. The time to consider those who made our current lives what they are (the recent attack on Paris, France aside).

At the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada, at the end of the services, the public has a more recent ritual of coming up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to place their poppy, and give thanks.

I walked by the memorial yesterday. Not only are the poppies still there, but in the time it took to make the image below, no more than ten people came to take time to remember. One woman specifically to place flowers and have a personal moment.


Canada truly respects and honours its servicemen and women. Its what makes this country awesome.

And if I ran the circus, France, Canada was there for you in to great wars, we are with you now.

A moment of reflection

While visiting family over the Thanksgiving weekend, I took my son up to my old haunt where I would go and watch trains on Saturday mornings. When I was his age, I would ride my bike up to the Dundas station – long abandoned – to watch trains on the Dundas sub until noon. Most of the freights went by in the morning. The station was unlocked (just not used) so there was a place out of the sun, and a “toilet” if needed.

Its all long gone, destroyed by fire from vandals. But, we went up to see if there was anything coming. The lights showed green so we waited. Well, I did. My son went down into the ravine to explore. After a while I went after him. There in the stream was a chair. He decided to wade out and sit in it. And I got the photo.

Shot with the Fuji X100 with the 50mm teleconverter on it.


At the Village

In my last post, I talked about going to Fort Henry for the sunset ceremony.

When we bought our tickets, it included free admission to Upper Canada Village, a short trip east on the 401 near Morrisburg. So we made plans to head there last weekend to take advantage of the offer.

Upper Canada Village is what it name suggests; a village set in Upper Canada (what we know now as the province of Ontario). It is a living museum of life in 1860 Canada. There are a number of homes and businesses that show how life and work was in that period. People dress in period clothes and actually do the work that was done back then. There is a working grist mill and , saw mill and wool factory run by water power, blacksmith, carpenter, broom maker, cheese maker and baker. All of the items made are sold in the gift shop.

The area is historic as well. It is the location of Chrysler’s Farm, a decisive battle in the war of 182-14.

I brought my X100 with the teleconverter to give a 50mm-ish focal length. Since I bought it, I hadn’t had a a good opportunity to really put it to the test. I was more interested in getting some patterns and abstract photos rather than a bunch of period people doing things. These are a few of the shots mostly from the yarn and wool factory.






Overall, the teleconverter did a good job. I’m considering the upgrade to the x100t and considerably slimming down what I have. With the teleconverter doing a good job, I’m thinking more of this move.

Under the Bridge

Today was interesting weather-wise. I woke up to the sound of a steady rain. It sounded great, and by the time I left for work, it had receded.

There was the constant threat of rain again all day, so at lunch, I took my umbrella and X100 for a walk. Basically, I was hoping for some heavy downpours to capture. The X100 is not weather resistant, but with it being six years old, I’m a little more cavalier with it than say my X-T1 or X-Pro1.

However, it was not to be. The most rain was little sprinkles; barely enough to warrant opening the umbrella, let alone trying to keep the camera dry.

I eventually came to the highway 417 overpass. Here I grabbed this neat shot. The water is the Rideau canal.


I usually shoot in manual mode. That is, I define the shutter and aperture the camera uses, rather than letting some scientist in a lab determine the right exposure. The only downside (if you’d call it that) is I can’t quickly change exposure for a given situation. In this case, under the bridge called for a slower shutter speed and larger aperture. A few seconds after I took this shot, a young woman walked by. I thought a quick street photo might be interesting. Well, I didn’t have time to set the exposure, and the shot below resulted. I quite like it. It has a rough film appeal.


It won’t win any awards, and I could have fixed it up in Lightroom to take away the blown out bits (which I did), but I like the original version better. It has a classic look to it.


Last month my son and I went to visit my parents in southern Ontario, and to go see a Rush concert in Toronto. The show was at 8pm, so I thought it’d be fun to go to YYZ (I’ve gotten in the habit of calling cities by their airport code) to visit the CN Tower before the show.

Knowing that some venues don’t appreciate cameras during a show, and especially this concert as it was being recorded for a DVD, I chose to bring along the Fuji X100. As a bonus, my parents came too, and they could ferry the camera home when they went, as we made our way to the show.

The only way to get to Toronto with little hassle is on the GO Train. I don’t mind it at all – its easy, and its nice to sit back and let the scenery roll by.

As a bonus, the train station is a short walk to the CN Tower. You walk right by it to get to the entrance.


It was a perfect day outside to be up high in the sky. This is a shot looking west. We could see (with some straining and possibly imagination) Niagara Falls. Well, at least we could see Hamilton, and the United States on the far side of Lake Ontario.


We paid extra and went to the very top observation deck. Great to watch the airplanes taking off from the Toronto Island airport. And this photo of the the tower’s shadow cast on the ground below.


Good times. And the show later was nothing short of fantastic.

Chilling by the Fountain

Taken last month in Confederation Park. Walking by and saw the ducks were hanging out by the fountain.

Interesting fact. This fountain used be be in Trafalgar Square in London where it was from 1845 to 1948. In its current location, it honours Colonel John By, who was instrumental in the building of the Rideau Canal to link lake Ontario to the Ottawa river.

Taken with the Fuji X100.



The sudden onset of warmer weather has been a boon to downtown Ottawa. People are out at lunch time to take in the warm and sunshine. I made this shot near the Rideau Canal at the old Sapper’s bridge.

With all the angles and business around her, she is in her own space, granted, on her smartphone, but separate from everything else none-the-less.


Its been a long time

A hundred years ago, a lot happened. The first world war for one. Over the next four years, there will be a lot of marking of poignant battles. Recently, the anniversary of the second battle of Ypres – the first test of mettle of the Canadian troops against a German gas attack, the assault of British troops at Gallipoli.

Today, a protest of the Armenian genocide by the Turkish (then of the Ottoman empire). On Parliament, there was a demonstration. Clearly, after 100 years, this hasn’t rested with these people. I went up to the Hill to see the protest, and was surprised at the turnout. So much so, that a large police presence was on hand. As you can see in the photos below, organizers set up two separate areas – one side for the Armenians to protest and display their anger, and the Turks on the the other side, expressing their opinion that the genocide didn’t happen (or maybe to the extent claimed).

Again, the beauty of Canada, both are equally allowed to say what they think, and the entire demonstration was peaceful (that I saw and haven’t seen any other altercations).


Turkish Canadians give their opinion.


No mans land to keep opinions, and emotions apart and guarantee a peaceful demonstration.


Armenian side of the story.


A colourful display, protesting past atrocities.