These old boxwood rulers with brass fittings were used to measure bolts of cloth and date back decades. Along with the bright yellow measuring tape, the rulers form the subjects of my second studio series.
On a road trip last summer, we stopped in a small town to take a break and look around. We saw this abandoned factory just before we drove into the town centre. These forlorn looking buildings just ask to be photographed. The building in the second photo might have had an occupant, as a lace curtain hung in the bottom window.
With most of us homebound, it struck me how much kids used to enjoy playing with toys like these. They just needed a bit of space and imagination. Nothing fancy, no screens in sight. I took the photo at a fair last year. I didn’t adjust the colour, the toys are a bit garish but that was part of their attraction.
We visited one of Ottawa’s water filtration plants at a Doors Open event last summer. The Lemieux Island Water Purification Plant opened in 1932 and is a wonderful limestone structure with fine brass work and marble galleries. I’ve visited several times and can’t help but be impressed by the beauty of a building that houses a public utility.
Looking out the window, in an older section of Montreal, you can see a mix of low rise and taller buildings surrounded by a lot of greenery. Towards the back and centre of the frame, a nine story mural of Leonard Cohen, caught my attention. The mural is one of two in Montreal commemorating the life of Leonard Cohen; Montreal born, singer-songwriter, poet and author who died in 2016.
The Chateau Laurier, an iconic hotel in Ottawa’s Parliament district was built in the Gothic Revival style between 1909 and 1912. It was commissioned by the Grand Trunk Railway and designated a national historic site in 1980. In the first photo you see it reflected in the window of the Senate of Canada (the former Union Station). The second photo provides a view of the hotel taken from a park just behind it.
Tall buildings and architectural features aren’t my usual photo subjects. But it’s nice to try new things with my photography which are as much a part of my environment as the woods I love to walk. The sky peering through the towers is still a nod to nature.
The powerful base of The Old Union Station, (now the Senate of Canada), a building I walk by often is impressive for its form and detail.
This building, an example of the Gothic Revival Style, was the former Ottawa Teachers’ College. It is now part of the Ottawa City Hall Complex. It’s an eclectic mix of styles that reminds us of our past.
I think the black and white photo complements the building’s style but I’ve included the colour version as well.
Like most urban centres, Ottawa is going through a transformation. The old wooden house is flush against a modern apartment unit. The new structure is not a high-rise like some buildings going up and is quite attractive but it changes the feel of the neighbourhood and with it raises the question of what we’re losing as a result.
Walking down a city laneway I wasn’t expecting to see this tin man on someone’s back stoop and stopped to take a picture. It seemed rather out of place and yet where wouldn’t it be. The art cube was one of several photographs I took last spring of similar art work. I think it’s probably disguising some city maintenance work, an attractive idea and use of artistic talent.
Two street scenes that couldn’t be more different. Both were taken in Montreal last summer, when we walked the city from east to west and back. I spotted Mary Poppins as we approached a crosswalk. It was an unusual location for this character and I imagine the artist had fun with that. The second photo was taken several blocks away in a quiet residential area and is an example of the fine stone homes that continue to line many of Montreal’s streets.
Like many large cities, it’s the small neighbourhoods that make the city feel like home. At street level, past the glass and steel and high-rises. One such neighbourhood is a short distance from where I live. I like the mix of residential and commercial properties, often side by side. A little gritty, a little eclectic. A pleasure to walk in and always something to photograph.
This part of the street has an interesting blend of old and new styles of architecture. I like the contrast in the lines, angles and materials of the two buildings. Different yet complementary, injecting some vibrancy into an otherwise ordinary city block. The young tree adds a bit more interest to the scene.
Queen Anne’s Lace has a long flowering season, from late spring until mid fall; beautiful anytime of year. They’re covered in snow now but will return next May in their spring green.
I set up my Fuji XT-1 to take five bracketed shots at different exposures. For processing I used Photoshop HDR Pro. It combined the shots for a nicely exposed image. I finished with a few of my usual adjustments in Photoshop.
The cat was a perfect advertisement for this animal groomer. It sat so still that at first I wasn’t certain if it was a figurine or real. It was staring straight ahead and ignored me completely as I set up the shot, a very cooperative subject. As the weather cools off and many birds head south I plan to do more street photography. I get to practice using my Fuji and there’s always a warm coffee shop close by!
When I first saw the scene above I thought I was looking at a mural and not live trees. I think the natural and man made elements complement each other very well here. I liked the shapes, colour and lighting and most of all the feeling of surprise and delight the scene initially evoked.
In the second photo, the wonderful shape and colour of the railing also inspired the title of this post.
You don’t have to look very far to find examples of public art. I saw the first piece on the campus of a Montreal university. I liked its vibrance and its nod to diversity. In the second photo, the influence of my talented mate is rubbing off – in that I noticed the play of light and shadow before I even saw the ironwork on display.
We took a walk through the entertainment section of Gatineau, Quebec this summer and came upon these umbrellas. It was a brilliant sunny day and the umbrellas provided a perfect awning. As colourful as they are I preferred the photograph in black and white, as it emphasized shape, form and contrast.
The “musical trio” struck my fancy for their enduring and endearing nature. They appear to have weathered many seasons, yet the band plays on.
As I’ve mentioned before, birds have been rather scarce this year so we’ve been doing quite a bit of street photography. In the first photo, a Victorian bird cage in the window of a local business had some lovely elements to it. In the second, I thought the red of the brick wall as well as the bird theme made for a nice pairing of the two photos.
The colour and texture of this weathered looking house caught my eye and when I saw the sign I smiled and took the shot. Taking an alternate route in a familiar neighbourhood can be an adventure. The second photo was the result of a similar walk. These houses were ordinary but the city laneway reminded me more of one in the countryside and was well worth some attention.
The first time I passed by this mural, a truck was parked directly in front of it. When I went back the other day I was able to take a couple of shots before the space was occupied again. It’s a fun bit of wall art. The second photo was taken on a busy block of commercial and residential buildings. The truck was a standout and I found the photo quite effective in black and white. Both taken with my Fuji XT-1.
Continuing with my Thursday blog theme of trying out the Fuji XT-1, I took these flowers with the same lens (23mm). I didn’t really think to use a wide angle lens on flowers but I tried it and was quite pleased with the results. I’ve only ever worked with one camera at a time, a DSLR but with a Fuji in my future that’s going to change!
I’m thinking of buying a walkaround camera for street photography and landscapes. I want something lightweight and relatively easy to use and borrowed my spouse’s Fuji XT-1 with 23mm lens. We headed towards a commercial street full of small shops and restaurants. Waiting for the light to change I looked up and saw this spectacular example of wall art.
The camera is tempting – it’s lightweight, handles well and the viewfinder is terrific with excellent magnification. And with interesting subjects for the taking a good pairing.