Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime

Night photography opens up a whole lot of doors for creative photography, especially when it comes to flash photography and creating your own light source. I’m known through my blog for my street photography, but my true passion lies in portraiture. There’s just something I really enjoy about working with people and figuring out how to light them.

This shot came at the end of a fun little shoot I did with my five year old son when he wanted to switch places and take some shots of me. He is starting to take an interest in using my camera, and I’m more than happy to help him learn, and today he was particularly interested in taking pictures as the flashes fired.

The lighting setup was created using two lights, one 3-foot softbox at camera left pointing at me, and a second flash with a cone on it, aimed at the hedges to help create some depth. Punched up a bit in Lightroom, and here we are. Now, technically this shot wasn’t taken at nighttme, but it was taken very early in the morning when there was barely any light. We tend to have some time to kill before school due to the early risers around my home.

It’s not often I find myself in front of the camera, so I’ll take the opportunities when they arrive… regardless of who’s clicking the shutter :)

wpc nighttime

Beauty In Ottawa: Mer Bleue Bog

Since moving to Ottawa this summer, I have been itching for autumn to arrive so I could see the spectacular colours in Gatineau Park. I think I had visited the park at this time of year, once, many years ago, but I don’t think I have any pictures from that visit. And besides, I wasn’t that into taking pictures back then anyway.

So, since the weather has been perfect here this past week, I was really looking forward to making the trip out there this weekend… but it didn’t happen. Instead, our friends talked us into visiting Mer Bleue Bog. The disappointment of not seeing Gatineau Park almost made me want to skip this trip and do some work around the house.

THANK GOD I DIDN’T!!!

Mer Bleue

Mer Bleue is easily the most stunning bit of scenery I’ve seen since moving to Ottawa. Mer Bleue is a 7,700 year old bog (yes, that is not a typo) located about twenty minutes east of Ottawa that possesses an eco-system that more closely resembles that of the Arctic than the Ottawa Valley. It is home to a vast array of plant life and wildlife, and is one of the most studied bogs in the world due to its characteristics.

There are apparently more than twenty kilometres of hiking trails, but we chose to walk the 1km boardwalk that leads visitors directly through the bog and surrounding forest.

My friends told me to bring my camera, so I simply brought my trusty 18-55, but I think this place is deserving of a wide angle and a macro lens combo, as well as several hours of free time.

Here are some of the sights that caught my eye on this initial visit…

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And then I was surprised to find out that there was a spot where we could feed chickadees. Who knew that this little exercise could have such a calming effect on a band of highly energetic kids…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

Endurance. Staying power. Perseverance. The ability to withstand great hurdles, great distances, and sometimes great pains. We’ve all faced it at one time or another, whether at work, in a relationship, or in the playground, we’ve all had to endure at one point in our lives.

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I’m no stranger to it, but when I think of the word endurance, I often think of running.

I run. I always have, and I’ve always been good at covering long distances rather quickly. Geez, I hope this isn’t a metaphor for life… but anyway. I run to clear my head, to reflect, and to make serious decisions. I’m not sure why it works that way for me, but maybe it’s the rhythm I settle into. I find it therapeutic, and I feel lucky that I do. All I often need is a pair of shorts and my shoes. It doesn’t matter if I know where I’m going to not, it’s the process that calms my soul.

I am an endurance athlete, and I have endured what life has dished up. To this point, none of it has been particularly painful, and I am grateful for that.

May we always endure!

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The image above was taken with my phone yesterday along the Rideau Canal. I was tossing stones into the water with my younger son and admiring the beauty that Autumn loves to throw at us.

Watson’s Mill

A short drive outside of Ottawa will bring you to a countryside town called Manotick. It’s a cute little riverside town that favours tourists and foodies alike with its craft shops and delicious restaurants.

A couple of weeks ago, we made the trip out on a warm and sunny Sunday to visit Watson’s Mill. It’s a gorgeous old stone building dating back to 1860 (as the sign above the entryway will tell you) that sits right on the river’s edge. It was once a thriving seed mill, but now it stands as a reminder of how the area established itself. I’m sure if I had my pick of the litter in terms of places I’d like to live in this country, Manotick would be right up near the top of my list.

Here is a short photo tour of the mill… I hope you enjoy!

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