Maybe I’m subconsciously trying to fit in: Ottawa is a morning city. While in France, nothing was open before 10 am, in Ottawa you can have breakfast at 5 am, an hour-long yoga lesson at 6 am and be at work by 7 am. Freaky. People love being up early in that city, and by early I mean long before the sun rises.
Monthly Archives: September, 2010
Of all the free activities scheduled in Ottawa for Culture Days, I chose to visit CBC Ottawa, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s local T.V station. I worked on Sparks Street for a year, one block from the CBC Ottawa Broadcast Centre. I saw the flurry of journalists and T.V crews every day, and I have always wanted to see what the headquarter looked like inside.
You heard me complaining about Canada’s extreme weather more than once, but to be honest, I enjoy it. First, you never get bored; second, it offers some great photography opportunities. Stormy skies, snowy mornings and rainy days are a chance to get some great shots. Yes, staying in is tempting as well… but you can always have your hot chocolate when you get back home!
There are these obvious, yet strangely subtle cultural differences you may have never really considered. Driving rules are different. You spend hours looking for household products at your supermarket. You are really not sure what the cashier is saying when he is asking if you have a dime. Welcome to the wonderful world of immigrants!
During our Labour Day Week-End trip to rural Ontario, we spent a couple of night in Deep River, a small community located on Highway 17, between Pembroke and Matawa, opposite the Laurentian Mountains. The population is only about 4,000, and most residents work in the nearby Chalk River Nuclear Research Laboratory, 10 km away. But it is still a small Canadian town, with a few dirt roads, dense patches of forest and wild animals.
A few years ago, concert photography was pretty much off-limits for amateur photographer—unless you knew the band. Nowadays, it seems that most venues gave up on banning cameras.
The last few years, I was able to get in with my DSLR and a couple of lenses. Suits me. It allowed me to experiment with concert photography.
Upon arriving in Deux-Rivières, a small community located in Renfrew County, Highway 17 narrowed and seemed to plunged right into the Ottawa River. The River was pretty wide and we felt like on a small island. Except for a seasonal ferry access to Québec and an abandoned gas station/ convenience store, there wasn’t much. The scenery was beautiful though: the grey asphalt matched the dark stormy sky, but contrasted with the deep blue of the River.
After Pembroke and Rapides-Des-Joachims, we followed the Trans-Canada Highway, looking for places to explore on that rainy week-end. As soon as I saw a sign saying “Head, Clara and Maria”, I wanted to check out the place. What a funny name!
The townships stretch along 60 kilometers of Highway 17. All the activities are located nearby the road, the rest is mostly wilderness.
One day, a couple of years ago, I was browsing through my pictures and I realized I rarely shoot people. In a way, landscape photography is easier for a beginning photographer, since you can take picture freely (unless you are into airports and military bases!) and aren’t in a rush. On the other side, taking pictures of people, especially strangers, is slightly more difficult: you have to capture a moment, risk being seen and — gasp! — you may even have to talk to people.
After Pembroke, we headed to Deep River and spent the night there (more on that later). The following day, the weather was a little bit better, albeit chilly. We drove to Rapides-Des-Joachims, a small village located on an island in the middle of the Ottawa River.
To celebrate the last long week-end of the summer (Labour Day was today), we decided to take a short trip to rural Canada. We hit the road on Saturday morning and followed the bumpy Trans-Canada highway. Our first stop was in Pembroke, Ontario, 150 km from Ottawa.
London, Paris, Toronto, Ottawa, Nantes, Beijing, Buenos Aires… I love roaming around at night. It’s a chance to capture a different atmosphere, to show the other side of a city.
But taking good night pictures is challenging at first. Pictures can be too dark, too bright, hopelessly blurry… Been there, done that!
So here are my five tips to take better night photo.
I entered France with my Canadian passport and I decided to become a woman with a mission. I was going to find out if French were rude. About an hour after setting foot in my former country, I was ready to say yes. As soon as the plane landed, you could tell the French returning back home from the Canadians: the former loudly rushed out of the plane while the later politely let each other go first.