While waiting for Patrick to post his shot, I thought I’d post another. That’s Ottawa’s Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica in the background and the top floor of a strip club in the foreground. From the same evening as the previous shot.


We had wonderful weather for the Easter long weekend this year, with record-breaking temperatures in eastern Canada. I know that should be the cause for much hand-wringing, but it was very welcome after the boring winter months we’ve just had. Warm weather in Ottawa means ice cream and strolling about in the Byward Market — we just got to try it on a little earlier than usual.

I shot this and all the other images I made that evening hand-held at ISO 1600. The D90 held up well, but I keep meaning to do a proper job of it and get the tripod out. One of these days I’ll do it, because I’m sure it will pay off in image quality.

The other thing I noticed is that Ottawa doesn’t really provide a lot of “colour, outside at night.” After the New York City trip a few weeks back, everything seems a bit colourless and slow around here by comparison.

Colour, outside at night

March 24, 2010

That’s the next challenge. It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing in the past and I’m really just looking for another excuse to do more of it. Subject matter and treatment are wide open — the only stipulations are that the shot be taken outdoors, after dark. Other than that, go wild.

Love in black and white

March 22, 2010

I decided to respond by portraying a different kind of “love in black and white” — that between mother and child. And I had access to two terrific and willing models. Actually, one would probably have been even more willing if she hadn’t been teething today. Thank you to patient mum and the wee patient.

Love in Black and White

March 18, 2010

Love in B&W

March 7, 2010

That is Challenge 5. Take aim and shoot.

Canada in UK 3

March 7, 2010

Listen, I’m calling it a maple leaf and that is all there is to it! Unfortunately it looks very dark on here whereas on my screen it looks fine. Ah well, you get that. I’ve been mucking about long enough trying to get round to putting pictures up here so I’m not going to worry about it any more – enjoy (though I appreciate it is a bit moody).

Canada in UK 2

March 7, 2010

Heavily post-processed in Nikon Capture NX2, this is the building 1 Canada Place in London’s docklands, next to the Square Mile – the City, London’s financial district. I’ve never been inside and would love to visit but you can’t just drop in as far as I know. It is a thing of beauty and since being built in the 1980s it has to a certain extent dominated London’s skyline much, I think, to London’s benefit.

Canada in UK 1

March 7, 2010

I have no idea why it is so small so don’t ask – I’m having enough trouble as it is with WordPress without trying to get everything perfect! This had a little bit of writing as an explanation underneath when I previewed it but the writing obviously hasn’t made it through. This is Canada Water in East / Central London, and a bleaker place in the winter it is hard to imagine – the urban ugliness of it is almost, but not quite, beautiful, and it couldn’t be further from the Canada of Vancouver Island that haunts my memories and dreams.

UK in Canada 3 — Media

February 14, 2010

Here’s a shot of an addled American on the box to underline that another place you’ll see the UK in Canada is in the media. As the world continues to shrink and the 500-channel universe is upon us (500 used to sound like a huge number), cable and satellite companies are scrambling to find enough content to fill channels to satisfy an impatient market. In Canada, where we already have access to a large array of U.S. radio and TV stations (for good and for ill), media outlets are increasingly turning to other parts of the Anglosphere to pad their schedules — we’re hearing many more Australian and British accents on the box these days. Media outlets here have read the tea leaves and seen the opportunity for profit by recycling BBC programs (on BBC Canada, BBC World and BBC Kids… Baa…laa…mo…ry!) for an audience that associates the Beeb with quality programs. We’ve been watching the good stuff  filtered to us on PBS and TVO for years, after all.

The trouble is that the stuff we get on BBC Canada is often crap. Far too much of it is Canadian re-runs to meet “Canadian content” regulations (thanks, CRTC!) and the rest is a toss-up between Jonathan Ross (that’s Tom on his show, above), “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps” and the fourth time we’ve seen the same bloody house in Hounslow cleaned, sold or renovated. It’s a terrific relief when something like “Life on Mars” or “Top Gear” (a guilty secret) comes along.

The answer to all this? The Internet. The 500-channel pre-packaged universe is on its way to becoming irrelevant in a world where we can dial up what we want, when we want it (I’m listening to BBC Scotland’s drive-time “Get it On” as I type this). Give us good UK programming, but spare us the dross with an accent.