V is for Velvia

Fujifilm Velvia is one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of films. Designed for nature and landscape photography, it’s characterized by deep saturation, redder-than-red reds and greener-than-green greens.

Of course, I don’t shoot film—I got into photography well into the digital era—but my trusty Fujifilm X-T2 digital camera has these wonderful film simulations baked in. This is where Fuji’s engineers have reverse-engineered the behaviours of some of their most popular and famous film emulsions (Provia, Astia, Acros and of course Velvia) and made them available as shooting modes directly in-camera.

Velvia 50 makes anything in sunlight look incredible. It makes warm colors warmer, while keeping everything else more vivid. It makes good dawn and afternoon light look even better than reality.

– Ken Rockwell

This afternoon I was walking around the garden, admiring my wife’s handiwork, where she had spent a part of the afternoon planting some seedlings. I hadn’t planned on taking any shots, but the light was just right, and I knew what I had to do.

Fujifilm X-T2, the magical XF56mmF1.2 R and Velvia film simulation

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The Antidote


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It’s been one of those winters. Here in Ottawa, snow has been on the ground since November 12 and we haven’t seen the grass since. I have about 1m of snow in my backyard; in the front yard, the snowploughs and snow blowers and shovels have conspired to creat a 2-3m high mass. We can’t see the street from our living room.

Late winter is always gray and dreary. The pristine white of fresh snow yields to the greys and beiges of melting snow mixed with pollution.

To top it off, yesterday we got a freak storm that dropped about 10cm of wet, heavy snow in about an hour.

Sure, it’s pretty again, but really? Enough.

In protest of Mother Nature’s capriciousness I present to you an antidote to snow. Enjoy.

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Photo essay #15: lazy Sunday mornings

Sunday mornings in the summer are special. You can sit around the table on the patio, linger over a few cups of coffee and soak in sunshine before it starts getting too hot & harsh.

Of course, the morning light is always nice (when the sun is actually out!). My trusty X100F is never far away, and it was easy for me to get distracted from my reading by noticing how the light was hitting stuff the garden and around the house.

I was more interested in shapes and shadows today, so most everything was shot in Acros and is straight out of camera. Of course, there were a few images that just begged for colour, so they got some SOOC Velvia love.

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Photo Essay #10: Tulip season in Ottawa

Every May, no matter how long, short, cold or mild the preceding winter was, the tulips come out. Sometimes a week early, sometimes a week late, but they always come out.

The city of Ottawa is host to the annual Canadian Tulip Festival (starting today!) which is now in its 65th year. Over 1,000,000 bulbs are planted for the tulip festival, spread amongst several locales around the city, such as Major’s Hill Park and Commissioner’s Park (which is host to over 250,000 tulips on its own).

The tulip festival is the offshoot of a long-standing and very special relationship between Holland and Canada:

In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for Canadians having sheltered Princess Juliana and her daughters for the preceding three years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, in the Second World War.

The most noteworthy event during their time in Canada was the birth in 1943 of Princess Margriet to Princess Juliana at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. The maternity ward was declared to be officially a temporary part of Dutch territory and the Canadian Parliament voted to change governorship to be Dutch territory for one day and changed the flag over the Parliament building to the Dutch flag for that day, so that Princess Margriet would be born in Dutch territory and would inherit only her Dutch citizenship from her mother. In 1946, Juliana sent another 20,500 bulbs requesting that a display be created for the hospital, and promised to send 10,000 more bulbs each year.

In the years following Queen Juliana’s original donation, Ottawa became famous for its tulips and in 1953 the Ottawa Board of Trade and photographer Malak Karsh organized the first “Canadian Tulip Festival”. Queen Juliana returned to celebrate the festival in 1967, and Princess Margriet returned in 2002 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the festival.

Source: Wikipedia

Here are some tulips from Major’s Hill Park. As you can see, they’re almost open… and there are plenty more waiting to bloom.

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