Tempus Fugit

My oh my how time flies. September and October were a blur—in my mind Labour Day was just last weekend—and by all indications, November and December will zip by just as quickly.

From my perspective, September and October are arguably the absolute BEST months of the year in these parts (Ottawa, nicely sandwiched between Toronto and Montréal) and it’s a shame they’re gone. Because November and December just SUCK. Badly.


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Care to guess when each of these two shots—same place, different PoV—were taken?

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There’s a reason why it’s not called Yesvember.

I was lucky enough to get out and shoot lots of pictures during September and October; we were blessed with a particularly spectacular start to the autumn and it’s definitely been hard not to shoot. On the flip side, it’s been (for me, at least) a particularly busy time, and I’ve neglected processing and sharing some of what I was able to capture.

So, for the next few days and weeks, I’m going to be digging into my backlog (none of it is old enough to call an archive) and creating a few posts that highligh just how visually awesome this autumn has been.

In the meantime, here’s a random sampling of what things looked like around home, in Ottawa and in Montréal in October.

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À bientôt!

Good morning, Picton


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Picton, the seat of Prince Edward County is known for its bucolic setting, great restaurants, quirky boutiques and overall great vibes. Over the past few years, Picton—along with the rest of PEC—has started to gentrify. Retirees and tourists from Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and beyond are moving in, setting up, and driving prices out of reach for long-time residents.

It’s the same old story that’s being played out in cities and towns all over the “free” world. (Turns out that free is getting expensive.)

 

An early morning walk off the main drag reveals what’s changed, what’s changing and what will surely change in the years to come.

I really like this place; I hope it doesn’t lose its soul.

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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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When the light is right, Lowertown edition

Good light makes everything look better. Warm sun makes everyone feel better.

Lowertown is an interesting neighborhood. The oldest part of Ottawa, it was settled in 1826 as a worksite for the Rideau Canal.

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Lowertown is bounded roughly by Rideau Street to the south, Sussex Drive and Ottawa River to the north, the Rideau Canal to the west, and the Rideau River to the east. It includes the commercial Byward Market area in the south-western part, and is predominantly residential in the north and east.

Along Sussex Drive, forming the periphery of Lowertown, you will find all sorts of institutions: embassies, government departments, the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, the National Gallery of Canada. The side-streets to the east and south of Sussex form the heart of the old residential neighbourhood. It’s dotted with modest homes, many of which date back well over 100 years. Some are prettier than others, some have aged better than others, some are more well maintained than others. And some were replaced with homes that don’t necessarily reflect the character of the neighbourhood all that well.

Read more about the history of Lowertown at the Lowertown Community Association.

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All images shot with the Fujifilm X100F and processed with a little Capture One Pro pixie dust.

Le pont Jacques-Cartier

Not the oldest (that would be the Victoria Bridge) and not the busiest (that would be the Champlain Bridge) arguably the most iconic bridge to connect the island of Montreal to its South Shore is the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

Spanning almost 3.5km from end-to-end, and towering over 100m above the St-Lawrence Seaway (with 50m clearance), this 89-year-old structure looms over Montreal. Almost nobody alive today remembers Montreal without it.

Built to last, it was actually finished ahead of time and under budget!


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Unlike most other major transportation infrastructure in Montreal, the Jacques-Cartier is a testament to the power of regular maintenance and upkeep.

It’s also the only major bridge crossing to the South Shore that not only accommodates cars, but also pedestrians, with sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. In 2001, the sidewalk on the western side of the bridge was converted to a multi-use pathway, for both cyclists and pedestrians.


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A fresh coat of paint and some good light will keep the ol’ JC looking great for years to come.


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There are some parts that still need some paint and TLC. These are located near the centre on Île Ste-Hélène. Let’s just say they add character.


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It wasn't  always  the Jacques-Cartier... it spent the first 4 years of its existence as the "Montreal Harbour Bridge."It wasn't  always  the Jacques-Cartier... it spent the first 4 years of its existence as the "Montreal Harbour Bridge."

It wasn’t always the Jacques-Cartier… it spent the first 4 years of its existence as the “Montreal Harbour Bridge.”