TRAVEL BLOG: O, Ottawa

In two days in Ottawa, I managed to reignite that patriotism that is often inert in us Canadians. I mean that in a positive way. Americans with their pledges of allegiance and intense love of their country are off-putting in a way that Canada’s quiet love for itself cannot compare to.

You see, not only did I have a picnic lunch on Parliament Hill, I also saw the nightly light show. While the content was basic enough – Canada’s road to confederation, mostly – the last projection morphed into the flag of Canada and sure enough, the anthem started. With thousands on their feet singing along, it was hard not to feel something.

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TRAVEL BLOG: Montreal makes an impression

Full disclosure here, my french skills are nonexistent. I can basically read signs and apologize for my lack of knowledge. That being said, almost everyone here speaks some degree of English so I really don’t have a hard time asking for directions on the Metro. Once I figured out how to navigate this metropolis, a couple things became apparent to me.

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TRAVEL BLOG: Potato Edward Island

A trip to the Maritimes just wouldn’t be complete without Prince Edward Island. Other than the touristy Trap of Green Gables, which we didn’t see due to time constraints, poor map reading and the fact that I haven’t actually read the book, the Isle seems pretty nice. It’s a place of little else besides potatoes and soy and fisherman with a strong representation by retirees.

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BLOG: Astro-photogrowth

So I’ve almost tweaked my set-up for taking pictures of the night sky, and now with Photoshop admin-ajaxable to help me actually /see/ the stars in my shots I feel confident enough to share some of my first attempts with you. As I am a night-owl (or, more accurately, a term I learned from watching Archer, crepuscular) person, astrophotography seems a natural hobby as a combination of being awake at odd hours and a fascination with the stars.

I learned in my rudimentary research that really nice photos of nebulae and the like are made by layering multiple shots. I also know that really detailed shots require an actual telescope but I’m not that financially invested in this. That being said, curves and levels are awesome! Photoshop can help one use the raw data of the photo to reveal a magical and wonderous world that almost-entirely-black photo hid from view! I suppose it would be like comparing the naked eye view of the sky with that of a telescopic one… anyway, technology is grand. Telescopes or editing software, however you stargaze, as long as you’re happy. And hey, in a few short weeks I’ve gained a remarkable amount of knowledge in both camera skill and editing. Plus, I get pretty pictures.

 

Of course, clouds ruin everything. Or look like weird nebulae. But living in Vancouver, my biggest struggle is finding a time when I’m free, the stars are visible beyond the veil of rain, and the lights around me are dim enough that I can get decent enough shots. This isn’t the best season for it, I know but I’m having fun anyway.

Besides the skills I’ve gained on the photography side, I’m also learning A TON about astronomy. I didn’t know much before so my gains are pretty elementary, but expanding my mind is more than enough for me. Now, while you ponder the infinite expanse, I have to go see check how cloudy it is and bring in my tripod before the rain.

 

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Does anyone out there have any tips or opinions on the final product? Would several short redskyexposures layered look better than a few longer ones? Or, just not layering? The red-cloud shot is the only one in this collection with more than 2 layers and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

Which looks nicer? What do you think?

BLOG: (Welcome Back) Changes

It’s been about two years since my last post which lines up with my timeline of breaking my last laptop and purchasing this one. I’m terribly sorry to any and all that were hanging on to the This Week In Photos series. It’s been a quiet few years in terms of portfolio fodder but I’ve been doing some rather important personal growth. Also travelling and working and all that jazz.

Some of the highlights while I’ve been gone include:

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