A Final Tribute

Yesterday we laid my father to rest alongside my mother at the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces.  It was a military funeral with a full honour guard as he had served in the Royal Canadian Navy during WWII from as soon as he was old enough until the war ended in 1945.   He crossed the Atlantic many times dodging German submarines and torpedoes and then he raised one son and three daughters.  I always thought he was a hero.  

The Last Post for John Campbell Wilson at the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces. 

Fuji's 16-55

It's been four months now since I've been shooting with the Fuji 16-55 F2.8 weather sealed beauty and I'd have to say it is my most used and favourite lens to date.  Fuji makes awesome prime lenses as well and I currently have the 23 and the 35 but when carrying around the 16-55 it feels as if you have four prime lenses on your camera all at once. 

I do have the 23mm F1.4 as well as the 35mm F1.4 and I love them both but when I'm on an assignment and have to shoot everything from portraits to landscapes and then food I reach for the 16-55 as it is the most versatile. 

So what can you photograph with it?  Almost everything: architecture, street, still life, portraiture, interiors, events..   What I love about it:  its excellent image quality, solid build, weather sealing and it is fast.  What I don't love:  it is a bit on the heavy side, however coming from the D800 and a 24-70 it is still light in comparison.  Also, because Fuji does OIS so well, I wouldn't have minded if they had included it on this lens.  

Here are some image samples. 

Zipping Along for Zipcar

ZipCar, a US travel company recently contacted me to find out whether or not I might be interested in photographing my own home town in order to encourage tourists to visit.  Oh my goodness "YES!" was my response even though I didn't really know where I'd be going or what I'd be doing.   Just the week before I had ventured out to Almonte, Ontario for a photo walk with a girlfriend just for the fun of it and now I was going to be paid to do the same sort of thing.  

The story written by Peter Johanson was entitled “Parliament, Poutine and Pinball”.  Obviously the first stop would be the Parliament Buildings with its neo-gothic architecture.  

The Parliament Buildings

No Canadian can stand and look at this cluster of buildings, … without feeling that somewhere on this Hill, perhaps by a happy accident, architects, masons and stone carvers, have managed to grasp and materialize the beauty of Canada, the vastness of its land, its loneliness, its youth and its hope.
— Bruce Hutchison - The Unknown Country, 1944


Next they wanted me to drop into the Aviation museum and charter a 1939 open-cockpit biplane and take pictures from the air. I was game and all set to do that. Sure I had never flown in an open-cockpit biplane but I did take pictures once of skydivers leaving a Cessna so I felt qualified and was certain I could get something interesting. Unfortunately, that service wouldn’t be available until the following weekend and they needed the pictures sooner than that. Sigh. In his article, the writer mentioned several other museums and attractions including the Governor General’s Residence, the National Art Gallery, Museum of History and the RCMP Musical Ride. Since I had never actually seen the Musical Ride, I opted to go there. 

The RCMP Musical Ride

I made arrangements with Sgt. Karen Miller, Musical Ride Trainer for a tour of the stables at 7am. There I would get a first hand look at the operations and meet the riders, and see them rehearse ! There were 33 horses and riders and I got a real sense of the camaraderie amongst the team. I will definitely want to go back to see the RCMP Musical Ride Sunset Ceremonies this summer. 

The Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River

For something more active, the next stop would be the Rideau Canal - a four season playground where Ottawans use it to skate to work in the winter, or ride their bike in the summer. And I discovered that you can even surf on the Ottawa River! 

The Byward Market

The Byward Market is a great place to visit with its interesting boutiques and stores.  The story had me drop into Adroit a "one of a kind clothing, jewelry and accessories shop - all handmade from recycled materials and eco-fabrics." 

What's to Eat?

There are perks to this job and one of them was being introduced to one of the hippest restaurants in town:  two six (ate) on Preston Street (not surprisingly at 268 Preston Street).  I photographed and sampled their Chickpea gnocchi with tofu Alfredo and Duck and Foie Gras Pogos.  Divine is all I can say.  I will be back. 

Poutine and Beaver Tails

And of course, no visit to the Ottawa region would be complete without indulging in some Poutine which is an extremely rich delicacy made of french fries, gravy and cheese curds.  I did have some and know why I don't buy it very often - I really like them and I would end up having to take out a gym membership. 

But I couldn't resist the Beaver Tail which I hadn't had in quite some time (probably for the same reason).  I had the Killable Sunrise Beaver Tail - (a deep fired whole wheat pasty topped with cinnamon, brown sugar and lemon) and then I came across a couple of Australians who were enjoying the Chocolate Banana version glistening in the late afternoon sun.  I kind of leaned over their shoulders and asked if they minded if I photographed their desert.  They didn't and so I photographed him too. 

The House of Tarq

The Pinball part of this story belongs to the House of Tarq which is rather an 'edgy' venue (which I used to frequent when it was a disco years ago) and where you can play vintage pinball while dining on some of the best perigies in town.  


Fairmont Chateau Montebello

And finally the story had me visit the Fairmont Chateau Montebello which is the world's largest log cabin and an upscale resort.  I have stayed there before but I welcomed the opportunity to be there solely for photographing its amazing interior.  While there I met Monte who is the house resident pooch who 'works' Monday through Saturday greeting guests while hanging out in the foyer.  His job seems as tough as mine ;) 

All photos taken with Fujifilm XT1 and the following lenses: 16-55 F2.8, 23 F1.4, 35 F1.4 and 10-24mm.