Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ottawa Luminère Festival a Night of Magic Light

I find having a camera gives me an opportunity to see things that I don’t normally see, especially in your own hometown.

Last weekend evening, I attended the Luminère Festival in Stanley Park, which is in the New Edinburgh area of Ottawa.

They state on their site “… a chance to celebrate the magic and beauty of light!” and is this not a photographer’s perfect dream.

There is about a 3/4 km pathway right along the river with hundreds of coloured paper bags and handmade tissue-paper objects that are illuminated by candle light.

At one place along the path, they exhibited several groupings of Chinese paper umbrellas lit underneath and around by candles in boxes.

There were also a large 6 foot high rainbow

A train and station

At the main attraction was 1000 or more brown lunch-box size paper bags that formed a spiral pattern on the infield of the baseball diamond.

There were paper stars, boxes and globes that held lit candles as was for sale.

paper lanterns

There were dancers from many eastern countries performing elaborate routines

And acrobats hanging from trees.

What a magical night

Niels Henriksen

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Ottawa Busker’s Festival

This past weekend, I took in the annual Ottawa Busker’s festival on Sparks street. This is a pedestrian street and all the through streets were specifically closed to traffic to permit busker’s to also perform in these areas. The entertainers who perform at these events travel the country during the summer, delighting groups of people and through generous donations from the spectators, they make the summer earnings.

These events are a great opportunity to capture some exciting action with my camera.

As it was approaching evening I decided to only use my 50mm 1.8 lens. I wish I had a real 50mm (33mm) as with the 1.5 crop factor this equated to a 75mm which I found to be a little too much of a telephoto when you are sitting at the edge of the performers.

It was difficult to completely capture in the frame the group of performers when they were moving around.

The group of 3 on the trampoline was great fun to watch. This girl almost looks like she is diving into something. I was not able to capture them together in their antics until they performed the combined flip.

There were many buskers who as part of their act using fire in one-way or the other. With low light and a longer shutter speed you can get some interesting fire trails and with luck the perfor5m does not move too much to create a blur.

A fire-eater

A lady using the spectators as props. This always helps to better engage the audience.

There was this French-Canadian duo that had a very entertaining performance. I believe the above shot captures the knockout well. Those are huge soft gloves and no one get hurt, but maybe wet as they from time to time spray water into the crowd.

As a street photographer I think it is important that when you are partaking of their entertainment that you also donate to their cause. These are great event to both watch and photograph.

Niels Henriksen

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Copper Vase Method of Nature Photography

I tend to do a lot of landscape and nature photography as these venues permit you to leisurely take your time while you determine the best angle and background settings for composing your shot.

The downside is when you are shooting wild flowers and sometimes interesting weeds, you first have to get low to the ground and then you do not always have the luxury of removing extraneous plants.

I decided that if I used a piece of copper pipe and stuck this in the ground then I would have a tall thin vase like structure that would permit me to place just a few flowers in the top opening. I could then move the pipe around until I had the best background to set the object against. A side benefit was now I was able to shoot standing up and made it easier to use the tripod.

This is the thistle shot in the pipe and below is the final image of thistle.

These are a few more of the flowers that I placed in this copper vase.

Niels Henriksen


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