Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Winterlude 2011 Ice Carving Competition

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Each year in Ottawa I try and attend Winterlude during at least one of the three weekends while it is being held. This year I documented the amazing talents of the international ice carving teams while they sawed, chipped, and chisled their artworks into form during both the One Block Challenges and the 24th Rogers International Ice Carving Competition. These are some the final sculptures based on the theme “Yin and Yang”. Check out the Winterlude 2011 Gallery to see the work that went into making these marvelous pieces of art.

Ice sculpture entitled "...Duel..." based on the theme "Yin and Yang" created by professional ice carvers Samuel Girault of le Blanc Mesnil, France and Michal Mizula of Poznan, Poland. The ice sculpture won second place at the 24th Rogers International Ice Carving Competition at Confederation Park during Winterlude festivities in Ottawa, Canada Feb. 6th 2011. (Stephen Harrison)

Ice sculpture entitled "His or Hers" based on the theme "Yin and Yang" created by professional ice carvers Tom Pitt of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Peter Fogarty of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the 24th Rogers International Ice Carving Competition at Confederation Park during Winterlude festivities in Ottawa, Canada Feb. 6th 2011. (Stephen Harrison)

School of fish ice sculpture entitled "Life in the Balance" based on the theme "Yin and Yang" created by professional ice carvers Hideshi Terada of Gatineau, Canada and Junichi Nakamura of Iwanai Chio, Japan. The ice sculpture won first place at the 24th Rogers International Ice Carving Competition at Confederation Park during Winterlude festivities in Ottawa, Canada Feb. 6th 2011. (Stephen Harrison)

School of fish ice sculpture entitled "Life in the Balance" based on the theme "Yin and Yang" created by professional ice carvers Hideshi Terada of Gatineau, Canada and Junichi Nakamura of Iwanai Chio, Japan. The ice sculpture won first place at the 24th Rogers International Ice Carving Competition at Confederation Park during Winterlude festivities in Ottawa, Canada Feb. 6th 2011. (Stephen Harrison)

Ice sculpture entitled "Fire and Ice Incense Burner" based on the theme "Yin and Yang" created by professional ice carvers Li Tie Yin and Wei Xian Lin of Harbin, China at the 24th Rogers International Ice Carving Competition at Confederation Park during Winterlude festivities in Ottawa, Canada Feb. 6th 2011. (Stephen Harrison)

Ice sculpture created by Ross Baisas of the Philippines won 1st place in the 2hr One Block Challenge during Winterlude festivities in Ottawa, Canada Feb. 4th 2011. The competition focused on the theme "Yin and Yang". (Stephen Harrison)

Ice sculpture created by Fermin Gomez of Mexico won 2nd place in the 2hr One Block Challenge during Winterlude festivities in Ottawa, Canada Feb. 4th 2011. The competition focused on the theme "Yin and Yang". (Stephen Harrison)

Ice sculpture created by Tom Pitt in the 2hr One Block Challenge during Winterlude festivities in Ottawa, Canada Feb. 4th 2011. The competition focused on the theme "Yin and Yang". (Stephen Harrison)

OC Transpo Bus Fire

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Sometime strange things happen riding the OC Transpo bus service in Ottawa. A few years ago, in late September after finishing work at a Photography store in Kanata, my OC Transpo bus decided to blow up. Well, not the entire bus, just the engine. But still, it was quite an experience. While riding near the back of the 118 Hurdman at around 9:25pm the bus was passing through the large stretch of forest along Robertson Rd. (between Kanata and Bells Corners) and all of a sudden there was a loud pop/bang and the rear of the bus lifted for a moment. The bus driver continued on for a minute or two to reach the city, as I figure he didn’t want to stop in the middle of nowhere to figure out what happened. Smelly grey smoke began to waft through the back paneling as we pulled to a stop near Richmond and Westcliffe Rd. Everyone was calm, just trying to figure out what just occurred and exited the bus with belongings and frayed nerves.

Luckily, I had my camera backpack with me (come on, working at a photography store and attending Algonquins Photography program- what else would you expect? :P) and took out my DSLR camera with external flash and began documenting the self destruction of the rear half of the bus where the engine sits.

The smoke became more and more prominent, and billowed into the night sky.
An engine fire causes black smoke to billow into the night sky from the rear of an OC Transpo public bus. (Stephen Harrison)

Then bright sparks and flame began appearing.
An engine in a bus explodes and catches fire at night. (Stephen Harrison)

At that point it was more of a spectacle, as the passengers and driver all watched as the bus spewed flames. Not something you see every day. Funnily the driver was not alarmed; he kind of shrugged it off as if it was an everyday occurrence with OC Transpo. In fact he made a comment along the lines of (paraphrasing) “Oh well, there goes another one…”.

Fire crews were alerted, and the pros went to work. Flares where laid to alert traffic, hoses were hooked up, masks put on. Then it was showtime. After spraying quite a bit of water onto the bus, two firefighters moved in and lifted the panel to access the engine compartment. Whoosh! The intake of oxygen produced a large plume of fire that almost overcame the fireman as seen in the next two images.
A fireman opens the back panel of a bus as large flames blaze from the engine. (Stephen Harrison)
A fireman opens the back panel of a bus as large flames blaze from the engine. (Stephen Harrison)

Expletives where yelled, some by the onlookers, but also by the firemen. They quickly regained their composure and began battling the blaze with a torrent of water.
Fire crews spray water on an engine fire on a bus. (Stephen Harrison)

5 minutes later it was all over and all that was left to do was to inspect the damage and figure out the cause.
Fire crews inspect the engine compartment to determine the cause of a engine fire. (Stephen Harrison)
Fire crews inspect the engine compartment to determine the cause of a engine fire. (Stephen Harrison)

After about 30 minutes (and when the popcorn was all finished) another bus came along and the passengers hopped on board and went on with their evening. Just another night riding the OC Transpo I guess.

Photoshelter RSS Gallery Widget

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

A new addition you may have noticed on the righthand sidebar of the blog is the Photoshelter RSS Gallery widget. This was made possible by Nature and Travel Photographer Johan of NiO Photography. It pulls images from a Photoshelter Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed and displays the thumbnails in this handy dandy widget (complete with image links). I have been testing it out for him before the final release and I have to say it’s been a pleasure working with him due to his knowledgable and timely responses. This handy little widget allows the user to set a bunch of options to their liking, including background color, border colour and thickness, number of thumbs to display, sqaure or rectangular thumb, title and text options, and more! The image thumbnail links to the appropriate image gallery and includes the description/caption iptc metadata. Look for the final public release it in the next month or two from Johan to improve the functionality of your webpage!

As previously mentioned on this blog, Johan was also the designer of the useful dual blog/photo archive search widget. Kudos!

Website Tips: Dual Image/Blog Search

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Here at Stephen Harrison Photography we are always looking for ways to enhance the functionality, usability, and performance of the image archive and accompanying blog.

The search widget on the right hand sidebar of this blog has been updated with the ability to keyword search not just this blog, but also the image archive. Just click on the radio button for the area (either blog or photo archive) you would like to search in and type the keyword you’re looking for and hit enter. Your results will be returned immediately. If you require a more advanced image search, click on the underlined link below the search field to enter specifics such as image orientation, location, date, and more!

Special thanks goes to Johan from www.niophoto.com for the help in adding this extra functionality.