Henry’s Kanata Free Small Flash Photowalk – Mar. 26th 2011

March 22nd, 2011

I will be once again leading another free photowalk this Saturday for Henry’s Kanata. It will be a 2hr outing focusing on off camera small flash photography at Andrew Haydon Park (meet at stage) 3-5pm. Techniques touched upon will include how to trigger small flash units off camera (wired and wirelessly) and options to modify the style and quality of light by using grids, coloured gels, and diffusers. This 2hr photowalk will be free to attend, but we do ask participants to bring a non perishable food item for donation to the Kanata food cupboard.

Strings of pearls are formed from morning dew on a spiders web. (Stephen Harrison)

Winterlude 2011 Ice Carving Competition

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)

Henry’s Kanata Free Night Time Photowalk – Feb. 27th 2011

February 9th, 2011

I will be once again leading another free Photowalk held by Henry’s Kanata later this month. It will be held on Sunday Feb 27th 2011 5:30-7:30pm at the Parking Lot P3 just East of the Nepean Tent and Trailer Campground on Corkstown Rd. (between March Rd. and Moodie Dr.).

A 15 minute timed exposure of the Northern sky at night with star trails. (Stephen Harrison)

This free 2hr photowalk will be focused on creating great low-light sky and landscape imagery with the use of tripods, remote releases, flashlights, and speedlights. Dress warm and bring your camera, a tripod, fully charged batteries and be ready to shoot! Please feel free to mention the free photowalk to friends and colleagues that you think might benefit from it as well. As usual, we will be bringing some gear to try out as well.

A long exposure of the night sky with light painted foreground. (Stephen Harrison)

If you are planning on attending just call the store at (613) 836-1016 during business hours. You also will have the chance to win a $25 Henry’s Gift Certificate for sending in your best photo to the store. A winner will be selected and their photo will be framed and displayed in the store with their name. Also, please bring a non-perishable food item to the photowalk for donation to the Kanata Food Cupboard. See you then!

OC Transpo Bus Fire

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.