Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Explorer

Many of you will know Gerald through Hyde Daily Photo or Stockport Daily Photo. Yesterday he tagged me for a Facebook meme, the Black And White Challenge. I thought about it, and decided I'd have a go at it for five days here in my blog. I haven't deliberately shot in black and white, but lighting conditions or weather from time to time have created black and white, sepia toned, or colour drained shots. I decided to go back through my published photos and pick out five subjects that meet the bill. There might be a dash of colour in the shot here or there, but a monochrome image dominates.

Starting off the series is this statue of the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, standing high over the Ottawa River at Nepean Point, with a great view of both Ottawa and Gatineau. This was taken on a rainy afternoon in September 2013. The scaffolding was a temporary measure for the Nuit Blanche festival, as Champlain's statue was the subject of a light show throughout the night. You can find the link for that post here. The statue normally stands unencumbered by such a scaffolding, so this was the only chance I might ever get to be at that level with Champlain. Usually I'm looking up at the great man.


  1. This is so interesting, William, about the statue and the scaffolding. Thanks!

  2. A slender statue, he seems proud to teach the subject.


  3. I remember reading about Champlain for history classes in school.

  4. At last, someone I know something of... My ignorance of Canadian history was worrying me...

  5. Great shot of the statue of this for me unknown explorer.
    Must be a wonderful sight looking over the river from up there.

  6. @Lynette: you're welcome!

    @Jen: I liked it, even though it was a damp day!

    @Tomas: it's one of my favourite statues in the city.

    @Revrunner: he first came up the river in 1613, and so he would have known this promontory.

    @VP: he's quite an interesting figure of history.

    @Marianne: it does, yes. Just a dash of green, but mostly monochrome.

    @Jan: it is a magnificent view from up there.

  7. Sort of that classic explorer pose. Rain is perfect for a b/w look at your world.

  8. So that's what he looked like! I remember reading about Champlain and other early explorers in books my grandmother kept on her farm in northern Minnesota. This is a very fine, dramatic photograph!

  9. Some images actually look better in black and white....

  10. He looks very impressive standing there. I remember reading about him in school.

  11. @Birdman: it serves the purpose nicely.

    @Lowell: both sides of this river have changed dramatically since he came up it four centuries ago.

    @Norma: this one works nicely like this.

    @Tex: I should really get up there sometime for a late fall photo op around the statue.

    @Judy: it's a commanding position, and a stunning view from there.

    @Lois: thanks!

    @Sharon: I'm sure he dressed less formally when he was actually working!

  12. I'm sure he enjoyed the company. It's lonely at the top.

  13. Way cool from up there! It works really well in almost b&w!

  14. Oh that is for your portfolio! Great capture, pal

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

  15. Nice! Black & white is an option especially in winter when everything's drained of color. My husband keeps reminding me of this & encourages me to "see" things in tones rather than colors. I may use this as an exercise this winter instead of whining about the dullness of everything.

  16. @Stuart: on a nice day it's a popular destination for people to come up for the view. It's set behind the National Gallery.

    @Ciel: it's such a splendid place to relax for awhile.

    @Cloudia: thank you!

    @RedPat: thanks!

    @Kay: I've got a couple of winter shots in store for this series, as it turns out.

    @Mari: thanks!

  17. An impressive statue, a photo I enjoyed. Thanks William!

  18. This works well in B&W. Great choice!

  19. I like your series. I don't do black and white. Winter is too dark and too white and too long! The sepia tones in the later post are lovely!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  20. Excellent choice! Love this silhouette.

  21. @Denise: you're welcome!

    @Randy: I certainly think so.

    @Karl: there are other statues of him here in the New World, including I think in Montreal.

    @EG: thanks!

    @Jennifer: winter's a good thing!

    @Linda: thanks!

  22. great to get a new perspective on a familiar subject - nice treatment of the subject

  23. VERY nice photo! I also enjoy the narratives in your posts.