Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dusk Descends Once More Upon The Old Year

It is New Year's Eve, and as I did last year, I like the idea of ending the year with sunsets.

I took this shot near sunset on either the longest day of the year in June, or the day before. It is the familiar view of the Rideau Canal from the Bank Street Bridge.

The sun had gone down one day late in August, but there was still a bit of light, and I passed by the dark shape of Southminster United Church on my way onto the Bank Street Bridge.  There I caught the last light in the west.

And this was from another August twilight.

This was taken south of the above location, in mid-October, walking across Billings Bridge where Bank Street crosses the Rideau River.

While this was taken at the same location in early November, on the last day of daylight savings time.

By contrast, the following day had an earlier sunset- I stopped at Plaza Bridge in the dying light of the day for this shot looking north over the Canal and the Ottawa River to Gatineau.

Then I went over to Major's Hill Park and photographed the last light of day over the river and Parliament Hill. There's even a planet in the dusk sky to the right of the Library of Parliament- I believe it was Venus.

And these are my final shots of the year, taken earlier this month on a bridge in the South Keys area, looking east and west. The moon is up in the eastern sky in the first shot. I photographed the same western view over these rail tracks a couple of years ago.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The National Arts Centre On A Winter Day

I have some Christmas images left for you today (with the odd bit of decor appearing here or there in coming days). This is the National Arts Centre at night, coming over the Canal via the Mackenzie King Bridge, with Christmas lights in the trees and on the walls. These were taken on an evening before Christmas.

I took these shots some days ago, on the 27th.  It was a grey day (ironically the following day had the bright sunny weather I'd wanted). I've been periodically following the progress of the NAC's current project in adding on a glass enclosure around part of the building, due to be finished in time for Canada Day. You can find the last post here.

This first view, from Plaza Bridge, takes in the site surrounded by snow. We'd had freezing rain the previous night, adding a slick coat to pretty much everything. The second shot, closer up, features the statue of military officer and politician Andrew Hamilton Gault, founder of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment, in the foreground. And the third shot is where I was going to go- down towards the Canal to take shots from that perspective. The sight of that pathway, glazed with ice, changed my mind, particularly since the day before I'd taken a fall and hurt my hand.

These views take in the NAC from the point of view of the National War Memorial, where a Christmas wreath had been placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. These shots give you some perspective on how close the two places are to each other. The War Memorial is maintained through winter by crews who keep paths cleared of snow so that anyone, even in wheelchairs, can pay a visit. One of the crews was here while I was on site.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Seasonal Wonder Upon Centre Block

Aside from the Christmas lights, there has been for some years now a projection show on Parliament Hill over the Christmas period, from early December on. This seems to be an off shoot of a light show that is held in summer and projected onto Centre Block. The show starts at five thirty and runs through to eleven in the evenings, with images projected onto the stone in a light show lasting just under fifteen minutes. Winter dominates the presentation, with animals like a bear or wolf sharing the stone surface with grandfather clocks, trains, buildings, snowmen, the stars, and more, all accompanied by music. Note the fact that the familiar clock of the Peace Tower is darkened through much of it, becoming instead a crescent moon most of the time. This year the evening shows ended on Christmas night- I believe there's something going on here on New Year's Eve as a way to ring in our 150th anniversary, and crews need a few days to get that ready. While I didn't get a video of this year's performance, I did photograph extensively- more than fifty shots over the time of this one showing. I will have to take in the summer show, something I've never done.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Confederation Square And The Hill

This Santa sculpture can be found at the moment down on Sparks Street.

A short walk away is Confederation Square, which is centered upon the National War Memorial. The blue and green lights stood out well with the Memorial, Parliament Hill, and the Chateau Laurier in the background.

On the Hill itself, Christmas lights can be found, along with an art installation of prisms you could spin around at your leisure to get the light moving. The reason Centre Block was all lit up like that will be forthcoming in tomorrow's post.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

City Hall And Confederation Park

The grounds around City Hall, including the skating rink, have been lit up for Christmas. I decided to take a night time shot of the Ottawa Firefighters memorial, as I've never photographed it in the evening.

City Hall itself was open on the evening I stopped by- there was an event going on in one of the large spaces here, and I wanted to photograph the Christmas decorations. The piano you see is a regular fixture in the lobby, free to be played by anyone who happens to know how to tickle the ivories.

Across the street, Christmas lights were prominent at Confederation Park. This place will be busy in February as a focal point for Winterlude.