Photographing What I Can

At times, I really don’t have any definitive idea of what I want to go out and shoot.  I wonder around, looking at what is around me and sometimes things stand out.

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Unlike my trips to Ile St Helene where I knew what I wanted, this is not the case each time I step out my door with my camera.  These days, I find myself taking my camera with me more and more.  Hey, you never know what you might miss.

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My trip down to Meadowbrook was an instance of me not knowing what I wanted to shoot.  Honestly, I did not even know if there was something worthy to shoot at all.  However, I feel like there is always something to shoot now.  You just have to use your eyes and look at things as if through your viewfinder.

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Sometimes I am a bit self-conscious and feel that everyone is looking at me while I am composing a photo.  Well, some people perhaps are, but not everyone.  You just have to let yourself go and forget about the people around you.  Concentrate on your shot.  After all, you are only taking a photo with a camera, what’s the worry?

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Take a walk around your neighbourhood and I am sure you will find all sorts of things to shoot.  It really is limitless.  Just open your eyes.

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Graffiti

One of the things that I hate the most when I look around my city, is graffiti.  I find it disgusting to see spray paint all over someone’s fence, garage door, side of the building, etc.  It’s pure vandalism and I don’t understand the point of it.  It’s hardly artistic and it means nothing to the general populace.

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On the other hand, there is a kind of graffiti that I really do like (look at photos).  Unlike the disgusting “tagging” that I see all over the place, these wall murals that are cropping up all over Montreal are just beautiful!

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If you really want to capture lots of color and put your cameras sensor to the test, go out and find these wall murals in your city.

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If I were you, I would put your picture control on vivid and bump up the saturation a bit.  Also, try to go out on a sunny day.  This way, you will really capture the colors and make them pop in your photos.

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These photos, except for the one of the Metro mural, were all taken from two buildings on the same block.  The murals themselves, represent the type of business that each building houses.  A bakery and a garage (body shop).

 

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There are so many more murals like this in Montreal.  I find it such a joy to take pictures of them because they are so colorful and artistic.  I just can’t imagine doing something like this with a can of spray paint.  Definitely takes talent.

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I am happy to see that these murals are left untouched by the morons who decide to tag everything in site.  I suppose that even they have some measure of respect for real art.

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Meadowbrook Golf Club, Cote St Luc, Quebec

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I nearly got rid of my Nikon 35mm 1.8G because i rarely use it these days.  I wanted to trade this lens in, along with my Nikon 18-105, for a 16-85 or a 24-85.  But, i found out that i was not going to get much at all for the 18-105.  Therefore, i just kept both lenses.

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I took my 35mm and put it on my D7100 today and went down to the Meadowbrook golf club.

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On the way there, i came across a nice little park for kids.  There seems to be some stationary water toys in the park, which would be fun on a hot summers day.

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It seems to be a very nice golf course and well taken care of.  Though, nothing to glamorous.  It is public, so anyone can go and play.

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Meadowbrook is in danger of being taken over by development.  I don’t know why some people can’t just leave things as they are.

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On the way back home, i went by the Cote St Luc volunteer EMS (first responders) house.  The folks here give their time, for free, to be first responder EMS personnel for Cote St Luc.  If you are in Cote St Luc and call 911 for a medical emergency, these are the guys and gals who will show up at your door first.

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Life decisions… which way to go?

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Montreal From a Different Perspective

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While in Parc Jean Drapeau yesterday, we ended up at the ferry dock.  The ferry starts off at the Jacques Cartier pier, comes to Ile Sainte Helene, then goes off to Longeuil.  If you want to take this ferry, it is $7.50 a head.  The metro is $3.00.  Therefore, it all depends on whether or not you want to have a boat ride or not.

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The ferry dock really offers a nice view of Montreal across the river.  If you were ever wanting to to some sunsets, this would be the spot to do them.  It really is an unobstructed view of the whole downtown area.

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I shot all of these with my Tamron 10-24mm at F16 and ISO 100.  Shutter speed was fast enough that i did not need to mount my camera on a tripod.

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I really like the wispy clouds in the sky and how blue the sky was.  It’s a nice contrast to the water.

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Below, you can see the Molson brewery and the CBC building to the left.

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Sculptures in Parc Jean Drapeau, Montreal

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I went back out to Parc Jean Drapeau yesterday for a picnic with the family.  It was such a beautiful day, we had to capitalize on it.  Therefore, we packed up the cooler bag and off we went.

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While we leisurely walked around, we came across some very interesting sculptures.  Here are a few of them.  I took these with my 10-24.

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For these three, i lay on the ground to take the shots.   Hey, you got to do what you got to do to get those interesting shots.

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According to their website: http://www.parcjeandrapeau.com/en/attractions/public-art/, Parc Jean Drapeau has many more of these pieces of art.  I guess i am just going to have to go back and get photos of the rest of them!

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Thanks for looking.

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Fete des Enfants, Ile St. Helene & The Montreal Casino

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After so many wet weekends, we have had some beautiful weekends weather-wise,  for the last 3 weeks.  Despite the really hot and humid weather for the last couple of weekends, we have been able to go out and enjoy the summer nonetheless.  I get cabin fever real fast!

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This past weekend (July 20-21), the temperature was finally at a comfortable level.  We got out to the Just For Laughs festival (as posted prior to this) and did some shopping around downtown. On Sunday, the weather was amazing!  Since it was such a great day, we made our way down to the Fete des Enfants with our daughter.

This huge “party” takes place every year in Parc Jean Drapeau. The park is situated on Ile St. Helene and is situated right next to Ile Notre Dame, a man-made island that features the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.  To get there, you need to take the Yellow Metro line to Jean Drapeau station.

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Once you get off at Jean Drapeau station, you can walk to the bus station, which is across from the metro station, and catch various buses.  These buses will take you to La Ronde, The Montreal Casino and to the beach (man made).

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I strongly encourage you to explore both islands.  In regards to Ile Notre Dame, you can actually cycle/rollerblade around the race track when the cars are not whizzing about.  In regards to Ile St. Helene, it is a beautiful, natural, peaceful setting.  Bring a picnic and a good pair of walking shoes!

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Getting back to the Fete des Enfants.  We got to the location and walked around a bit, amongst the thousands of other people that decided to come out on a beautiful day!  There was so many people, it was unlike previous years.  This was probably because the previous day had some threatening dark clouds looming around.

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As it turned out, we just ended up walking around because everywhere we looked, there was very long lines of people waiting for the kids activities.  I thought that waiting in line for 1-2 hours, was not going to be any fun compared to actually doing something.

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My daughter likes cars, especially fast cars.  She does not like huge crowds and I think she was beginning to see that it would be hard for her to do any of the activities.  I asked her is she wanted to go and see the race track where the fast cars race.  She said yes and off we went to a more quiet, adventurous afternoon.

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To get to Ile Notre Dame, we took bus 777, which takes you to the Montreal Casino.  It is a short bus ride and drops you off in front of the Casino.  From there, it is a short walk to get into the park of Ile Notre Dame, which is surrounded by the race track.

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Well, I have never taken the 777 bus to the Casino before, but it is quite popular with the Retired Chinese and Quebecois people.  I guess they have to do something with their retirement funds!

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As we got onto the bus, even before sitting down, a woman on the bus told my wife that kids were not allowed into the Montreal Casino!  Now, keep in mind, the 777 bus is just a regular city bus and ANYONE can get onto it.  But for some reason, this woman took it upon herself to remind us responsible parents, that we could not take our daughter to the Casino!  My wife just smiled and said, “I know”.

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We settled at the back of the bus and had only been sitting down for a few seconds when an old guy proceeded to come to the back of the bus and tell us the same thing!  He had this look of bewilderment on his face as he looked at us, then our daughter.  He asked me if I knew that the Casino was not for kids.  I replied to him that I did and I told him, politely, that we were just getting off at the casino.

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With the same bewildered look on his face, he went back to the front of the bus.  At that moment, I was just waiting for some special force Casino security team to come storming the bus and dragging me out, arresting me and taking my daughter into protective custody!!

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Well, no black helicopters or storm troopers showed up and we took off without any further incident, except for me loudly stating to everyone else on the bus that we had no intention of taking our daughter into the Casino!

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Once we arrived at the Casino, we took a short walk to get into the park.  Once you start walking around, you tend to forget that you are only a 10 minute drive from the concrete jungle that is downtown Montreal.

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Everything is so green, it is quite extraordinary.  As you walk around, you really do feel that you are miles and miles away from downtown Montreal.  Aside from the lush greenery, there is also a little river running through the park.  If you go all the way past the Casino and in front of the beach, you will be able to rent boats and go up and down this river.  It is a nice leisurely ride.

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If you are looking for a nice nature get-away, a way to get some peace and quiet from the city noise, this is the place to go.  Explore both islands, Ile Notre Dame and Ile St. Helene.  You will come away with a different view of Montreal.

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Complexe Desjardins, Montreal, Que.

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Today, i made my way down to Place des Arts to check out what was going on with the Just For Laughs festival.  As with the Jazz fest, most of the action in the Just For Laughs happens in the evening.

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I did get to see Victor’s car, the big green Cadillac.  Victor is the festivals mascot.  He is a little green guy with red horns.

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Since there was not much going on outside, I made my way inside to get out to the heat for a while.  Complexe Desjardins is right across from Place des Arts and houses various government offices, the Caisse Populaire, has a mall and features a food court as well.

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Since this complex is a stones throw away from Chinatown, you are going to see many Chinese people walking through the food court, as well as playing Mahjong at the tables.

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This complex is also attached the the “underground city”.  You can go from here, to Place des Arts and to Complexe Guy Favreau, without going outside.  Once you get to Place des Arts, you can get onto the Green line of the Metro.

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There is also a Hyatt hotel attached to the complex, which is nice for hotel guests.  If it is terrible weather outside, they don’t have to go far to do some shopping and they can even go to the IGA grocery store located in the complex.

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It is certainly worth visiting this complex, which you can get to with the Metro without stepping outside, for it really is what it was intended to be: a jewel in the crown of the East end of Montreal.