Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa

In life, you sometimes do slightly crazy things, such as driving nearly 3 hours just to get a Christmas gift.  That is what we did last weekend.

Build A Bear was having a sale, so we decided to go down to Ottawa for the day to take advantage of the good deal they were having.

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On our way back home, we stopped at Andrew Haydon park to have a picnic.  While there, we experienced the first cool air of fall as we sat in the shade.  Out in the sun, it was not to bad.  But it was definitely a day for a sweater.


From the amount of geese we saw, this park is obviously a pit stop for them as they make their way down south.  If you have never been around geese, you have to be careful where you step.  They crap all over the place.

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Aside from all the geese and ducks that were present, many people started to arrive to have a Sunday picnic just as we were doing.  It certainly seems to be a popular place for locals to spend a nice day at.

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This duck seemed to be very lonely, sitting all by himself out on a piece of wood in the water.

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There were quite a few chipmunks scurrying around.  They move ever so fast and are extremely agile when jumping from one spot to another.


It was indeed a great day for sailing.  The sky was clear and there was plenty of wind to be had.


The afternoon was relaxing and it was nice to spend some time outside, in a peaceful setting.

Thanks for looking.

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Kingston Harbour, Ontario

Kingston has a really nice waterfront park, called Confederation Park.  It sits right in front of Kingston Harbour.

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We were able to get down to the harbour just as the sun was going down, which makes for some nice photos.

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The other benefit of going somewhere in the downtown area of Kingston before the sun sets (at least in the late summer months), is that the parking is free after 5:30pm.

I learnt the hard way that parking was free after 5:30pm, by continuously trying to pay the parking meter, only to have it reject my payment.  I tried with multiple forms of payment, only to give up in the end when a city worker told me that parking was free after 5:30.

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Not only can you get some nice sunset photos at the harbour, but you can also get boat & bus tours of the Kingston area.

The boat will take you around a small part of the Thousand Islands and the bus will take you around to all the historic sites within the City of Kingston.  We ended up taking the boat tour.

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If you do make a stop at Confederation Park in Kingston, bring along a bit of bread for the local waterfowl.  There are ducks a plenty!

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Thanks for looking.

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The Falls at Night

Going down to the falls at night is pretty special.  Not only do you have a great setting for a nice, leisurely walk, but you also have lights shimmering on the water.  It’s kind of romantic.

Many people make it down to the “board walk” next to the falls and you better have good night vision, because it can get very dark.


With night photography, you need some essentials and two of those essentials would be: 1) a tripod or 2) a stabilized lens.  Either one will work in order to cut out hand shake at low shutter speeds; but remember, you can not use them in combination.

Anyhow, i had neither the night i took these photos.  However, i did find spots to rest my elbows on to steady my camera the best i could.

My shutter speeds went down to 1/15 and i had my aperture at f/2.

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In the below photo, you can see the US side of the falls, Niagara Falls, NY.  Buffalo is actually further down south, right across from Fort Erie.


I really like how the clouds add an element of drama to the photos.  In addition, you can really get a sense of how dark it is down at the falls at night.


There are usually a few more colors in the lights that light up the falls (this is a view of the American falls), but there only seemed to be red and a faint glow of green this time around.


Thanks for looking.

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St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, Ontario

Wherever we go, we always do our best to visit a local church and Kingston was no exception.

While driving down to the water front, we noticed a cathedral tower poking above the surrounding buildings.  Seeing as i love documenting the interior of churches, it was a given that we would stop by.

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I was able to get some photos right before the mass started.  Photographing inside a church with people in prayer, is best done with a leaf shutter.  Don’t try this with a DSLR, you will have everyone turn their heads.

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This is the tower that we saw rise above the other buildings around it.

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Walking along side the church to the back, you will find a cozy little chapel (St. James Chapel) where you can get away from the hustle & bustle of life and just let everything go.

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Inside of St. James chapel, it is even quieter then inside of the cathedral.  Once again, my leaf shutter proved invaluable for this type of situation.  No one even knew i was taking photos.  Even i don’t hear anything!

This is not an environment suited for the mechanically clunky DSLR; unless of course, you want people giving you the evil eye.

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It was really nice to be able to spend part of beautiful summer afternoon here.  The environment was so peaceful and we were afforded a nice rest before we hit the road again.

Thanks for looking.

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Stained Glass at Kingston City Hall

As i had mentioned in my last post about Kingston City Hall, the function room within the city hall has some beautiful stained glass.

Each stained glass panel features a scene from the battle fields of World War One.  They are very beautiful & colorful.  Here they are:

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St. Eloi
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Sanctuary Wood

Thanks for looking.

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Kingston City Hall

While strolling around the streets of Kingston, we decided to make an escape from the hellish heat by popping into city hall.

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Now, city hall is a pretty strange place to be going into to get relief from the heat.  But, they had a sign out front saying, “free tours of City Hall”.  So, we went in and had a tour.

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Below is the hallway leading up to the council chambers.

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I thought this “light” (chandelier?) was pretty interesting.  It’s really the center piece of the chamber.

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Below is the function hall.  I would imagine they have all sorts of official functions and ceremonies here.

This hall has some beautiful stained glass depicting the battle fields of WW1.  I will put the photos of those stained glass panels in my next post.


Thanks for looking.

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Port Dalhousie

On the way down to Niagara Falls, we stopped off in St. Catherines, Ontario to have a little pit stop for a rest & lunch.

Once we entered St. Catherines, we ended up going down to Port Dalhousie, a small community on the shore of Lake Ontario.  It has a great beach, along with a picnic area, and a little port, hence the name.  I am not sure i would want to swim in Lake Ontario though.

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There were plenty of Canada Geese to be seen, as they saw fit to use the grounds as their personal “stop over” to wherever they were going.

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There were a few parking spots left near the picnic/rest area (Lakeside Park) of the port; but if you could not find one, you would have to park your boat further up, near the entrance to the port.

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The beach looked inviting; but as i said before, i am not sure i would want to swim in Lake Ontario.  It was not that busy because it was a week day when we stopped by.

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From this vantage point, the water did not look very clean.  I had the impression from some of the signage around the beach, that the water is tested each day to determine if it is safe to swim in.  I’m not sure the tests are needed though…

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Here are some views of the other side of the port, in which you can see Lakeshore, another small community in St. Catherines.

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If you ever end up driving down to St. Catherines or beyond, make a stop in Port Dalhousie (preferably during late spring, summer or early fall).  it’s a great little spot to have lunch and stretch your legs.

Thanks for looking.

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Clifton Hill at Night

I would say that Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, is the little Las Vegas of Canada.  It really is the central area of attraction for anyone coming to the falls – besides the falls of course.

Clifton Hill is the main artery that people use to get down to the falls from all the hotels and restaurants.  Needless to say, the sidewalks are quite busy during the day and even at night.

It’s interesting to see how many illuminated signs they have been able to put up along such a short stretch of road.

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All those signs certainly make for some interesting night photography.  Plenty of colors to be had for sure.

Thanks for looking.

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Cool Cars of Kingston

In our brief stay in Kingston coming back from Niagara, we came across a little car show not far from our hotel.

We had just come back from a small errand and i did not have my camera with me; therefore, i used my mobile phone for these shots.

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I do believe that the A&W that was just next door to the parking lot, was sponsoring this evening of cool cars (we grabbed some breakfast there the next morning).

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It always amazes me what these guys can do with their old cars.  The time and money that must have gone into them has to be mind boggling.

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It was nice to see some fellow Mitsubishi owners there.  I got some ideas now.

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Judging by how everyone was chatting away, it seems like this little get together happens every week.  Pretty cool way to spend a summer evening in my opinion.

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Despite what you may hear from other people, Kingston is a pretty cool place.

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Thanks for looking.

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