Friday, November 29, 2013

Photo Friday: Before the Snow

As this week drew to a close, I realized that I haven't taken many photos this week.

Apart from my Bate Island Project photos, I haven't pulled my camera out since before the snow fell. As a precursor to the snow, we had a very foggy Friday, last week.

From my office, I would look out the window and see the fog intensify. At one point, it looked like my office building was up in the clouds, that I was looking out into nothing.

As I left the office, camera bag slung over my shoulder, I knew that I couldn't let the weather opportunity pass. I took this photo from the parking lot of my company, looking out onto Highway 5 in Gatineau.


The next day, the snow fell. It wasn't much, but the temperatures refused to let it melt. Wednesday's snowfall covered the grass for the season. But I'm certain that the fog will return.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How Many Words for Snow?

So, we've had it: the first snow storm of the season.

Though we don't officially reach winter for more than three weeks, we in Canada typically think of late November as winter. Because, really, any time after November 1st, and on rare occasions, before, the snow can come to Ottawa, turning the city into a winter wonderland.


And yesterday's storm packed a good punch. Almost 25cm (almost 10 inches) of wet, heavy snow blanketed the city by the morning. It was a good cardio workout, clearing the driveway (and again, later, after the plow pushed a short wall back in.

I don't mind the snow too much, just as long as I have enough time in the morning to clear it, and the roads are plowed, for when I have to get somewhere. Luckily, for this dump, I was planning to work from home anyway.

But what gets me is how people seem to freak out at the prospect of snow, how the Twitterverse and radio were trying to come up with a name for the impending storm. All day, on Tuesday, I heard terms such as "Snowmageddon" or "The A-snow-calypse."

Seriously? For a measly 25cm?

Several years ago, in early March of 2008, Ottawa saw 56cm of snow fall in about 24 hours. That was a lot of snow. But 25cm is a typical amount of snow accumulation in many storms we experience over the winter season. In Ottawa, it's par for the course.

Do you know what I call yesterday's storm?

Winter. In Ottawa.

I wouldn't even have made up a name for that storm that left 56cm in my driveway. I would have just called it a pain in the ass.

Please, people. Don't make up stupid names for something that happens several times a season. In English, we have "snow storm" and we have "blizzard." The latter is worse than the former.

But it's not the end of the world.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Did I Pick the Wrong Island?

It just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

I had my suspicions about Bate Island more than a year ago, when I would stop on it to take the occasional photo—a sunset, mist steaming off the cold river on a winter's morning, kayakers in the spring rush of water—before my photo project. I saw the parked cars, the men sitting in them, seemingly doing nothing. It was none of my business, so I payed people no mind.

Until Creepy Guy*.

That early morning guy was somewhat disturbing, but he was harmless. After our strange encounter, he mostly kept his distance, but still watched me as I took my morning photo of the Ottawa skyline. And it only took me one time to point my camera at him to never see him again.

But he wasn't the only one to approach me.

Now that we have set our clocks back an hour and the days have become increasingly shorter, I find myself on Bate Island in low light in the mornings and late afternoons. I fear, soon, that my photographs will look more and more the same, as the exposure time lengthens. And with the darkened evenings, I find more cars parked on the island under the Champlain Bridge.

A couple of weeks ago, as I was headed home, I stopped to take my photo. It was after 5:00 and the sun had long set, but that point was moot, as it was overcast and a storm was imminent. The wind had picked up and the temperature was dropping, and I knew I only had moments to take my shot before the rain would arrive.

As I navigated the laneways on the island to my usual parking spot, the closest one to the bench where I stand, I passed a grey Land Rover, parked in another lot. The engine was running and a lone passenger was outlined behind the darkened glass. At first, I gave it very little attention, as it would be nowhere near where I was headed.

With my camera set atop my tripod, I pressed my cable release and began what I planned to be a three-minute countdown, when I saw the Land Rover pull up beside my car. At the same moment, the wind increased and almost blew my tripod over. I held on tightly, knowing that some shaking would appear in the image, but my photos are what they are. I take the shot, no matter the outcome.

The photo that night.

When the rain followed, in torrents, I decided that I would only count to two minutes. With the wind, the drops weren't falling as much as they were moving sideways, and I turned my body so that I could shield the camera as much as possible from getting a soaking. As soon as I counted to 120, I picked up the tripod, with the camera still attached, and made my way as quickly as possible to the car.

The hatch at the back doubled slightly as a barrier from the rain as I disassembled my equipment. I wasn't going to put the tripod in its case nor the camera in my pack, as I wanted them to dry out, away from other equipment. In the meantime, I continued to get soaking wet: my back—jacket and jeans—were soaked through. I knew I wasn't going to be comfortable sitting down. My hair was thoroughly drenched, water dripping down my face and under my clothes.

As I closed the hatch, the man in the Land Rover rolled down his window. He had backed into the neighbouring spot, so his door faced mine. "It's a bad night," he called to me.

"Is it?" I answered, "I guess you're right."

"Why don't you come inside and warm up," he casually asked.

"Why would I want to do that?"** I asked in return, opening my car door, sitting on the heated leather seat, and locking up the car as soon as I was safely inside. I started the car, and without so much as another glance in the man's direction, backed out and drove away.

That was the end of that encounter, but this story gets weirder.

Last Thursday, I arrived at Bate Island just after sunset. The sky was slightly overcast, but it wasn't dark. I knew that if I pushed the ISO level on the camera I could take my shot without a tripod, but I try to keep the setting at 100 ISO (sometimes, if I change the level for another shot, I forget to set it back).

As I pulled into my parking spot, I saw a woman standing close to my bench, next to one of the large trees at the water's edge. She didn't appear to be doing anything: she was only just standing there.

As I walked toward my spot, I could tell that she wouldn't be in my frame. Not that it mattered: I've taken shots with people standing in front of me before. They just don't realize they are being preserved in my project.

As I neared this woman, I saw that there were two Canada Geese standing on the shore. I saw that the woman held a bag in her hand and I realized she was feeding the birds. And then I remembered that I had seen her in the park before, also feeding the birds.

Do you remember when Creepy Guy approached me a month or so ago? When I confronted him, he made a 90-degree turn and walked to a sign, pretending to read it in the darkness? I have since looked at that sign: it is similar to other signs in the park, prohibiting people from feeding the birds.

At my bench, as I began to set up my tripod, the woman approached me. "Do you have to be here?" she asked.

"I'm sorry?" I replied.

"Can I ask what you're doing here?"

"I'm about to take a photo."

"Do you have to do it here? The reason I ask is that I was feeding the geese and your arrival has startled them."

I saw that the geese, indeed, has swum out into the river, and where holding their position some 10 feet from shore.

"You realize that you're not supposed to feed the birds?" I asked her.

"Yes, I know, but these birds cannot fly. Do you have to be here?"

"As a matter of fact," I said, "I do."

"Why?"

"Because I have a photo project and I have been taking photos from this exact spot since March. So, yes, I must be right here." I continued to set up the tripod and locked my camera in place. I changed the subject: "So, you're with a wildlife organization?"

"That's none of your business," she said, seeming as insulted as if I had asked her how old she was.

"I understand, but because you said these geese can't fly, I take it your with a wildlife authority that is qualified to take care of these birds and that you are feeding them a natural food for them?" Looking at the large Ziplock bag, all I could see was bread crumbs.

"It's none of your business what I'm up to," she repeated. She turned, walked toward the water's edge, and dumped out the contents of the bag.

"I understand that this is none of my business, but I'm now under the impression that you're acting alone, feeding these birds crumbs. If your intentions are to care for these birds, it would be best to get them professional help. But it just looks like you're only interested in feeding the birds against park regulations."

"I've had enough of you," she said, waving her arms dismissively towards me. She stormed away, toward the parking lot.

I set up my camera and took my shot. The geese returned to shore and ate whatever it was that the woman had left for them. As they fed, they regularly popped their long, black necks up, eying me at the bench, seemingly wondering if I was a threat to them.

"It's okay," I said to them in a soft voice. "I'm the least you need to worry about on this island."


* Disclaimer: I'm not criticizing any lifestyle: I may question the particular approach to that lifestyle, approaching strangers in a public place, but I would be disturbed by anyone approaching me in such manner in the middle of a park, at that time of day, under those circumstances.
** Disclaimer: same comment as above, but I also believe it's a bad idea to get in any stranger's vehicle at any time.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Music Monday: Drinking Games

Though I'm not a football fan, this post is dedicated to you, Regina. Congratulations to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on their Grey Cup win.


Have you ever heard a song that you liked so much the first time you heard it that you had to have it?

That's how I felt when I heard a song that Alan Neal of CBC's All In a Day played one Wednesday when I was working from home. Halfway through the song, I found myself tapping my feet and bobbing my head as my fingers worked the keyboard of my work laptop.

I grabbed my iPhone, activated SoundHound, and before the song was over, I had purchased a copy of it and played it again through my device.

Thanks, Alan.

Library Voices is a Regina, Saskatchewan, band that has been around since 2008, but I don't really know anything more about them. As much as I like their song, Drinking Games, I haven't really pursued other songs by the band. What I like about this song is how it builds from a quiet, sleepy state to full-blown, energetic tune that I feel tempted to dance along with.

The accompanying female vocals in the chorus add depth to the song, and the howling guitar at the end builds to a raw, solid finish.

The following video of Drinking Games is cleverly shot, with smooth transitions between live shots and animation. When you watch it, make sure you take advantage of a full screen.


Library Voices - Drinking Games (music video) from Young Soul on Vimeo.

Perhaps, now that I've shared this song with you, you will download a copy of Drinking Games for yourself. And perhaps I will follow Library Voices more closely and will download more of their music. If they ever come to Ottawa, I'll be sure to check them out.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Photo Friday: Day to Night

Last Saturday was a gorgeous day. Sunshine and warm temperatures meant that my family and I took advantage of the day and headed downtown to check out the Poutine Festival, on Sparks Street.

If you saw this week's Wordless Wednesday, you saw some of the photos I took while we waited in line and sampled some interesting variations on a classic Québec dish.

After we had sufficiently stuffed ourselves (I love poutine, but after four different samples I thought I would be sick), we further wandered the downtown area to try to burn off some of those evil calories (Lori and I aren't doing very well with our diet). We visited the War Memorial and went to the Byward Market.

I took some photos of the memorial with my iPhone, marveling at the beautiful blue background of the sky, and I decided to play with the photos to give the effect of turning the day to night. A great way to do that is to convert the photo to black and white and apply a red filter to intensify the contrast between bright objects and anything that is blue.

Here are a couple of the shots I took, without any adjustments at all (just the way I shot them):


After I took these shots, I brightened them, enhanced the contrast, and pumped up the vibrancy. And then I applied a black-and-white effect with a red filter. Here's what I got:


Day becomes night. What do you think?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In Other News

Stephen Harper must have been loving the last couple of weeks. While Rob Ford has been stealing the headlines, the Canadian media hasn't been focused on the federal government's scandal.

Let me remind you. I'm going to go back a bit, as a refresher.
  1. Stephen Harper appointed two well-known media bigwigs, Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy, to the senate. He did so, placing them in ridings in which they did not live, ignoring the rules, because they drew a great deal of support (translation: money) for the Conservatives. Duffy might have had a cottage on PEI and Wallin originally came from Saskatchewan and apparently owned property there: close enough.
  2. Both Wallin and Duffy claimed their respective riding dwellings as their primary place of residence, knowing full well that it wasn't, and claimed travel expenses. These educated senators, working in the chamber of sober second thought, claimed, when it was discovered that these residences weren't their primary places of residences, that the paperwork was confusing.
    That point is still laughable.
  3. When news came to light of Wallin's and Duffy's inappropriate spending, Harper stood up in Parliament and said that he had personally looked at their expenses, and that there was nothing wrong. These where "honourable" senators.
  4. When Wallin and Duffy said they would pay the money back, Harper still defended them. Never mind that the inappropriate spending was fraud against the Canadian taxpayers.
  5. When news broke that Duffy had his expenses paid by Harpers Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright, Harper defended Wright as an honourable man. Wright resigned, and Harper accepted the resignation. The RCMP started investivating.
  6. As the senate considered censuring Wallin and Duffy, Duffy produced e-mail messages, declaring that Harper was implicated in the payoff with Wright. Harper denies the allegations. He also changes his story, saying that Wright did not resign: Harper fired him. Harper also turns his back on Duffy, saying that he had abused his office, had misspent Canadian taxpayer dollars, and deserved to be kicked out of the senate.
  7. The RCMP yesterday stated that Wright broke the law in cutting the cheque to Duffy. Harper still denies knowledge of the affair (this, coming from Mr. Micromanager).
Are we all caught up?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's In a Name?

Several months ago, when my family and I were visiting our favourite sporting-goods store, I took a photo as we were walking up to the building. I don't know why I had decided to take the shot: most likely, because the lighting was so good.

I'm glad I took the photo.


This photo has not been retouched: the colours and lighting are exactly as I shot them.
Maybe that's why I kept the photo: the colours and clean letters really pop out.

A month ago, driving through Westboro, I passed MEC (pronounced "meck") and noticed something different: the sign had changed.

I noticed the new logo when I downloaded the store's app on my iPhone and also saw it when I received ads by e-mail, but it didn't sink in until I saw the large green square and three initials on the store.


Yes, the difference is like day and night (see what I did there?)

The new logo sucks.

The old logo identified the store, showed it's purpose. The mountains, M-shaped and angled towards the stores full name, Mountain Equipment Co-op, represented the great outdoors, showed that this was a store that was Canada's premier place to find the best in mountain-climbing gear, camp equipment, and canoeing supplies. The rich green also symbolized nature.

The new logo is plain, says nothing about what the store is. It's as dull and as non-descriptive as GAP or KFC. And what in nature is that hideous, fluorescent green? It's unnatural.

So disappointed, MEC. So disappointed.

I hope you find your way back to nature, because now, you just look like another corporation.

Update:

MEC has read this post and has responded to me through Twitter, as have some of my readers. Thank you. Let MEC know how you feel about the new logo: do you like it? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Music Monday: Non Populus

I'm going to try something new on The Brown Knowser, something that will take a few minutes of your time but where you won't have to do much reading.

It's called Music Mondays.

I will take some time to share some music with you, be it a SoundCloud clip or a video. It's music that I like for various reasons, whether I've followed a band or a performer for a period of time and thought you might like to be introduced to him, her, or them, or to maybe share a song that you may also know and like.

The first song I want to share is a song by Matthew Good, called Non Populus, from his album Lights of Endangered Species. I've been following Matthew Good's music for about five or six years, long after the Matthew Good Band split up, but I liked the power of the lyrics, the driving beats, and the powerful guitars and keyboards.

Matt Good's voice can be charged, powerful, and emotional. I have sometimes described him as Canada's answer to Morrissey, without the seeming arrogance and self-absorption.

I love to listen to Matt Good when I'm in a solemn mood, when I can just close my eyes, sit back, and take in the music.

Non Populus is one of my favourite of his songs. It starts of slow and slowly builds, has a powerful instrumental section, with great guitar riffs. The piano drives this song but does not overpower. And the percussion is crisp and clean. It's more than eight minutes long, so if you have the time, have a listen.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Photo Friday: Legs

My wife thinks I'm a perv.

It's simply not true: I'm a dirty old man.

But when it comes to studio photography, and using nude models, I'm at my most mature. I'm respectful towards the model and I like to think my work is tasteful.

When I'm taking a picture, my mind is too focused on the lighting, on the angles, and on the exposure settings to really think about the person in any other sense than my subject. I don't give a lot of thought to the fact that the person has no clothes on.

When I do my studio photography, I'm not a perv. I'm not even a dirty old man. I'm a photographer, trying to improve my skills.

What do you think?



Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Back to Writing

The other day, I wrote five pages for my latest novel, and for the first time in a long time, I'm happy with my work. I actually feel that I don't need to revise those pages.

That almost never happens.

I will be taking the rough chapters to Gyeosunim down in the next few days, and I'll be adding the revised and new material in the coming weeks. I'm planning to take some time over the upcoming holidays to concentrate on getting more of this book completed. I really feel I've neglected my fiction writing for this blog and my beer blog. That has to stop.

I'll still be producing regular posts for my blogs, but I'm going to put most of my effort to my novel. And then you'll have a third blog to read, as I continue to add chapters.

If you haven't read my first book, Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary, please go to my book site and read the first chapter. If you like what you read, please buy the book. And then you can read the rough draft to the sequel.

If you have read Songsaengnim, thank you. Perhaps you know someone who may like to read the book too. Why not order them a copy for Christmas?

Here endeth the self promotion.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Disagreement is Not an Attack

It took me a while to learn that when I put myself out in social media, be it through my blogging, through Facebook, or through Twitter, I open myself up to people who will disagree with my opinion.

And that's okay.

You may not like the fact that I have a general loathing of dogs. Or that sometimes my photography may not be to your liking. You may not share my political views and hate when I go on a rant.

I don't mind.

If someone disagrees with me, that's fair: everyone is entitled to his and her opinion, and by me sharing my thoughts or views in such a public manner, it's okay if someone decides to speak out and disagree with me, to voice his or her disdain.

If someone were to call me names, or spread hatred toward me, that would be a different matter. While I am open to hearing about opposing views, I'm not open to personal attacks.

That has happened to me a couple of times, and it was awful. I was made to feel badly about myself and to question my values. But then, I thought, it was only a small number of people who knew absolutely nothing about me. Their attacks were baseless, meaningless, and eventually, laughable. It took a few days to come to that conclusion, but the experience left me taking a second look at social media.

I would never attack someone for being honest in their views. I'm not talking about the hate-mongers who use social media to spread racist or sexist views, or who do hurtful things to diminish others. Those people, I tend to ignore. 

Yesterday, on Twitter, I saw an Instagram post that left me with a sour taste in my mouth: it was a photo of one of Ottawa's shopping malls, decked out with Christmas decorations. The person who posted the image did so on Sunday, and had exclaimed how much she loved the Christmas season and shopping.

The shopping mall took the opportunity to re-tweet that post during the Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial.

I took offense to the tweet, and left a comment on the person's Instagram post, stating that I felt it inappropriate to put such hype on consumerism at such a time of reflection, of a time to honour those who gave so much so that we could enjoy the luxury of shopping.

Now was the time to give to the courageous men and women who have fought for and protected us, I voiced.

I re-tweeted that post, adding the hashtags #RemembranceDay and #fail. Both the person who posted the original message and the shopping centre that had re-tweeted the post received my response. The shopping centre never responded: the person who posted the original tweet came back, defending the fact that she had posted the photo on Sunday, not on Remembrance Day.

I replied that I didn't like to think of Christmas until after Remembrance Day was celebrated. I wrote about how I was disappointed that a holiday that focuses on consumerism would be highlighted at a time when we should be honouring those who gave much more than mere things from a store.

I still maintain my opinion about the Instagram post. One day before Remembrance Day was too early to celebrate Christmas decorations in a store.

The person who posted the image then stated that my comments seemed to attack her more than the shopping mall that had re-tweeted her post. She said that she respected Remembrance Day.

This was the moment that I realized that this person was feeling the same stress that I had felt last year, after the attacks I had received. But while I was voicing my disappointment of the photo and of the shopping centre's re-tweet, this person was seeing it as a personal attack.

I immediately apologized. I said that my words hadn't been intended as an assault on her, but were meant to show my disappointment over the glorification of shopping and Christmas at a time of remembrance. My words were my opinion of the image: they were never about the person who took the photo and posted it.

We exchanged a couple more tweets after my apology, and I sensed that the tension had abated. I ended our communication by wishing her a good day. And it was a sincere wish.

When we're on social media, we must keep in mind that not everything we put out there will be liked by everybody. We must learn that if we post anything publicly, anyone can respond. It's when things get personal that lines get crossed.

But voicing a disagreement is not an attack.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lest We Forget

I remember when Remembrance Day was a time where we didn't work, we didn't go to school. It was a time when we really stopped and thought about the men an women who served their country, who sacrificed so much for the lifestyle that we now seem to take for granted.


Today, our war veterans must feel that they've been given the bum shaft. With the exception of the civil servants, most people go about their daily routine as though November 11 was just another day. For those who take that day off, the stores are happy to serve them: Christmas is just a little more than six weeks away, after all.

Not even our government seems to give our veterans the respect that they deserve. Cuts to funding, deeming that injured veterans, who can no longer serve their country because they've been injured overseas, mean that these poor people are cut loose without pensions. Veterans Affairs offices are closing across the country, leaving vets without support systems.

Clearly, the government has forgotten those soldiers.

On this Remembrance Day, take the time to truly honour those who have served our country over all the past wars. If you do receive the day off, don't shop: go to whatever community event is planned for this day. Approach a veteran, and thank him or her.

If you work, observe a moment of silence. Think of the servicemen and women, who, at 11:00, will be standing at our national memorial. Give them some of your time.

Because if we don't, Lest We Forget will be a meaningless phrase.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Photo Friday: Don't Blink

Remember that Doctor Who episode, entitled "Blink"?

That is my favourite of all Doctor Who episodes. Lori even returned from New York City, this summer, with a blue t-shirt with the TARDIS on it, and it read: Keep Calm and Don't Blink. Great shirt, only it was a women's shirt that was way too small for me.

I want that shirt. In a men's large size.

There are a set of statues downtown, at Sussex and Rideau streets, that remind me of that Doctor Who episode. The statues are angels, but don't really look like the weeping angels that sent the Doctor and Martha back in time. However, whenever I see these statues, I don't dare take my eyes off them.

I don't dare blink.



Happy Friday.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Waiting For The Other Boot to Drop

I'm so glad that Rob Ford has come clean, opened up to the people of Toronto, exposed his demon, and then forgiven himself so that business could continue as usual.



What a relief.

Unfortunately for Mr. Ford, it's not up to him. While he may not care what people think of him, because he feels that he's dealt with making his secret public, he should care about what people think of Toronto's city hall. He should think about what the world thinks about Toronto and the image he wants to instill with regards to the city that is going to be in the spotlight for a long time to come.

It seems that Rob Ford thinks that this issue is all about him. And, for some part, it is. He has an addiction problem and he needs to deal with it.

That's right, Mr. Ford: we all know that this wasn't just one isolated incident of you getting hammered and smoking crack. We all know that you are a crack head, possibly a dealer. Why else would the police department spend so much time, money, and resources following you?

The world is waiting for the other boot to drop. Perhaps, implications in organized crime. Perhaps, implications in murder.

Whatever shit he has admitted and whatever shit that has yet to come to light, as long as Ford remains in office, he is going to be a greasy smear on Toronto's image. His unwillingness to take responsibility, to man up and step aside, he's telling those who are concerned about his problem and his portrayal  of Toronto's image on the world stage that he couldn't care less.

Another Canadian leader has recently said that very thing. Let's see how that attitude plays out.

This issue isn't just about Ford: it's also about the running of the city and how that business will be done when the head of that business has lost all credibility, is seen as a joke.

Rob Ford said that he loves his city. If that's true, he must prove it.

Because if you truly love something, you should set it free.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

That Was Fast

Yesterday, I awoke, got showered and dressed, made lunch for my kids, and saw them off to school. I then drove my wife to work, stopped on Bate Island for my project photo shoot, and then went to work.

I turned on my computer, logged on, checked my e-mail, only to find that the Where In Ottawa challenge had already been solved: six minutes after the blog post was published.

I knew this was an easy one.


Not only had Jason Fournier correctly identified this month's photo challenge as the lighthouse at the Museum of Science and Technology, in less than six minutes, no less, he even added a link to an Instagram image that he had previously shot.

Nice one, Jay! (He's a great photographer, too.)

The lighthouse is easily viewed from St. Laurent Boulevard. Anyone, and most likely, everyone, has been to this museum at some point in their lives in Ottawa.

Next month's challenge will be tough. You have been warned.

Would the challenge have been harder if I had posted this photo instead?



We'll never know, will we?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Where In Ottawa: November 2013

I had a photo that I had shot a month ago, that I thought was perfect for Where In Ottawa.

And then, yesterday, I thought that I wanted to do something else. So, I packed up my camera, hopped in the car, and headed out. I had no idea where I wanted to go, so I let my car point the way.

This month's photo may be the easiest one I've shot, or it will leave you kicking yourself for not getting it right away.

Everyone who knows Ottawa knows this place.

But first, let's get the rules out of the way.
  • If you were with me when the photo was taken, you are ineligible to play.
  • If you have won the challenge in the past, you can still play, but no prize will be awarded.
  • ONLY GUESSES THAT ARE SUBMITTED TO THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS POST WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR THE CHALLENGE—THAT MEANS NO TWEETS, E-MAIL MESSAGES, OR FACEBOOK POSTS.
  • You may guess as often as you like.
The first person to correctly identify the location of this photo will receive a PDF copy of my novel, Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary. Starting tomorrow (November 5), a clue will appear at the top of the right-hand column of this post: one clue will appear each day, until the challenge is solved.

Here is this month's photo:


Think you know Ottawa? Prove it!

And good luck!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Photo Friday: Red Café

One of the things I like the most about participating in a photo walk that covers a great distance is that I can shoot so many different photos of so many different subjects that I have many to choose from for a very long time. Almost a month after the walk, I'm still using material.

On the Worldwide Photo Walk, I took many pictures of people and buildings, but I also looked at some of the empty spaces: the places devoid of people, areas that didn't take in full buildings.

When I walked past the patio area of Metropolitain Brasserie, which was largely unpopulated, all I could see was the red of the chairs and the umbrellas. In the shot I took, all I could envisage was the boldness of my favourite colour. For me, in that moment, no other colour existed.

I wanted to capture the image and convey what I saw. This is the best I could do.


Happy Friday!

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