gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for August 2011

Nathan Phillips Square is being covered in chalk

August 26, 2011 @ 10:42 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Photography, Seen on the 'net

This photo is  of Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, which is being covered in chalk as people express their tributes to the late Jack Layton. It’s one of several photos in a Flickr stream by Jackman Chiu.

A tip o’ the hat to Trashy for sending me a link to it.

Cute comment spam

August 17, 2011 @ 12:00 By: gordon Category: General

I abhor spam, especially comment spam, but I have to admit this one made me smile:

Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

Les Grands Feux Day 2: Italy

August 11, 2011 @ 23:46 By: gordon Category: Fireworks, Photography

Though the weather at the beginning of the evening on Wednesday was rather damp, it cleared up and ended up being just about perfect for an evening of amazing fireworks at Les Grands Feux du Casino du Lac-Leamy courtesy the team from Parente Fireworks representing Italy.

The music was moving and energetic. One of my favourite pieces was the finale from the William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini. This section of the display included a lot of low-level fireworks, like the bright ones in the picture, which fired almost continuously and sounded like a herd of horses galloping along, which complemented the music perfectly.

The display ended with a staggering number of fireworks filling the sky with light. Very pretty, but virtually impossible to get a good picture of because there was so much light.

Saturday’s show is featuring the team from APOGEE Fireworks representing Canada, which I’m really looking forward to!


Taking pictures at Les Grands Feux du Casino du Lac-Leamy

August 07, 2011 @ 18:52 By: gordon Category: Fireworks, Photography

IMG_3365Saturday evening I went to Les Grands Feux du Casino du Lac-Leamy as one of the volunteer photographers for the event. It’s the first time that I’ve been an “official” photographer for something since my days of being a photographer for the yearbook in high school.

Being the first day of the festival, the team of photographers were asked to fan out and take pictures of everything from the signs to the tents to the chairs and also the people. And, of course, raison d’être for the event, the fireworks.

I’ve written about taking photos of fireworks a couple of times in the past and I’ve even taken pictures at Les Grands Feux, though not as an official event photographer.

There are a couple of different approaches I use when taking pictures of fireworks, which depend on the type of camera I have and whether I can use a tripod.

As I was fortunate enough to have an unobstructed front row seat, I set up my camera on a tripod and framed the scene prior to the beginning of the show. I focused on the barge where the fireworks are set off from and then turned off the autofocus on the lens so that it wouldn’t "hunt" for something to focus on when the fireworks started. Shooting in raw mode, I chose an ISO speed of 100. This would allow longer exposures while avoiding saturating the CCD sensor. For a shutter speed, I selected "bulb", which means that the shutter would be open for as long as I held it open with my remote. (Fortunately, I didn’t have to actually hold it open because I was using a wireless remote — I just had to press the button to open the shutter and press it again to close it.)

And then I waited for the start of the show.