Winterlude 2011

When I lived in Ottawa as a child, Winterlude was a bit of a hokey thing that my parents made us do. We went to Jacques Cartier park and slid down the lame-o slide, got snow down our snowsuits, froze our fingers off, and rode the bus for free. There might have been a bit of skating on the canal, but it was rough as anything and kinda dangerous.

This weekend marked the beginning of Winterlude 2011. Ross and I went skating on the canal, and we went to look at the ice sculptures in Confederation park. Gotta say – an entirely different experience than 20 years ago. On Friday, the conditions on the canal were amazing. Quite smooth, and very few potholes. It helped that we went after 6 when most of the families were gone. I had such a good time!

On Saturday, we went to Confederation park to look at the ice sculptures. We’d planned to go after 6 when no one would be there (which was my experience previously). Was I ever wrong! The place was jammed! There were tons of tourists there, and music playing. I guess around 8 a dj was coming in for some sort of winter dance party.

I managed to get a few interesting shots. It was so busy that when I set up to take a photo, people would cue behind me so that they could take a shot from there next. It was super weird. Also, for the first time, I really started to hate tourists. Not just any tourists, but the kind that notice that you’ve got reasonable photo gear, come up right beside you and take a photo from exactly your vantage point (using a flash, of course). It just seemed so…..entitled.

Anyway, overall it was a good experience. I was out shooting with a bunch of other photographers, all of whom were irritated by the ropes keeping us back from the sculptures, or otherwise marring our view. It was nice to be out working with other photographers who I didn’t know.

There is one thing I’ll have to watch out for next time I’m shooting….the cold! I didn’t even notice it at first (it was quite warm yesterday, by Ottawa standards for February), but after a while, I couldn’t figure out why my fingers weren’t working. Genius. haha. Or maybe also invest in some warmer gloves.

I’m definitely not in love with the way they’re lighting the sculptures. They are using lights with rotating colours – so over the course of an exposure, the light will shift from white to blue to purple…which can also mess with your exposure depending on what colour you hit.


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