News/Update: Top Ten of 2021

2021 was better than 2020 for photography, I was able to get out a bit more (the Covid lockdowns weren’t as strict) and the hiking was good for my mental health. I discovered a good spot for trilliums this year and went there several times during the spring bloom, and I also found a trail full of ladyslipper orchids. I visited an old car graveyard a couple times during the year and visited some new parks and waterfalls around Ottawa. The annual fireworks competition was back on in 2021 and I did a lot of experimenting with abstracts, changing focus during the exposures.

Even though I didn’t do any international travel (due to Covid risks and ever changing border requirements and lockdowns), I was able to get away for a road trip to Quebec in the fall, which I’ll post about soon. I try to do a fall photography trip every year; it was a close call last year because of the second wave of the virus, and this year it almost didn’t happen due to the third wave. (I was sure to only book places with private entrances that had virus cleaning procedures in place, and I never ate inside restaurants.)

I finally got things whittled down to a top ten list, but I included (too) many of the ones that didn’t make it in my usual Honourable Mentions section at the end. Anyway, here they are…

This was a surprise find. I went to Gatineau Park in the spring and decided to check this tiny waterfall. It was full of water due to the spring thaw and this tree had fallen across the falls sometime since I was there last. I thought it was pretty amazing to see the waterfall gushing through the tree.
One of the many abstract images I made during the annual fireworks show on the Ottawa River. Here I was playing with changing the focus during the exposure/bursts.
This is Canada’s largest colony of Showy Lady’s Slipper orchids. I went a couple days before in the afternoon and it was amazing, so I got up really early to drive back for sunrise light and to take advantage of less wind shaking the flowers during the morning calm (and to avoid the other tourists).
This is some pretty amazing architecture at a church in Quebec. This was obviously the interior, and from the outside it looks like a spaceship about to take off.
In Jacques Cartier park just north of Quebec City. The viewpoint was early in the hike, which I didn’t know, and later I was wishing I would have just gone back to the car the same way I had come in. But then I saw this amazing old tree covered in mushrooms that made all the extra hiking worth it.
An infrared shot of an old Dodge at the car graveyard I visited a couple times. The first time I went was in the summer, so I couldn’t get access near sunrise/sunset since it would be too early/late to enter. When the light’s not great I usually do infrared shots (or close-up detail shots, I photographed a lot of old logos). This particular photo isn’t the most amazing shot, but I loved the rustic colours that came through.
One of my sunrise visits to the trillium forest I found this year. It’s over an hour drive from Ottawa and I went a few times, so I had some really early mornings.
I had seen a couple photos of this church online, so just before a short trip through Kingston I asked for permission to stop by and do some photography. The colour version of this same shot almost made it into the top 10 instead, but ultimately the black and white won.
Another shot from the car graveyard. As I mentioned, the light wasn’t great so I was doing either infrared shots or detail shots. I could spend days here doing nothing but abstract shots of peeling paint like this. And this happened to be one of my favourite old cars, a Mercury Cougar, but a later year than my favourite (1967).
Luck wasn’t with me during my road trip through Quebec, either in terms of weather or my route, but I was able to get some nice shots even though I didn’t get too many epic fall shots. This was a morning on the Gaspé peninsula when things came together. I had checked the viewpoint at sunset and knew it would be best in the morning; then I got some fog, and a bit of sun breaking through.

And the Honourable Mentions:

– Patrick

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