H.O.P.E Volleyball Summerfest 2013 – Ottawa, Ontario

H.O.P.E Volleyball Summerfest – Ottawa, Ontario

I started off Saturday, July 13, 2013 at Mooney’s Bay (location) where the 31st edition of the H.O.P.E. Volleyball Summerfest gets underway early in the morning. First games on the beach were scheduled to begin at 8AM. Graeme was one of the participants playing in the corporate draw for the Plasco Energy team later in the morning so wouldn’t be taking too many pictures. Visit the H.O.P.E. Volleyball Summerfest website for further information about this event.

I parked by the University and walked over to the event location. A couple of the shuttle buses passed me when I wasn’t at a location where I could flag them down. It was a hot day and by the time that I got to Mooney’s Bay, I certainly wished that I had put my bike on the back of the van before leaving home. Certainly plenty of participants and spectators had arrived by the two-wheel option.


Graeme’s team was just getting ready for their third game when I found them. They had won one game and lost one game before I arrived and were now getting warmed up for their third game. The sun was shining brightly and the temperature was just below +30C at the beach and keeping the feet moving on the hot sand was a priority as the day progressed.

RON_4328-Plasco-Energy RON_4329-Plasco-Energy


On the adjacent bit of real estate, the ladies of the Ottawa Sun team were attracting attention with their fine play while on the sidelines, Ottawa’s mayor was getting a bit more media exposure. Turns out that he and I were following similar routes this particular Saturday since a hour or so later both of us were not far apart in the Kingdom of Osgoode.

RON_4331-Ottawa-Sun-team  RON_4325-Mayor-Watson

The Plasco Energy team fell behind early in their game but then a  couple of their players had a nice run of successful serving and the team moved into a 12 t0 6 lead, a lead which they never relinquished. It was a fun game to watch. The Plasco Energy team went on to win another game later in the day but, in the end, their final 3 win 2 loss record was not enough to get them to the next level.


With over 10,000 players representing 1032 teams playing simultaneously on 86 courts on hot sand under a clear sky and blazing sun, more than a few of the participants chose to wander into the water to cool off a bit.




Various bands were playing on the stage for between-games entertainment. DJ Noah was also present from Live 88.5 kicking out some tunes.


I wasn’t the only photographer lugging around a big camera.  I’m certain, though, that if I wasn’t heading out to another event, I would have tried standing in the water while taking pictures.  It was definitely a wonderfully warm day for such an event.  Sure beats rain!


I was soon heading back to my car and, this time, the shuttle and I made a connection and I didn’t have to walk all of the way.


After visiting the H.O.P.E. Volleyball Summerfest in the morning, I waas off to the Kingdom of Osgoode (location) in the afternoon to photograph their festivities including a hand-fasting wedding and jousting (not the same event :-)).

Invitational International Chicken-Rib Cook Off – Sparks Street Mall, Ottawa, Ontario

Last night, in the House of Commons, the politicians were debating the future of Canada’s postal service – see previous post. (UPDATE: FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011 – 8AM – Debate has gone on all night and is still going on! 4:30 PM  update – the debate continues! Update 2 – Went on for 58 hours!!)

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Fireworks, July 1/07, Kanata, Ontario

Fireworks, July 1/07, Kanata, Ontario

Fireworks checklist before leaving home:
1) Bug spray
2) Flashlight
3) Tripod
4) Camera with fully charged battery
5) Compact flash or SD cards
6) Release cable or remote release
7) Blanket or folding chair

Checklist upon arrival:
1) Check direction of wind.
2) Take charge of your location – use blanket or chair or both to establish possession of enough space for your tripod!
3) Set up tripod and camera

The set-up process:
1) Decide on what type of shot you want – wide angle landscape, portrait view, whole fireworks, cropped fireworks.
2) Decide on the focal length of the lens to use to achieve the type of shot you want.
3) Take a test shot while light to see if there is any movement in the tripod.

That was the easy part 🙂

What to do next:
1) Switch camera settings to MANUAL.
2) Switch shutter release time to BULB.
3) Set ISO to 200.
4) Set F to f8.0 or f11.0
5) Put camera on a tripod.
6) Attach you release cable or set up your remote release (if you have one)

The rest is timing. Depress shutter when you see the shot going up in the sky. Release the shutter as soon as the display is over. Your shutter is open probably from 3-6 seconds but not critical. You are exposing for the bright light not the night sky so if the centre burst is badly overexposed, your picture is overexposed. NOTE: The overexposure is an error in the ISO/F-stop settings and has almost nothing to do with the time that the shutter is open!!! Therefore, if overexposed, reduce ISO if you can or try F16.0 and experiment.

If you get the exposure right, the centre burst point is very small and everything else works out okay :-).

If you are late in your timing (or late on purpose) your shutter opens after the burst and you end up with the void effect of no center in the shot. Useful effect if that is what you want.

Problems that occur:

1)Don’t have flashlight with you so can’t see your settings in the dark,
2) Don’t have enough memory card – 100 -200 shots per fireworks not unusual.
3) Pointing to the wrong spot in the sky,
4) Standing downwind of the fireworks – lot noisier but also smoke then gets between you and the launch area and ruins your shot (unless you really want the smoke effect.
5) Standing at 90 degree angle to the wind – interesting effects of fireworks going sideways if that is what you want but not usually as pleasing.
6) Chimping too much or not at all – if you are chimping you may be missing shots – if you don’t chimp a bit you might be getting everything overexposed or pointing in the wrong direction. – I don’t look through the viewfinder all that often once I have things set up – easier to time shots and enjoy the event if looking at bigger picture.
7) Trying to get every burst – probably miss more shots by moving the camera than you gain.
8) Thinking you need a telephoto lens. Depending on the distance from the fireworks, 25 -55 mm works well with the wider angle useful when you are trying to get some ground level infrastucture in the picture. Of course, if you are a half mile away a longer focal length likely needed.

Equipment which I used for these shots taken in Kanata on July 1, 2007:

Nikon D200 with Nikon 58mm f1.2 Noct-Nikkor lens
58mm-noct-nikkor F1.2

Manfrotto Tripod with Manfrotto Ball Head