Christmas Lights, Cortland, New York

Christmas Lights, Cortland, New York

I was traveling in Upper New York State’s finger lake district for a couple of days. At night, I wandered around a bit looking for lights to photograph. These ones I found on a hillside at the Radiation Oncology Building of Cortland, NY.

To see other light displays that are pretty amazing visit the blog entries for Upper Canada Village and More Upper Canada Village or to really see how many lights will fit in one yard visit Toronto lights.

Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

Starting up a website. www.megapixeltravel.com, with my son, Graeme, was one of the major milestones for the year. Graeme had been prodding me to think about a blog format for my photo postings for quite some time so this was the year that it happened. I like to add text to the photos that I post. Although that works fine on Flickr for single photos, a blog format provides me with a better sense of continuity of thought and sequence of events when uploading a series of photos. In 2011, I intend to continue uploading to Flickr but will likely leave the story-telling here with my blog uploads.

Boxing Day 2010 has arrived with sunny skies and -10C temperatures a far different situation than Boxing Day 2009. Icicles on the Thule.

Rather than seeking out one “best” photos, here are some of the highlights of my year and some of the memories that keep me attached to my camera. Clicking on the thumbnail images in this annual review will take you to a larger version on my Flickr photostream or to the specific blog entry associated with that photo.

New Year's Eve Fireworks - Mont Tremblant, Quebec Photographing fireworks on the ski slopes of Mt. Tremblant in Quebec to end the old year (2009) and start the new year (2010).

With hands out they waited Kanata Badminton Club meeting on Jack Pine Trail Flickr Wakefield outing - March 16, 2010 - Unabridged Yup! Definitely tastes like Introducing complete strangers to the enjoyment of feeding the Chickadees or meeting friends out on Ottawa’s Greenbelt trails and enjoying the company of like-minded souls on outings with Ottawa’s Flickr groups

The creation of a masterpiece - Winterlude ice sculptures - Feb 2010 Crocuses in shock! +27C/81F today! Where there are dreams there is hope. Watching artists at work carving large blocks of ice into masterpieces at Ottawa’s Winterlude and then seeing another Spring arrive and being able to use my camera to help out in a small way at the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans.

A project of Mairin Peck in Oregon Stonehaven Drive Fire - Kanata, Ontario Helping students achieve their goals and being glad that not all fires take lives.

Last campground site - Obatanga Provincial Park -  Breeding Bird Survey Road to Dubreuilville, Ontario 5AM Awaking many, many mornings at 4:30AM to conduct Breeding Bird Surveys for Environment Canada.

Full Moon - VMC 50th - Vincent Massey Collegiate, Winnipeg (Fort Garry), Manitoba Participating in some of the craziness of my school’s 50th anniversary reunion under the watchful eye of a full moon.

 The group The hosts of the show - Jennifer Podemski and Don Kelly - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! 2010 - Ottawa, Ontario Kinnie Starr - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! - Ottawa, Ontario Inez - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! Grandfather William Commanda, Algonquin Elder, Keeper of the Sacred Wampum Belts readies for greetings and opening ceremonies - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! - Ottawa, Ontario David Usher - Canada Day 2010 - Kanata, Ontario Photographing local events and concerts. I don’t normally take photos of people, so this was a new challenge for me. “Sloan” and “Monkey Junk” at Ottawa’s Westfest; “The Initial Reaction” and “Insensitivity Training” and “The Duck Wife” at Ottawa’s Fringe Festival; “Jennifer Podemski”, “Don Kelly”, “Kinnie Starr”, “Inez”, “Lucie Idlout”, “Digging Roots” and Algonquin elder, Grandfather William Commanda, at the APTN (Aboriginal People’s Television Network) broadcast; “David Usher” and “Elliot Brood” on Canada Day: and “Blue Rodeo” later in the year.

Grand Hall - Museum of Civilization Finally taking my camera to the Museum of Civilization, a much overdue totem pole experience.

Osgoode Medieval Festival 2010 -  Am I missing something?   :-) Taking Aim - Battle of the Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemoration - Fort de la Presentation - Ogdensburg, NY Land Battle  - Battle of the Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemoration - Fort de la Presentation - Ogdensburg, NY From the staircase - Boldt Castle, Heart Island, NY Pump House - Boldt Castle, Heart Island, NY Taking a step back in time at medieval festivals and re-enactments and restored “castles”.

Black and Yellow Argiope Spider Christina and the butterflies Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks Running out of light! Experiencing the excitement of finding a bug, flower, bird or animal that I haven’t seen or photographed before or successfully testing my recuperated Achilles with a nice mountain climb with my wife, or just enjoying the thrill of another beautiful sunset.

Lion cub out for a morning stroll - Serengeti, Tanzania Lion in the Serengeti Lilac-breasted Roller Licking the lips. Mmm. Good. Of course, spending two weeks in Africa looking at lions, elephants, giraffes and exotic birds with Graeme does have its benefits and plenty of high points.

Photographing lights at night is always a favourite pastime especially when winter approaches and I don’t have to stay up all night to do it!

Shades of Nudity - Sculpture Garden - City Park, New Orleans Alien Communication Device - Canada Day 2010 , Kanata, Ontario And, finally, to finish off this rather long post, there is the enjoyment that I get when wondering what people think when they search on words like “nude men” or “alien communication devices ” and arrive at my on-line offerings :-).

Fireworks - Canada Day 2010 in Kanata Not sure where I will be on New Year’s Eve but, hopefully, I will find more fireworks to photograph where ever I end up being.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Christmas Lights, Ottawa, Ontario

Christmas Lights, Ottawa, Ontario

A quick drive around Ottawa will show that it too has some well lit homes for the holidays. This one was found at 3839 6th Street in Ottawa South just off Bank Street.


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Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario – a second visit.

Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario – a second visit.
Driving from Ottawa to the Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario, Jeremy and I opted to take the more leisurely route along the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Jeremy and I formed the Flickr Ottawa group of two for this outing. Weather conditions and last minute Christmas commitments had whittled the group size down quickly.

We found Mr. And Mrs. Claus in a parking lot in Cardinal, Ontario. A jolly couple, but apparently Santa wasn’t sure where he had parked his reindeer. They seemed confident that their transportation would be found, so off Jeremy and I went to see the lights of Upper Canada Village.
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More gingerbread creations – Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario

More gingerbread creations from our visit to the opening night of the “Alight at Night” display at Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario (November 27th, 2010)

The winning entry roamed away from the more traditional gingerbread house theme and created a Santa’s toolbox that looked like real varnished wood until you got up really close to it. Excellent use of icing colours and 3D texturing made the final product look very convincing and certainly impressed the judges as well as the public.
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2010 Gingerbread Competition – Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario

2010 Gingerbread Competition – Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario

In addition to the fantastic light display outside, there was also a great display of entries to the 2nd annual Gingerbread competition inside of the Crysler Hall. The competition rules were fairly simple – maximum size of base was 2 ft by 2ft, commercial kits couldn’t be used, food ingredients only (i.e. no styrofoam, wood , plastic or metal supports or framing), and gingerbread being the primary building ingredient.
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A few more “Alight at Night” images from Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario

A few more “Alight at Night” images from Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario

For previous selection of images see Christmas Lights – Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario


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Christmas Lights – Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario

Christmas Lights 2010 – Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario

My wife and I traveled down to Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg, Ontario for the opening night (November 27th) of the Alight At Night Festival at Upper Canada Village. (LOCATION) No snow on the ground yet but I am sure that that will arrive any day now.  Temperature was about -3C and only a light breeze was blowing, so wandering around the well illuminated streets made for a pleasant evening.


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Christmas Lights, Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights, Toronto, Ontario

We were visiting in Toronto for a day and our hosts thought that it would be interesting to drive around to look at some of the Christmas lights. They had read about a few nicely decorated homes in the Toronto area (probably 100’s but they had heard of a special few), so off we went in search of Christmas tree lights. The first house we looked at was nicely decorated but on a busy street so I decided to forgo setting up my tripod in the middle of the busy street. The second one was on a busy street as well but a residential street where I could set up my tripod across the street and be out of the path of traffic while taking my wide angle shots.

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Manitoba Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba

I had traveled to Winnipeg in February, 2006 and photographed the interior of the Manitoba Legislative Building from a number of different angles. This time around I was looking for something a bit different and ended up in the library with its ornate moldings and ancient elevator and then headed into the basement to photograph the famous men’s washroom.

Access to the upper level of the library is by a tightly winding circular staircase.

Having thoroughly checked out the library, it was time to head back downstairs in the direction of the mens’ washroom.