A Photo A Week Challenge: Props

Nancy Merrill Photography’s blog has a weekly challenge and this week’s theme is Props. It’s often easier to take portraits of people if they have familiar items with them, especially for children to try to keep them focused. People like to show off their things, creations, anything that gives you an idea of who they are. In my post, I’ve decided to show some photos from a historical fort, Louisbourg, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where the staff dress in 18th century period costume and portray what life was like in the French fortress in that era. To see more of my visit to Louisbourg, check out my Flickr album.

Declaration

He’s guilty! (Sentenced to having to stand in an iron collar for two hours a day for three days in a row. All for stealing a bottle of wine.)

Costumed "inhabitants"

Passing the time of day.

Louisbourg Drummer

The Drummer Boy

Basket Weaving

Basket Weaving 101

Amsterdam Windows

Yes, it has been awhile since I’ve posted anything and I do apologize. This post is in answer to “A Lingering Look at Windows”  As you may know by now, I love taking pictures of windows and doors. This time the photos are all from our trip to Amsterdam in 2009 (was it that long ago!?)

Streetlamps and windows

Near Rembrandt square

Window Shutter detail

Shutter detail near the Floating Flower Market

Canal houses

Along one of the many canals

Begijnhof roofs

The black building is one of the oldest surviving wooden buildings in Amsterdam and is in the Begijnhof area.

Pathe Tuschinski detail

The Art Deco Pathe Tuchinski cinema

New Amsterdam public library

And a touch of modern Amsterdam, the new public library

Travel Theme: Dark

Ailsa’s travel theme this week is Dark. It’s not always easy to take a night shot without a tripod though at times, a handheld shot that shows blur or camera shake can still work. Here are a few shots from my travels, hand held and with tripod.

Stadhuis, Grand Place, Brussels

Stadhuis, Grand Place, Brussels

Vatican St Peter Square night

St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City

Manchester's Christmas decos around Town Hall

Manchester, near the Christmas markets, on a rainy night. Taken through the car window

Champs Elysee at night

Champs Elysee, Paris. From the Arc du Triomphe looking towards Place de la Concorde

Waiting for the bus, London

Waiting for the bus. London. A hand-held shot that works

Travel Theme: Hills

Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack has a weekly travel photo theme. This week it’s Hills. While I don’t go hiking or hill walking, we do encounter hills on our drives, train rides, etc.  and traversing through cities which almost always have hills. Some more than others. The steepest city I’ve ever been in was St. John’s, Newfoundland, the easternmost province in Canada. The streets soar up from the harbour, some so steep they actually have little staircases in parts of them. Here are a few photos featuring hills.

First, from one of my favourite parts of England, the Peak District National Park

Peak_1520
Next up is a view from another of my favourite regions, the Lake District.
Lake District
Here in Canada, you can’t beat the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia for dramatic scenery.
Cabot Trail MacKenzie Mountain
Then there are the rolling hills of the tiny province of Prince Edward Island.
Country Roads
And last, Sacre Coeur, high on the hill overlooking Paris
Sacre Coeur

A Photo a Week : One

Nancy Merrill Photography asks us this week to show a photo with a single subject.. Here are a few I like from the archives.

One of Jack's?

On the old set of Coronation Street, Manchester.

Imperial War Museum North 002

Sculpture in the Imperial War Museum North, Manchester

Untitled

Resident in the Trentham Monkey Forest, near Stoke-on-Trent, England, a sancturary for macaques. He looks a bit lonely.

Travel Theme: Playing

Where’s My Backpack’s weekly challenge is Playing. Here are some photos from the town of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia where they have a scarecrow festival every year in the autumn. These critters are scattered all over the town centre. Good fun walking around with hundreds of people in a good mood, cheerfully hunting down the scarecrows. These scarecrows mostly take up the theme of playing, games or music for the most part, or just because I liked them!

Welcome to our town

Welcome to Mahone Bay, home of the Scarecrow Festival

He rocks

Playing the blues?

Scored!

The home team “Bay Boys” vs the away team “Other guys”

Pig with a fiddle

Who knew one of the three little pigs could fiddle a happy tune?

Elvis, Ray Charles, Tina Turner and Diana Ross

Elvis, Ray Charles, Tina Turner and Diana Ross all making sweet music

 

DP Challenge: Home

The Daily Post Challenge this week is Home, asking people to show photos of where they live, home being where the heart is and all that. Halifax, Nova Scotia is my home, on the east coast of Canada. Halifax has one of the largest ice-free harbours in the world and is home to Canada’s East Coast Navy. There are two large container shipping ports, and oceanographic institute,  and a ship building  yard. Needless to say, a lot of Halifax’s life is structured around the sea. There are also 5 universities and colleges and it’s the seat of the provincial government. Lots of lakes and beaches, culture, shopping, food and a gorgeous waterfront where there’s always something going on.

McDonald Bridge nearly dark

One of the two harbour bridges just after sunset

Halifax Waterfront

Halifax downtown skyline and the ferry

Public Gardens gazebo

The Victorian Public Gardens

Dalhousie effects

Dalhousie University campus

Lake 022

“My” lake, Albro Lake, in my neighbourhood

Cisne Branco (Brazil) and Kruzenshtern (Russia)

Visits from the Tall Ships (another visit coming in July 2017)

DP Challenge: H2O

The Daily Post weekly challenge is H2O, or water. Water features strongly in my travel photos since many places we travel feature lakes, oceans, canals, fountains etc. because bodies of water attracted settlements. Water provides a living, it provides sustenance, it provides life to the creatures that live in it. It provides transportation and is a source for conversion to power supplies. You can cook in and with it, create beverages, keep yourself clean, travel on it in various types of vessels, you can make a living on or in it in many ways. Water is also reflective which makes a lovely photo, and feeds through fountains which are not only nice to look at but in former days, provided the means for people to obtain water for drinking and cooking.

Mahone Bay Harbour Boats

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia where the harbour provides recreation and a home for fishing boats.

Coins in the fountain

Reflections of coins in a fountain in the Public Gardens in Halifax

Niagara Falls Maid of the mist

The power of water. Niagara Falls, Ontario

I mentioned that many settlements are on or near water. Canals are fascinating. In cases like Amsterdam and many other cities and towns in the Low Countries, the sea was forced back and cities were built on canals and islands. There are more cities with canals than the one you think of first, Venice. Amsterdam actually has more canals than Venice. Other cities on the list include Copenhagen, Stockholm, Bruges, Annecy (France), Bangkok, and St. Petersburg. Britian’s city of Manchester has a number of canals which were built in the industrial revolution to transport goods from local factories to the coastline for shipping.

Frederiksholms Canal

Copenhagen. One of the many cities that grew on a series of canals.

Travel Theme: Enlightenment

Where’s My Backpack’s weekly challenge is Enlightenment. The idea is to shine a light on what is “noble, brave, generous, gentle and wise about the human spirit”

Libraries – bringing knowledge to anyone. Local libraries are free. There are libraries that contain massive collections of rare documents, accessible to peruse, or for research.

British Library, London, with the Victorian St. Pancras Hotel behind it

British Library, London, with the Victorian St. Pancras Hotel behind it

Universities and schools, important sources for enlightenment. Universities and colleges brought philosophy, arts, science and new concepts and new ways of thinking to students. Trinity College in Ireland was founded by Elizabeth I. The colleges at Oxford University date back to the twelfth century. The University in Paris goes back even further. Learning is timeless.

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Home of the Book of Kells

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Home of the Book of Kells

Sistine 5

Stealth shot of the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michaelangelo

Art has long been considered enlightening. From religious art to art representing ancient legends to the impressionists to modern abstracts and performance art. It’s all very subjective. You cannot write off talent and imagination just because it’s not something you understand or appreciate. Something I’m sure everyone who sees it can be amazed is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michaelangelo.

The invention of the printing press by a German, Johannes Gutenberg in 1440. All publication was done by hand previously, making books expensive and all but inaccessible to anyone but the rich or religious since much of what was published or created was religious in origin. The printing press allowed much easier access though perhaps, at least at first, made the resulting product less aesthetic. If you’ve ever seen any illuminated copies of medieval manuscripts, you’ll know what I mean. this is a page or two of a hand illuminated copy of the Oxford version of The Canterbury Tales and an early Caxton printed copy below it.

Canterbury Tales

A Photo A Week Challenge – Horizon

Nancy Merrill Photography offers a weekly photo challenge, this week’s is Horizon. From the travel archive:

This first photo was taken on the whale watching cruise we recently took, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia.

Bay of Fundy Big Sky

Sea and Big Sky – Bay of Fundy near Brier Island

This is another view of the Bay of Fundy, this time near the end of it by Cape Blomidon. Interestingly enough, I just started reading The Birth House by Ami McKay which takes place in Scots Bay around the time of WWI.

Scots Bay, Nova Scotia

Scots Bay, Annapolis Valley

An ubiquitous horizon. New York City looking northeast to Queens.

North east side Manhattan

North east Manhattan

And a view over Bassenthwaite, in the norther part of the Lake District, England.

Bassenthwaite

Bassenthwaite, Lake District