A little over five months ago I set out to discover Ottawa through photography. Some would even say I am a tourist in my own city, a tourist looking to discover everything Ottawa has to offer.
In a way, this is true.
But the real truth is I’m just a guy trying to make a new place home by setting out and discovering new things about a city I barely know while learning the art of photography, a passion I only just rediscovered after more than 10 years of not owning a camera.
My Ottawa 365 Photo Challenge: Everyday for 365 days, I upload a picture of Ottawa shot from a new and hopefully exciting location.
While I could go into a long story about why I only just recently decided to set out on this challenge, I would much rather share what I have learned so far about Ottawa because, like many people I know who have moved here, it’s the combination of the people I have met and the unique-to-Ottawa places I have discovered that now allow me to call Ottawa home.
Here we go.
The most obvious realization is that as Canada’s capital, Ottawa is host to some of the most memorable celebrations, commemorative ceremonies and festivals I have ever experienced, including the Canada Day party and Remembrance Day.
Ottawa also plays host to a number of amazing events, almost on a daily basis. From Zombie Walks, to the Plaid Parade, to Haunted Houses, to the latest festival or fair, there is always something going on in some part of the city.
Love it or hate it, OC Transpo is part of your daily life if you live in Ottawa! One thing is for sure, we have some of the most beautiful bus stations I have ever seen, and this is even before the arrival of the LRT!
Ottawa is much more than just a city centre; it spreads far beyond the Greenbelt and includes many unique places and towns, including Osgoode, Orleans—heck, we even have our own cranberry farm.
Galleries, museums, memorials and public art are everywhere. In every corner of the city, you are bound to come across a unique piece of art. From the reflective mirror ball in front of the National Research Council offices on Montreal Road, to the unique fire hydrants in Hintonburg.
Everywhere you turn, there is art, art, art!
Greenspace! Ottawa is filled with parks, fields and forests just begging to be discovered, but the ultimate view is only a few minutes away in Gatineau Park.
I have quickly learned that balancing work, photography, blogging and social commitments is hard and that sometimes I just don’t have time to get out and look for a place to discover. Sometimes you just need to sit back, relax, improvise and see what your surroundings have to offer!
Winter means shorter days and early darkness, but for a photographer it means a new motivation to get out of bed early! What they say is true, there is no better time to get out and shoot than at sunrise!
Winter darkness has also forced me to learn how to shoot at night and to take advantage of some of Ottawa’s amazing buildings and light sources to produce some unusual photos (even though sometimes they really don’t turn out!)
And finally the number one thing I have learned is that I still have so much to learn.
After nearly five months of challenging myself to try new things and seek out new places, there are just so many places and events left to discover. As proof, this map of Ottawa shows how much I have yet to cover. I hope you come along for the ride and that my photography skills improve, so that my photos are not a poor sight for your eyes.
I’m almost halfway there, but I feel like this project will never really end because as this city evolves there will always be something for me to capture and share!
Thanks for sharing your adventure with us Christophe! …and you’re too humble, those photos are AMAZING!