Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where I visit Ottawa... Street

On Saturday I participated in the 2nd Annual Worldwide Photowalk known globally as Scott Kelby's WWPW. That's due to it being a photowalk that was held worldwide - several thousand (32,000 give or take) photographers in various participating cities around the world all descended to a designated locale in their city and wandered the streets taking photos that represent their area. Photos can then be uploaded onto a site for your city or on your blog and the best can be sent in to the main website for some really cool prizes. Sadly, my photos were shite. Not very happy about the poor quality of most of them, but it was a fun afternoon and interesting to spend time with several other photographers all concentrating on one area with their cameras. Oh, and I was the only one out of the 30 of us with a point and shoot. Everyone else had these majestic lenses and complicated camera bags for all their equipment. Mine fit in my pocket. But everyone agreed that it is the photographer, not the equipment that makes good photos. I felt good until I saw my poor results. I think I need more patience.
The local area for me was Hamilton's Ottawa Street.

Ottawa Street is known for its fabrics and has undergone a bit of a resurgence as a textile and decor centre over the past few years. There used to be many, many vacant storefronts, now there are few. Though some you still wonder about...
It is always interesting to wander streets as they undergo a change for the better. It is not so gentrified as to be overpriced for some of the oldtimers, but new stores breathing life and interest and bringing people in to what was one a thriving area, then a depressed area, now a growing area.

Isn't this the coolest sign? Needle and thread, with buttons for the street name and a spool for the base. It lights up at night, so I'll have to go back to see that.
And it is also the home of the very first Tim Hortons, ever. How exciting is that?
If you are so inclined you can check out the other photos on the Hamilton flikr site (I even opened up an account, just for this occasion, and will likely add to it... when I get some patience.) or look up flikr wwph to find other cities that participated.

And an UPDATE: the final 28 locations for the New 7 Wonders of nature were announced today. I am pleased to present to you Canada's own Bay of Fundy as a finalist.

This is especially exciting as it didn't make the previous cut but when Drumheller National Park was knocked out of the running due to a technicality, it was back in. And now it joins such other natural wonders as Iguazu Falls, Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Grand Canyon, Ha Long Bay... for a full listing - and to vote - see here.


  1. I saw a notice about photographers walk in the paper here at the weekend, wish I had taken more notice of it now! My 11 year old has taken to using my old film camera, she likes the big lense but we have actually bought her a compact digital for her birthday next month. Great photos here, you have given me a good idea of the area which is probably what the objective was! Cheers!

  2. That sign is absolutely freaking brilliant. I love love love it.

    I wouldn't know what to do with one of those cameras with the big ass lenses. I need idiot proof equipment. Totally idiot proof...

    Oh, and did I mention I love that sign?

  3. one of my favorite photographers, Dorothea Lang, always said her favorite camera was whatever she picked up at the time. It's your eye not the equipment. I've seen wonderful with P&S and pure crap with fancy...so, it's the operator for sure. I enjoy your shots.

  4. It is definitely the operator. The sign is a gem.

    The first Tim Horton's! What I would give for an iced cappuccino!

  5. The site of the first Tim Horton's??? Well, now I will absolutely have to make a pilgrimage up your way. We have many here in Rochester, as you probably know, and there is one very close to my house. Very dangerous to have one of those around, especially at breakfast time...

  6. Those photos are Fantatastic!! my grandmother was a canadian, and seeing your photos lets me see a little bit of canada :)

  7. I love these pics. It sounds like a great street. After reading this I went over to youtube and watched some Bay of Fundy tides. That was fun. I gotta ask: What sort of techinicality rules out a natural wonder? Is it not natural?

  8. Well, I LOVE your photos! And ditto what Char said, okay? No need to run yourself down. I really like the first one. That upshot is great!

    Here in Columbus we had the original Wendy's and last year they tore it down to put up some monstrosity. Dave Thomas is probably rolling over in his grave.

  9. Susan: Oh I am not running myself down - out of 150 shots, far too many were underexposed from that "intelligent" setting - and I didn't play around with the settings as much as I usually do.

    Geewits: thanks. I was too lazy to look it up last night, but will find the real reason.

    Christine: welcome! am glad to show off my corner of the world.

    Mr Nighttime: it is just like all the others only smaller and with glass cases of memorabilia, which are interesting.

    AmyR: welcome. I love that sign too.

    Char: I know. sometimes I wish for a wide angle lens, or more importantly, a viewfinder, but I love my Lumix. thanks, especially coming from such as fine a photographer as yourself.

    Jazz: you might have to come here to visit and see these great signs in person!

    Amanda: it would have been fun for her to go out with a group, so watch for it next year. thanks, I also have many other shots that could have been taken anywhere, which will be posted on Sightlines.

  10. I read about the WWPW earlier this year and really, really wanted to participate...even though I only have a point and shoot too:)...Unfortunately it was on the same day as a family re-union already planned...so next year.

    I enjoy your pics...and I love how easy it is to carry around a P&S...What a great fabric store sign!

  11. Oliag: thank you! I hope you get to do it next year.

  12. I used to shop for fabric on Ottawa Street when we lived in Dundas and in Ancaster. I like your take on street photography and I sure don't agree with you assessment of what you took. You've got some great angles on several shots and what you pick tells a story. Good skills. It's hard to foreshorten with a point and shoot, though, and I think a lot of cityscapes are better if you do that.
    Do you have a photo editing program? I have a lot of fun with mine - I figure playing with the shot is fair game as long as you say you have done so.


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