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Roundhouse Refurbish

I was at Vic West Fest on Saturday, and came across a display for the proposed changes to the Esquimalt Roundhouse. I've been to the Roundhouse on a couple picture shoots (Oct 2005, Feb 2006) and it is a pretty amazing historical site. Here is the development's website.

The problem is that the buildings are in disrepair and partially condemned. Many people want to save the site but they cannot raise the funds to preserve and refurbish the site to its former glory. The plan I read is to revitalize the area and completely redevelop it into a live/work arrangement that saves the Roundhouse, and its usage for the E&N dayliner while introducing high rises, shopping, restaurants, a brew pub, a market, and condos.

Pictures Engage

Monday (day 3 of the vacation) I got out to shoot some pictures. I ended up at the Kinsmen Gorge Park which has some excellent flower beds. Unfortunately I didn't hit them at their peak. The Tulips and Daffodils were ending so they were very bland, and nothing else had really taken off yet. Some of the Rhododendrons were blooming, but I find it difficult to get good shots of them.

I was struggling creatively too. It has been a while since I was out on a real photoshoot and my brain would not engage. I took approx 130 pictures, and most of those were discarded.

This heather (I think it is called) provided some opportunity to play with depth of field. Most of the plants like this I find have a purple flower, yet this one was white.

These were the only decent Tulips in the park, and the sun hadn't reached them yet. I still have a hard time taking good pictures of Tulips. The flower is so simple, it is very easy to end up with a picture that doesn't highlight it.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think this was a weed. It was a few feet high, and had these clusters of buds. I played with the aperture to change the depth of field, and this was my favorite setting.

I've experimented with HDR images a little bit. Below are two examples. The Rhodo and the bridge shots are composed of 5 exposures, ranging from -2 ev to +2 ev. PaintShop Pro took care of the rest.

Backyard Explainable

Some pictures from the backyard, taken some time in the last couple weeks. I haven't been shooting as much recently, but that is easily explainable. Work has been pretty busy, and there are more demands for time at home too. Something will fall through the cracks.

Spring is here though, and the flowers are making their appearance. I can't wait for everything to be in bloom.

Firetruck Equipment

Some friends of ours know a firefighter who works out at the Victoria International Airport. He invited our kids out to get a little tour, and to ride in a firetruck. I was pretty pumped to see the trucks too, so I was extra special to make sure that the camera was primed and ready to go. We were not disappointed. The firetrucks are huge and insanely cool. We got to climb in one, go for a short ride, spray water using the canon (Sprout's friend hit the button to do that), and turn on the siren (Sprout hit the button for that).

This is their newest truck, and they've only had it for 8 months. On the front of the truck there was a spray nozzle that is directed from within the cab using a joystick. Next to the joystick is a screen showing an infrared view of what the nozzle is seeing. We could clearly see the hot spots on a person standing in front of the camera.

This is the truck we rode in. It's hard to get the right scale in this picture, but that step on the back bumper was about 3 feet off the ground, and the tires are about 4 feet tall, and extremely wide.

Inside the cab there was a lot of equipment, indicators, levers, switches and gauges.

That is one happy boy. He was a little stunned at first, and was quite overwhelmed, but I think he had a great time. I know I did.

I never would have thought that Victoria International Airport would have so much big equipment. I always think of it as a rinky-dink airport with nothing much going on. I was pretty impressed with their setup.

Eclipse Died

Here is the only somewhat decent picture of the eclipse last night. I set up my tripod on the deck, and with my new lens did three test shots to nail the focus. When I tried my first real shot, the battery died. Angry I couldn't even review my previous shots until I put the card in my computer. I ended up with 2 horrible shots, and this one. Sad Bummer.

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