life Photography travel

La vie au Quebec

My red eye flight with Air Canada was, as is no surprise to any of you that have flown with Air Canada, delayed. I missed my connecting flight but caught the very next one (though my bags did not). Anyway, enough complaining about Government funded private ventures that are bound to fail…

Quebec has been more wonderful than I could ever have imagined. My host, Danny, is a fantastic cook and continues to surprise us with delicious recipes at every meal.

July 1st is known in Quebec as the moving day. People take it seriously and actually do move on Canada Day – there is probably some deep symbolism behind their choice of days – but I prefer not to think about it. My host, Danny, is also in the process of moving, so while he worked to get things transferred to his new apartment, I went for a walk in the old city of Quebec.


The old city or Vieux-Quebec is located beside the St. Lawrence river. The smaller width of the river as it enters the towns of Quebec and Lévis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kebec being the Algonquin word meaning “where the river narrows”. It doesn’t appear very narrow to me, but I guess it’s a relative thing.

Walking through the old city makes me feel like I’ve travelled back in time. Founded almost 400 years ago (1608), the old buildings and French architecture have a magic way of connecting me with my Canadian heritage. I spent the day walking around taking a plethora of photographs of Quebec.


That evening my new roommate and I walked down to The Plains of Abraham and enjoyed a free concert followed by Canada Day fireworks. As a note of potential interest I learned that the Plains of Abraham is the largest urban park in Canada, and repeating this fact at the Welcome Party last night won me a nice red University of Laval t-shirt.

On Sunday Danny took us to see La Chute Montmorency (Montmorency Falls). They were named in 1613 by Samuel de Champlain in honour of Henri II, duc de Montmorency, viceroy of New France. (That area of Canada used to be called New France).

La Chute Montmorency

It’s been too long since I’ve been around anything so breathtaking. There is a lot of water moving out into the St. Lawrence over the falls and I had a good time watching the hypnotic motion of the water falling so far down. Apparently early explorers were excited to have found such an abundant supply of fresh water so near the St. Lawrence River.

I’ve started my month long French immersion and I’m loving it! Of course I’m just at the elementary level, but I’m thrilled to have actual conversations with people in French. It’s a lot less stressful when you know the other person is just a nervous about their French as you are with yours.

Oh, and one last thing, the University pool is fantastique.


How to Photograph Fireworks

Fireworks at Henderson Lake

It’s fireworks season in Canada and the United States and for those of you that intend to photograph the pyrotechnic festivities, I recommend checking out How to Photograph Fireworks.

The photograph pictured here was taken on May 10th, 2006, celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Lethbridge. I didn’t have a tripod and didn’t know what I was doing, but even though this photo isn’t the greatest, I still consider myself to have been lucky getting it. I’m hoping that during the celebrations tomorrow in Quebec City, I’ll be able to capture some truly fantastic shots.

family Photography

Drayton Valley Photographer

Actually an Okotoks Photographer Now

My sister, Jackie Hutchinson, is a photographer in Drayton Valley Okotoks, Alberta. She still gets up to Drayton Valley for special occasions.

Jackie Hutchinson Drayton Valley Photographer

This is a screen capture of the new website I put together for her. It’s a work in progress as she develops her portfolio, but so far she already has some really nice shots online.

Update: Here’s a screenshot of the newest iteration of her site (as of September 2009). I’m blown away by how great of a photographer she’s become.
Jackie Hutch - Drayton Valley Photographer

Check out to see more of her amazing photography.

Jackie and family have moved to Okotoks, Alberta.


The High Level Bridge

High Level Train Bridge

I shot some photos yesterday around the city. This one above is a compilation of 9 images showing the Old Man River and The High Level Bridge. The bridge is Canada’s longest train bridge and is 100 years old this year. The trails on the ice are from the Canada geese that decided not to fly south for the winter. I guess it’s not cold enough this year to make it worth the long flight.

Photography travel

Tales from Mexico

On Sunday we really cut it close making our plane. We only gave ourselves about 15 minutes of extra time assuming everything else went according to plan, which would have been fine except for a couple of mix-ups like Trev forgetting his runners. Not to mention he also forgot that Drew moved about a year ago and hence he accidentally went to Drew’s old house putting us slightly behind schedule for the road.

Once we got on our way things were pretty uneventful, but there was a near disaster when Forgetful Jones Wallace forgot to pick up his wallet on the other side of security which might have resulted in a missed flight due to no ID. I have been thanking my lucky stars that I haven’t yet done anything particularly embarrassing or potentially trip ending but remember the week is young. Anyway it’s all good and we are having lots of fun in the sun.


Today we hired a charter to take us to a couple of different villas up the coast and had fun snorkeling as well as hiking around on a couple of different beaches. The boat ride was really a blast. All of a sudden Drew was hit with a wave of nausea and began a not so friendly reunion with his breakfast on the port side. He looked in quite a bit of discomfort so I didn’t think it would have been right to document it in pictures. However I´m pretty sure Steve and/or Trev got a photo.

While Drew was just kind of taking it easy we were learning that it’s the manta ray mating season right now. There are lots and lots of large and small manta rays scouting the area looking for action. We were amazed to see one giant manta ray breach the water completely. Steve and Trev hopped in to get a closer look and I captured a photo with the manta as one of its fins came up out of the water. When I jumped in myself I was too late they were long gone.


When we got to town, we lounged around a bit, I picked up some stomach settling pills for Drew and eventually we hiked up to see a waterfall. Unfortunately when we got there we discovered it was pretty dry. Apparently they are on the verge of a water shortage in the village and so there isn’t a lot left over for the river, but despite that, it was still a nice hike.


We had dinner on the beach, enjoyed the weather and scenery for awhile and then and headed back into town.

Photography travel

Greeting from Mexico

I’m having a great time here in Mexico. We’re keeping extremely busy going to the beach and lounging around.

Today we hit up El Eden and the Preditor Set restaurant. I’ll have some good stories to tell when I have more time.

In the meantime—my Mexico 2006 flickr set.


New Nikon D70s Digital SLR Camera

My brand new Nikon D70sFor my birthday, coming up in a week from today, my mom got me a new digital SLR camera! I’m still learning all the settings, but I’m loving every minute of it.

It’s a Nikon D70s. I also got a few accessories for it, including a polarizing filter, a camera bag, and a 1gb memory card.

I’m a little hesitant to take it with me on my trip to Mexico, but I got it a week before my birthday so I could do just that. I’ll be watching it like a hawk; at the same time I think it will be worth it.

Here are 12 winter photos I took with my new camera.



This flash app “randomly retrieves images from and creates an infinite film with a style that can vary between stream-of-consciousness, documentary or video clip.” Your mileage may vary—I found it an interesting way of blending random content to create art.


Art Photography


I found this neat search by sketch service that retreives flickr images (Ajax style) while you sketch.

I sketched this:
sketch for retrievr

and the server returned this:
Lake Louise Banff

Try it out for yourself at


F-117 Stealth Fighter at RIAT 2002

I came across some amazing photos of the F-117 Stealth Fighter today. They were taken at the Royal International Air Tattoo in 2002 in England.

F-117 Nighthawk (Stealth Fighter)

From the site:

The F-117 is a little bigger than the initial impression you get—it’s about the same size as an F-15 Eagle. It has a whole range of tricks to make it stealthy, starting with the dark, low contrast paint scheme which makes it so difficult to see at night (or photograph during the day), it’s covered in radar-absorbent materials and its very shape is intended to deflect radar away from the radar station. Its two jet engines are quiet and produce very little smoke, and the outlets from the engines, visible at the rear of the aircraft, mix cool air with the hot exhaust to reduce the type of heat signature that a heat-seeking missile could lock on to. The unusual “butterfly” tail is designed to shield the exhausts so missiles can’t see them.

See some more cool F-117 Stealth Fighter photos at RIAT 2002. If this topic interests you, you might want to check out Richard Seaman’s index of airshow photographs.