The crowd on the Plains of Abraham during the Quebec Summer Festival 2018

The crowd on the Plains of Abraham, in Quebec City, during the 2018 Festival d'été de Québec.
The crowd on the Plains of Abraham, in Quebec City, during the 2018 Festival d’été de Québec.

The Quebec  Summer Festival draws huge crowds every year to each one of its shows. I decided to use the crowds to compose a photo in which there are only two subjects. In the foreground, one of the trees on the Plains of Abraham.  I use the tree to create a diagonal that crosses the picture and, at the same time, helps balance the colours in the picture.

In the background, the crowd,  without any other distraction. The people fill every available corner of the picture. They are the ones bringing the picture to life. It is also because of their presence every year that the Quebec Summer Festival is a success.

The picture was taken with a Canon 5DSR camera equipped with a Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS II USM lens. The focal length was 200mm and the shutter speed 1/250. Despite a 200mm focal, the people were still too far to be clear enough.

The goal being to crop the picture enough to enlarge the people, the ISO had to be quite low. It was set at 640. Once those priorities were established, the aperture could only be set at 5.0, which was good enough for the result I was trying to obtain. The 50.6 megapixels full frame sensor of the Canon 5DSR helped a lot.

The 2018 Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec.

The 2018 Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec took place on September 7th on a beautiful day. The cyclists had to repeat a 12,6 km pattern across Old Quebec and the Battlefields Park sixteen times, which amounted to 201,6 km.

The circuit’s height difference from start to finish was 186 meters, for a total difference of 2976 meters. It is the Australian Michael Matthews who won the race during the final sprint.

Here are a few photos that I took with a Canon 5DSR camera. I used a Canon 14mm 2.8L ultra wide angle lens and a Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II USM telephoto lens.

The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. The cyclists are passing under the St. Jean Gate.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. The cyclists are passing under the St. Jean Gate.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. Turning on St-Louis street.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. Turning on St-Louis street.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. Turning on Côte de la Fabrique.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. Turning on Côte de la Fabrique.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. The cyclists are passing under the St. Louis Gate.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. The cyclists are passing under the St. Louis Gate.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018, in front of Place d'Armes.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018, in front of Place d’Armes.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. The car from each team is never far behind the racers.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. The car from each team is never far behind the racers.
A few official photographers at the UCI World Tour Quebec 2018.
A few official photographers at the UCI World Tour Quebec 2018.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. The winner, Michael Matthews, from the Sunweb team, raises his fist.
The Grand Prix Cycliste Québec 2018. The winner, Michael Matthews, from the Sunweb team, raises his fist.

 

The Château Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace.

The Château Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace 2018
The Château Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace 2018

This picture of the Château Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace was taken during the Quebec Summer Festival 2018. From where I stood, near the Citadel, I could hear the crowd present on the Plains of Abraham during Patrice Michaud’s performance.

The picture was taken with a full frame Canon 5DSR camera equipped with a Canon EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. The focal length was set at 70mm. As the sun was setting, an ISO set at 200 would have caused the moving persons to be blurred. It was thus necessary to set the ISO at 4000.

Working without a graduated filter to attenuate the background light, I had to correct the exposure at +1, otherwise the middle ground would have been too dark and it was the main subject of the picture. I then slightly reduced the clear tones of the sky with Photoshop for a more balanced result.

The focus was done manually while the camera was installed on a tripod. The aperture was limited to 4.5 to limit the exposure time so that a compromise could be found between an acceptable depth of field and the moving people. This allowed for a shutter speed of only 1/15 sec, even in a relatively low light.

The ideal access to school in Quebec City

The St-Louis-de-Gonzague school in Quebec City.
The St-Louis-de-Gonzague school in Quebec City.

By cropping very tightly a picture of the St-Louis-de-Gonzague school’s entrance, in Quebec City, it is possible to modify the access to the school.

To the right of the hole in the wall, you can see “Entrée des élèves”, which means “Entrance for students”. With this reinterpretation, the students are invited to leave school as soon as they arrive. At a time where the society promotes an alternative education and the environment, this is an ideal opportunity for the students!

The first airmail flight between Hong Kong and San Francisco

Airmail - First flight cover Hong Kong to San Francisco with the China Clipper in 1937
Airmail – First flight cover Hong Kong to San Francisco with the China Clipper in 1937

This cover was in the first airmail flight between Hong Kong and San Francisco. A Martin M-130, the Pan Am China Clipper, carried the mail. The aircraft left Hong Kong on April 28th, 1937 and arrived in San Francisco on May 4th, 1937. Many stopovers were part of the route and are indicated on the cover.

The China Clipper was destroyed in 1945 when its double hull ruptured due to a collision with an obstacle in the waters of Port-of-Spain, Trininad. The aircraft sank and 23 people were killed. There was only 7 survivors.

Airmail - First flight cover Hong Kong to San Francisco with the China Clipper in 1937. Back of cover.
Airmail – First flight cover Hong Kong to San Francisco with the China Clipper in 1937. Back of cover.

First instrument landing on a scheduled airline in United States

Airmail cover. First instrument landing in USA with scheduled airline. Washington Pittsburgh 1938. Front side.
Airmail cover. First instrument landing in USA with scheduled airline. Washington Pittsburgh 1938. Front side.

Tests of the ILS system started in 1929 in United States. The first landing of a scheduled U.S. passenger airliner using an ILS was on January 26, 1938. A Pennsylvania Central Airlines Boeing 247D flew from Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and landed in a snowstorm using only the Instrument Landing System.

Back of an airmail cover used on the first scheduled flight using an ILS for a landing in USA, 1938
Back of an airmail cover used on the first scheduled flight using an ILS for a landing in USA, 1938

Picture of a Cedar Waxwing taken with a Canon 5DSR

A Cedar Waxwing in a Russian mountain ash.
A Cedar Waxwing in a Russian mountain ash.

This Cedar Waxwing was photographed in June 2018 as it stopped in our Russian mountain ash. The bird had spotted a few dried out fruits left from the Autumn 2017 season.

The picture was taken with a Canon 5DSR camera in order to use the cropping facility of its full frame sensor. A Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM was mounted on the camera. The aperture was set at 3.5 to ensure a blurred background.

The ISO was set at 320 since considerable cropping would be required to enlarge the bird, even with a 200mm focal length. The  grain remained reasonably small through the cropping process, ensuring an acceptable image.

Photography, aviation and flight simulation