The oil tanker Nave Equinox in front of Lévis.

The Nave Equinox oil tanker with Lévis in the background during winter 2020.
The Nave Equinox oil tanker with Lévis in the background during winter 2020.

Last week, there was virtually no ice on the St.Lawrence Seaway near Quebec City. Since the beginning of the winter, very mild temperatures had allowed ships to travel the St.Lawrence without encountering any obstacles. For the past week however, more seasonal temperatures with some days between -15C and -22C have been changing the appearance of the seaway.


The photo above shows the oil tanker Nave Equinox, a ship built in 2007 approaching Quebec City. Even at -15C, the day was still ideal for photography because the cloud cover was fragmented allowing the diffuse light of the January sun.


The photo was taken from the Dufferin Terrace near Château Frontenac.The vessel was quite distant and a significant cropping was applied to bring the vessel closer. The photo was taken hand-held and the image sharpness was retained using a very fast 1/8000 sec shutter speed. Doing so limited vibrations.

 
The camera used was a Canon 5DSr with a Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens. A 50.6 megapixel sensor limited image pixelization when cropped.

The oil tanker Euronav Cap Leon leaving the Quebec City region.

Oil tanker Euronav Cap Léon in 2019
Oil tanker Euronav Cap Léon in 2019

At the beginning of the trip towards the St. Lawrence estuary, a cable links the Ocean tugboat with the Euronav Cap Leon oil tanker. The current and the ice push the oil tanker towards the east and the speed of the oil tanker must be controlled for the tight turn around Île d’Orléans.

Oil tanker Euronav Cap Léon on the St Lawrence Seaway near Quebec City.
Oil tanker Euronav Cap Léon on the St Lawrence Seaway near Quebec City.

In our America, all people are equal.

With the current divisive administration in the United States under Donald Trump, citizens are more than ever willing to express their political opinions. In 2019 in Boston’s Brookline suburb, a quick walk in the neighbourhood allowed me to take the two following pictures.

In our America, all people are equal.
In our America, all people are equal.

In case your cell phone screen cannot clearly show what is written on the sign above, here it is : « In our America, all people are equal. Love wins. Black lives matter. Immigrants and refugees are welcome. Disabilities are respected. Women are in charge of their bodies. People and planet are valued over profit. Diversity is celebrated. »

On the sign below, the message is clear : « No kids in cages. »

No Kids in Cages 2019
No Kids in Cages 2019

St-Gilles and the autumn colors

St-Gilles in autumn.
St-Gilles in autumn.

These pictures were taken in October in the St-Gilles region, in Quebec. In the photo above, the sunlight was streaming through the leaves, giving the peach color even more intensity. To make the leaves the main subject of interest, I positioned myself under a branch and reduced the aperture of the Canon 5DSR to 3.5. The leaves in the foreground were now in focus while everything else became blurred, adding to the atmosphere.

Cows and autumn colors in Quebec.
Cows and autumn colors in Quebec.
St-Gilles countryside in autumn.
St-Gilles countryside in autumn.

The owner of a nearby house in St-Gilles had a thought for walkers and left two chairs near the water. The chairs became the main interest in the photo and are therefore in focus. The forest and the colored leaves in the background are deliberately kept blurred.

St-Jacques de Leeds and the autumn colors.

St-Jacques de Leeds in Autumn.
St-Jacques de Leeds in Autumn.

The St-Jacques de Leeds region, in Quebec, offers interesting opportunities for photographers who like very diversified autumn colors.

A house in the St-Jacques de Leeds countryside in Autumn.
A house in the St-Jacques de Leeds countryside in Autumn.

At the time this picture was taken, most red leaves had already fallen. But the contrast between the dark tones of the evergreens and the other colors still offered beautiful landscapes.

To compose the picture above, I decided to keep the trail. It leaves the main road where I stood and heads, with a few curves, towards the house. The trail starts at the left of the picture and the observer naturally follows it to the house, then to the forest in the background. With my position, I was also able to hide part of the house with the colored trees.

St-Jacques de Leeds countryside in Autumn.
St-Jacques de Leeds countryside in Autumn.

During late afternoon in Autumn, the light is quite softer than in Summer. It is not necessary to wait for the evening to get interesting results. The scenery above offered a natural contrast between the blue of the sky and the orange tones of the trees. I kept part of the evergreen, for its position in the foreground as much as for its dark tone, to add to the dynamism of the picture.

Autumn evening in St-Jacques de Leeds.
Autumn evening in St-Jacques de Leeds.

The tripod was necessary for the picture above. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM lens, that is normally used for portrait, requires less light than the human eye. It perfectly captured the atmosphere and the colors that were prevailing a few minutes before nightime. All the pictures were taken with a Canon 5DSR full frame camera.

Val-Bélair in Autumn

Chair and house in Autumn in Val-Bélair.
Chair and house in Autumn in Val-Bélair.

This year I have searched for new sites to capture autumn colours. I drove by Val-Bélair and stopped by a house that looked abandoned. The colour of the chair and the yellow background allowed me to compose my first shot.

Multicolored trees near Val-Bélair.
Multicolored trees near Val-Bélair.

There are superb trees between Val-Bélair and L’ Ancienne-Lorette . The picture above represents only a section of the forest.

Val-Bélair in Autumn.
Val-Bélair in Autumn.

Val-Bélair is a region with both agricultural and city life. It was natural to compose a picture that would include a car and a tractor. The colored leaves are used as a natural frame around the vehicles. The Canon 5DSR full frame camera’s aperture was adjusted to have only the middle ground in focus.

Morning fishing in Ogunquit, Maine

Early morning fishing in Ogunquit, Maine.
Early morning fishing in Ogunquit, Maine.

A fisherman profits from the beautiful morning to try to catch an Atlantic Striped Bass.

Since the fisherman will be on the beach for at least an hour, I have enough time to install a tripod on the beach and use the telephoto lens to bring in the man artificially. It is worth waiting for a few seagulls to fly nearby; this always add a bit of life to the scenery.

The compressed perspective offered by a telephoto lens and the significant cropping allow to increase the presence of the houses on the Ogunquit and Wells beaches, in United States.

Ogunquit fisherman with Atlantic Striped Bass web
Ogunquit fisherman with Atlantic Striped Bass web

The Atlantic Striped Bass can grow up to 1.5 meter  (5 feet) in length and weight up to 35 kg (77 pounds). Fishing laws are different for each State. I believe that in Maine, a fisherman cannot keep a fish that is less than 71 cm  (28 inches) in length.

Although I am quite far away from the fisherman, he has nonetheless noticed me. He turns around and proudly shows the Striped Bass that he just caught. A few seconds later, he puts the fish back in the water, knowing that the fish is still too small to be kept.

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/atlantic-striped-bass

Sunrise in Maine, United States 2019.

Sunrise in Maine 2019
Sunrise in Maine 2019

Many sunrise pictures are oversaturated to increase the visual effect. There comes a time when we forget that nature is full of subtleties and that it is not always necessary to exagerate the saturation to obtain an interesting effect.

For this photo of a sunrise in Ogunquit, Maine, I chose to show the natural colors at 5h30 AM, in August 2019. There is no violet-blue nor citrus yellow in the scenery. Nonetheless, depending on your position in front of the screen, the colours will always vary somehow.

Photography, aviation and flight simulation