Tag Archives: Canada

Things that can be carried on a bike (#673), and a few thoughts and photos from a rather long ride…

On the bike…a camera, and extra lens, a tripod, a change of clothes, three bottles of water, a jean jacket, and a few things to eat.

So a couple things. The first is that I had a great ride today. The weather was idyllic. And it was the first longish ride I took with the somewhat new Boda Boda. The round trip was a little over 30 miles/ 48 kilometers. I really enjoyed it but at the same time I have come to full acceptance that none of the bikes I ride are made for distance, at least not for this middle-aged body. The Boda Boda is the lighter of my bikes and it still weighs in at about 35lbs/15kg with nothing on it. Another thing about this ride that–in retrospect–seems almost comical, was getting over the Peace Bridge (I rode from Buffalo to Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada). I only cross the bridge a couple times a year by bike and each time the security measures seem to change. The photo below (two below) shows what I am talking about. This is new, at least since last year. In order to leave America by bike one has to traverse this revolving jail. And if they manage to make it through–which I did barely–on the Canadian side bicyclists now have to wait in auto traffic and go through a toll booth for immigration inspection. Anyhow, that being said (or I should say…having that off my chest), it really was a great ride. I rode the Friendship Trail, which is pictured below and is pure joy to ride. Also below is an image of Old Fort Erie, which dates back to 1763 (before the US or Canada existed). And also, which I like to do when I cross the bridge by foot or bike, is stop at the international boundary line, with one foot in each country (pictured below). The image directly below is of my beautiful hometown, Buffalo, NY, as seen from Canada. So would I make the ride again on the Boda? Yes, without question (I already have plans on doing it again in autumn). Even with the difficult security measures? Yup. But maybe I’ll see if I can circumvent the revolving jail somehow (I was actually stuck for a minute or so (breath, Joe, breath). And hey, if security gets any tighter maybe I’ll see “the Donald” collecting tolls at my next trip over.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#673), and a few thoughts and photos from a rather long ride…

On the bike…a camera, and extra lens, a tripod, a change of clothes, three bottles of water, a jean jacket, and a few things to eat.

So a couple things. The first is that I had a great ride today. The weather was idyllic. And it was the first longish ride I took with the somewhat new Boda Boda. The round trip was a little over 30 miles/ 48 kilometers. I really enjoyed it but at the same time I have come to full acceptance that none of the bikes I ride are made for distance, at least not for this middle-aged body. The Boda Boda is the lighter of my bikes and it still weighs in at about 35lbs/15kg with nothing on it. Another thing about this ride that–in retrospect–seems almost comical, was getting over the Peace Bridge (I rode from Buffalo to Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada). I only cross the bridge a couple times a year by bike and each time the security measures seem to change. The photo below (two below) shows what I am talking about. This is new, at least since last year. In order to leave America by bike one has to traverse this revolving jail. And if they manage to make it through–which I did barely–on the Canadian side bicyclists now have to wait in auto traffic and go through a toll booth for immigration inspection. Anyhow, that being said (or I should say…having that off my chest), it really was a great ride. I rode the Friendship Trail, which is pictured below and is pure joy to ride. Also below is an image of Old Fort Erie, which dates back to 1763 (before the US or Canada existed). And also, which I like to do when I cross the bridge by foot or bike, is stop at the international boundary line, with one foot in each country (pictured below). The image directly below is of my beautiful hometown, Buffalo, NY, as seen from Canada. So would I make the ride again on the Boda? Yes, without question (I already have plans on doing it again in autumn). Even with the difficult security measures? Yup. But maybe I’ll see if I can circumvent the revolving jail somehow (I was actually stuck for a minute or so (breath, Joe, breath). And hey, if security gets any tighter maybe I’ll see “the Donald” collecting tolls at my next trip over.

Urban Simplicity.

Playing with light, color, and motion…


“The principle person in a picture is light.”
~Edouard Manet

So yesterday I took the metro bus to Niagara Falls. Even though I live very close to to this incredible natural wonder I rarely get there. I went with the main purpose of taking photos, and being there was sort of like being a tourist in my own backyard. The bus ride incredibly cost a mere $2.00 each way and dropped me off  just 500 feet from the Rainbow Bridge (if you are local and would like the bus schedule, here it is). I arrived in late afternoon and, after having a lunch at an inexpensive Indian restaurant, walked across the bridge and was immediately thrust into tourist-ville. I walked about a mile down to the horseshoe falls and snapped a few photos but really wanted evening photos during l’heure bleue, and also later when the falls were lit with colored spotlights. I had time to kill until the sun began to set, so I walked up the uber-touristy Clifton Hill and had a couple over-priced but really delicious Canadian beers. After the beers were drunk, the sun had begun to set, and I felt sufficiently satiated, I headed back out to the horseshoe falls area. To capture that point when the sun has set but there is still light in the sky is often what I try to do. It is, I feel, one of the most magical times of the day, but you really only have a window of about 20 or 30 minutes. It’s all about the light, it really is. And this is something that fascinates me about photography…learning how to manipulate it. But natural light–the one offered to use through nature–is the light that cannot be manipulated…you have to wait for it. There are, though, three ways in which one can sort of trick the light and motion, which is a sort of manipulation, I suppose, using your camera. Please excuse me if you are a pro or already know this, as I feebly attempt to explain this in the most basic terms and description…because this is really for myself as I am an ongoing student. Anyhow, the three ways are this…ISO, which adjusts the camera’s sensitivity to light; a high ISO makes the camera more sensitive, allowing more light to be captured, but it also creates a lot of “noise,” or distortion in the photo, thus most often a lower ISO is desired. The other two ways are aperture, which adjusts how much light is allowed in the camera, and shutter speed which not only allows how long the shutter is open–allowing light into the camera for specific lengths of time–but also purposely blurs certain images when a slow shutter speed is used. Why, you may ask, am I boring you with this? Because this info is pertinent to these photos and why I have four of the same photo but at different camera setting and at different times of the day. The two most distinct examples of this are in the first two images below…they were shot only about a minute apart. The next one was shot after the sun had just set, and the one after that after the sun had fully set and they began to illuminate the falls. The very bottom photo is one I took as I walked back towards the bridge on my way home; it is, of course, the Skylon Tower with lights shining on the falls. And lastly (or should I say firstly), the photo above is of the American Falls as seen from the Canadian side at night. One final note…though I have been to the falls multiple times in my lifetime, when I approached the edge of the horseshoe falls I was quite literally in awe. It really is incredible to see them so close. It really reminded me that I am not in control of anything. Click any photo for a slightly larger view.

Three Flags, the Shark-Girl, a Gaggle of Geese, a River in Two Countries, and a few other Things I saw while Riding my Bike this past Weekend…

I’ve mentioned it before but I have to say it again, taking photos for me is like a form of therapy or meditation. I love focusing on something and trying to capture what I see with the camera. With that said, these are a bunch of photos I took this past weekend while riding my bike. It was Labor Day weekend in both the U.S. and Canada–and I was really trying to enjoy the last official weekend of the summer–so on Saturday I rode up to Crystal Beach for a swim, stopping on the Peace Bridge to snap a photo of the Niagara river while I had one foot in Canada and the other in the U.S. I also spent the evening last night at Canalside here in Buffalo. And interestingly, in both Canada and the U.S. I saw off-shore rainstorms (one of which I got caught in later)…they were beautiful. And lastly, if you are not familiar with her, Shark-Girl is a somewhat new art piece on the waterfront in Buffalo. I saw her for the first time yesterday and I’m not sure how I feel about her. Anyhow, click any photo for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

A Temple, some Balancing Rocks, Honest Ed’s, and a few other things I Saw While Riding a Bike through Toronto Yesterday…

So yesterday I was on a quick 24 hour vacation in the beautiful, vibrant, and bustling city of Toronto, which lies two hours north and just around the bend on Lake Ontario from Buffalo. I went there with my son and his cousin, and after dinner they went off to do their young guy thing which allowed me to take photos of this inspiring metropolis. I have ridden a bike in Toronto before (when I brought my folder with me) but on this occasion I utilized Bike Share Toronto, which was really nice and convenient (but more details about that in a later post). Anyhow, with it’s proximity to Buffalo I have been to Toronto more times than I can remember but I am always still thrilled and excited to go there. It was such an incredibly beautiful summer evening, which I spent riding around snapping photos…interspersed with bar stops and good Canadian Beer of course. Anyhow, here a bit of what I saw; click any for a larger photo.

Urban Simplicity.

Moon Stalker…

Okay. So first of all I have to apologize for all the moon photos. But I really couldn’t help myself. If you saw the super moon you know what I am talking about. It was just so incredibly beautiful. This is really a continuation of this post, where I went out and took photos in the moonlight while standing on the Michigan Avenue Bridge. The photos on this page were actually shot over the course of two night, all from the same vantage point of the Bird Island Pier but at different times and using different camera adjustments. The only three photos that were not facing east towards Buffalo are pretty obvious in this group…two below this text is an image of the point where Lake Erie spills into the very mouth of the Niagara river and begins it’s 25 mile trek to the Falls, and below that is the Peace Bridge, and the last photo is the sunset looking west at Canada. Sorry again if I’m boring you with so many photos…it’s so peaceful out there on the pier at night and I shot more than a hundred photos. These are just a few of my favorites. Click any for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Moon Stalker…

Okay. So first of all I have to apologize for all the moon photos. But I really couldn’t help myself. If you saw the super moon you know what I am talking about. It was just so incredibly beautiful. This is really a continuation of this post, where I went out and took photos in the moonlight while standing on the Michigan Avenue Bridge. The photos on this page were actually shot over the course of two night, all from the same vantage point of the Bird Island Pier but at different times and using different camera adjustments. The only three photos that were not facing east towards Buffalo are pretty obvious in this group…two below this text is an image of the point where Lake Erie spills into the very mouth of the Niagara river and begins it’s 25 mile trek to the Falls, and below that is the Peace Bridge, and the last photo is the sunset looking west at Canada. Sorry again if I’m boring you with so many photos…it’s so peaceful out there on the pier at night and I shot more than a hundred photos. These are just a few of my favorites. Click any for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

The Peace Bridge in the Evening…

I shot these while out on a bike ride this evening. I have been in love with Buffalo’s waterfront this summer. It runs along two sides of the city and is so easily accessible by bike and is such a sanctuary. For those who are reading this from other parts of the country or world, the Peace bridge is the bridge that crosses the Niagara River from Buffalo, NY to Fort Erie, ON, connecting the United States and Canada. And this is right in my back yard. The top and bottom images were shot from the exact same location (from the lift bridge over the Black Rock Channel) but and hour apart (notice what the change of light does to the photo). The middle photo was taken when I rode about halfway out the bird Island Pier.

Urban Simplicity.

The Peace Bridge in the Evening…

I shot these while out on a bike ride this evening. I have been in love with Buffalo’s waterfront this summer. It runs along two sides of the city and is so easily accessible by bike and is such a sanctuary. For those who are reading this from other parts of the country or world, the Peace bridge is the bridge that crosses the Niagara River from Buffalo, NY to Fort Erie, ON, connecting the United States and Canada. And this is right in my back yard. The top and bottom images were shot from the exact same location (from the lift bridge over the Black Rock Channel) but and hour apart (notice what the change of light does to the photo). The middle photo was taken when I rode about halfway out the bird Island Pier. 

Urban Simplicity.

Playing with light (or the light is playing with me…or the incredible view from my handlebars)…

A couple weeks ago I rode out to the tip of Bird Island Pier in the Niagara River during the daytime and during an unexpected fog (click here to see those photos). And tonight–being determined to teach myself all the manual controls of my DSLR camera–I rode back out as the sun set to snap a few more photos. It was really interesting–and a bit challenging–to play with the camera as the light played with me as the sun set and the light changed every couple of minutes. Anyhow, here are a few of the results. Click any for somewhat larger views.

Urban Simplicity.

Playing with light (or the light is playing with me…or the incredible view from my handlebars)…

A couple weeks ago I rode out to the tip of Bird Island Pier in the Niagara River during the daytime and during an unexpected fog (click here to see those photos). And tonight–being determined to teach myself all the manual controls of my DSLR camera–I rode back out as the sun set to snap a few more photos. It was really interesting–and a bit challenging–to play with the camera as the light played with me as the sun set and the light changed every couple of minutes. Anyhow, here are a few of the results. Click any for somewhat larger views.

Urban Simplicity.