January Photo Challenge: Up Close and Far Away

January was my month to choose a theme, and I wanted to make sure it was something very broad that could be photographed indoors as well as out, since I find that in January I often don’t get outside with my camera because it’s too cold.  That being said, I did get out on the Rideau Canal one afternoon when it was just below zero and possible to take off my mittens long enough to snap a few shots.  The rest of my month’s work took place around our “Lego World” that is constantly in a state of construction and flux in the attic.  Much of the building is still completed by Mommy and Daddy and other adults who happen to be around, but it’s an activity that we all enjoy and Adrian loves to play with all of the machines and buildings that we create.  I also discovered that it’s very hard to get good close-ups of Lego, at least using the lens that I have.  I never quite got the lighting and the focus just right…  (and for the record, whoever says that modern Lego is not creative has not been to our house!)

What's going on in Lego World?  Let's take a closer look...

What’s going on in Lego World? Let’s take a closer look…

Looks like the paramendics are out for a date.

Looks like the paramedics are out for a date.

Santa? is that you?  What are you doing on the roof of the blacksmith's shop?

Santa? is that you? What are you doing on the roof of the blacksmith’s shop?  Oh, just chasing that bad guy?  Ok, go get him…

There was a disaster and an earthquake flattened the city.  But the people rebuilt... newer and better coffee shops, bigger hat shops and more spaceships.

There was a disaster and an earthquake flattened the city. But the people rebuilt… newer and better coffee shops, bigger hat shops and more spaceships.

Let's have a cup of tea.

Let’s have a cup of tea.

And now for something completely different: Here are my photos from the Canal. I was relatively pleased with these.

Close Up

Up close…

Close Up

…up close…

And Far Away

…and far away (the Bridge into Patterson Creek)

Close Up

Up close…

and far away

…and far away

close up

Up close (Looking at the Chateau, under the Somerset Bridge)…

and far away.

…and far away (Looking down the Canal at the Somerset Bridge and the Chateau)

And a little bit of HDR for the last few shots: It’s always fun to play around with HDR to try to make mediocre images a little bit exciting.

close up

Up close (University of Ottawa)…

and far away (University of Ottawa)

…and far away (University of Ottawa)

Close up (Bank Street Bridge)

Up close (Bank Street Bridge)…

and far away (Bank Street Bridge)

…and far away (Bank Street Bridge)

And two more, that I just remembered from the beginning of January, we had an ice storm to start off 2015.

Far away... (after the ice storm)

Far away… (after the ice storm)

...up close (after the ice storm)

…up close (after the ice storm)


Duplo, my favourite toy.

Here's a boy with this ducks in a row

Here’s a boy with this ducks in a row (back in the fall)

I am, at this moment in time, a stay-at-home mom.  I might discuss how this happened and what this means to me, another time.  For the purpose of this post, well, it’s just a fact.  So I get to spend a lot of time with my lovely two year old son and as a result, I get a lot of chance to play with toys.

I’m not really that good at “playing” – at least by his definition.   The boy much prefers playing with his dad, who will toss him in the air and chase him around the house while making loud noises and inventing elaborate and imaginative scenarios (for example, I was doing the dishes the other day and in the space of about five minutes, they were pretending to be hurricanes, houses, giraffes (or maybe dinosaurs) and mats (as in rugs) – I just don’t move at that speed!).  My mind has trouble warping to the space where the two year old mind lives.  I think I’m a bit too linear.  A two year old mind is NOT linear.  I also prefer to play at a fixed location. Therefore Duplo is by far, MY favourite toy.  I can sit on the floor (in front of the heating vent, with a cup of tea on the toy box) and build big elaborate houses, barns, fire stations, ducks, beds, or robots, out of Duplo and the boy can play around me and sometimes even with me.  It works with my type of creativity – Challenge:  can I build a structure on which trains can be driven and helicopters landed that will not instantly fall apart…  I’m getting pretty good, if I do say so.  Some day soon, the boy will be able to build his own houses and creations and mommy probably won’t be allowed to help – but for now we can pass the time together, building, playing and I can appreciate the privilege that it is to be able to spend this time with the little man (without needing to be a hurricane in order to do it!)*.

It's sort of like a pyramid

Thomas is stuck…We have to rescue him.

Corner Detail

Instagram enhanced Corner Detail



A very tall house

A very tall house – with the alphabet in the correct order – yup.

Good night Thomas

Good night Thomas and Firemen

All the people have gone to bed.

All the people have gone to bed. Making beds is a favourite recurring lego theme. I make the beds and the boy decides who gets to sleep in them.

Interesting wall

I do love the colours.

*And honestly – it is soooo much neater when all of the lego has been turned into a big castle or house and not thrown EVERYWHERE across the floor! (here at last she finally tells the truth!)