When I drive home from work, I often pass west of the Byward Market, taking Mackenzie Avenue on my way to Colonel By Drive. Sometimes, the exit from the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge to Boteler Street can be a little backed up—with drivers wanting to turn right, onto Sussex, to make their way, eastward, to the Sir George-Etienne Cartier Parkway—so I go straight, onto Dalhousie Street, where I cut across on George Street, to Sussex, and then on to Colonel By.
So, several times a week, I pass through the Byward Market, but seldom do I stop anymore, as I used to when I rode the bus, when I used to assume the role of Roland Axam.
At the time of day that I drive through this old area of Ottawa, the light is hard and is only broken by the stark shadows, created by the old, low-rise buildings and new, towering condos.
It's not particularly conducive to photography.
As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, the open parking space on York Street has been taken over with an exhibit that features large letters that spell OTTAWA. It's similar to the sign that was placed in front of Toronto's city hall. This exhibit is expected to draw large crowds, and when I finally visited it, on Tuesday, it was hard to capture the letters without visitors climbing on them or walking in front of my camera.
Eventually, I stopped waiting for a moment when the sign was vacant and just took photos of people posing for other cameras. I used a few of these photos for this week's Wordless Wednesday.
When a group of junior high-school students, who were evidently on a class trip (the corralling teachers were a dead giveaway), swarmed the letters, I turned around to make it clear to the adults in charge that I wouldn't capture these youngsters with my camera.
What I saw when I spun around held my attention.
Being in the Byward Market, during sunset, can bring exciting colours to the sky, mixed with the old architecture. The front of KINKI and its upstairs neighbour, The Lookout Bar, shaded, emanated a soft glow from interior lights and neon signs. The sky, mostly overcast, reflected the pink-orange glow of the setting sun.
This is your Photo of the Day, I told myself: not the tourist attraction. I can shoot those letters any time this summer. How often was I going to see a sunset like this, with the colours of the buildings?
It pays, when you have one photo idea in your head, to take a 180-degree turn. You never know what you'll see.