Project 365: Crossing the rural-urban divide

I was worried that the commute from Manotick to the Byward Market every day would prove long and tiresome. It is on the long side — I’m averaging 35 to 40 minutes — but it’s such a gorgeous drive that I’m quite enjoying it. (Ask me again after a blizzard in February and maybe I’ll change my tune!)

What’s interesting to me is the sheer diversity of the drive. I start out in rural farmland, passing cows and barns, and I follow the Rideau River / Canal all the way downtown, through suburbs and down Colonel By Drive, past Old Ottawa South and the Glebe and both universities, all the way to the Market. It goes from capacious and rolling fields to the sharp concrete edges of downtown; from serenity to bustle; from wide-open spaces and the smell of nature to crowds and the competing smells of cars, restaurants and progress. (I notice these differences most keenly in the morning, because let’s face it, the traffic at 4 pm may be worse on Bridge Street in Manotick as it is on Sussex Drive!)

All that to say, the juxtapositioning of the rural and urban experience seems to have informed my picture-taking this week. There was, for example, this improbably blue barn resting quietly in a very yellow field that just begged to be photographed. I wish I’d had a more standard lens on instead of my lensbaby, to really make that colour contrast pop, but as they say, the best camera/lens for the job is the one you have with you!

251:365 Improbably blue barn in a yellow field

In contrast, I love the effect the lensbaby had on this picture. To the left is the US Embassy (who apparently don’t take kindly to photographers, but I’ve never had a problem) and straight ahead is the glass dome of the National Gallery of Canada. I love how all the lines converge on the red pop of the flags.

248:365 Lensbaby patriotism

And then, back to the rural thing. I think I’m fascinated by farms and barns just because they are so completely removed from my experience. When I saw the sky the morning I took this, I knew I just had to watch out for the perfect shape to silhouette and show it off. As I said in the caption on Flickr, “Phallic symbol? What phallic symbol?”

250:365 Sunrise on the farm

This was an idea that didn’t work out like I’d expected, but I didn’t really have anything else for the shot of the day. And didn’t these things used to be way more colourful? (We used them for the favours at our wedding.)(Not these ones.)(Although they were stale enough that they could have been.)

249:365 Hello lensbaby

This is a new treasure I found in a junk shop. Can you believe it only cost me $5? What a steal! It’s a Yashica Electro 35 from 1966, one of the most popular and populist rangefinders. It was apparently the first electronically controlled camera. Best $5 paperweight ever! 😉 It’s also my favourite picture this week because I saw this style of picture somewhere else and deliberately set out to mimic it. I wouldn’t have been able to do that a year or two ago, but I did and I was pretty pleased with myself and the result.

247:365 A new treasure from the junk shop

At the risk of treading into Stuart Smalley territory, I thought it would be fun to try making some of these poster-type things I’ve seen all over Pinterest lately. I really love the sentiment!

246:365 Everything will be okay

I promise, the next one will say, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.” 😉

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

4 thoughts on “Project 365: Crossing the rural-urban divide”

  1. I love my drive in from the country too. I don’t go quite as far into the city as you do (I’m stuck South Keys area).

    The camera on the swing is such a great shot. The lensbaby looks like so much fun.

    BTW, I thought I’d remind you that I’m back online and waiting for that invite to Pinterest. 🙂

  2. Usually once a week I cross the rural-urban divide driving in from the outskirts of Perth into Barrhaven via County Road 10. From wide open farmland, fields of corn and other crops, acres of baled of hay lined up waiting to be stored in the old barns to rows upon rows of clustered homes where interior size has been chosen in favour of exterior green space. The contrast is always sharply felt.
    Great pictures Dani.

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