Central Experimental Farm: Ornamental Gardens

As a child I had been to the Experimental Farm Agricultural Museum, however I had never been to the gorgeous Ornamental Gardens directly beside it. We decided to take a quick stop here on the drive home and ended up staying for a few hours just exploring around and taking some awesome photos. It is so nice and quiet here and is perfect for dates, picnics and even weddings (we saw one when we were there today!).

Super Cool Plants
I am by no means a plant expert, but there are some neat trees, flowers and other plants here to check out. There are currently 100 types of irises, 125 different types of lilacs (who knew there were that many?), and 65 different plants. The gardens are so well kept and so photographically beautiful anyone can go in there and snap some stunning shots. Above is a photo of Marco and I with our heads beside these leaves for size comparison. I have no clue what plant this is but the leaves are absolutely huge compared to the regular leaf sizes we see here. Hopefully you aren’t allergic to pollen, and if you are make sure to bring some anti-histamines! There are so many different types of plants so you never know if you will have a reaction to one if you are usually sensitive.

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Over a Century Old
The Ornamental Gardens has been around since the 1880’s! To some this may not mean much, but I personally find it fascinating that some of the plants in this garden date back over 100 years. The land is extremely well kept and clean and you can tell that everyone really respects the property. We did not see any litter, garbage or anything else of the sort and there are quite a few people who go in and out of this park on a daily basis. If you want to check out a little part of History make this a stop on your Ottawa Itinerary.

It’s Free
Exploring these gardens is absolutely free of charge. You will need to pay for parking if you are driving but it is so worth it. You will only need an hour or so to walk through the gardens and take some photos, but you can always pack a lunch and a blanket and make an afternoon out of it. If you’ve seen all there is to see in the gardens go check out the museum right beside it or the Arboretum down the road. Unfortunately we were unable to check out the Arboretum today, but we don’t live far so I am sure we will get to see it another time. If you are visiting on a short-term holiday I would highly suggest trying to see them both within the same day or afternoon. For one, you never know when Ottawa is going to have a solid stint of good weather, so take advantage of it while it is here, and two, it is right down the road – so might as well!

Plenty of Spots to Relax
Whether you want to plant your butt on a bench or on the ground there is so much space and so much seating. They have benches in the sun or in shaded areas and under trees as well as plenty of field space to throw down a blanket and picnic away. If you want to catch some some rays you can do that too – with all that wide open space you could probably get a wicked tan.

Have you been to the Ornamental Gardens or Experimental Farm? Do you plan on it? Drop us a comment below – we would love to hear from you!

3 Reasons To Take “Candid” Photos

Most people strive for those awesome “caught off guard” or “I didn’t know there was a camera there” shots and there are good reasons why. Personally, I am terrible at posing for photos. I am downright awkward, I never know what to do and I am almost never satisfied with the end result. I actually saw many folks posting these seemingly “candid” photos and thought “I’m gunna try that!”. Here’s my findings:

The Subject Is More Comfortable
Ever tried to pose, smiling for a photo, in a crowded tourist hub while people keep walking in front of your shot and others are getting flustered waiting for you to hurry up? Maybe I’m alone here, but I surely have felt this way more than once! When we made the switch to try some “candid” shots it just felt more natural and comfortable and I didn’t feel as awkward posing for a shot around people.

More Pics/Poses to Choose From
When you take a bunch of shots while the subject is moving around and trying different things it allows you to have so many more options when it comes to selecting the best shot/pose and editing. I found when I posed for photos I would maybe do one to three different poses max before giving the spot light to someone else who wanted a nice photo as well. Some photos turn out blurry or out of focus, but you have a tonne of other great ones so I find that it balances out.

Photos Are More Comfortable/Relatable
Nobody really stands naturally the way they do while posing for photos. With “candid” shots (I put candid in quotations because I know the camera is there and taking photos, so not true candid) the poses and stances will better resemble how you look and move in real life and will make you more relatable to your audience. It also looks a lot more natural and authentic.

These are my personal opinions and realizations for shooting candid vs. posed, but if you disagree or have anything to add to this please drop us a comment and I would love to hear from you!

LaMachine Ottawa Day One

I was amazed because I had only heard of this event days before it’s debut here in downtown Ottawa and yet somehow everyone was aware it was happening. I work downtown Ottawa near the Byward Market, so I am a stones throw away from all the action. I often go out for walks on my lunch breaks to see some sights and sounds during Ottawa’s busy tourism season (See: Tourist For A Day).

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What Is It?
LaMachine is an event where huge robotic creatures take over your city complete with smoke, lights, water and more! They have these super cool debuts of the robots and you can watch as they walk your streets and tour around. This is the first time they do this in North America and will be hanging out in Ottawa from July 27th – July 30th. If you’re in the area you should check it out.

Leaving work today (Friday) was even more difficult than usual as there are quite a few road closures right downtown off Sussex Dr. and the Byward Market. I decided to skip out on the show tonight but we will be hitting downtown tomorrow to see the other creatures and spend the day roaming about. Tip: Park far from the downtown core and walk to the Byward Market to avoid parking frustrations and traffic jams. If you can take the bus, bike or walk then do this instead of driving!

On my lunch break yesterday I was able to see Kumo – the spider – which was resting on top of the Notre-Dame Basilica. It was suspended by a crane and was later on lifted down to the ground in the event “Kumo Awakens”. We will being seeing the other machine tomorrow and will update you with a LaMachine Ottawa Day Two tomorrow – so stay tuned! There is still Long Ma to see, which is a a large dragon machine. We cannot wait!

Do you plan on going or have you seen this event in your city or elsewhere? Share your experience with us below by dropping us a comment! We would love to hear from you!