Batchewana Back Country

•10/02/2014 • 3 Comments

Batchewana_2656

 

Algoma, a land of rugged scenery. Canadian artists have come here to paint and photograph over the years. A popular destination of the Group of Severn.  A land covered in old growth trees. I drove up to Pancake Bay on September 22, 2014. Upon turning North out of Sault Ste Maria the scenery becomes awash with color and rolling hills stretching for miles.  I drove into Pancake Provincial Park, whereby I set up my base camp to work from. The weather turned out warm and sunny during the week that I was here. The Fall colors were in full swing.

The next morning bright and sunny, I drove to the Voyageur Restaurant. There I met a friend Brian King and his pal Joe. With map and coffee in hand we all sat at the picnic table that was available. Joe was born and raised in this part of the country. I was able to get quite a bit of info on were to explore. It was my quest to explore the back country here in the Batchewana area. There are many roads to chose from. Some were in excellent shape to a few that were a little rough at times. But they were all quite manageable. My favorite road turned out to be logging road that was at the present being used by a logging company. Once I came to know the schedule of the workers I could then plan my shots. The good thing they were all finished working by 6:00 pm and heading home. The logging trucks were my main concern. If you meet these guys pull over.

Along this road I found five good compositions to work with. This particular scene was a swampy area with lots of color. I had a hill in the background. Water for reflections. Points of land on either side with Maples in full color. The reflections worked really well to fill in the foreground. Your eye follows the water to the background. The two points of land keep you focused on the back of the photo.

Like I said previously it was a great week to be here. The joys of travelling these roads through tunnels of Maples in full color to cresting a hill to a colorful view of another hill ahead. Then descending down into another wealth of color. Travelling along the side of a hill with a stream flowing below you.   I managed to get in a fishing trip with my new found friend Joe. We caught a few Speckled Trout. Had a great time together. Looking forward to more of this. I also met quite a few folks in and around the Voyageur Restaurant area. It became routine to stop in for a cup of coffee in the afternoon. When people know what you are doing they will be glad to fill you in on the good scenic spots. Getting off the beating path can produce some great work.

This coming Saturday at the Killarney Mountain Lodge, Killarney, Ontario, my good friend Andy Lowe will be holding a concert   where upon he will be releasing his new cd.  For a sample of Andy’s work check out this video,

So until next time happy trails

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Superior Shores

•09/25/2014 • 2 Comments

Coldwater_Bay2

 

I was hiking the Superior shorelines South of the Clearwater River mouth. The location was within the Lake Superior Provincial Park Boundry. I came upon an interesting stretch of rock that had unique patterns to it. Baldhead can be seen in the background. The Indian head seen in The Keeper post is now to the North of me. The sky is cloudy. It has been threaten to rain all day. Lake Superior was relatively calm. Gently lapping on the rocks.

Thus I set up my tripod and Canon 7D to capture this scene. There is tremendous depth  in this composition. The water foaming along the rocky shoreline. You will notice a touch of green and yellow water three-quarters  into composition. This adds a nice effect. Remember that Lake Superior is very clear. I must say that I covered a lot of shoreline in my two weeks  in August here and I managed about 10 good shots for my effort. This type of photography demands time and patience. In the end the reward is justified.

I was up on Lake Superior last week for 3 days. Was not successful this time out. The weather was not on my side. Rain and snow my last day there. So until next time happy trails

Sand Patterns

•09/18/2014 • 1 Comment

Superior_1930n

 

It was one of those beautiful cloudy days. The day was warm with a breeze off Lake Superior. Strolling aimlessly along a sandy beach. Lake Superior was on my right. The water gently rolling up the sand. To my left was the sand dunes, three feet or so above the beach. In the dunes was an assortment of plant life that keep the dunes from eroding away. Life is good when you are in locations such as this. Lake Superior stretching beyond the horizon, a gentle breeze on your face. As I continued my stroll on this beach, my eye caught bits of black color in the otherwise light brown colored sand. Running my hand through the black material, I discovered that it was indeed sand. Observing the embankment on my left I noticed a band of black sand running lengthwise in profile. The discovery of things geologically, plant life, and wildlife can be an adventure of its own. One observation that I made was the patterns as shown above. It was created by the gentle wave actions as the water rolled up the beach and receded. Thus you had a pattern of black sand on top of the light brown sand. Very simple in composition and abstract in form. All I did was set up my tripod and camera. Created my composition in the camera and shot looking down. This photo was taken in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Well that is it for now. So until next time happy trails.

Keeper of The Lake

•09/11/2014 • 6 Comments

Coldwater_Bay

 

The Keeper

 

I am the Keeper

Lying on the rocks

One of the many

Faces of the Grandfather

Keepers of the lake

I lie on the rocks

Facing the great sea

Known as Ojibwe Gichigami

Waterfowl skim the waves

Dipping their wings in passing

Eagles soar high above me

In the vast blue skies

Hikers trod my back

Along the coastal trail

The Coldwater River ends

It’s journey a short hike

Along ever changing beaches

The sand warm under the feet.

The migratory Salmon and Steelhead

Enter the river Spring and Fall

To start new life

For the coming generations

The great sea is

Through the passing seasons

Of a variety of moods

The annual storms pound

The ever changing shoreline

The great sea is never still

As I keep watch

I have been here

From times gone past

If you look carefully

You will spot me

The keeper of the lake

Sitting on a Moss Covered Rock

•09/04/2014 • 2 Comments

Superior_2064

 

 

 

 

Sitting on a moss covered rock

Surrounded by Black Spruce

Squashing a skeet now and then

The pesky critters would dive-bomb

To sting the back of my neck

 

A well beaten moose trail

Traverses the swamp edge

A scene of stillness

The open water quiet and benign

The ghostly dance of mist

Transforms the summer morning

 

The sun not yet risen

A channel leads one’s eye

To the far hills

The Black Spruce dark and ominous

At the shore’s edge

Protruding rocks break the shoreline

A cliff rises in the channel

 

The sun’s rays slowly creep

Over the shadowed land

Light filters through the mist

The far hills unfold

In the morning light

Fingers of light creep

Through the dark shadows

 

The mist is still swirling

A pair of Loons appear

Dark shapes in the mist

The warmth of the morning sunlight

Chasing the night shadows before it

The mist now dissipating

Exposing the Boreal Forest

 

Rising from my moss covered  rock

I quietly trudged  up the hill

With one last look

As I crested the hill

Another memory to preserve

Lake Superior Shorelines

•08/28/2014 • 6 Comments

SinclairCove_LakeSuperior

 

I have just concluded a two week trip along the shores of Lake Superior. From Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay. Along with my wife Maureen, I set up base camps in various locations and explored from there. From rain that was heavy at times to cold mornings, it was still enjoyable and fun. At the Rainbow Falls Provincial Park we had a few mornings of 5 to 7 Celsius. At  Lake Superior Provincial Park it was warmer. I crawled over a lot of boulders, walked sandy beaches as well as pebble beaches. It is not hard to be awestruck by the scenes that come before you. From the vastness of Lake Superior to the land formation before you. To stand on a pebble beach and look inland to see the pebble beach extend inland for a hundred feet or more. Thus at one time in history the lake was much higher. The rocks are covered with lichen and are a grey color. You see the power of Lake superior when you observe the smoothness of the rock structures along the shores. The rocks take on many shapes and sizes creating interesting photographic possibilities. Walking in the forest along the shoreline you are greeted by many forms of lichen on the ground or hanging from trees. I was standing on a rock ledge one evening looking at an island that appeared to be not far away. A canoe glided past me heading to this same island. A while later I looked up and was amazed how small that canoe looked in the distance. The island was further away than I thought. This emphasizes the vastness of Lake Superior.

 

Every once in a while you come across a scene that just blows you away. The composition above is one such example. I was standing on the beach at Sinclair Cove looking towards the islands in front of me. This was one of those days that was cloudy and dark. The far hills were covered with mist and sombre looking. It was getting on to late evening. The sun was peaking out now and then. I attached my 70 to 200 Canon zoom lens to be able to get a compact shot. I decided not to have any water in the foreground. To me that would have spoiled the effect. I opted to show mostly sky to emphasize the vastness of this land. Which it truly is. I added a touch of yellow to the lighter part of the sky. With that I enhanced the effect that I wanted. One thing I will say is that to get these type of shots, be aware what is before you and learn to capture these moments. They do not come everyday. It is incredible when this happens. It is awe inspiring to come across a scene such as this. There is so much mood and mystery in a composition such as this. Another fact is that I have been at this location four or five times in the last two years and finally connected.

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy is meeting and chatting with people I meet in my travels. I met up with a group of hikers at the Coldwater River mouth area. One of the lads sent me an email.

Hey Ken! I was part of the backpacking group you met on Lake Superior this week. I really like your work and your business cards were a real smart idea. The whole group has talked a lot about you. Well done!

So I asked the young man to send me some info on the group. This was his reply.

We did the trip through Calvin College, a Christian college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The members of our group were from various states in the US. There were nine incoming freshman and two leaders. We went on the trip to meet new people in our class, to learn more about Calvin, and to enjoy the outdoors. It was a pretty sweet trip.

It makes my day when I see young people out in the wilderness enjoying themselves and gaining valuable experience about the outdoors. The best of luck to these youngsters.

As I was putting my gear away at Katherine Cove a couple returned to their vehicle. I struck up a conversation with them. You can read Jen’s blog here. It is very witty and interesting. I am even mentioned.

http://prairiegirlgoeswest.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/from-the-soo-to-the-giant/

This coming weekend is the The Canadian Woodstock in Killarney Ontario. Watch the following video for info.

http://pierreajsabourin.wordpress.com/

Go to Pierre AJ Sabourin’s facebook page for a list of artists to be present.

https://www.facebook.com/PierreAJSabourin.Artist

While that is it for now. Until next time happy trails.

 

Wolf Lake Part 4

•08/21/2014 • Leave a Comment

WolfLake_1440

 

Monday morning dawned with no photo opportunities available.  Toasting bagels for breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee sure started the day right. It was a relaxing morning. But all good things come to an end. Thus we packed up, loaded the canoe and made our way to the landing. Pulling up on shore a young couple pulled in behind us. Tim and I quickly unloaded to give them room to pull in. This was a young couple hailing all the way from Pennsylvania USA. They were on a one week canoe trip here. The  lad had ripped his knee open on the rocks somewhere. He was toughen it out though. Tim and I soon had my Ford Escape loaded with the canoe tied down. Before long we  where  at Highway 17E . Tim loaded his gear into his SUV. Shaking hands and saying our goodbyes we parted once again. A great trip. I told Tim I was stopping at the first Tim Horton’s for lunch.

I ordered a soup and chicken salad sandwich.  As I was busy eating my lunch, I noticed Tim standing there with a very worried look on his face. Tim asked me if I had seen his camera bag in my Escape. Saying no, I headed out to check. We were worried that the camera might be back at Wolf Lake. A quick search did not reveal his camera bag. Tim then checked his backpack and there was his camera bag. So all ended well and we parted once again.

I first saw this scene from our campsite. I love it when you can find side lighting as such. It  adds such magic to a composition. What you really have to watch here is that you do not blow out the highlights on the rocks. With the rocks a light grey and the lighting being a little harsh this can happen.

This concludes my first trip into Wolf Lake. It was very enjoyable. I hope to be back soon. So until next time happy trails.

 
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