Stream Side Maple

•11/26/2014 • 6 Comments

Batchewana_2559

 

There was a lovely maple tree overhanging a small stream that I passed many times on a logging road. The logging road was near Batchawana. I do not know the name of this stream, other than it flowed into the nearby Carp River. On a return trip from photographing other locations, I stopped on the side of the road to capture this scene. There is a small bridge that the stream flowed under. This is where I set up my tripod and camera. At this late in the evening it was calm and subdued. There was also no danger of a logging truck appearing.

The maple tree in the foreground gives you the eye popping colors. The stream was used to give a sense of peace and tranquility from the bold maple tree. A large rock is in the foreground to give a sense of depth and size. Most of the forest in the background has been eliminated by the maple tree. Thus also reduces the color green. There is a shallow pool in the background with muted reflections. Again quiet solitude. Then the stream disappears around the bend.

I received an honorable mention at the Art Competition Seeing The Land.

While that is all for now. I am preparing another book at the moment. It is taken up most of my time. The weather here has been crappy at the moment. So until next time happy trails

Morning Solitude, George Lake

•11/19/2014 • 7 Comments

GeorgeLakeFall2014b

 

The wind is calm

The air being crisp

A clear blue sky

The exposed hills aglow

With the morning sunlight

A touch of color

Decorates the ancient hillside

 

Shadows are opening up

A light mist roams

The quiet lake waters

The grass filled shallows

Resplendent in rusty brown

A stray beam of light

Filtering throw shadowy trees

Casts a lustrous glow

On the sunlit  grass

 

There is a stirring

Of a north wind

From over the hills

Rustling through the trees

The morning mist dispersed

The lake’s surface ruffled

By the strengthening wind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Spruce

•11/12/2014 • 8 Comments

BlackSpruce

 

There is a small lake in Superior Provincial Park alongside Highway 17. It is named Moose Lake. There is a clump of skeletal Black Spruce that caught my eye. I first saw this set up in 2013. We were always passing by at the wrong time. Bad lighting. This year Maureen and I spent 5 days at Superior Provincial Park in late August.

What attracts me to this scene. The Black Spruce. As the sun lowers in the sky, the grayish color of the dead Spruce becomes more intense. The grey color stands out in a sea of green. The channel leading back to these skeletal trees gives me a lead in. An added bonus is that the late evening sun was highlighting the hill in the background. This in turn created a golden reflection in the foreground. Now I did not want to show to much of this golden reflection. Therefore I kept it tight. Doing this allowed for more lead in to the Black Spruce. Showing too much of this colorful reflecting would lead to a distraction. For depth we have four layers here. The shoreline, Black Spruce, The evergreens behind and then the sunlit hill in back.

You may ask me if I knew that the hills would light up. The answer would be no. But I have also seen this many times . I had set my composition in the camera on the tripod. Taken a few shots. Then low and behold the hills lit up. I quickly started shooting and shortly  the lighting was gone. Be there. That is all I can tell you.  The Black Spruce always adds drama to your work. You can not miss them when they are in the dead form.

Another week has gone by, so until next time happy trails

 

A Boggy Place

•11/06/2014 • 4 Comments

Batchawana_3011

 

I was exploring the logging roads in back of Batchawana. It was a wonderful feeling to watch the road ahead. I was driving through a canopy of vibrant fall colors. Cresting  hills to a view of hill tops alive with dynamic colors that only Fall can give.  Making my way along the side of theses hills with a stream flowing far below. Looking past the stream to the craggy rock faces through the tree canopy. The road was in good repair as they were hauling logs here. As I approached the Y in the road I turned right onto a narrower gravel road. Both sides of the road had been cut over. With it being late evening I had no worries of meeting a log truck. I had conversed with the logging people. From them I learned that they were finished each day by 6:00 PM. This piece of road had very few pull offs and it was relatively new.

I came upon this composition in the cutting area. With some vibrant color in the background. The ghostly appearance of the Black Spruce in decay reflecting upon the water. Small boggy islands in the middle ground for added depth. Then the total reflection in the foreground. I purposely left out the sky for more even lighting over the scene. This is one of those compositions that can seem busy.This is a very detailed scene overall. But at the same time alive and peaceful. These locations are one of my favorites  to just sit and absorb the wealth of color and patterns involved. But overall I like the final composition. Remember rules can be broken.

That is it for this week. Until next time happy trails

Roadkill

•11/03/2014 • 2 Comments

The morning sun filtering
Through the Poplar tress
Casting a warm glow
Upon a small knoll
In a grassy clearing
Two young fox kits
Emerge from their den
Their mother lies sprawled
On the sun soaked grass
She turns her head
As her mate emerges
From the tree line
With his nightly kill
An unlucky rabbit
To feed his growing offspring
The rabbit is deposited
Before the hungry kits
The kits attack their meal
With vigil and abandonment
Strange sounds can be heard
Through the trees
The kits are soon yawning
With their bellies full
They curl up into a ball
For a mid- morning nap
After several hours sleep
They awaken to the strange
Sounds in the distance
Curiosity gets the better
As they run and bounce
Towards the alien noise
Approaching the woods edge
They causally look around
A black top road appears
Before their curious eyes
Ever watchful they crept
To the road’s edge
From around the bend
A fast moving vehicle approaches
The kits sit on their haunches
By the edge of the road
Starring with eyes glued
To the advancing vehicle
They are now frightened
As the fast moving vehicle nears
The female all in a panic
Dashes out onto the road
There is a thud
As the little female
Tumbles to the road side
The car has sped on
Soon gone from sight
The injured kit is whimpering
Her back legs are broken
She tries to crawl
Towards her brother
Her brother licks her face
Not knowing what is wrong
He is all in a panic
Running back and forth
From wood’s edge to road
At last he realises
That his sister lies lifeless
He sits on his haunches
Stirring at his lifeless sister
Lying at the road’s edge
His once vibrant playmate

A Fall Day

•10/29/2014 • 6 Comments

GeorgeLakeFall2014d

 

I arose at 6:00 a.m. last Thursday morning. Finally the weather has cleared. Packed my grub and camera gear for a trip to Killarney Provincial Park. As I drove down the Killarney Road, the first thing I noticed was how bare the trees were. Entering the park I parked at the East end. George Lake was calm with a fair amount of moving mist. I proceeded to capture various scenes around me. George Lake is a beautiful lake with the La Cloche Mountains to the North. Now it was time to pick up the trail to A Y Jackson Lake. It was time to hike over the ridge. Now this is a steep and long ridge. If you think you are in shape this little climb will tell you. By the time I got to the top my legs are aching, breathing hard. Must be my age I guess. So over the top I went and descended back down. A few minutes later I was at A Y Jaqckson Lake. One of my favorite locations in the park.  There was mist on the lake, reflections before me. I composed a number of compositions before heading back to George Lake.

Finishing my morning shot I headed for Killarney. I had spoke to Pierre AJ Sabourin and informed him that I was coming for a visit. Pierre is a well known professional en plein air landscape painter, following the Canadian School of Painting in spirit, philosophy, and practice. You can follow Pierre on his blog.

https://pierreajsabourin.wordpress.com/

Pierra is a very passionate man who loves his work. He is very knowledgeable about the Group of Severn and above all a great guy to visit. Arriving at Pierre’s Sunset Rock Studio in Killarney, I was immediately offered a hot cup of coffee. It was much appreciated. Pierre and I had a good visit.

It was soon time to head back to Killarney Provincial Park. I parked at the West end parking lots. I manage to capture a few more photos at this end of the lake. But the wind was picking up a bit. It being noon I enjoyed a lunch. Pretty quiet in the park at this time of year. Loading up I picked up the hiking trail across the bridge at  West end of George Lake. There is something to be said about walking in a Maple bush with the leaves all on the ground. The trees bare with a few leaves still falling. The forest floor covered in a thick carpet of leaves, slowly molding into the ground creating fresh nutrients  for the forest come Spring. I love to stop and admire these mature trees in all there grandeur. Magnificent in their size. Ferns dot the forest floor. Still a vivid green against a brown background. The small streams running high from all the rain. As I traversed over the ridges it was just a wonderful place to be on a warm sunny autumn day.

The trail was wet and muddy in the low areas.Thus I had to negotiate around these areas. I finally came to the trail into Lumsden Lake.  In a few minutes I arrived at Lumsden Lake. Following the shoreline I came upon the campsite. A beautiful place to set camp. Walking onto the rocks, the first thing I noticed was that there were a lot of bare trees here. There were a couple interesting scenarios here for a photos. The best thing here would to camp for a couple days next year. I found a good spot on the rocks to rest my butt and lean my back against. Put my Tilly  hat over my face and had me a short nap. Meanwhile the wind had picked up. There was a coolness on the face from the wind. A reminder that winter is coming.

Time to hit the trail again. It was late afternoon. Traversing through the Maple trees, crossing the small streams and topping the ridges I was soon back at George Lake. A beautiful fall day. A lovely hike. A wonderful way to spend a day.

Well that is it for now. Happy trails.

The Essence Of Light

•10/23/2014 • Leave a Comment

Lake

 

The Essence of Light
The essence of light is very important to the final composition of a piece of art work. Whether it is the cool light of dawn to the warm light of evening. Cloudy days create its own nuances of lighting. But in order to observe these various light patterns, you must sit and observe. Remember also that the sun rises in the East and settles in the West.
As one awaits the coming of dawn the surrounding landscape is cast in darkness. From were I stand the sun will rise behind me to my right. With the coming of the sun a brightness begins to occur over the land, but very subtly. Just imagine a scene of a lake surrounded by hills. An island is in the middle background. The sun does not burst from the horizon. Other factors come into play. These would be hills and trees that block the sun’s ray’s path. Quite suddenly a small patch of light will appear on the far hill in the background. The background hills are the highest of the surrounding landscape. As you watch the patch of light evolves, spreading over the hill. Then off to the right, another patch of light appears. Very slowly spreading, with the ascent of the morning sun. The shorelines of the lake and island are still in deep shadow.
The sky is getting brighter now, but still having the light intensity of the surrounding area. With the edging of the sun up on the horizon, the background hills are losing more shadows. Then a glimpse of light appears on the near hills to my left. These are the hills that cascade down to the lake shore. Now we are getting into some composition possibilities. The glow of light upon a tree to my left reflecting into the water with a dark background creating contrast. The right shoreline is now receiving sunlight filtering through the trees to highlight the top edge of the trees. There are still dark shadows in the scene.
You must also realize the angle of your scene in relation to the path of the sun’s rays and the angle of the light that is low at this time in the morning. Go into a dark room with a small light of some sort. Maybe a candle. Place it at a comfortable height. Take a three dimensional object. Place it in the palm of your hand. Hold it off center horizontally to the source of light. Now observe what is receiving light and what is remaining in shadow. Now turn your object slightly and observe the change in light and shadow. Keep experimenting with this and I think your understanding of lighting with be better.
Back to our scene now. The hills in the background are now alight from the sunlight. The sun is still filtering through the trees to touch upon our described scene. The shadows are becoming less. Let us look at the island now. The left top edge of this island is receiving some sunlight. The evergreens on the left side of the island are edged in light at their tops. The right part of the island still in shadow. You will now observe the reflection of light on the waters surface. The shorelines are becoming more light enhanced as the sun continues to advance. There are now only small pockets of shadow to be found as the sun clears the obstacles before it. The advancing sunlight is slowly engulfing the island. The sky in the background is more intense highlight than the landscape. Before long the entire scene before you is now bright. As an artist you will want to capture the scene before it reaches that intensity. To me, when everything is well lit up, it has lost its appeal.
The end of the day is in reverse. You start out with a bright scene. We are not talking about sunsets here. It is the relationship of the setting of the sun to the landscape. Again I am placing the sun behind me for this discussion. Same scene as above. The sky in the background continues to darken. The shorelines of the lake are beginning to fall into shadow. The left side of the lake may be in shadow, while the right shoreline is still receiving light. As the sun descends to the horizon, you will observe some ugly shadow patterns of shadows. This could be in the form of straight line of shadow on the trees edging the lake’s shoreline. This does not look good. Always remember that as the sun lowers, hills and tree line alter the path of sunlight. This occurs both morning and evening. Thus the weird shadow patterns occur twice each day, morning and more predominantly in the evening. Once the sun has dropped below the horizon the lighting becomes quite even. There is a short period now to create your composition before total darkness comes.
The lighting of daytime is replaced by a magic lighting whereby the colors will take on a glow of their own. Rock structures become alive in color. It is an experience worth seeing. The wind normally becomes still, thus creating wonderful reflections upon the water. The magical moment. There are other forms of lighting such as side lighting and back lighting. I have used this type of lighting to great effect. Cloudy days give you their own unique lighting. The colors become saturated and there are no shadows. Now unique compositions can be had when there is a break in the clouds and sunlight enhances certain parts of your composition. This truly can be effective.
Whether morning sunrise or evening sunsets, both can give you an assortment of color in the sky. The colors will range from magenta, pink, red and purple. At times I have had the evening sun cast various colors on my rocky shoreline scenes. Thus an exotic scene is created. Just a matter of being there.
I hope I have created a better understanding of lighting on landscapes. Until next time happy trails!
Ken Bennison

 
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