All posts by kenben

I am a landscape,nature photographer

Of Gold and Blue

Spring is slowly arriving in my neck of the woods and I am looking forward to getting back out into the woods.

I was going through my files this week and came across this photo taken last November.I love these tight shots were you have only water and rocks.Throw in color and a nice composition is to be had.The above photo is a result of low lighting casting a golden glow on the water and the blue is a result of a clear blue sky. When the lighting is low the rocks take on a soft colorful look to them adding very much to the photo.The only argument to be said about the photo is that there is too much water.I will be going back to this location and shooting with that in mind.

The ice on the rocks at the top right add a nice touch.The zoom was set at 80 mm and I had a shutter speed of 1 sec @ f22.

Well that is it for this week so until next time happy trails.

Exploring Small and Medium Size Creeks

I was going through my collection of files and came across the two photos taken on a trip last Fall.The medium to small creeks can offer some interesting photo oppurtunies  and at the same time a nice hike along the creek’s edge.

Although the Fall color was not in full swing here there was enough color to enhance the scenery. The above location was a  tough area to shot as the foreground is mostly in deep shadow and the background is brightly lit.I shot two photos here to create one in Photoshop.I exposed the first photo for the foreground and then took another shot exposing for the background.Being early evening in the Fall  the sun was low to the horizon creating cross lighting on the trees in the background. I added a fair amount of detail in the foreground due to the rich colors of the moss and dried leaves.

I mounted my camera on a tripod and with the zoom set at 28 mm and the shutter speed set to 1/6 sec @ f22 .With the 1/6 sec shutter speed I achieved good detail in the water.

I continued along the creek and came across this waterfalls with late evening lighting.You will notice that the sun is hitting the trees in the upper left corner of the photo.It was an added bonus to have the sunlight striking the rocks in two locations in the right hand side. I placed rocks in my foreground to create depth and to decrease the amount of water shown in the foreground.At the same time I created a basic S-curve with the water flow.The amount of water flowing in the creeks affects how your photos will turn out.

I took this photo with a zoom setting of 30 mm and the shutter speed set to 1/6 sec @ f22.Well that is it for today so until next time happy trails.

Berries on a Log

It is getting near the end of winter and Spring is around the corner.It will not be long before I will be tramping my wilderness haunts once again.

In the mean time I have been going through my photo collection and came up with a couple of shots that may interest you.The above shot was taken just off the Killarney road near a beaver pond in late July.I had never seen these berries growing together in such a large clump.I have usually seen them grown here and there as individual plants.I know them as bunch berries.If anyone has more info on these berries please let me know.What makes this shot unique is the stump and fallen log that really helps make this an interesting composition.

I used a tripod as it was late evening with very even lighting available.The zoom was set at 34 mm.The shutter speed was 1.3 sec @ f22.

The above berry photo was taken on a trip to Gordon Chutes in late September.The plant was a tall Sumac type of plant at the rivers edge.I was attracted by the patterns that were available with the leaves and stems to go along with the red berries forming a triangle shape and flowing in the same direction as the leaves and stems.

I shot this photo with my camera on a tripod.The zoom was set to 135 mm.The shutter speed  was 3.2 @ f22.Again this is a very tight composition.

Well that is it for today and I hope all have weathered the winter well.I am looking forward to Spring.So until next time happy trails.

Swans Revisited

The above photo is the combination of early morning lighting and a good pose by the Swans.I was able to frame this pair of swans with golden reflections in the water.I always try to capture these birds in action,whether it is preening or dipping heads into the water.

To get these types of shots means many trips to where the subjects are whether it is wildlife or landscapes.Every trip is different,the lighting changes and there are opportunities for different poses.

I shot the above photo at 1/100 sec at f13 and the zoom at 112mm

I love taken tight shots of these swans showing the breast,neck and head.There is so much detail in the feathers to be had here.The black beak is a strong point.You must always get a glint in the eye to make these photos work.You will also will note a drop of water coming off the bill.This adds to the story that the swan has just dipped its bill into the water and you will observe that there is ice on its bill also.This will tell you that it is cold at the time I took the photo.The actual temperature that morning was -25 C

I shot this photo at 1/125 sec at f10 with a zoom setting of 100mm.

The above photo is a result of the swan coming and laying down beside.I shot this one in a horizontal format to show the curves in the swans body and the intricate detail of the feathers.You can just make out the background that tells you it is frosty and winter time.

There is a glint in the eye to add character and I shot this photo at 1/30 sec at f16 with the zoom set to 135 mm.I also converted the above shot to Black and White.

I went back to Fielding’s Park the other day but the swans had left.The ice had closed in too much so that the swans could not fly in.I watch a pair of swans fly in once and noticed that they needed a large amount of open water to land.

So until next time happy trails.

Photo Oppurtunities With Swans

I have had the oppurtunity this past month to photograph Whistling Swans.A short 20 minute drive from home is a lovely park called Fielding Park The park borders  the West end of a lake where a small river runs out.A stretch of this river is open and it is here that you will find 6 of these large Swans.There is also a very large population of Mallards and Black Ducks.The waterfowl are feed every morning by local folks with corn.

The above Swan is named Goofy and she is the most humanized of the Swans.She will come up to me and lay down beside me.This allowed me to capture the above photo from very close range.I shot tight so that your eve will follow the valley between the wings up to the eve and beak.An interesting note is the small feather sticking up by here beak is a result of here breathing.I also wanted to emphasize  the very fine detail of the feathers the Swans have.Goofy also has 2 large yellow tags on here wings that I did not want in the photo.The zoom was set at 132 mm and the shutter speed at 1/500 sec @ f10

The other thing that I look for is various patterns when I am photographing these Swans.They have such beautiful long graceful necks that can create beautiful forms as you photograph.This pair created an inverted T along with nicely arched necks.You will also noticed that there is some feathers out of place that helps to add depth to the photo.I shot the above photo with a zoom setting of 130 mm and the shutter speed set at 1/500 @f13.

You will also notice a piece of ice sticking up from the bill of the Swan in the foreground.The temperature most mornings was -25 C with a wind blowing.

As I was standing on the shore trying to stay warm, I watched the above pair of Swans grooming.The next thing I saw was they were one behind the other creating a  neat pattern that I shot in vertical.The dark colored water allows the Swans to stand out.When I talk about patterns this is a pattern at its best.These Swans have yellow in there heads that add contrast to the photo.I shot the above photo with a zoom setting of 65 mm and the shutter speed set to 1/125 sec @ f10.

I will continue this series on the Swans next week and  until then happy trails.

The Changing of The Seasons

One of the things I love doing is going back to a favourite location time and time again and year to year. I may be passing by a locale and make a quick stop or go there for an afternoon and evening.Many a time the lighting and conditions may not be right or the water level is not good.You will know when you get optimal conditions by looking at the rocks as the colors will glow.This is something that you will develop and get a feel for as you gain expierience in the field.A cloudy day with the right lighting will do that for you.The time of year has a great effect on your photography as the day lengths will vary with the changing of the seasons.This means that if you are getting the best lighting in the evening in July then by November that same lighting is available around noon.The sun in November is closer to the horizon.

The above photo was taken in 2009 in August.I was shooting during the late afternoon catching the last of the lighting coming in and creating shadows.This little waterfalls would be in deep shadow within the half hour.The scene is surrounded by high hills and trees.With that being said you get sunlight filtering through the trees eliminating the harsh lighting caused by the bright sky on this particular day.

I shot this scene with the zoom set at 29 mm.The shutter speed was 0.3 sec @ f22.I was able to capture a beautiful flow of water and rich detail in the rocks.

We will zoom ahead to 2010 mid November.The effects are now quite different.Paul Smith and I decided to head out for the day to see what we could get in the way of photographs.It was a cloudy day with some wind and fairly cold temperatures.There was ice forming on the rocks to add another dimension to the photographs.

The water levels had come up from previous visits during the summer and there was a beautiful glow on the rocks that enhanced the colors dramatically.When you see this effect you will know.Being November the sun is now low to the horizon and the days are also shorter.Evening though it was cloudy the sun can still create diffusing lighting through  the cloud cover to create the much sought after glow.

The above photo was taken at midday with the zoom set at 50mm with a shutter speed set at 0.6 @ f22.This is the same scene as at the beginning but with different lighting different time of year and a year later.The vegetation is also changed in color.

As a side note I came across some elderly gentlemen out photographing whom I had met at a studio tour that I did last Fall.I ended up given some on site lessons to them on where to set up there tripod and composing the shots that I had taken above.This is one aspect that I enjoy.If I can help someone all the better.

With that being said take a moment to show someone  a few of the things you have learned and maybe gain a friend the process.Well that is it for this week so for now happy trails

Duchesnay Falls North Bay

Happy New Year everyone.This is my first blog for 2011.2010 was a successful year blogging as I had over a 1000 views to my blog.I want to thank everyone for visiting and to continue to do so.

I am not much into photographing during the winter.My free time is taken up cutting firewood for next winter.I also spend the winter printing out select photos for upcoming shows and displays.

I had the opportunity to spend some time at Duchesnay Falls located just West of North Bay. My wife Maureen and I were heading for Southern Ontario for a week long visit with friends in Newtonville . We left home early Monday morning the 27 September 2010. It was a cloudy day when we arrived at Duchesnay Falls.The time was about 10 am.

Duchesnay Falls offers a 3 km trail that makes a loop.This is a very picturesque location,especially in the Fall.I parked in the parking lot and Maureen decided that she would get some shut eye well I photographed. Grabbing my camera gear I picked up the trail and headed along the waterway.My first site was a picnic table being used by someone.The person had a tarp over the table and was curled up under it in a sleeping bag.

This made me a little nervous in regards to my wife back at the truck.I thought well I am not going to be that long so I continued on my hike.There was not full Fall color but enough to enrich my photos.There was a fair amount of water cascading down and Being a cloudy day I was a little concerned about getting fast enough shutter speed and maintaining my f11 f-stops.The above photo was shot at the upper end of the falls with a zoom setting of 65 mm.The shutter speed  was set at 0.5 sec @ f22.I used the colorful leaves to frame the top part of the photo .The rushing water creates a curved line with flow in and flow out.The rocks give added depth.The one thing I had to watch out for was too much foam in the water.

 

I was able to capture the above scene by creating an S-curve with the running water.The colorful leaves and evergreens added  color and depth to my photo.You will notice that the water is a tea color that is common in Northern Ontario.I took this photo with a zoom setting of 41 mm.The shutter speed was set at 0.6 sec @ f29.I was able to capture a wonderful depth with this shot.Again the water flows from the top of the photo to the bottom of the photo.

The last photo was taken of one of the waterfalls on the Duchesnay water system.The waterfalls was a fairly decent drop and I wanted a tight shot with the leaves creating a frame.I set this shot up so that I had rocks in the foreground to created depth .The zoom was set at 44 mm.The shutter speed  was at 1/5 sec @ f22.

I returned to the truck and Maureen was still asleep.I saw no signs of the person that was sleeping under the picnic table as I didn’t pass that way on my return.There was a couple more cars in the parking lot now.

This is a worth while trip to Duchesnay Falls where many photographic opportunities await you.I will be going back next Fall when the the leaves are in full color.I was a week too early. So until next time happy trails.

 

 

Creatively With Water

One of the things I really love doing is look for patterns in running water as I walk along a river or creek.The photo above was taken at the top end of a waterfalls.For this type of shot you need fairly fast water and a bright overcast day.The water is tumbling over the rocks in three different directions here.I chose a composition at an angle to the flow so the water would exit out on the bottom left corner of the photo.So basically you have the water running in from both sides and the top.This will give you flow in and flow out.The secret here is in the shutter speed as while maintaining depth of field.

Once the camera and tripod are set up I will shot the scene at different exposures.I may take up to 20 exposures so that I can  select the photo that I will use when I get home.You want to create defining patterns with the water.Shooting at 1 sec or so will not achieve the results we are looking for as you would create water that has no detail.This photo that I selected was shot at a shutter speed of  1/4 sec at f22.You will see that the flowing water has character and depth.

As I was walking along above the river I noticed the unique patterns been created by a group of rocks in the river.The river was very low at this time of year.The water depth was very shallow.I found my way down to the river’s edge and set up the camera and tripod to create this composition.The lighting was extremely beautiful that evening and everything had a wonderful glow.

I used the rock on the left for a lead in and the water flows from the top left to the bottom right.I shot this one at 1o secs at f29.There was some very nice patterns created by the water flowing around the small rocks. Again I shot at different shutter speeds to create the patterns I wanted.

You will not see these type of effects too often,but when you do start shooting.You must also picture in your mind what it will look like in Photoshop.Until next time happy trails.

Photographing White-Tail Deer

Living in the Beaver Lake area West of Sudbury, I am in prime White-Tail deer habitat. This locale consists of cultivated fields as well as abandoned fields.Up in the hills grow oak trees supplying acorns in season.The deer have flourished quite well here.There biggest danger is getting hit by oncoming traffic at night.

I like to travel the back roads searching for feeding deer in the fields.This is best done in the late afternoon or early morning.There are some folks here who feed the deer and they can be much easier to photograph.Always remember ask for permission to go on someone’s property.

I went and visited a friend nearby and was able to get some close up shots such as above.This photo was shot with a zoom setting of 135 mm and the shutter speed set at 1/50 sec @ f6.3. It was a cloudy day so high shutter speeds were out , the trade off was more even lighting with out the shadows.Shooting tight head shots allows me to have a lower f stops to blur out the background.

I was driving along a back road when I noticed a herd of does feeding at the edge of the road.Luckily they were on the driver’s side and I slowly rolled up to the deer.They all bounded way but one and I captured this very nice pose of the doe in an alert state as she was looking towards the rest of the herd.Deer are very nervous animals and are always ready for instant flight. I shot this photo with the zoom set at 100 mm and the shutter speed was at 200 sec f 8.It was cloudy but more light was available than the previous shot.The brownish color of the grass compliments the brown deer’s fur.A also left space in front of the doe for a sense of distant in the direction she is looking.

 

As I drove further down the road I spotted two does at the edge of a gravel pit.The road ran parallel to them and I was able to get this shot as the two does came together.This photo was taken with a zoom setting of 135 and the shutter speed set at 1/50 sec f 6.3.

This last shot was taken at a friend’s deer feeding station.This doe was a lighter color than the other does I came across.Deer have such beautiful big eyes and gracefulness that is a pleasure to observe.The zoom was set at 109 mm with a shutter speed of 1/50 sec f6.3

Well that is it for today,respect others private property.So until next time happy trails.

 

The Unexpected Shot

A couple weeks ago on a Monday,I headed up the Westbranch North of Webbwood to do some photographing.My destination was about 80 km up the Westbranch to a couple of lakes that I had been exploring this Fall.

These lakes are surrounded by Jack Pine and White Pine so bare deciduous trees are not an issue here.I was interested in one small lake that had an interesting cliff face that I have made a number of attempts to photograph without success.

Upon arrival I loaded up my gear and picked up the trail along the lake.This is a very small lake nestled down in between a series of hills.It was now about 11:30 in the morning. While I was walking towards the cliff face I noticed out of the corner of my eye a display of some beautiful lighting highlighting the evergreens along the shoreline. I set up my camera and tripod and composed a vertical shot using the small rock point as my focal point.At this time of year,mid November the sun is low to the horizon allowing for this kind of lighting at mid day.There was mist over the water to add atmosphere.There was a nice reflection on the water to add depth to the photo.I focused on the rock then I composed the shot.The zoom lens was set at 135 mm with the shutter at 0.5 sec @f22.

The above shot was taken in the same location as the first shot.I was attracted by the lighting on the far trees creating a nice lighting pattern and reflecting into the water.The sun always creates a beautiful gold color when it highlights evergreens.The zoom was set to 100 mm an d the shutter speed to 0.4 sec @f22. This allowed me to create a nice peaceful mood.

I never did get my shot of the the cliff.Oh well next time.Before I go I want to thank everyone who has visited my blog as I have now surpassed a 1000 hits.This is a milestone for me.So for now happy trails.