Category Archives: Photography

Exploring A.Y. Jackson Lake

I met Jan Withers at the four corners in Sudbury Ontario last SundayI had called him Saturday evening to see if he was interested in going for a hike.We picked up coffee at the Tim Hortons and drove to Killarney Provincial Park.We chatted away on the trip down as Jan and I had not seen each other since last Fall.

I wanted to explore around A.Y. Jackson Lake and hopefully get some photos.We gathered up our equipment and located the trail into Jackson Lake.The beginning of the trail is quite steep and there after easy going.Once over the first ridge you are walking in open woods.The trail is well defined.Upon reaching a y in the trail,the lake was visible. I stepped up on a rock and saw a spectacle scene before me.I saw before me a scene with the right lighting that would create a great panoramic.

Jan and I spent the day exploring around the lake looking for photo opportunities and waiting for the wind to stop blowing.The wind was quite strong that day and we waited until 7:30 to no avail. By that time we decided to call it a day.

I decided to hike back into Jackson Lake Monday morning early.This was a lake that was best photographed at daybreak.The sun sets at the far end of the lake.This would mean waiting for the sun to set first and then photograph.By shooting early morning the light would be behind you and slightly to your left creating even lighting. I hauled out of bed at 4:00 a.m.,picked up a Tim Horton’s coffee and bagel before heading for the park.

There was a slight breeze blowing.This meant that I was not going to have excellent conditions. I hiked up to Jackson Lake,but I was  not early enough.This meant I would have to get up earlier next time.The panoramic was a no go this time.The wind was creating ripples on the water before me.Fortunately The water was calm on the East side of the lake.

I composed the above photo with the zoom set at 47 mm and the shutter speed set to 1 sec @ f22.I placed a small rock point in the foreground and shot along the shoreline.The reflections and the stillness of the water creates a very peaceful setting.

Looking to my left I saw the above scene before me.he reflecsions were not perfect,but that is not always required.I find that a slight ripple on the water can give a painting effect.The reflections add depth to the photo.The early morning lighting was good, giving the color of the rocks good saturation.I shot this photo with a zoom setting of 135 mm and the shutter speed set at 2 sec f 22

The wind persisted all day and I finally left around 6:30 that evening without getting any more photos.I will have to wait another day to get that panoramic. So until next time happy trails

The Continuing Adventures in Killarney Provincial Park

The other day I was phoning around to the various canoe rental locations in hope of buying a good used canoe at a reasonable price.On making contact with Killarney Outfitters I was told that they had a couple of Souris River Canoes Quetico 17 available.

I picked up my partner Paul Smith and we headed for Killarney to have a look at the canoes and do a evening shot while we were down there.Upon arrival at Killarney Outfitters,we were met by Ted East and we inspected the canoes for sale.We made arrangement to take out one of the Quetico 17s on George Lake in Killarney Provincial Park.

We proceeded to load the canoe with our gear and headed up the lake.The Quetico weighs in at only 44 pounds being made out of Kevlar. The canoe handled like a charm and was quite stable.

We paddled half way up the lake and sited a likely photographic location.Paul and I unloaded our photographic equipment and I set up for the shot you see above.It was still too early in the day for good lighting.One of the problems that kept occuring was a slight gusting of wind that caused a small ripple on the water making it hard to get good reflections on the water.I waited about four hours before I got the shot I wanted and it so happen to be the last one that I took after the sun went down.Towards late evening the Blackflies appeared around us but they did not seem in the mood to bite.

The above photo was taken with a zoom setting of  90 mm and the shutter speed was at 3.2 sec @ f22.

To pass the time waiting to get the right conditions to take my shot I am always looking for other potential shots.To my right was a rock cliff full of color and edges.But what made it unique was the small Juniper bush growing there.I got as close as I possibly could and composed the above shot.There is just a touch of sunlight on the bush to add some character.The black stain on the rocks is caused by the water flowing down from up above.This photo has a story to tell.It is about a small Juniper bush surviving on a cliff face made possible by the running water and the ledge that it is growing .To create this story I chose to keep  the Juniper small in size.This allowed me to create a relationship of the plant with its environment.The rocks create a very good color to offset the green Juniper along with the rugged cliff face.It  also shows how small the bush is in relationship to the cliff face.The black stain indicates that the Juniper get the water it needs along with sunlight that is required to survive in its environment.I used a small amount of water on the bottom left to show where the running water ends its journey. All in all a life of survival.

I shot the above photo with a zoom setting of 135 and the shutter speed set to 1/6 sec @ f11

For more info on the Quetico 17 go to this website.

http://www.sourisriver.com/quetico_17.html

The Killarney Outfitters can be found here.

http://www.killarneyoutfitters.com/

Well I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.So until next time happy trails.

Adventures in Killarney Provincial Park

I woke up to a nice sunny morning and proceed to pack my gear into the truck.I drove into Paul Smith’s yard and we load the canoe and Paul’s gear into my truck.We headed out and drove to Killarney Provincial Park.We stopped at the office store complex and Paul purchased a seasonal pass for vehicle parking.

Paul and I unloaded the canoe and camera gear and after storing everything into the canoe we headed up George Lake.We kept to the shoreline looking for photo possibilities as we paddled along.Looking around the lake it seems that most photo opportunities could be on the East  side of the lake.The West side is composed mainly of white colored rocks,with the South side having more color and patterns to work with.Being late morning the lighting was not good and a slight breeze had picked up.

We paddled into a small cove where we discovered a campsite. We decided to have lunch here and relax for an hour.Launching the canoe we paddled to the North end of George Lake to the first portage.There is a small man made dam here.Here we observed suckers spawning.I climbed a small bluff and gazing out over George Lake I could visualized a panoramic with two islands in the foreground.Paul had set up his tripod and camera with the intent of photographing the suckers in the clear water.I just relaxed and enjoyed the warmth and scenery before me.It would be awhile before the sun would go down and create the lighting we needed.

With the sun lowering towards the horizon we paddled back up George Lake into a bay we had seen coming down the lake and pulled into shore.What we saw here was many photo opportunities with lots of rock structure and color.The biggest problem was the wind.The wind was only a slight breeze but enough to create a ripple on the water at times.This meant playing the waiting game and shooting when opportunity presented itself.I created the above photo as a pano to highlight the structure,patterns and color that is in theses rocks.The zoom was set at 28 mm with a shutter speed of 1/4 sec @ f22.

Looking to my right was a series of rocks reflecting into the water creating patterns of lines that were parallel  to one another and looking like a series of arrow heads.I shot this scenic with the zoom set at 50 mm and a shutter speed  of 0.3 sec @ f25.

The sun was now below the horizon as we launched the canoe in the ever calm waters of the lake and paddled back to the landing.There is something about paddling along just out from shore in the half light and enjoying the scenery and peacefulness.

I exited the canoe at the landing and quickly headed to the site where I had photographed a composition the previous week.It was now getting pretty dark as I set up my tripod and camera.I was able to get the above photo with the zoom set to 50 mm and the shutter speed at 30 sec @ f22.As you can see different times and different locations can create different affects.Well that is it for now.We had a great day photographing,so until next time happy trails.

A Spring day at Killarney Provincil Park

I drove into Paul Smith’s yard and told him he had three choices,stay home and do his own thing,Go photographing Sandhill Cranes or go to Killarney.It did not take Paul long to make up his mind.Killarney it was.We both enjoyed a cup of coffee before hitting the road to Killarney.This was not a well planned trip as we did not pack any lunch or water.It was a spur of the moment adventure.

The sky was cloudy with a light breeze,but there was no rain in the forecast.I drove into the Killarney Provincial Park parking lot.We proceeded to walk into the office and store where Paul conversed with a park official whom he knew.He showed us where to go to get good scenic views on George Lake and off we went.I drove through the camping area down to the beach area and parked.I noticed that there was a few campers here.

We noticed a rock outcrop in a small bay and headed in that direction.I fell in love with the parallel lines the rocks made into the water and if you count you will find there are eight points projecting into the bay.I set up my camera and tripod to capture the angle that you see and I also photo tight.I did not want to show broad leaf trees as they are still bare at this time.The wind was very light so it was a matter of waiting for a calm moment to capture some reflection in the water.I probably spent an hour and a half in this set up as the lighting kept changing.I shot the above photo with a zoom setting of 70 mm, the shutter speed set to 1/6 sec @ f22,I was able to capture this pleasing composition.

Walking along the beach I noticed two rocks positioned one ahead of the other in front of a point of land.The water was calm and the reflection was perfect.I took three shots here to create a panoramic. I also kept things tight here as there was swathes of leafless trees in the background.I shot this series of photos with a zoom setting of 100 mm nd the shutter speed set at 0.3 sec @ f22.

As I scanned the far shoreline I noticed this beautiful rock reflecting into the water.But what really caught my eye was the clump of birches also reflecting into the water.I put the two elements together in this photo by adjusting the position of the camera and tripod  and came up with this composition.Unfortunately there is a dock in front of the rock,but I can live with it.

The Poplar are now in flower while the Maple and Oaks have a reddish tinge to them now.It will not be long until Spring will be in full swing.Please check out my good friend Jan Winther’s new photographic blog.I am sure you will enjoy it.

http://imagesbyjw.com/

So until next time,happy trails.

A Spring Outing

The sun was shining,the sky was blue and Paul Smith and myself headed up the Westbranch to see what was available to photograph.I had just traded in my Canon Tsi Dsr for a Canon 7D.This was a chance to try out the 7D and become familiar with it.

This is actually a pretty drab time of year with not a whole lot of color and the ice and remaining snow being on the dirty side.The Wakonasin was ice free for the most part.I did not find the water levels very high for this time of year.

Our destination was Gordon Chutes about 30 km up the Westbranch.Upon arrival we decided to sit and enjoy a hot cup of tea and blueberry muffin before hiking along the river.We hiked up to the upper end of the falls and I was able to do some tight shots with the rocks and water flow.The above photo was a result of that.I used the rocks and water flow to design my composition.The rocks have a pleasing color to them and you will see that the small pool has green colored water.I shot the scene with the zoom at 135.The shutter speed was set at 1/13 of a sec with f22.This allowed me to achieve definition in the water that I always strive to accomplish when the water flow is fairly fast.When you have detail in the water you give the water character.

Later in the day a fine cloud cover came in and changed our lighting.The wind was cold as is typical at this time of year.I was more than please with my new Canon 7D and I am looking forward to many more outings with the camera.That is it for this week,so for now happy trails.

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.

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