Mares and Foals

As an owner along with my wife Maureen of a Miniature Horse farm I have many oportunities to photo these wonderful little horses. The foals are usually born between April and June. The best time to photograph the little foals is in the first 2 weeks. You have to remember that the foals average only 20 to 22 inches in height. Most of the time I am down on my knees to catch the action using my 28 to 135 zoom lense. I set the camera on shutter priority and set the 3.5 frames per second to capture the action.

I like to turn the mares and foals out around 10 in the morning to get good lighting as shutter speed is a priority in this type of shooting.You have to learn to anticipate action and be ready for it.It is a joy to watch these little foals run and jump and play. They sure can run and turn on a dime. You usually have about an hour of fast action and then the little ones get tired and take a nap under the mares watchful eyes. There is a lot of luck involved here too as you have to be constantly on the watch for shots like above.

The main thing here is get low on the ground,fast shutter and be able to anticipate what is going to happen.

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The Fine Art of Lighting

Every once in a while as you go about doing your photographing you look up and catch a scene that is made in heaven. Realizing that you only have moments to capture it you grab your equipment and rush to set up. You appraise the scene for a proper composition and set up the tripod and camera. I had to get as close as I could to get an effective composition. The whole scene lasted about 2 minutes so time was important. The sun was below the treeline and receding very quickly. There was enough fall color to add the extra touch to the photo and the lighting had reached its maximum point as it was starting to recede. There was a bit of reflection in the water to add depth and I found a rock to add to the foreground for added depth.

This photo was shot at a lense setting of 135mm set at 2.5 sec @ f29.I took this photo 5:30 in the evening last September.With high hills surrounding the creek and falls it tends to darken early.When photographing you should always be aware of your surroundings for that special photo opportunity.The lighting at late evening changes very quickly.

The Magic Moment

The sun has disappeared below the horizon,the sky is clear. There is about 30 minutes of shooting left. The rocks transform into a beautiful warm reddish glow.The Magic hour.I looked at this particular setup and I wanted to show the color and detail of the rocks. The rushing water helped create depth but at the same time I didn’t want the water to overpower the composition.I created a very tight photo. The settings are 80 mm set at 10 sec @f29. This created the silky and misty feel to the water.

Remember to carry a flashlight with you as you will be walking out in the dark when shooting this late. It can get tricky when walking rough trails in the dark.

Colorful Rocks

Rushing water,colorful rocks can create a very nice composition.You must wait until very late in the evening for the lighting to warm up and bring out the color in the rocks. I have gotten exceptional results when the sun has disappeared below the horizon.In the photo I have placed rocks in the foreground  and framed the running water with rocks to give the photo depth. This photo was shot at 75mm with the settings of 4.0 sec @ f29. This allows for great depth of field.

Red Berries on a Log

It is always exciting when you come upon a great composition of berries and fallen logs. John Kuzak and I were on a day trip down the Killarney highway when we spotted a pond just off the road. We decided that we would explore the pond on our way back. This would put us in late evening and good lighting. When we came back we walked into the pond locale and John pointed out the berries to me. I had never seen these red berries  growing that thick together. With the bright red of the berries and green leaves offset by the grayish color of the fallen log I used the stump as my anchor and came up with this composition. With the camera on the tripod and lense zoomed to 34 mm,I set the shutter speed to 1/40 sec to get my f stops at F8.

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

The Lone Strawberry Plant

It was a cool mid November,when my partner Paul Smith and I had trekked into Cameron Falls ,North of Massey Ontario. The cloud cover was moving in that evening making for poor lighting on the waterfalls areas. As I walked among the rocks I spied a lone strawberry plant growing on a small ledge. Its location probably created a micro-climate in order for it to survive this late in the Fall. The reddish color of the leaves along with an interesting backdrop of yellowish rock would create an interesting composition. Setting up as close as I could with the tripod, I was maxed out at 135 mm and the camera was set at 2.5 sec @ f29. The cloudy skies and low lighting provided the soft light. Placing the Strawberry plant to the left in the photo and the small water puddle in the lower bottom right corner tells us that this plant has light and water to survive.Even when conditions are not ideal you can always locate interesting subjects to photograph.

I would like to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Exploring New Surroundings

One of the things I like to do is explore new surroundings. Birch Creek  flows East of Massey Ontario and there is a lovely waterfalls to photograph. My partner Paul Smith and I have made a number of trips here during the fall, but always bypassed the lower end of Birch Creek. We kept saying that we should check that area out. On our last trip late in the fall we walked down to the creek and started walking along it towards the waterfalls. This was late fall and most of the colored leaves had already fallen. With this in mind we would explore the area for photographing next year. Walking along the creek I spotted the golden sunlight coming through the trees up ahead and the creek bent to the left creating the around the bend effect.I quickly looked for foreground and found greyish colored rocks covered with lichen and moss. I also was able to get some leaf color into the photo also.This photo was shot at 50 mm with the zoom lense set at 1.6 sec. @ f29. We explored further along and found some more areas that will be worth checking out at a later date. By this time the creek area was becoming heavy in shadow.Needless to say we will come back next fall to do some more photographing here.

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Landscape Photography

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