The past Saturday morning dawned cloudy with mist. I drove into Jan Winther’s driveway around 7:30. We loaded up our gear. First stop was Tim Horton’s to grab some coffee. Our goal was to travel up the Matagamasi Road to explore for photographic possibilities. We headed out of Sudbury travelling East on Hwy 17. In a short time we turned onto the Kukagami Road and headed North. It was not long before we reached the Matagamasi Road turnoff. The gravel road was in good condition.
As we traveled, Jan and I scouted out the various lakes we passed along the road. There were a number of locations that were worth while to come back to. As we drove further North the country became more and more hilly. It is very heavily forested here. There is also logging in progress up here. Being the week-end I had no worries about logging trucks. They do not operate on week-ends. We soon left the lakeside homes and were now traveling in wilderness areas. As we drove along a moose appeared in front of us. It ambled up the road and disappeared back into the bush.
Our goal for this trip was to locate a series of waterfalls further North. Paul Smith set me up for the location. We were now in the Wolf Mountain, Wolf Lake. This area contains the largest expanse of old growth Red Pine. This wilderness area is in pristine country. It has protected status. I will be journeying up to Wolf Lake in the near future. For now I will look for the waterfalls location. Using both map and GPS, Jan and I soon found our jump off point. As we loaded up our camera gear it started to rain. Hiking up an old logging road, the rain continuing to fall, we were soon drenched. Walking down the road, a marshy area came into view. This part of the road was totally flooded. Checking my GPS we discovered that we were now off course. Backtracking on the road, we soon discovered a trail heading in the direction we wanted to go. It was soon discovered that this was a well used trail. As we approached the waterway the sound of running water came to our ears.
Upon arrival we were enthralled by the beauty of this series of small waterfalls nestled among the rocks. The water was crystal clear. The rocks were colorful. The water flow was quite fast now. By now we were water logged from the rain. As a matter of fact it was now coming down harder. We elected to head back to the vehicle and have lunch. I tell you the mosquito population is quite heavy up here. Just before we arrived back at the Ford Escape the Heavens opened more and the rain was now deluging everything. There was water running everywhere and puddles were there was none before. About an hour and a half later the rain stopped. I headed back to the waterfalls and Jan elected to stay in the vehicle.
This is a very magical location. The photo above is of the upper pool. There is just a hint of a waterfalls cascading down through the rocks into a crystal clear pool of water. I used rocks for the foreground to enclose the pool. The boughs of the cedars are very lacy looking here. A hint of color by the red fallen pine needles on the rocks. Using this effect I hope to create that magical effect in a very special locale. You could close your eyes and hear elves and children of the woods splashing in the pool. These are locations were you can tune out the world. You hear the sound of water tumbling along. The quiet whisper of the wind in the cedars. There is no better place to be.
While that is it for now. Thank you for stopping by. I hope that I have created a magical moment for you. Until next time happy trails.
I traveled North of Capreol last Friday. This time I traveled on a different road going North. Beautiful sunny day but a cool North wind. I found a couple locations that could provide a composition. But it was not to be this day. The wind never let up into the evening. I will return at another date.
The above photo was taken on the previous trip North of Capreol. Jan Winthers and I were heading back to Capreol late in the evening when we saw this nice piece of rock outcropping located on the far shoreline of a small swampy lake alongside of the road. There was a small pine tree located on the rock face that looked interesting. The quartz like rock face had many angles to it which creates that unique depth. There are reddish colored pine needles trapped in the crevices to add more color. Now the trick here is to separated this single pine tree from the trees in the background. There is some lighting from the sun on some of the boughs that allows this little tree to stand out. I shot the composition vertical to complement the trunk of the pine tree. Also this kept things tight and not too busy.
There is a call for entries at the upcoming La Cloche Art Show. Check there website here.
Well that is it for now. Thank you for stopping by. Until next time happy trails.
After discovering the stream mentioned in the previous post, Jan Winther and I returned late in the afternoon to photograph the series of small waterfalls that are here. When we arrived the sunlight was blowing the highlights on the water. It was a couple hours before we could commence shooting. The above waterfalls was the first location as the stream dropped in elevation making its way to the North River. At the base of the waterfalls it was a mess of downed trees and other junk. I set up to the left of the waterfalls to exclude the mess. Also I like to photograph these type of scenes at a bit of an angle. This gives the water depth and dimension. If you photograph a waterfalls dead on it becomes flat looking. You must create the illusion of depth in your work. I will also do creative sharpening on the foreground to enhance this effect.
Now I had protruding rock on the left along with a good chunk of rock in the foreground. I created a composition of one third of forest and two thirds water falls looking at it vertically. You have to know were the water came from, which you can see through the cedar trees and you have an exit point at lower right in the composition. There is a lot of structure detail in the rocks. The cedar boughs have a color range from light to dark green. Almost looks like light from the sun painting some of the boughs. This helps also to create a very nice composition.
As we progressed into evening a few black flies started to appear. Welcome to Northern Ontario. They mainly hovered around us but did not seem to have any interest in biting us. Well that is it for this week. Thank you for coming by. Until next time happy trails
Jan Winther and I crossed over from the Westbranch to the Tote Road North of Massey.We came on to the Massey Tote Road at the 28 mile mark.It was early afternoon as we headed South.This is a very windy and hilly road for many kilometers. Jan loves photographing waterfalls, so I figured we would check out Cameron Falls on the Aux Sauble River. I had hiked into this falls last June.I was very much disappointed when I had arrived.There was no water going over the falls at all.What a disapointment.
So with that in mind we walked into the Cameron Falls.Upon arrival we saw a fair amount of water to make it possible to get some photos.The water level was still low from previous years.Jan was sure happy though so I left him to his thing and started exploring.I have been here many times, but am always fasinated by the unique rock structure found here.There is black rock and red granite rock.Due to the running water over time has reshaped many of the rocks surfaces.
I love doing close up compositions of running water and rocks.The above photo is a typical example.By using various shutter speeds and f22 I am looking for character in the water flow.I want detail in the water and colour.Now color is obtained late in the evening as while as the rocks lose their harshness due to the bright sunlight most of the day.I also found from expierience that clear blue skys with give better effects.You will notice the water at bottom left of photo is a dark blue. This created by clear blue skys above the water.
We stayed as late as we could.But had to get out with enough light to see.I always carry a couple small flashlights in case I get carried away photographing and let the darkness creep up.
That is it for this week.So thanks for coming to visitThe tea is always on.So until next time happy trails.
Jan Winther and I were walking the shoreline of a small lake up the Westbranch.It was mid-morning.The wind was calm with mist rolling off the shores of this lake.Now this is a lake that is pretty much down in a hollow.The Tamarack trees are now bare.The lakes this far North are surrounded mostly by evergreens.
We are now into November,the days are shorter and cooler.The sun travels at a lower elevation now.This means the sunlight takes longer to penetrate through the trees on the hillsides during early morning.With that in mind,just close your eyes and envision a scene of a small lake in the Boreal Forest.The evergreens hug the shoreline.The sunlight is penetrating through the trees on the East side were the trees cascade down the hillside to the lake.There is mist covering the lake’s surface.There is no wind.The surrounding landscape is reflecting on the surface.This is a scene that I come across many times in my travels.To be there is a joy and to be able to photograph these scenes is a blessing.
With all that said Jan and I both turned and saw the sunlight highlighting the clump of grass protruding from the lake edge.There was mist moving slowly from the shore.The background was in shadow as the sun has not penetrated that area yet.I waded slowly out into the water.I wanted to make as little disturbance as possible for the scene was only ten feet from me.The tripod and Canon 7d was set up.I composed my shot,then waited for the water to calm down again and took my shot. I intentionally kept the background dark to keep the focus on the sunlit grass and mist.
Jan Winther and I had arrived at our destination lake shortly after dawn. This jewel of a little lake is 80 km up on a gravel logging road.As you travel North you steady climb to a higher elevation.Which means at this time of year it is colder here than at home.We had been observing frost on the trees,but no ice on the lakes and swamps we passed.
After a five minute hike into where we were going to photograph,Jan and I set up our photographic equipment.There is a small island at one end of this little lake that we wanted to work with.I will talk about this island in another post.The lake surface was mirror calm,there was some mist and the air was crisp.The sun was just coming through the trees.
I am always watching around me at all times.The lighting is constantly changing dramatically or very supple.So be aware and you may rewarded with that award winning composition. Many times it is never the shot you came to get.The above scene is an example of that.I relocated to capture the beam of light coming over the water.I put the point on the left side as my lead in.There was just enough mist to create some mood.The real highlight of this photo is the sunlight filtering through the trees on the far shore.This is when it feels good to be a photographer capturing that moment of lighting.I had already made four trips here in the past two weeks to get the exposures I want.The only hang up I have with this photo is the blue tinge on the evergreen trunks.But that is the way it is so I leave it be.At this time of year the shoreline vegetation is a reddish brown in colour.This helps to offset the vast amounts of green due to the evergreens.
Well that is it for now.Thank you everyone for coming and visiting.So until next time happy trails.
I re-posted this article by friend Jan Winther with his permission.I must say that I am quite honoured to be wrote about.So thank you Jan.
My good friend Ken Bennison asked me to come with him on a trip up the West Branch this past weekend. But before I get to that, I should explain the title on this blog post. It came up as we were waiting for the light to be in the perfect spot, and for the wind to die down a bit.
Extremist is (what I learned on this trip) more or less what his own family affectionately calls him, and it refers to the way he approaches his photography. There is a very good reason why Ken is an incredible artist/landscape photographer. He does what a lot of other people wont do. He gets up at an ungodly hour, drive,hike or canoe for hours, (obviously not at the same time, but most of the time he will have to do all three to get to his location of choice.) And when he gets there he will explore the area, figure out what he want to shot, and wait for the perfect conditions to happen. Ken is not afraid to wait for hours for his shot. He knows exactly what he wants in a picture, and if the conditions aren’t there, he wont even take the camera out of the bag, because he wont be able to use the shot anyway, so if he doesn’t get the shot, he will simply return to the same spot again and again until he gets the shot he has in his mind. And the results speaks for themselves. Check out his website. I should mention that Ken’s is shooting with a Canon 7D, one lens (28-135mm) and his trusty SLIK tripod. Yes, Ken only use one lens.
Anyway, so this past weekend we were up at the West branch north of Webbwood, Ontario. A place I haven’t been to in 2 years, so it was nice to go there again, and revisit some of the places I have shot before. Examples of previous posts can be found here, here and here. We are about 80 km (~50 Miles) in the bush, driving on a gravel logging road. The weather was perfect. No wind, sunshine and frost in the air. After have shot at a couple of locations, we wound up at the little lake where I had taken the Moonshine shot a couple of years ago. All of a sudden the sunshine starts to come through the trees, and lights up some grasses in the lake. Being the extremist that Ken is, gets up and wades out into the shallow waters. Ankle deep in loon and beaver crap he sets up his tripod and starts to compose a shot. I thought this would be a good time to get a shot of him in action, so I took a few shots of him shooting this sunlit grass, with some mist in the background.