Tag Archives: Ken Bennison

Sunlit Grass

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.

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A Beam of Light

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.

The Extremist

The Extremist.

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.

I Am

I am a White Pine

Perched high on a ridge

With a panorama view

Of the pristine waters

That flow below me

I am a prodigy

Of Mother Nature

I am old before my time

Stunted,bent and twisted

By the ravages of time

My roots like tentacles

Struggle to gain hold

On the rocky ledge

I am deprived of nutrients

In the shallow soil

I am a perch

For my feathered friends

A squirrel feeds on my seeds

But I am strong in spirit

With the will to survive

The above photo was taken at the Cranberry Bog in Killarney Provincial Park.The small pine tree attracted me along with the granite rocks.Using the grass and Lilly pads as a lead-in I created the above composition.

I would like to thank everyone for visiting and for those who have left a comment,thank you.So until next time happy trails.

 

 

 

Blue Skies and Rocks

I will continue discussing my day trip into Killarney Provincial Park last Friday.One of my goals was to do some shooting in Little Shageleander Lake.I love this location for its rock structures along the shoreline.I have also produced some award winding photos here.

I set up for this composition at the only campsite on this lake.I added shoreline in the foreground and the left side of photo.There was a beautiful blue sky along with nice white clouds.This composition was a two shot pano.I darken the sky a bit to enhance the tree line for better effect.When you have reflections in the water you will find very interesting patterns with a rocky shoreline.Being well into summer there are now lily pads floating on the surface.Some folks may consider them a nuisance in this type of photo.I consider the lily pads a part of the scene and at a later date you will know that you took this photo during mid summer.

Well that is it for this week.Thank you for visiting and I enjoy the comments.So until next time happy trails.

 

 

 

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