It has been a hot and dry summer so far and with very low water levels and I have been able to get some interesting shots.With the extraordinary low water there are more rocks exposed and more color.
A couple of days ago I drove up the Westbranch behind Webbwood to explore the Wakonassin River.I drove up to the 37 mile mark on gravel roads where I started hiking.I have found that you will walk many a mile sometimes before an interesting composition presents itself.Because of the low shutter speeds I shot at,the wind is a constant problem.One must be very patient and wait till the wind stops blowing. I have stayed at a setup for an hour or more waiting for that wind to stop.I am forever watching the trees waiting for the calm to come.At times you may only get a few seconds or a few minutes to get that photo.Be sure that there is no ripple on the water if it is reflections you are looking at.I will at times bring my fishing pole and fish while I am waiting for the wind to abate or the lighting to change.
I was walking downstream when I noticed some nicely colored rocks at the back end of a bend in the river.There was a fair amount of reflection of the rocks into the river.As the water is constantly moving you will never get a perfect reflection here.But that is okay.You will also notice that the predominant color is green in this photo.The trees are also reflecting into the water giving a green cast.There was a cedar tree in the foreground that I used to give depth and also to add more contrast and shadows to break up the background.I also have a boulder to the right of the photo that helped break up the green color and to again add depth.The old tree trunk on the left adds more interest to the photo,but I find the old tree on the right a bit of a hindrance but I can live with it.
This photo was shot at 115 mm at 1/5 sec @ f22.The wind as I have explained previously was a problem and I had to play the waiting game.I didn’t catch any Brook Trout that day but it still was a beautiful day to be in the wilderness.So until next time watch the wind and happy trails
I have been ask if the water is always dark and lots of shadows where I photograph.The great majority of my work is done along rivers and creeks.The rivers are usually flowing between hills with a lot of tree growth.A majority of my photographic work takes place in wilderness areas and the tree growth is mature.
Depending on the time of day,there is usually a lot of shadows created by hills and overhanging trees.The sun is usually starting to disappear behind the hills by three in the afternoon and starting to filter through the trees.I carry a compass with me and I can check to see were the sun rises and sets. This is important to determine whether you will get back lighting 0r cross lighting.
The shadows used in conjunction with the lighting can create some awesome photographs.Looking at the photo above,you can see the sun is cross lighting in the foreground and you have deep shadows in the background.The sun is on the right hand side of this photo.Using this to good effect you can create a mysterious turn into deeper woods and good depth of field.You will also notice that the sun is highlighting parts of the trees on the left breaking up the shadows.
The above photo was shot at 1/4 sec with the zoom set at 135 @ f22. You must always be patient and take many shots.This particular afternoon there was moving cloud cover.By watching the scene before me I was able to get many shots as the sun reappeared from behind the clouds By watching the light intensity I could get different effects and then choose the photo I thought gave me the best effects.So until next time watch your shadows and happy trails
There are times when I come across a particular locale that I have shot many times that I can improve on a previous shot.To keep the weight down I carry only one lense and camera.The lense is a 28 to 135 zoom.
At times you are limited as to where you can set up your tripod so I have to make the best of a given situation.As I do not carry a wide angle lense I will set up for a panorama.The above photo consists of 2 horizontally shot photos,overlapped.
The 2 photo pano allows me to compose a photo that shows the ruggedness of this scene.I used the rocks in the foreground and the left side to draw in the viewer and lead the eye along the edge of the river and also to create depth.I also have created a U shape in my composition by adding the rocks on the right to complete the composition.
This 2 shot composition was shot at 65 mm with a shutter speed of 1.6 sec at f32. Using photoshop’s photomerge to stitch the pano together,the final product is 34″x12″ with a 1/2″ border ready for matting and framing.
Next time you are out think about trying a small pano.Till next time happy trails
A good friend of mine,Carole Spandau made a comment last week that I had the heart of a true poet,your work is so personal,very heartfelt and very moving stuff.This got me thinking about the artist in the photographer.
Carole Spandau’s work is recognized nationally and internationally for her paintings of Montreal Quebec.
To view her work check out her site at FAA
As a photographer we are controlled by the weather conditions and the time of day.Luck also plays a big role in our work.We must be able to recognize a good shot when it happens,as Nature is very fleeting when it comes to lighting and shadows.
The above photo emphasizes my point.As I was walking back along the river I saw the light highlighting the greenery on the point in the river.By using the dark background to enhance the lighted point and the yellow reflection on the left side to lead the eye I created a composition very pleasing in an artistic way.You will also noticed the sunlight is highlighting the river bottom to give contrast to the darker areas in the water.
This photo was taken very late in the afternoon at a shutter speed of 0.5 sec ,f22.The zoom lense was set at 75 mm.
The artist in the photographer is when you take the components of what you see before you and create an exciting work of art.Learn to recognize a good composition when you come upon it and then be able to be creative when you compose that shot.So until next time happy trails.
The photo at your feet.Many times while out photographing I have come across a nice composition right at my feet.It really pays to look down and see what is there before you while you are scanning the whole landscape. I call this the photo within the photo.The above photo was captured during a late Spring evening and the water was glowing from within. Placing the 6 ” waterfalls in the top left hand corner and framing the gold color water with the rocks I was able to create this awesome photo as the color just pops out at you.
The photo was taken with a zoom setting of 41 mm and a shutter speed of 0.8 sec f29.The ISO was set at 100.You could almost call this micro landscape photograph or photo art.
The photo shown above is another capture that I created by looking down in front of me.This particular photo has beautiful lighting and pure energy.By using a slow shutter speed you create flow patterns that help in the creation of the photo.
The photo was taken with a zoom setting of 41mm and a shutter speed of 1.3 sec f 29.Remember at this close range you need your depth of field for the detail.So until next time,look down and happy trails.
As you have noticed most of my photographic work is in and around water. Paul Smith of Whitefish,Ontario and I have spent the last few months hiking into and along the Aux Sauble River North of Massey Ontario.This wilderness area offers excellent photo opportunities. The river system flows out of Aux Sauble Lake,52 miles North of Massey and twists and turns until it empties into the Spanish River in Massey.The Spanish River in itself empties into the North Channel, which is part of Lake Huron in the Great Lakes System.
There are many scenic locations to discover with beautiful rock formations.The river has a number of rapids and waterfalls along its length. We use a hand held GPS to explore the region.The terrain is rugged so you have to be in reasonably good shape.
The vast majority of my work is created in the evening.The drawback is that you have to allow enough time to get back to the truck before it gets too dark.The above photo was shot with the zoom lens set at 30mm and a shutter speed of 2 sec at f22. In setting up this photo I used the water as an S curve to lead your eye into the photo.Framing with the rock formations also helps when creating your photo.
The above photo was shot with the zoom set at 28 mm and a shutter speed of 0.4 sec at f22. This is the same location as the first photo but taken a couple weeks before. You will notice that the lighting is very different in these photos,creating different effects and tones.The first photo is much warmer and the color stands out.The 2nd photo was also taken earlier in the evening allowing for a faster shutter speed of 0.4 sec.You must go back to the same locales many times and observe the behavior of the lighting and also the time of year.
Just to be able to be in these locations is a blessing for me.To listen to the water rushing over the rocks and enjoy the serenity….pristine silence and beauty of these locations is well worth the effort to capture.Till next time happy trails.
One of the things I am always on the look out for when I am out hiking is Lighting effects on various trees.This usually occurs late afternoon and into the evening.The trick is to fine a composition to fit the tree into.The above photo shows an example of what I did to show the best effect of the side lighting.I created a very tight composition showing quiet water along the river’s edge,some green reflection of the tree in the foreground and reddish rocks to add depth and color.This photo was shot with the zoom lense at 80 mm.The shutter speed was set at 0.6 sec @ f22.
Early evening lighting filtering through the trees and side lighting the evergreens atop a cliff was the subject of this composition.Using the rocks as a base and the water in the foreground I was able to complete this photo.Shot with a zoom lense set at 100 mm and a shutter speed of 25 sec and f 5.6.
There are many lighting effects to be seen as you hike along trails and rivers edges, you just have to learn to observe the various effects and see what type a composition you can come up with.So until next time happy trails.
Happy Easter everyone and your families.
A couple weeks ago Paul Smith and myself stopped in at the East Bull Lake Wilderness Lodge.The lodge is located 22 miles North of Massey in a beautiful wilderness area.You may access there website for more info and plan a beautiful photographic experience.
The hospitality is excellent.We stayed for coffee and Jerry the owner of the lodge told us about McGee Falls. We headed out there yesterday with two quads from the lodge as the falls is 5 miles off the main road. Paul and I are novices at driving quads so we took our time driving over some pretty rough trails.On arriving we where not disappointed in the scenery.An area of pristine beauty lay before us with rushing water and colorful rock structures.
The day was cloudy with a threat of rain and very windy.It was difficult photographing at best.We were able to get some photos by not photographing any trees in the photo as you can see in the above photo.The photo was shot at 135 mm with a shutter speed 0.3 sec at f 22.
The next photo was shot with the zoom lense set at 56 mm and a shutter speed of 1 sec at f 22. There is some nice lighting in this photo and I wanted to show the rocks to good effect.The cloud cover got darker and it started to rain so we thought we had better head out and back to the lodge.
If you are ever in the area stop in for a coffee with Jerry and enjoy the scenery.For those looking for a different photographic adventure call Jerry at the East Bull Lake Wilderness Lodge and make arrangements.
East Bull Lake Wilderness Lodge
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.
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.