Tag Archives: sunlight

Storm Appoaching

 

Rockymountains_3613BW

St Mary’s Lake, BC. I was set up photographing St Mary’s Lake from the side of the mountain. The lighting began to change dramatically to my left. The sky was darkening. There was more shadows appearing. You can see the rain approaching through the valley on the left. But still some sunlight breaking through the clouds. The mountain side became awash with light.

When I am walking with Trees

When I_m walking with Trees

Painting by Pierre AJ Sabourin En Plein Air Landscape Artists

Thank you Pierre for use of your painting. It inspired this poem

 

When I’m walking with Trees

A forgotten path beckons

Through an ancient forest

Covered in lichen and moss

When I’m walking with trees

My body is relaxing

My energy is flowing

My soul becomes of the forest

As I listen, to the forest sounds

The air is calm

The morning sunlight filtering

On the forest floor dancing

When I’m walking with trees

When I’m walking with trees
My body is relaxing

My energy is flowing

The path twists and turns

Over time worn rock

I have this feeling

Being watched from above

A light appears ahead

As closer I walk

The light it intensifies

Then before my eyes, fading

I hear a song

As I walk along

It is the trees whispering

A hush voice singing

A gentle caress upon my cheek

It is the morning breeze

Cool and fresh, a lover’s touch

When I’m walking with trees

When I’m walking with trees

My body is relaxing

My energy is flowing

The trees appear to nod

As I pass by

The air is clear

The sounds I hear

The brush of a branch

Gently upon my shoulder

It has been awhile

For now I smile

Ken Bennison

 

 

 

Magic Of Light

A Touch Of Light

 

A cafe in hand

A chair beckons

A mountainous view

Off to the east

Darkening in the coming

Of the night

A refreshing cool breeze

Dispersing the day’s heat

The parrots have returned

To where ever they roost

The white plumed garza

Long since gone

The sky dark and threatening

Clouds a somber grey

A beam of light

Emerging from the clouds

To cast a golden ray

In a moment of glory

Over a rounded hill

As the clouds roll on

The light slowly fades

Darkness descends once again

While I sip my cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Spruce

BlackSpruce

 

There is a small lake in Superior Provincial Park alongside Highway 17. It is named Moose Lake. There is a clump of skeletal Black Spruce that caught my eye. I first saw this set up in 2013. We were always passing by at the wrong time. Bad lighting. This year Maureen and I spent 5 days at Superior Provincial Park in late August.

What attracts me to this scene. The Black Spruce. As the sun lowers in the sky, the grayish color of the dead Spruce becomes more intense. The grey color stands out in a sea of green. The channel leading back to these skeletal trees gives me a lead in. An added bonus is that the late evening sun was highlighting the hill in the background. This in turn created a golden reflection in the foreground. Now I did not want to show to much of this golden reflection. Therefore I kept it tight. Doing this allowed for more lead in to the Black Spruce. Showing too much of this colorful reflecting would lead to a distraction. For depth we have four layers here. The shoreline, Black Spruce, The evergreens behind and then the sunlit hill in back.

You may ask me if I knew that the hills would light up. The answer would be no. But I have also seen this many times . I had set my composition in the camera on the tripod. Taken a few shots. Then low and behold the hills lit up. I quickly started shooting and shortly  the lighting was gone. Be there. That is all I can tell you.  The Black Spruce always adds drama to your work. You can not miss them when they are in the dead form.

Another week has gone by, so until next time happy trails

 

The Nature of Light

Killarney0059Print

This photo was taken on a small creek that runs out of Johnny  Lake in Killarney Provincial Park. My partner, Paul Smith and I were exploring along the creek. As we made our way through wooded growth to the shoreline , I suddenly noticed the strong glow of lighting on the grasses and trees. Now there was cloud cover moving overhead rather quickly. This meant the sunlight came and went. It was late afternoon so the angle of light was right. Moving quickly I set up my tripod and Canon 7D at the creeks edge. Due to the large amount of green and yellow I kept the reflections to a minimum. The dead wood broke up the mass of green on the right. There is shadow in the background and the creek takes a bend. It was a matter of waiting for the sun to pop out from behind the moving clouds. This photo shows you what the right lighting can do to your composition. Normally this would be just an ordinary shot.

Well that is it for this week. I thank you all who came for a visit. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone and there families a Merry Christmas, especially the little ones. The campfire is beckoning and the tea is ready. So until next time happy trails

Bog Island

BogIsland

I discovered this little bog island at the far end of a small shallow lake a few years ago. It is located  up the Westbranch behind Webbwood Ontario. I fell in love with the potential of a composition that could be had here. This little island had character. From the shape of the vegetation; some deadheads and a clump of small evergreens. The main problem here was to be able to separate the island from the background. The lake is nestled amongst  Spruce trees so everything would blend in. You would then get a bland photo.

With that in mind I needed good lighting. Luckily, were I was able to set up my tripod and Canon EOS 7d the shoreline sloped upwards. This allowed me to get some separation from the far shoreline. This shot worked best in November. The sun is low to the horizon. The vegetation on the island turns a orange, red color. That helps relieve a lot of green. Now the trick is to get the right lighting. You have to have that island stand out from the background. That is very important. I made many trips to this location until I got it right. Early morning did not create the required lighting.

Finally it all came together. It was a beautiful sunny November afternoon. It was 3:30 Pm. The sunlight lit the island up like a torch. The light was coming from the left which was good. I was now getting sun flares in my lens. I used my hat to block the sun flares and shot the above photo. What also helps this composition is the lighting in the background. You can see individual branches being lit up. This is what turns an ordinary photo into a dramatic composition. Lighting.

The above photo was accepted at the 119th Toronto International Salon of Photography.

Well I will close for now. So until next time happy trails.

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.

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.

Streamside

Sitting by a pool
Of a slow moving stream
Not a breath of air
Stirs amongst the trees
Wispy clouds floating overhead
A Swallow-tailed butterfly yellow and black
Skims the water’s surface
The mosquitoes and black flies
Are now abundant
With the approach of dusk
Sunlight filtering through the trees
Brush the stream side shrubs
With a touch of gold

The pool is now
Like a painter’s canvas
Reflecting the surrounding landscape
Of yellow and green
A scene of beauty and harmony
To be one with nature

My good friend Gerard Leduc and I traveled up the Westbranch behind Webbwood   a few days ago.It was a beautiful evening to be out.As we drove along the Wakanasin River,we noted the low water levels.Our first stop was Gordon Chutes to allow Gerard to do some photographing.

We continued our journey North.Every once in awhile a logging truck passed us in cloud of dust.This meant we had to pull over until there was visibility.Being early in the evening we were in no hurry and at about the 80 km mark we pulled over for supper.I always carry a cooler of food,thermos of tea and my camp chair.We had parked by a small lake.Spending a relaxing half hour here,we soon head back the way we came.

I had a location at a small stream that I was trying to get a good photo.The problems had always been  with the wind,water level too high or the lighting was  just bad .After a very short hike off the road we arrived at the said location.The water level was good allowing for a nice reflection.The wind was non exiting.The lighting was awesome.

The result was the above photo.By watching your lighting as the sun dips further to the horizon you can observe different effects as to what the lighting will do to the landscape.By taken many shots you can determine the composition you like best.This particular composition took 2 years to accomplish.Patience is the name of the game.

It was not long before we lost the lighting effects.Packing up our gear we headed back to the truck knowing that maybe we had some good photos to work with.

Well that is it for now.So until next time happy trails.

Pink Rocks

Last Friday I took a late afternoon hike into Killarney Provincial Park.I parked at the East end of the campgrounds.There were a few campers camping here as I made my way to the hiking trail.First on the list is a fairly steep climb up a ridge and then walking down off of the same ridge.I arrived at the Eastern shorelines of A Y Jackson lake.This is one of my favorite lakes to photograph.It has all the components for an excellent composition.

I gazed up at the mountain sides in the distance and noticed that there was a lot of bare trees yet.It would be a few weeks before there was good color on the hillsides.I continued my trek and the next stop would be Little Shegelander Lake.I made my way down to the only campsite on this lake and a pretty location it is.As I looked around I counted 13 piles of Moose dropping around the campsite area.A moose had spent the winter here.

I walked back up the trail and continued East.I was heading for the East side of the lake.The walking was good and soon I left the trail and made my way back down to the lake.There is a wonderful view as you walk the trail above the lake.You can also view parts of George Lake.

While walking through the bush I spotted a small tree growing on the side of a cliff.The neat thing was the patterns that were created by the rocks.Also there was a section of pink granite running at an angle.In Killarney Provincial Park you will come across this type of granite in different locales.The wind was blowing,so reflections were out of the question.There was some vegetation on the opposite site of the pink granite.But as I set up my 7D Canon on my tripod The tree in the clevis was in shade.I sat down under a Pine Tree along the shore.The thing now was to wait and see how the lighting would be as time passed.After a half an hour or so the sunlight started to light up part of the little tree.I waited a little longer and there was more sunlight splashing on the tree.Also the vegetation located on the right hand side of the pink granite lit up from the sunlight.

Then something neat happen.The pink granite took on a different hue.I quickly took a number of shots at different settings.I looked at the sun behind me and saw no cloud cover,the sky was blue and I have no idea what changed the lighting.After a couple minutes the effect disappeared.I had captured a moment in time.

I soon finished up shooting here and moved on.The wind was not quieting down and there was a coolness on the evening breeze.I found a sunny nook out of the wind.I settled down among some rocks and eat my sandwich while I listened to the water gently lapping up on the rocks.

While that is it for this week.I thank everyone for there comments,much appreciated.I now have greeting cards available at the Killarney Provincial Park office.So until next week happy trails