Tag Archives: Wakonassin River

A frosty Morning

My daughter Maryjean and I headed West on Highway 17 towards Webbwood.We made a quick stop for gas and a Tim Horton’s coffee before continuing on.We drove through Webbwood and turned North  on the Agnew Lake road.The temperature was hovering around the -7 C mark.It was a bit nippy at the moment.We arrived at the Westbranch turnoff.The truck was now travelling on a gravel road that is well maintained.

This wilderness area provides timber and recreation for many people.There is good fishing in many of the lakes and rivers with good good campsite choices. This is also a popular area for hunting as a number of hunters drove past us. We observed a few hunters in the bush.With that in mind we agreed to stick to the main road.It would be safer. As we proceeded North the ponds were frozen over with ice.That was not a good sign. We soon reached the Wakonasin River.The scene before us was like entering a magical fairyland.The bare birch trees were covered in a coating of frost.The shoreline tag alders were heavily coated in frost.A bland late Fall scene turned into something spectacular.I am very much familiar with this location as well as many others along the Westbranch Road.

By using the clump of Spruce trees to create depth and being darker to add contrast I composed the above shot.I put the hill in the background to close off the scene,but  all of a sudden the sun peeked over the horizon and lit up the hill and trees in a golden yellow.This was an added bonus to an already great composition.

Maryjean and I continued photographing for a bit longer.There was more of the river to explore so we packed up our gear and headed up the road.We were already happy with the success we had  and we had just started.A great start to the day.One of the greatest things about going out photographing is that you never know what you will come upon.

While that is it for today so until next time happy trails.

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A Spring Outing

The sun was shining,the sky was blue and Paul Smith and myself headed up the Westbranch to see what was available to photograph.I had just traded in my Canon Tsi Dsr for a Canon 7D.This was a chance to try out the 7D and become familiar with it.

This is actually a pretty drab time of year with not a whole lot of color and the ice and remaining snow being on the dirty side.The Wakonasin was ice free for the most part.I did not find the water levels very high for this time of year.

Our destination was Gordon Chutes about 30 km up the Westbranch.Upon arrival we decided to sit and enjoy a hot cup of tea and blueberry muffin before hiking along the river.We hiked up to the upper end of the falls and I was able to do some tight shots with the rocks and water flow.The above photo was a result of that.I used the rocks and water flow to design my composition.The rocks have a pleasing color to them and you will see that the small pool has green colored water.I shot the scene with the zoom at 135.The shutter speed was set at 1/13 of a sec with f22.This allowed me to achieve definition in the water that I always strive to accomplish when the water flow is fairly fast.When you have detail in the water you give the water character.

Later in the day a fine cloud cover came in and changed our lighting.The wind was cold as is typical at this time of year.I was more than please with my new Canon 7D and I am looking forward to many more outings with the camera.That is it for this week,so for now happy trails.

Creatively With Water

One of the things I really love doing is look for patterns in running water as I walk along a river or creek.The photo above was taken at the top end of a waterfalls.For this type of shot you need fairly fast water and a bright overcast day.The water is tumbling over the rocks in three different directions here.I chose a composition at an angle to the flow so the water would exit out on the bottom left corner of the photo.So basically you have the water running in from both sides and the top.This will give you flow in and flow out.The secret here is in the shutter speed as while maintaining depth of field.

Once the camera and tripod are set up I will shot the scene at different exposures.I may take up to 20 exposures so that I can  select the photo that I will use when I get home.You want to create defining patterns with the water.Shooting at 1 sec or so will not achieve the results we are looking for as you would create water that has no detail.This photo that I selected was shot at a shutter speed of  1/4 sec at f22.You will see that the flowing water has character and depth.

As I was walking along above the river I noticed the unique patterns been created by a group of rocks in the river.The river was very low at this time of year.The water depth was very shallow.I found my way down to the river’s edge and set up the camera and tripod to create this composition.The lighting was extremely beautiful that evening and everything had a wonderful glow.

I used the rock on the left for a lead in and the water flows from the top left to the bottom right.I shot this one at 1o secs at f29.There was some very nice patterns created by the water flowing around the small rocks. Again I shot at different shutter speeds to create the patterns I wanted.

You will not see these type of effects too often,but when you do start shooting.You must also picture in your mind what it will look like in Photoshop.Until next time happy trails.

Adverse Weather

A couple days ago the phone rang and it was my good friend Paul Smith calling.He asked if I would be interested in going out to do some photographing.I never turn down an invitation to head out and get some photos.

The day was cloudy with various lighting situations and some showers.The clouds were moving very quickly.We headed up the Westbranch to a locale that I had previously taken a very nice photo.Upon arrival I headed to the river that ran along side the road.The first thing that happened was that I took a tumble on the rocks.These rocks get very slippery when they are wet.

I half crawled down the rocks looking for my previous photo location.I looked behind me and saw a beautiful scene before me.I quickly set up the camera and tripod and took the composition you see above.The sun sent a beam of light on the trees in the background and the reflection was gorgeous.When the rocks are wet the colors come alive.The mist gives that added touch.This shot was taken in the middle of the afternoon by the way.It is not often you get mist at that time of day.I did find my previous location but was unable to get any decent shots as the mist got too heavy to photograph.

I shot the above scene with a zoom setting of 85 mm and the shutter set at 1/10 sec @ f22.The mist got too heavy to photograph and I find that I then have trouble focusing automatically and manually.Is this the difference between a 800.00 camera and a 3000.00 camera?I will be upgrading in the future.

We decided to head back and go up  the main road.By now the sky had cleared and the sun was shining.I was driving along and Paul said stop.He had noticed light reflecting on some rocks on a creek through the trees.I parked the truck and gathering up our gear we hiked into the creek.When we got there we saw a beam of light on some vegetation across the creek.I set the camera and tripod and took the photo you see below.

The rocks were pinkish and everything was still on the wet side to bring out the colors.I put a rock to the left in the photo to lead your eye into the photo following the shoreline and the clump of grass helps provide depth and breaks up the water.The beam of light adds that little extra touch to the photo.

This photo was taken with a zoom setting of 85 mm and a shutter speed of 3.2 sec @ f32.When you see light beams like this you had better be quick and get the shot as the lighting can go very fast.In this case the light lasted about 5 minutes as cloud cover moved in.These are the type of shots that requires a little luck and you must recognize that there is a photo to be taken.You also must compose on the fly with out thinking to capture the lighting.

Until next time,happy trails.

Hiking Along A River

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