Travelling the Westbranch.
North of Webbwood, Ontario on a Northerly path, a logging road winds its way along Wakanassin River. The composition I am presenting for viewing is located along this river. The evening is getting late. The exposed rocks on the hillside are touched by the evening sunlight,
I have stopped here many times to photograph as I drove home from further up the road.
This composition is about combining rocks with with water to create depth. By using rocks in the foreground, middle ground and a waterfalls in the background I was able to achieve the effect I was looking for. The rocks have a variety of color along with the ever present lichen found on the rocks. Using a slow shutter speed creates patterns in the water for the eye to follow. There is some greenery to add a little more contrast. Another important factor is the time of year and the volume of water flowing has a big impact on what type of composition you will get.
Sitting by flowing water is about listening to the flow of water around you and the sense of peacefulness. That is what I attempted to capture when I shot this photo.
That is it for now. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Mothers out there. May your day be great. 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.
This past Saturday, myself and fellow photographer Jan Winters journeyed up the Westbranch,North of Webbwood. Our aim was to have a fun day as we travelled forestry roads looking for photographic opportunities, It started out cold,a chilly -5 C.The trees were frost covered.
On our way back down the Westbranch I had promised Jan we would stop at Gordon Chutes for him to photograph.Jan has a love for waterfalls,so this was a good chance for him to get some shooting in.It was now late evening and there was not much daylight available.I have photographed here many times.Whether for a day or just a quick stop in.The water level of the river was low.
As I was crossing the smooth rocks that are normally covered with flowing water I looked up at the rock face on the far side of the river.There was a beautiful glow from the setting sun.With not much time to spare,I did a quick set up to capture the scene before me.But as I looked ahead of me I noticed this beautiful reflection in a pool ahead of me.Wow this is really getting interesting.So now I re-aligned the camera and tripod to capture the reflection and the rock face.I also noticed that there was pink edged clouds moving in.I checked to see which direction the clouds were moving and waited.The clouds were coming towards me.Then it all came together.The result was the photo you see above.
It never seems to matter how many times you photographed a location,there is always a possibility for a shot. I have always liked that rock face but could could never do anything with it. Well low and behold it happened.The warm glow on the rocks did not last long.It was now getting darker and time to head home.It had been another lovely day in the backwoods.Jan enjoyed the experience.Jan has a great blog,so check it out here.
Well that is it for now.Thank you for visiting.Until next time happy trails
This post is a continuation of the post A Frosty Morning with my daughter.As we drove North on the Westbranch we spotted Rough Grouse on the roadsides.They would disappear back into the woods fairly quickly.I guess you would too if you were constantly being hunting.We soon left the Wakanasin River behind and were now following a much smaller river that meandered back and forth across the road.All the bridges appeared to have been repaired this year.
Looking down an embankment we saw the above scene and decided to investigate.Gear in hand we carefully made our way down the loose gravel that was still slippery from frost.I still managed to slip and slide down the last third of the embankment on my butt though.
Upon arrival by the creek bank I quickly surveyed the location for a setup.There still was no wind.The clouds were moving quickly.The sun would pop out every now and again.The frost was covering the vegetation nicely.The water was shallow and very clear.This created tremendous depth to the reflections.I choose two clumps of grass on the left to lead you into the picture as well as to add depth. There was a small clump that was different in shape that drew my attention.With that in mind I captured the above photo by waiting for the sun to come out.I had to be quick as the clouds were still moving very fast.When the sun did come out the frosted vegetation would light up.
There was some dead wood on the far shore that I found to be annoying.But at times there was nothing you can do.I purposely did not show a lot of forest in the background.This was to keep things simple as best as possible.You will notice the earth tone colors at the waterline of the plants.This adds a very nice contrast and gives added life.There is a lot of depth in the reflections caused by the clear water.The sun highlighted the evergreens in the background to add a nice touch. I shot this photo with a shutter speed of 0.5 seconds @ f22.
The air was now warming up and finishing up our shooting we headed back to the vehicle.The wind was now picking up with the cloud cover dispersing.We drove further North until we came to a small lake by the roadside.Here we pulled over,unloaded the camp chairs to relax and enjoy a cup of tea and a sandwich.
That is it for this post.I would like to thank all you good folks who commented,hit the like button or simply came for a visit.It is much appreciated.So until next time happy trails
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.
Spring is slowly arriving in my neck of the woods and I am looking forward to getting back out into the woods.
I was going through my files this week and came across this photo taken last November.I love these tight shots were you have only water and rocks.Throw in color and a nice composition is to be had.The above photo is a result of low lighting casting a golden glow on the water and the blue is a result of a clear blue sky. When the lighting is low the rocks take on a soft colorful look to them adding very much to the photo.The only argument to be said about the photo is that there is too much water.I will be going back to this location and shooting with that in mind.
The ice on the rocks at the top right add a nice touch.The zoom was set at 80 mm and I had a shutter speed of 1 sec @ f22.
Well that is it for this week so until next time happy trails.
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.
Small lakes and bogs can created interesting subject material.With that said Paul Smith and I have found such a location to photograph.I had previously photographed this little island before.If you go back a couple post you will see the same island.
This time I captured the island at a different angle.I set the tripod up half way down a slight incline and waited as the lighting changed.As I watched the various light beams I was also aware of the sun’s angle as it was setting to the West.It would not be long before the sun would shine into the lense.
As the sun lowered it began highlighting parts of the island shoreline and backlit the trees beautifully.I now had a problem with the sun glare in the lense.Using my ball cap to fend of the glare I captured this wonderful exposure.The lighting highlighted the reddish growth along the island shoreline.The deadheads added character to the photo with a ghostly affect. With so much light on the island the background was darker,consisting of dark green evergreens that are common to this part of the country.
This photo was taken with a zoom setting of 120 mm and the shutter at 0.4 f22.I was forced to to tight crop this shot with only a bit of reflection in the water due to the lake surface not being calm.This was another case of having to go back a number of times due to unsatisfactory conditions and just waiting.
In the end it is well worth it,so till next time,Happy Trails.
It was the past Friday that Paul Smith and I came across some new locations up the Westbranch North of Webbwood.We were now 90 km up the Westbranch and exploring new country.The moose hunters were setting up there camps getting ready for the opening of moose season on Saturday.It was a sunny day,but the wind was creating havoc and towards sundown was still blowing.It was scratch day one.
The next day I headed back up alone early that afternoon.When I arrived on location the wind was blowing pretty good.I waited til late evening but to no avail.I headed back home again with no photos.Sunday came and being my youngest grand son’s birthday, I stopped off at my son’s apartment to enjoy the BBQ and wish the little man a happy birthday.He was 1 year old.I hadn’t been on the Internet for a week as I had left my usb modem down South well we were visiting. I logged on an checked my email . My good friend Jan Winthers had emailed me earlier saying he was available for the weekend to go out photographing.I gave Jan a quick call and asked him if he could meet me in an hour.
I met up with Jan and we transferred his photo equipment to my truck. As we were driving up the Westbranch Jan realized that he had forgot his tripod. We have all forgotten something at one time or another. The third day turned out to be a blessing with the wind cooperating for a change.
Late fall brings with it much more subdued colors as the grass and ferns turn brown and rusty red.I myself like this time of year for the challenges it offers.Jan and I were walking along a small lake when we spotted a little island across the way. There was some very interesting lighting come from the side onto the island.The evergreens had wonderful lighting filtering through to break up the dark mass in the background.This creates a background with more detail .The gray color of the dead branches give character to the trees along with the remaining tree growth being highlighted by the sun.Take in the brownish shoreline and you have a very earth tone photo. There is enough reflection in the water to create depth.
I shot this scene with the zoom set at 100 mm and a shutter speed of 0.4 sec @ f 22. You must always be watching for unique lighting and color patterns.
Moving along the shoreline I was attracted by the lighting and colors that you can observe in the above photo. The clump of reddish brown grass was nicely lit by the sun.Light was filtering through the trees in the background creating lovely reflective patterns along with a beam of light hitting the reddish brown grass along the shoreline.I positioned my tripod to put the island of grass in the foreground and the lighted grass on the shoreline in the background.The idea here is to have the reddish brown grasses stand out.
I shot the above photo with a zoom setting 135 mm.The shutter speed was set at 0.5 sec @ f22.
Jan and I had a wonderful day together and I am looking forward to our next outing. Until next time happy trails.