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Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 100, f22 @ 1 second.

Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 100, f22 @ 1 second.

When I am out photographing along rivers and waterfalls I always take the time to stand and watch the flow of the river to predict how it will blur during longer exposures. I will then select a perspective to compliment that flow. Note in this image of Hatchery Falls in Ontario’s popular Muskoka region that the river is flowing on a diagonal from right to left and exiting the frame in the lower left corner. Also make note that I selected a composition that allowed for a clean bottom edge, which often makes for a more pleasing composition. I did not however arrive at this composition from the get go. I worked the situation, fine tuning and tweaking my perspective until I was happy with the results. I am eagerly looking forward to photographing Hatchery Falls in the coming weeks when the autumn colors will be all a blaze.

Please click on the image to see the larger, sharper version.

 

 

 

The Art of Flower Photography

On August 13th Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris released their latest eBook ‘The Art of Flower Photography.’  As I read my way through the pages of this wonderful new eBook the imagery within has been filling me with the inspiration to get out and start photographing flowers again. When I first became interested in photography I began by photographing wildflowers and accumulated thousands of 35mm slides before switching to digital, and subsequently stopped photographing flowers as often.

Throughout the eBook Denise and Arthur explain how they approach flower photography, which is interesting as they each have different methods of doing so. Denise will often handhold a 100mm macro lens with impressive results, while Arthur won’t shy away from using a 600mm or 800mm lens to create stunning portraits. This eBook contains 203 pages and discusses various topics including; composition, lighting, selective focus, high key imagery, flower-scapes, light pads, pleasing blurs, multiple exposures, and lens / gear choices. There are also various ideas for creating artistic renderings with Photoshop plug-ins like Topaz Labs Simplify and Fractalius. And let’s not forget Denise’s signature flowers with texture overlays and how to apply these texture overlays to your own photos.

This is a must have eBook for anyone who enjoys flower photography. You will be inspired to take your own photography to the next level as you explore these creative ideas with your own imagery. For further inspiration from Denise and Arthur be sure to follow along on their respective blogs, which can be found by clicking on their names in the side-bar under the Blogroll section.

The Art of Flower Photography can be purchased by clicking here.

 

American Toad. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 800, f8 @ 1/100 sec

American Toad. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 800, f8 @ 1/100 sec

One of my favorite ways to photograph smaller critters with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens is to utilize the sensor crop feature on the Nikon D800. For each of the images in this post I selected the DX 1.5 crop. which is the sensor size of  DSLRs with the APS-C size sensors. When this crop is selected the 15mm fisheye lens becomes the 35mm equivalent of 22mm. Considering that the Sigma fisheye lens already focuses down to 5.5 inches once the sensor crop is selected you have a very effective tool for creating up-close-and-personal portraits of small critters that also give a sense of the habitat in which these critters live. Do note that the Sigma Fisheye lens will focus almost twice as close as the Nikon 16mm Fisheye Lens and for the type of imagery I like to create with the fisheye perspective this is what makes the Sigma lens such an important tool that now follows me everywhere I go :)

Here are a few American Toad images and one Spotted Salamander photo that were created a couple of weeks ago while exploring the woodlands for toads and salamanders. You may note that the salamander only has one eye, which is either a deformity or a past injury now healed. I purposely photographed the good side in hopes of hiding the closed eye. Interestingly enough I photographed this same salamander last fall, so the deformity allows me to monitor this particular one, which resides beneath a log on the cottage property at Horseshoe Lake.

Please do remember to click on each of the photos to view the larger, sharper versions.

American Toad on Haircap Moss. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/250 sec

American Toad on Haircap Moss. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/250 sec

American Toad. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f 2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/40 sec

American Toad. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f 2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/40 sec

Spotted Salamander. Nikon D800, SIgma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/160 sec

Spotted Salamander. Nikon D800, SIgma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/160 sec

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200 f16 @ 1/100

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200 – f16 @ 1/100

On the afternoon of August 22nd as a storm was approaching I ventured over to the North Shore Rugged Fitness Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario with the fisheye lens. This was my first visit to this section of the Georgian Bay shoreline and it will most certainly not be my last. In fact, I am planning to organize some landscape workshops at this location – stay tuned for more info on this. Georgian Bay is noted for its spectacular and photogenic scenery – a photographer’s paradise. The rugged and rocky terrain  has been carved by glaciers and battered by waves, which have led to some very cool rock formations and patterns. During my visit I had a blast using my new Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye lens for an up-close and personal look at some of the splendid vistas I encountered. For the image above I had to precariously position myself and my feet to avoid seeing my toes on the bottom edge. Below are a few additional images, all created with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye lens.

Each of the images in this post received a touch of Nik’s Detail Extractor Tool from Color Efex 4. I will often use this tool on photographs that do have a significant amount of rugged and rocky terrain in them as it helps give the rock a nice boost in details.

Please remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper version. And please take a moment to let me know which is your favorite.

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 200 f16 @ 1/125

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 200 – f16 @ 1/125

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100 f16 @ 1/100

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100 – f16 @ 1/100

As you can see in the above image, the sun came out and created a somewhat harsher than desired light on the scene. I did however feel that it was not all that bad, but that it would also be perfect for creating a black and white conversion with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.

Georgian Bay Shoreline Parry Sound, Ontraio. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 100 f16 @ 1/100

Georgian Bay Shoreline Parry Sound, Ontraio. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 100 – f16 @ 1/100

 

Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fisheye Lens. ISO 50 f22 @ 1/5 sec.

Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fisheye Lens. ISO 50 f22 @ 1/5 sec.

 

I have just returned from a week away in the Parry Sound & Muskoka regions of Ontario where I had a blast using my newest and favorite photographic tool; the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. On of my chosen destinations was Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River near the town of Rosseau. I had previously visited this waterfall during the winter months and wanted to return this summer and for the soon to come autumn scenes. I created several various compositions on this recent visit which I will share with you shortly. Do note that when the fisheye lens is positioned as square as possible with the world there is minimal distortion of the scene. My chosen perspective for this scene was determined after carefully studying the flow of the river and then ensuring that I captured the interesting detail as the river exits the composition.

Please remember to click on the image to see the larger, sharper version.

Sigma Fisheye_1952

The newest member of my tool kit arrived yesterday and will find a permanent home in my gear bag and will likely spend a lot of time affixed to my Nikon D800. For those folks who have been following along here for a while and for those who may have recently subscribed Gentec International the Canadian Distributor for Sigma lenses was kind enough to loan me the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens for a frog project I am working on and for my trip to Lake Superior Provincial Park in September 2013. You can read my review of this amazing lens here. Yours truly was also featured on the Sigma promotional card for this lens which can be seen here. In short, I have been so impressed with this lens and its versatility, not too mention how it expands one’s creativity, that I purchased this lens with my own hard earned money. I did not hesitate to get out today for a couple of quick images of a lovely field of rudbeckia flowers while I was in the town of Orillia visiting with my parents this afternoon.

Rudbeckia Flowers in Field, Orillia, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f11 @ 1/640

Rudbeckia Flowers in Field, Orillia, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f11 @ 1/640

 

Something Cool About Flowers

For those folks who love to photograph flowers and who like to create artistic renditions of their flower photos as well, be sure to check out the latest eBook by Denise Ippolito and Arthur MorrisThe Art of Flower Photography.” Based on my initial browse through of the eBook’s pages, I have to say WOW!!!

I will be away for the next week but promise to do a full review upon my return. Stay tuned for the complete review.

 

Please do click on the images above to see the larger, sharper versions of each.

 

Old GMC Truck in Field. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/40, polarizing filter

Old GMC Truck in Field. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/40, polarizing filter

I have been rather busy over the course of the last week but thought I would share this typical summer scene that I created last weekend. It is now the season where folks can buy corn from local farmers as they set-up stands along the smaller two-lane highways. I have always loved this particular farmer’s ‘advertising billboard'; a rusty old wreck at the edge of the field with the Canadian flag flying proud.

To process this image I utilized Nik Software’s Detail Extractor filter, but only on the truck so that the rest of the scene would take on too much of a grungy-look. I made some final tweaks with Nik Software’s Viveza 2.

Please click on the image to see the larger, sharper version.

Don’t forget to check out the August issue of the Creative Photography eMini-Magazine, This magazine is published on a monthly basis by Denise Ippolito and subscriptions to the magazine are free.

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