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Georgian Bay Shoreline After Sunset, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 400, f16 @ 6 seconds, Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Georgian Bay Shoreline After Sunset, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 400, f16 @ 6 seconds, Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

On Friday, October 10 I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to drive from the cottage on Horseshoe Lake to the Rugged Hiking Trail in Parry Sound to catch the last rays few rays of light. This day was a mixed bag of rain, sun, and wind. I will share a number of the images that I created on the Friday evening in the days ahead, but I first wanted to share the above photo that I created several minutes after sunset. I will often remain on location well after the sun has set. Often this is when I create my most memorable imagery. Too often I see folks pack-up their gear as soon as the sun has dipped below the horizon and head-off to catch dinner or head for home. When I take the time to remain on location for extended periods of time, I am ready to witness and create imagery of the subtle or dramatic effects that the light has on the landscape. If I pack-up and head home I will surely miss something special.

In the above photograph I was immediately drawn to the veins of pink granite that stood out against the black granite. I carefully composed the scene to have these veins of pink granite entering the composition in the lower left corner and running diagonally into the scene to act as a leading line, drawing the viewer into the scene.

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

 

 

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 21mm. ISO 200, f16 @ 0.4 sec

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 21mm. ISO 200, f16 @ 0.4 sec

I spent the early morning hours today at beautiful Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River in Ontario’s Muskoka Region. The autumn colors are at peak conditions throughout the area and heavy rains have kept the rivers  flowing at a good pace. It turned out be a very drizzly kind of day, which is perfect conditions for waterfall photography. Having visited Hatchery Falls in both winter and summer this year I knew it would be most beneficial to take along a pair of hip waders and wade out into the middle of the river below the falls for a more pleasing view of the river, downstream of the falls. One of the best ways to improve your waterfall photography is to get out into the river for the up close and personal look. I will be spending a few more days in the Muskoka Region this coming weekend and do hope to revisit Hatchery Falls as well as some of my other favorite sites. Today’s images were either created with the razor sharp Nikon 18-35mm lens or the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens.

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

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, F16 @ 0.4 sec

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, F16 @ 0.4 sec

Looking Downstream at Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec

Looking Downstream at Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec.

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec.

Granite Rock Formation Along the Rugged Fitness Trail. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

Granite Rock Formation Along the Rugged Fitness Trail, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

I did another scouting trip along the Rugged Fitness Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario. This wonderful trail follows the shoreline of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. The Georgian Bay shoreline is noted for its impressive rock formations. You can see a touch of fall color starting to show in the trees along the trail. I will be visiting here again very soon to photograph the peak colors of Autumn. My scouting trips have been conducted to note the best spots along the trail so that when I return I will no exactly where I want to be. In the photo above I use the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens  (my new favorite landscape lens)as I lay flat on the rock, resting my elbows on the granite for added stability, while I created the handheld image.

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

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

I could not resist using the fisheye lens again to create a rounded perspective of this granite ‘staircase’ as it makes it way out into Georgian Bay. When a fisheye lens is pointed downward the horizon will become rounded, this makes me feel as though I am seeing the curvature of this planet. While this look is not everybody’s cup of tea, I think it is pretty cool :)

Granite Rock Formation Along Georgian Bay Coast on the Rugged Fitness Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/100 sec

Granite Rock Formation Along Georgian Bay Coast on the Rugged Fitness Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/100 sec

Once again I used the fisheye lens to create another rocky scene along the trail. The Sigma fisheye lens focuses down to 5.5 inches, which can be very effective at emphasizing foreground elements such as this wonderful granite formation covered with orange lichens. Note that there is very little distortion to this image as I held the lens perfectly square with the world to minimize the distortion causing properties of the lens.

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

An Intimate View of Muskoka's Rosseau River

An Intimate View of Muskoka’s Rosseau River

 

A couple of days ago friend and colleague Kyle McDougall posted a very inspiring short film on his blog. Kyle is a very talented photographer, filmmaker, and cinematographer. The film is centered around landscape painter Terry Gill, who creates very impressive works of art in a unique style. Please do follow this link to Kyle’s blog post and scroll down to the video, click the white triangle to hear Terry’s message. I think you will be glad you did :)

Farmer Jason

Farmer Jason_1264

Every now and then I like to take the blog on a detour and go back to the days when I had dreams of becoming a singer songwriter in Nashville Tennessee, but today we won’t detour to far away from nature or even farming. In short, when I began crafting songs there were four very talented songwriters that influenced my writing; Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, and Jason Ringenberg. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the late Townes Van Zandt twice (Townes is often referred to as one of the best songwriter ever), as well as Guy Clark and Steve Earle. I never had the opportunity to meet Jason Ringenberg, the brainchild behind the legendary band Jason and the Scorchers – the best country band in Nashville. Jason is also an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award winner and is also considered to be one of the pioneers of the modern Americana and alt-country genres.

You may be thinking by now “what does all this have to do with nature?” Well in 2002 Jason Ringenberg created Farmer Jason to educate and entertain children with songs about farm life and the wonders of nature. The Farmer Jason character is based on Mr. Ringenberg’s own farming background and love of the great outdoors. Farmer Jason has released 3 records (A Day at the Farm with Farmer Jason, Rocking in the Forest, and Nature Jams) and a DVD “It’s A Farmer Jason.” He has starred in the “It’s a Farmer Jason” video interstitial program which airs on several PBS stations around the United States, earning 3 Emmy nominations and one Emmy Award win for Best Children’s Program. Farmer Jason’s records have also won numerous awards, including the Parents’ Choice Gold Award and the Los Angeles Times’ Children’s Record of the Year list.

Farmer Jason’s highly acclaimed live show involve sing-alongs, dancing, and discussions about appreciating nature, ecology, and farm animals. Farmer Jason performs solo with only his acoustic guitar (no fancy gimmickry). He is a true showman whose performances are spontaneous and high energy in nature. Even though the shows are aimed at children ages 2 to 8, everyone gets involved.

So folks, if you have children, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren and want to introduce them to some good clean fun, be sure to check out the Farmer Jason records by clicking here. I guarantee that you’ll be singing along too. Follow along and Like the Farmer Jason Facebook page here.

Check out these links for a sample: Punk Rock Skunk & Moose On The Loose.

For the above photo (do click on the photo to see the larger, sharper version) I grabbed my old 1970’s Gibson J200 and placed it on the back deck along with my three Farmer Jason CDs, which my 7 year old daughter Ava absolutely loves. When we go for long drives these records travel along for sing-alongs down the highway. Ava is a big fan of Jason and the Scorchers too :)

 

River Detail on the Rosseau River - Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm, ISO 800, f16 @ 30 seconds

River Detail on the Rosseau River – Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm, ISO 800, f16 @ 30 seconds

I created this image during the summer of 2013. I am only getting around to processing it now. I have been very busy these last few months with not a lot of time to get out for fresh photos, but I am looking forward to this season’s fall colors which seem to be shaping up nicely, so far. When I photograph along rivers I always take the time to seek out intimate views of the river’s details. This image was created quite late on the evening of August 20, 2013 on a clear night, hence the blue tones throughout the photo. Some folks tend to dislike these blue tones often referring to them as a color cast. In scenes such as this though, they can actually add more interest to the resulting image. I was particularly drawn to the curvature and subtle reddish tones in the granite here more so than the flowing water, however, the flowing water does add a nice passage of time element.

Please click on the photo to view the larger, sharper version.

 

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.

 

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