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Posts Tagged ‘landscape photography’

Rosseau River_600

During my last stay at the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake in Ontario’s Muskoka region I chose to visit Lower Rosseau Falls on a rain-filled day. As I made the half hour trek over to the river there was a persistent drizzle, which is absolutely perfect for waterfall photography. As soon as I arrived, as luck would have it, the skies began to look as though it was going to clear up. I rushed to garb a few images before the river was in full sun. Rather than depart and head back when the sun shone full, I decided to play around with the Nikon D800’s in-camera HDR feature for both the sunlit scenes and the those whereby I waited for some cloud cover. This feature will produce a 108 MB TIFF file!

What else is new with the images in this post? I have processed and sharpened all of them using the new TKAction Panel from Tony Kuyper. If you enjoy photographing landscapes and wish to get the absolute most out of your image files then simply click here and read through and watch the videos as well. On the Special Offer page you can purchase the complete package for only $79US.

Please click on the images to see the larger, sharper versions and let me know which one is your favorite :)

Rosseau River_611

Rosseau River_637

Rosseau River_626

 

 

 

Rosseau River_659

 

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Male Bullfrog Among Water Lily Leaves, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

Male Bullfrog Among Water Lily Leaves, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

Alas, the time of year has come where I head north to the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake in Ontario’s Parry Sound region. As a result the blog will be quiet for about one week. I hope to return with a new batch of froggie pics and even a few new images from one of Ontario’s premier photographic locations – Killbear Provincial Park. Below you will see a Black & White conversion of an image created at Killbear Provincial Park during one of my numerous visits last year.

In the bullfrog image above, if you click on it to see the larger, sharper version you will see the clear translucent skin floating beside the frog. Did you know that frog’s shed their skin and eat it too?

See ya all soon :)

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Storm Clouds Rolling Over Farmland, Bradford, Ontario

Storm Clouds Rolling Over Farmland, Bradford, Ontario

 

Today’s image is a repost of an image that was featured last summer. The approaching storm clouds that were rolling over this Bradford area farm last summer were from a storm system that ended up causing widespread flooding in the city of Toronto.

On Tuesday evening I found myself smack-dab in the middle of another wild and wicked storm system, but was unable to create any images of the storm due to its violent nature. As it turned out my daughter was to be in Angus, Ontario for a rehearsal for an up coming dance recital. Once I had picked her up from school we arrived home for a quick dinner, then got dressed for the dance rehearsal, and on our way. As we headed west along our sideroad I could see ominous black clouds looming on the horizon. It was not too long into our drive before gale force winds were blowing a significant amount of rain across the roadways and reducing visibility quite drastically. In fact driving through this rain storm was probably some of the worst weather conditions I have ever driven in, including winter storms. I can say that my trusty Subaru never faltered, even though the roadways were like flowing rivers.

We arrived at the theatre for the rehearsal on time and the storm had dissipated by the time we arrived as well. What I did not know, but became aware of afterwards was that only a few kilometres away from our rehearsal location, a tornado touched down and destroyed roughly 100 homes. The winds of this storm were estimated to be in excess of 200 km per hour. Fortunately no lives were lost.

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

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Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Ontario, Canada

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

How often do you revisit locations for landscape photography? I do so often. Why? As each season passes and years fall away conditions change. These images of Lower Rosseau Falls in Ontario’s famous Muskoka region are the perfect example. Over the last few years the water levels have been much lower, but with the region being hit with a significant amount of snowfall this past winter, the subsequent snowmelt has raised water levels so that the river is now a raging torrent. This has created numerous, new photographic possibilities and has seen the return of the double cascade created by the rock mid-stream in the above photo.

To find out how to get to Lower Rosseau Falls and to learn more about great Ontario landscape photography locations please consider my eBook “A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape” – the first ever comprehensive guide to landscape photography in Ontario.

Do click on each of these images to see the larger, sharper versions.

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

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A Waterfall Along the Nottawasaga River, Organgeville, Ontario

Secluded Woodland Waterfall on the Nottawasaga River near Orangeville, Ontario

The above artistic rendering of a small waterfall located along the Nottawasaga River near Orangeville, Ontario was created using the Photoshop plug-in Topaz Simplify, which is available from Topaz Labs. I visited this waterfall a few years ago and have had the image sitting on the back-burner ever since. This evening I decided it was time to optimize the image file and play around with creating a painterly-like version of it as well. Below you will see the original version of this lovely, secluded waterfall.

Secluded Woodland Waterfall on the Nottawasaga River. Orangeville, Ontario.

Secluded Woodland Waterfall on the Nottawasaga River near Orangeville, Ontario.

In other news: the May issue of the Creative Photography E-Mini-Magazine (The Mini-Mag) is now available on-line here. This wonderful, absolutely free, on-line creative photography magazine is published monthly by Denise Ippolito. Do check out this magazine that is full of useful and creative tips and to see the latest froggie article by yours truly click here.

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Along the Pinguisibi Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario.

Along the Pinguisibi Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario.

A quick post to show the benefits of using a fish-eye lens in the forest. These images were created during my September 2013 trip to Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park. I often enjoy walking along forest paths with a fish-eye lens on hand for  such distorted, intimate views. On this trip I was using a Sigma 15mm f.2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fish-eye Lens, which was on load from Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma lenses. For those of you who are unfamiliar with using a fish-eye lens I urge you to give one a try as they a fun and highly addictive tool to use in the field. I often use them handheld for unique landscape perspectives and they are great for use in creating starbursts too :)

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

A Clearing in the Forest, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario

A Clearing in the Forest, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario

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Sunrise at Tiny Marsh with early sign of the ice starting to break-up

Sunrise at Tiny Marsh with early sign of the ice starting to break-up

Today I awoke at 4:30 a.m. to start my 45 minute drive to the Tiny Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area in Elmvale, Ontario. I have never had a disappointing day at Tiny Marsh and I often am rewarded with something I did not quite expect to capture during each visit. Today would be no exception. As usual I like to arrive with plenty of time to walk out along the main dike that extends out into the marsh, as I often find this to be most productive for sunrise imagery. Spring is getting underway a little slower here as the wetlands are still quite frozen over, a result of the extended, brutal cold we endured this winter which in turn created thick ice on the lakes and wetlands. In the image below you can see that things are starting to open up some now.

Tiny Marsh at sunrise in early spring

Tiny Marsh at sunrise in early spring

It was a cold morning with lightly formed ice on the surfaces of the newly open water sections. Along the edges of the marsh I noticed thousands of dead catfish, a result of winter kill, which is a common occurrence and quite simply a part of mother nature. These dead catfish will provide food for numerous wildlife, including racoons, snapping turtles, and many others. Having never encountered such an abundance of dead fish from winter kill I could not help but create a few images of them frozen beneath the ice.

Brown Bullhead Catfish winter kill

Brown Bullhead Catfish winter kill at Tiny Marsh

Brown Bullhead Catfish winter kill at Tiny Marsh

Brown Bullhead Catfish winter kill at Tiny Marsh

Tiny Marsh also supports a very large breeding population of Canada Geese and during today’s there were a few pairs hanging out in the open water near the main parking lot. In the distance you could hear the loud cackles of the majority of the marsh’s population.

Canada Geese at Tiny Marsh in early spring

Canada Geese at Tiny Marsh in early spring

Lastly, I wanted to scout out the boardwalk trail to see how things were looking for some of my soon to commence frog photography. The ice has receded completely in this area of the marsh but the water levels are very high this year – a result of the significant snowfall this past winter. I slowly made my way along the boardwalk, which was sinking into the water as I walked along it, and by the time I was done my feet were thoroughly soaked.

Tiny Marsh Boardwalk Trail submerged due to high water levels

Tiny Marsh Boardwalk Trail submerged due to high water levels

For folks that have never visited Tiny Marsh before I urge you to add it to your list of must see destinations, as it never disappoints. For private in-the-field photographic instruction please be sure to check out my newly added Workshops page on the blog by clicking here.

Long Point Workshop

For folks that are interested in a photographic workshop / tour to the tip of the Long Point Peninsula on Lake Erie, a destination that is only accessible by boat be sure to follow this link for further information. This workshop will take place on Saturday, May 31st.

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Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

It was in bright, afternoon sunlight that I found myself along the shore of Lake Superior at the mouth of the Coldwater River in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park, during my trip to the park in September of 2013. I knew that I wanted to create an image whereby the waves on the lake would be blurred to a smooth texture so that they would not compete with the other elements within the composition. But the light was too bright to obtain a slow enough shutter speed to allow for this vision. At the last minute before departing for Lake Superior I decided to throw the B&W 10-stop Neutral Density Filter in my gear bag.I was glad I did. After attaching the filter to the lens I had the extended exposure that was needed for this composition. The above images was the result of a 15 second exposure that blurred the wave action on the lake and captured the passage of the swiftly moving cotton clouds.

For folks planning to attend the upcoming Long Point Workshop I will have this filter on hand for anyone that may wish to give it a try. If you missed the Long Point Workshop announcement you can find it by clicking here for more information.

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

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Long Point, Lake Erie, Ontario, Canada

Long Point, Lake Erie, Ontario, Canada

Join me on Saturday May 31st for my inaugural and unique workshop / photo tour, being sponsored by WorkCabin, to the tip of the Long Point Peninsula on Lake Erie. Long Point is a 40 kilometre sandspit that extends far out into Lake Erie and remains one of the last most remote wild places in Ontario, only accessible by boat. It was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere in 1986. The Long Point peninsula is of international significance and comprises one of the most important wetland complexes in southern Canada. Many threatened and endangered species call Long Point home. The typical terrain at the tip of Long Point is one of sand dunes with some wetland habitat in close proximity to the lighthouse.

We will plan to arrive on the tip at 7:30 am and will remain there until 11:30 am at which time we will assemble for the return trip. This means that we will meet the boat captain at approximately 6:00 am at Pier 67 Restaurant at the Turkey Point Marina to sign waiver forms and be given a full orientation on safety before boarding the vessel. The boat that will take us across Lake Erie is a 24 foot Zodiac, previously used by the Canadian Coast Guard as a rescue vessel in the North Atlantic Ocean. This vessel is fast, but smooth and is designed to ride over top of the waves, absorbing them. The boat also meets the strict regulations of transport Canada’s small vessel registry, and is a registered commercial small vessel. Our boat captain is very experienced and knowledgeable on Lake Erie (one of his great ancestors was the second lighthouse keeper back in 1844) and will ensure our safe travel to the tip. Lake Erie is known for its changing weather conditions. If it is not safe for us to cross to Long Point on the morning of the workshop he will inform us, and if he anticipates approaching weather conditions that are adverse while we are on the tip he may need to assemble the group earlier than planned to ensure our safety and return to the mainland. Do keep in mind that we will be more than halfway across Lake Erie and the Long Point Peninsula contains the largest collection of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes. This is simply the nature of visiting such a remote photographic destination.

I would advise folks to bring along a plastic bag to protect their photographic equipment from wave and wind conditions while traveling across the lake and a warm weather resistant jacket as well. Temperatures on the point can be cooler than on the mainland. Once we arrive at the tip it we will have a wet landing so folks should plan to wear rubber boats, I will be wearing my hip waders.

My brother Gregg McLachlan is the founder of WorkCabin.ca, Canada’s largest conservation-focused environmental job board, and is also a nature photographer who lives near Long Point. He will be assisting me with this workshop.

The cost of this workshop is $250+HST, which includes the zodiac trip to the tip. We will need a minimum of 4 participants for this workshop to run and it is open to a maximum of 9 participants. Folks interested in attending this workshop should shoot me an email for further info to my personal address: mclachlan@bell.net in case I am away from the office or out in the field.

Hope you will join us to this remote destination.

Long Point sand dunes

Long Point Sand Dunes

Long Point Sand Dunes

Long Point Sand Dunes

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Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

This morning I awoke at 5:00 a.m. to begin my journey north to Ontario’s Muskoka region to meet up with fellow photographer / friend Kyle McDougall. Do take a moment to check out Kyle’s work as he is a very talented photographer.The plan was to visit several of the areas secluded, woodland waterfalls. The weather forecast was for cloudy conditions with temperatures hovering around 2-3 degrees Celsius. Perfect weather for a comfortable day photographing winter waterfalls.

Ontario’s Muskoka region has been hit hard this winter with tons of snowfall. There is roughly four feet of snow on the ground and significant ice formation at some of the waterfalls, due to the brutal cold temperatures encountered this winter. At each of  the destinations it was somewhat tricky getting into position for some of the images as I would often sink to my waist in deep snow along the riverbanks. My lower back problems did not appreciate this very much and are now getting even with me for heading off without my snowshoes.

Potts Creek, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Potts Creek, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (10-stop Neutral Density Filter Used)

On today’s waterfall excursion I experimented with some new techniques, gear, and camera features. In the image that opens this blog post I used the focus stacking technique, whereby I created three separate images with each focused at a different point from foreground to horizon and then assembled them in photoshop to create one image file. In the above image at Potts Creek I was very disappointed to see lots of foam floating in the creek below the falls, but I noted that it was floating around in a circular motion. By attaching a B&W 10-stop Neutral Density Filter to the lens I was able to create an image with a 30 second exposure that would record the circular motion making it a pleasing element within the composition.

Skeleton Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Skeleton Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (in-camera HDR)

The final experiment I tried was setting my Nikon D800 to it’s in-camera HDR function. By doing so the camera would create a natural-looking TIFF file of 100 MB. I was quite pleased with the in-camera HDR results and will use this mode often. For winter imagery I found it opened up the shadowed areas nicely and brought out the greens in the cedar trees well too. While optimizing these images I chose to add a touch of Nik / Google’s Detail Extractor filter from Color Efex 4 to bring out the fine details in the snow.

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

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