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Posts Tagged ‘nature photography’

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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

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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

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