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Posts Tagged ‘Parry Sound’

A Large Male Bullfrog on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

A Large Male Bullfrog on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

I created this bullfrog portrait last summer on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario. The easiest way to create such images of bullfrogs is to do so from a canoe. Bullfrogs are generally quite approachable and will often tolerate you sliding up beside them in a canoe. By using the Live View mode on my Nikon D800 with a Nikon 105mm Micro lens attached I was able to hand-hold the rig just above the water’s surface for a low perspective – the lens hood was actually dipping into the water slightly. When you photograph frogs in the water from such low perspectives you will be able to get the accompanying reflection. To ensure that I am holding the camera square with the world I place a double-bubble level in the camera’s hot-shoe, alternately you could activate the virtual horizon feature while in the Live View mode. It is also advisable to use auto-focus while doing so as the last thing you need to worry about while leaning over the edge of your canoe is focusing the lens manually.

I am eagerly awaiting this season’s Bullfrog photography on Horseshoe Lake as I will be experimenting with the Sony RX100 in an underwater housing for a completely new perspective on froggies.

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

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Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Nikon 18-35mm

This past summer I created numerous frog-scape photographs using either the new AFS Nikkor 18-35mm f3.5-4.5G ED Lens or the Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fish-eye Lens. Nikon’s new 18-35mm lens allows a close focusing of 12 inches while the Sigma Fish-eye focuses down to 5.9 inches, which is almost a full 4 inches closer than that of Nikon’s 16mm fish-eye lens (being able to focus closer with the Sigma lens is a huge advantage). The main difference between using the fish-eye lens versus using the wide angle zoom for frog-scapes is that the fish-eye lens will distort the horizon line giving it a rounded appearance, while the wide angle zoom will keep the horizons straight. I like both perspective equally so I will often change lenses to create two variations, especially when the subjects are being co-operative.

As you scroll through my favorite frog-scapes created last summer at the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario, do note the captions that indicate which lens was used to create each of the images.

Please click on each image to see the larger, sharper versions and please take a moment to let me know which ones are your favorites.

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fish-eye Lens

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Nikon 18-35mm

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Nikon 18-35mm

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

 

 

 

 

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6 Image Multiple Exposure with a Pan Blur

6 Image Multiple Exposure with a Pan Blur

During my last day at the family cottage, during the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I was playing around with capturing multiple exposures with my Nikon D800 set to take six images before assembling each image into one multiple exposure. Above you will see a newly optimized image that I came across during a recent edit of the images photographed on that weekend. For the image above I incorporated two sideways pan blurs into the mix when capturing the series of 6 images and came up with the above result. I kinda like it…what do you think? :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Image Multiple Exposure of Autumn Forest Scene. Parry Sound, Ontario

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Autumn Forest Scene. Parry Sound, Ontario

On the Canada Thanksgiving Weekend I arrived at the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario to close-up for the coming winter. Most often this weekend is when the fall colors are at their peak condition in this region of Ontario however, this year they were past peak, with significant leaf fall. Below the forest canopy there was some lingering color and I decided to try my hand some additional multiple exposures while taking my dog Koko for her morning walk each day. I captured countless multiple renditions and thought I would share three of my favorites.

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

6 Image Multiple Exposure of White Birch and Autumn Color

6 Image Multiple Exposure of White Birch in Autumn. Parry Sound, Ontario.

 

6 Image Multiple Exposure in Sugar Maple Forest. Parry Sound, Ontario.

6 Image Multiple Exposure in Sugar Maple Forest. Parry Sound, Ontario.

 

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Male Bullfrog on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Technical Specs:
ISO 6400
f22 @ 1/40 second
Live View
Hand-Held

The last couple of weeks have been rather hectic, after returning from the cottage on Horseshoe Lake in Ontario’s Parry Sound Region I was only home for a couple of days prior to heading back to the cottage. During my first of the two stays I spent several nights working with the Bullfrogs. By the time I had noticed this fella with his head lifted nicely out of the water it was already getting quite dark out, as can be seen by the late setting sun reflecting in the frog’s right eye. I could have easily given up and called it a night, but if you don’t push yourself or the limits of your gear you will not know what is achievable down the road. It is very important for photographers to get to know both their limits and those of their equipment.

To create the above portrait of this male American Bullfrog I positioned my canoe in front of him and then sat in the bottom of the canoe for increased stability. Then utilizing the Live View feature of my D800, a bubble-level in the hot-shoe and a Nikon 105mm Micro Lens I framed the image. To capture the low perspective the camera and lens were hand-held at the water’s surface. In fact, both the lens hood and quick release plate were getting wet. As night was quickly falling upon the frog and I an ISO of 6400 was dialed in, which gave me 1/40 seconds at f22. The small aperture was necessary to maximize the depth of field at this close range. The canoe was sitting relatively stable due to very shallow water conditions at this location within the marsh and prior to pressing the shutter I took a breath then I clicked the shutter while holding the breath. This technique will help keep your body relatively still for slower than desired exposures, producing a better percentage of keepers.

When viewing the above image on my computer after I arrived home, I was quite impressed with the low-level of noise present at such a high ISO. It is critical to maintain proper exposure by remembering to expose to the right (ETTR). If you have to brighten a poorly exposed frame you will surely introduce noise into the image. In Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) I did perform a tiny bit of noise reduction and later in Photoshop I removed several dust bunnies :) Otherwise this is how the image appeared on the LCD screen in the marsh.

After I created several frames of this fella he lunged forward and gobbled up a smaller frog that I had not noticed, in one quick motion. Bullfrogs are notorious for their canabalistic tendencies.

Please click on the image to see the larger, sharper version and the D800 quality at high ISOs.

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Spring Peepers_7318Spring Peepers, Parry Sound, Ontario

To follow-up on my previous post regarding Spring Peeper clean-up, there is on occasion when I may find it necessary to perform little clean-up at all. The above image illustrates one such situation. These treefrogs were located far up a sandy bank of the pond among some small twigs. I do not often encounter such interactions between spring peepers and I have never photographed two in the frame with one singing before, so I was delighted to find this very co-operative pair.  As you can see it would be a nightmare to attempt cleaning up the grains of sand from the frog’s skin and I do think the grains of sand and small twigs help illustrate the environment in which these frogs were found. I did perform some clean-up of the flash generated spectral highlights as this is a night-time capture. Night-time is my preferred and most productive time of day for frog photography. Why? Most frog species are nocturnal and are most active at night.

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

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Frosted Oak Sapling

Yikes! I was going through some old folders of photos the other day and I came across this series of frosty photos that were photographed during one final walk at the cottage prior to closing up for the winter – way back in 2009. Not sure if it I forgot about them, never found the time to optimize them, or waited for them to get better with age. Each photo was created with my Nikon D200 and the Nikon 105mm Micro lens firmly mounted on a tripod. The images with the Sugar Maple leaves on Haircap Moss were essentially set-up. Often when it looks like there will be frost in the forecast, I will typically look for a few colorful leaves that are in decent condition and lay them out on the moss for a preconceived compositional idea. While I lay sound asleep the frost does its thing, and I awake before the sun has a chance to melt the frosted elements.

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

Autumn Sugar Maple Leaf on Haircap Moss with Reindeer Lichen

Autumn Oak and Frost

Autumn Sugar Maple Leaf on Haircap Moss

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Western Willet on Liebeck Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario

During my last trip up to the Parry Sound Region I decided it was time to take my 5 year old daughter on an excursion to Liebeck Lake. This is a small, cottageless lake found deep in the forest near the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake. A trail extends through the woods for roughly 3 kilometres before arriving at the lake and then the trail continues for about another kilometre as it follows the shoreline of the lake before it comes to an end at the Seguin Trail. Despite what you will read below we did have a wonderful time and my daughter was given the piggy-back ride all the way back to the cottage, which I promised her if she would walk all the way out to the lake with me.

Liebeck Lake is a beautiful lake and the water level of the lake is somewhat controlled by beaver dams. Once, about 10-15 years ago one of the dams sprung a leak and the water level dropped quite a bit. History repeated itself this year. During my visit to the lake with my daughter we were able to explore the newly exposed shoreline which is essentially a large mudflat now. While there I noticed a lone western willet feeding on the mudflat and shallows and I was able to get a few decent photos despite the relatively harsh lighting. When the lake level drops like this it exposes part of the areas history with the logging days of the late 1800s and early 1900s evident in the many dead-heads that are usually submerged when the lake levels are normal. These dead-heads tend to make interesting photo subjects themselves.

Please do remember to click on each of the photos to see a much larger, sharper version.

Dead-head on newly exposed shoreline of Liebeck Lake

Dead-heads on newly exposed shoreline of Liebeck Lake

A lovely trail leading us through the woods to a beautiful, quiet lake; the newly exposed shoreline covered with a multitude of Moose and Black Bear tracks and sandpipers arriving at the newly exposed mudflats to feast before continuing their migration south. Not so my friends! When I swing my camera to the left all you can see is a mudflat chewed up by thoughtless folks who have taken their ATVs out for a joy ride in the mud. The lovely quiet trail now looks more like a hideous logging road. Don’t get me wrong now…I have nothing against ATVs, they do serve a purpose but when the folks that drive them off through the woodland trails and wreck havoc on them or destroy shoreline habitat like you see in the photos below I get pissed off. Their are designated trails for ATVs and there are folks who abide them and respect nature and then there are the others…..

ATV damage on Liebeck Lake

What was once the lovely woodland trail to Liebeck Lake

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I don’t photograph near as many outdoor lifestyle images as I would like to. This is probably due to the very fact that I tend to arrive at my chosen destinations during inclement weather, while most folks are still tucked in their beds, after peak summer vacation periods when the human presence is almost non-existent, or folks are not wearing clothing with eye-catching colour. On a few occasions I will wear some colourful clothing such as a red t-shirt or jacket while out in the field, so that when I come across a scene that would simply work more effectively with a human being within the photo I can set the self-timer feature on my camera and jump into the photo.

On a recent weekend getaway to the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario while I was sitting down to breakfast with my daughter, my brother Gregg McLachlan, the founder of WorkCabin, Canada’s  Environmental Jobsite was preparing to go for a morning paddle in his kayak. I knew immediately that his yellow kayak and red life-jacket would look stunning against the blues and greens from the sky and forest reflecting in the water’s of the lake. As I carefully framed each of the photos so not to clip Gregg’s reflection, I pressed the shutter for a series of images only when the kayak paddle was approaching the position that I favoured. I was then able to select the photos with just the right position or angle that the kayak paddle was being held. Here are three of my favourite images of Gregg kayaking on the water’s of Horseshoe Lake.

Do remember to click on each photo to see the larger, sharper version. Also note that I have now added a clickable photo in the sidebar to link you directly to Denise Ippolito’s ‘Creative Photography eMini Magazine’ which is a free to subscribe to magazine that is loaded with great info.

 

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Lower Rosseau Falls with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 8mm

During my last trip up to the Parry Sound region Gentec International the distributor for Sigma lenses in Canada was kind enough to loan me a Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6 DC HSM lens for a special project that I am working on at the moment. Since this lens is designed for use with DSLRs that have the APS-C sized sensors, I had originally planned to use this lens with my old Nikon D200, but I had also just received a call that my Nikon D800 had arrived and was waiting to be picked up. A new lens to play with and a camera body that I was unfamiliar with – Yikes! Fortunately, the Nikon D800 automatically crops/adjusts to lenses designed for use with APS-C sensors and with the ‘Live View’ feature and high ISO capabilities I knew this lens and camera combination would be perfect for the images I envisioned photographing with it. When the lens arrived I was immediately impressed with the build quality and the zoom and focus rings just felt right. The lens is an autofocus lens with manual over-ride just like all my Nikon lenses have. I  primarily wanted to use the lens for wetland related imagery and to take the lens over to a picturesque waterfall that was nearby. Due to the design of the front lens element filters cannot be attached to this lens, but that is no reason to pass up this little beauty. With a lens that provides such a wide angle of view you don’t really want to add a polarizer anyway, as you will certainly have lots of blotchy blues throughout the sky. There were a couple of instances where I would have liked to add a graduated neutral density filter into the mix but could not, however, these scenes are easily captured as HDR images nowadays, allowing you to over-come such situations. Knowing that filters cannot be attached you simply need to pick the time of day you photograph certain subjects a little more carefully, as a result I made my way over to Lower Rosseau Falls at dusk when the light would be low enough to allow for long exposures to blur river’s flow. It was a blustery evening though and you will notice much movement in the trees and leaves of the surrounding forest. I found this lens to extremely useful at Lower Rosseau Falls as some of vantage points are not possible unless you are using a wide lens such as this one. Below are two additional images from Lower Rosseau Falls.

Lower Rosseau Falls with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 9mm

Lower Rosseau Falls with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 8mm

The images below are some of the photos I envisioned capturing and they would not have been possible without the Sigma 8-16mm lens. Whenever I test out a potential new lens to include in my gear bag I consider them to be merely tools to do a job. I am seldom concerned with the high-tech stuff that you can read about on the internet. The Sigma 8-16mm lens turned out to be the perfect tool for me to capture the wetland imagery I had hoped too. Without the lens’ close focusing capabilities of 9.4 inches throughout the entire zoom range I would have been unable to create the bullfrog and water lily images you see. In fact, with the lens stopped down to about f16 the depth-of-field will allow you to focus a little closer than the 9.4″ minimum. The photographs below were all created, handheld, in ‘Live View’ mode while extending my arms out from the canoe to hold the camera and lens just above the surface of the water, often my left hand was partially submerged while doing this. To make sure that I was square with the world a bubble level was placed in the hot-shoe of the camera. By using the ‘Live View’ feature I was easily able to tell if I was too close for the lens to focus or not. If so I would simply back off a little until the frog or blossom came into focus. I had to make a few tries with the bullfrog before he began to tolerate the lens being only a few inches away. One thing that I noticed with using such a wide angle lens in close like this was the lens’ shadow on the surface of the water. This happened most often when trying to hold the lens just above the subject, but once the lens was positioned for a ‘frog’s eye view’ the shadow problem was eliminated.

Bullfrog with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 14mm

Bullfrog with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 8mm

Bullfrog with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 16mm

Horseshoe Lake Wetland with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 8mm

Bullfrog habitat with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 8mm

Water Lilies with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 16mm

Water Lily on Horseshoe Lake with the Sigma 8-16mm lens at 8mm

In short, this is a fun lens that delivers superb quality and sharpness throughout the zoom range. You may notice in the Water Lily image above and in the second Bullfrog image that there is a touch of out of focus in the foreground, those are simply areas that are too close for the lens to focus on, but I do think the images are still successful images. During my week long visit to the Parry Sound region this lens spent much of the time affixed to my D800. I loved it and the images I created with it were fun to shoot too. I can’t wait to add this lens to my everyday gear bag. Photography is about having fun creating photographs and this lens certainly delivers tons of fun. I highly recommend this lens for the big wide world. It is available in mounts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Sigma cameras.

Please remember to click on each photo to see a much larger and sharper version of the images and send us a note letting us know which is your favorite.

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