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Coomon Loon (Gavia immer) Lake SImcoe, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Common Loon

Here are a few recent images that I have captured during this pandemic. All but the Common Loon were photographed n my backyard. The Common Loon was photographed on Lake Simcoe near Barrie, Ontario at first light. Arriving at first light not only ensured killer light but also meant I would have the location all to myself as most folks do not get out to take advantage of the sweet light at sunrise.

Each of the songbird images were created from my photo blind that is set-up in my backyard at a birdfeeder adorned with attractive perches for natural looking photos.

Every image in this post was photographed using the Nikon D500 and Nikkor 200-500mm VR lens with a wide open aperture of f5.6.

During these times of social distancing and self-isolation consider creating your own backyard birdfeeder set-up to see what you might be able to capture. It can be a great way to practice bird photography skills with common species, try new techniques,, and to just have fun and feel good. To guide you through the process of creating simple set-ups from which to photograph garden birds please take a look at Andy Rouse’s Wild Angle -Episode 2 by clicking here.

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Song Sparrow

 

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

White-crowned Sparrow

 

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Male Red-winged Blackbird

 

Cowbird_1620

Female Brown-headed Cowbird

 

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

Chipping Sparrow

 

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

Common Grackle

WILD PLACES COVER

Today I am pleased to announce the release of my 3rd eBook; WILD PLACESExploring the Creative Process of Landscape Photography.

WILD PLACES – Exploring the Creative Process of Landscape Photography is not a book about the technical aspects of landscape photography. It is about the thoughts and decisions that were made, in-the-field, to determine what to include or exclude from the frame to convey visual beauty. Slowing down and making conscious decisions to control the visual elements within the environment will assist you in creating photography that entices the minds and emotions of viewers.

Wild Places features a collection of 110 photographs from Ontario and beyond that will inspire you on your next excursion into wild spaces, as you explore the artistry of the land. Extended captions that correspond to each image provide discussions on the composition, applicable filter selections, and many other useful tidbits of information.

I am often complimented after presenting my various programs for being  an engaging speaker who shares inspiring imagery while explaining various tips and techniques in a way that can be understood by all levels of photographers. This eBook is characteristic of attending one of my photographic presentations.

Price: $20 CAD

To purchase your copy of Wild Places please click here.

Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), Cayman Brac, BWI

Brown Booby in Flight

I returned on March 4th from a two week stay on the remote Caribbean island of Cayman Brac. It was by far a very productive trip with a multitude of great images captured.  As usual the nesting Brown Booby birds put an an awesome show from nesting activities to in flight opportunities.

Sunrise and sunsets were a little trickier to be had this year due to heavy clouds out on the horizon, but nonetheless perseverance paid off. Virtually all of my sunrise and sunset imagery was created using stacked ND and reverse grad filters. The ND filters coupled with the reverse grads allowed me to slow the shutter speed down sufficiently to allow the incoming ocean waves to blur out nice and soft. My choice of filters for these scenes were the Singh-Ray Filters 3-Stop ND Filter, Mor-Slo 5-stop ND FIlter, and the 3_stop Reverse Graduated ND Filter

During my snorkel excursions my Nikon D500 and Nikkor 18-35mm lens inside an Ewa Marine Housing proved perfect for many of the ocean fishes encountered. I had great success with Octopus, Spotted Scorpionfish and many other often difficult to photograph while snorkeling species. I will do a full blog post on the underwater success I had in the near future.

I was also quite ecstatic with finding a very co-operative, female Sister Islands Rock Iguana. These iguanas are sadly critically endangered now, but efforts are underway to lend a helping hand, which entails eradicating  invasive Green Iguanas.

As you scroll down through the images you will see a host of wonderful opportunities that were to be found during this trip. Stay tuned for announcements for the 2021 trip very soon.

Pre-dawn light on Cayman Brac, British West Indies

Daybreak on Cayman Brac

 

Spotted Scorpionfish (Scorpaena plumieri)

Spotted Scorpionfish

 

Sister Island Rock Iguana (Cyclura nubila caymanensis)

Sister Island Rock Iguana

 

Daybreak on the Caribbean Sea at Cayman Brac, BWI

Daybreak on Cayman Brac

 

Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), Cayman Brac, BWI

Brown Booby Preening

 

West Indian Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna arborea), Cayman Brac, BWI

West Indian Whistling Ducks

 

Nesting Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), Cayman Brac, BWI

Brown Booby Family

 

Yellow Stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis), Cayman Brac, BWI

Yellow Stingray

 

Daybreak at Pollard Bay on Cayman Brac, British West Indies

Sunrise at Pollard Bay, Cayman Brac

 

Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris)

Octopus

 

Green Heron (Butorides virescens), Cayman Brac, BWI

Green Heron

 

Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), Cayman Brac, BWI

Willet

 

White-spotted Filefish_7754

White-spotted File Fish

 

Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis), Cayman Brac, BWI

Cuban Tree Frog (invasive on Cayman Brac)

Muskoka Fall Colour Spectacular_2020

Join Andrew McLachlan in Ontario’s Muskoka District on October 5th, 6th, & 7th 2020 for 2 ½ days of in-depth photographic exploration of the finest waterfalls, rivers, forests and wetlands of the region. Embrace the beauty of Muskoka and learn the skills of landscape photography amid the palette of autumn.

Maximum number of participants is 8.

Why worry about dealing with unrelenting crowds in Algonquin Provincial Park when you can enjoy photographing fall colour in Ontario’s Muskoka District without crowds and with better scenery!

Do note that there will be some walking involved on woodland trails over uneven ground. The longest walk will be roughly 1 kilometre in length. Please do not hesitate to inquire should you have any concerns regarding physical limitations that may affect your ability to attend this event. Most of the locations selected are within very close proximity to where we will park our vehicles.

New for all landscape workshop participants is the availability to use the same Singh Ray Filters that I personally use, in-the-field, to explore my creative vision. Find out first-hand why I trust Singh Ray Filters to capture the scene in one frame without the need to spend hours at the computer blending multiple images.

Itinerary:

Monday, October 5th:

• Meet in the parking lot of Brooks Falls (Huntsville area) at 7:00 a.m. for waterfall photo session

• Stop for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

• Oxtongue Rapids & Ragged Falls (Huntsville area) photo session

• Dinner at local restaurant at 7:00 p.m.

• Get some rested for early start on Tuesday

Tuesday, October 6th:

• Meet at 6:00 a.m. at the Sleep Inn Bracebridge and carpool to waterfall for photo sessions

• Stop for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

• Additional waterfall / river sessions

• Sunset photo session – weather permitting

• Complimentary dinner at local restaurant

Wednesday, October 7th:

• Meet at 6:00 a.m. at Sleep Inn Bracebridge and carpool to Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve for sunrise and morning photo session

• Depart for home 12:00 p.m.

What’s Included:

• In-depth photographic instruction during each photo session with LCD review

• Use of various Singh Ray Filters to explore and capture your creative vision

• Complimentary dinner at nearby restaurant on Tuesday October 6th

What’s Not Included:

• Accommodations (I will be staying at the Sleep Inn in Bracebridge – they serve a continental style breakfast)

• Transportation

• Car pooling of participants is encouraged to arrive at each location

• Breakfasts, lunches, and Monday night dinner

• Alcoholic Beverages

Workshop Fee:

$350.00 CDN plus taxes

Payment can be made via email transfer or by cheque.

To reserve your spot in the Muskoka Autumn Colour Spectacular please contact me by clicking here to arrange payment.

Please do not delay in booking your accommodations as hotels / motels in the area will fill up quickly.

Cancellation Policy:

61 Days or greater – full refund less $75 administration fee

60 Days or less – No Refunds

Lake Traverse Photography Retreat_2020

Join Andrew McLachlan for an exclusive, weekend workshop deep in the heart of Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park on scenic Lake Traverse for an opportunity to create stunning imagery from this remote, pristine landscape. This event will be held on September 25, 26, & 27, 2020. Lake Traverse is situated in a remote area of the park and is rich in both history and scenery. To reach this remote destination in Algonquin Provincial Park you must enter the park at the Sand Lake Gate. In the early 1900’s lumber baron J.R. Booth established a private lodge – The Booth Turtle Club on the shores of Lake Traverse. Today remnants of this lodge can be found in the woodlands such as impressive stone fireplaces and a rusted old wreck decaying in the forest. The timing of this event will allow for misty sunrises over Lake Traverse and assuming weather conditions co-operate we are in one of the best locations in all of Ontario to photograph the night sky and possibly the aurora borealis. Furthermore, we are situated a short walking distance from picturesque waterfalls on the Petawawa River.

Our accommodations for this event will be at the Algonquin Radio Observatory, located on the shores of Lake Traverse. The Algonquin Radio Observatory is closed to the public and inaccessible. However, exclusive access has been granted to our workshop group for this event. A tour of the immense satellite has been arranged during the mid-day hours on Saturday, when lighting for photography is generally at its worst. Also available to participants is the use of canoes and kayaks during the mid-day hours to explore the lake on your own.

A quick note about the Algonquin Radio Observatory:

The Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO) is Canada’s national radio observatory featuring Canada’s premiere Earth station facility. ARO is a division of space technology company Thoth Technology Inc.

Completed and commissioned in the 1965, ARO’s 46m antenna is the largest antenna in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The observatory is situated on a 100 acre wild and breathtakingly beautiful site in the North of Algonquin Provincial Park on Lake Traverse, deep inside the park. The observatory hosts a suite of state-of-the-art scientific equipment including its own atomic clock and still operates with a state-of-the-art technical capability.

ARO is the official ground station for Northern Light, Canada’s mission to Mars.

Itinerary:

Friday September 25:

Meet & Greet Dinner at 6:00 p.m. follow by photographic presentation and a nightscape photo session (assuming weather conditions co-operate)

Saturday September 26:

Morning Photo Session (6am – 10am followed by breakfast, tour of satellite, Petawawa River Session, Rusty Old Wreck Session, Evening Photo Session, Nightscape Session (assuming weather conditions co-operate)

Sunday September 27:

Morning photo session (6am – 10am) followed by breakfast. Checkout is at 11:00 a.m. however, participants are permitted to explore other areas of the park at their leisure for the remainder of the day.

Do Note: Each location we will be photographing at is a short walking distance from our home base at the Algonquin Radio Observatory.

What’s Included:

• In-depth landscape photography instruction by yours truly

• Vast selection of Singh Ray Filters to try out

• Lodging at Algonquin Radio Observatory (included with payment to lodge)

• Friday – dinner (included with payment to lodge)

• Saturday – breakfast, lunch, & dinner (included with payment to lodge)

• Sunday – breakfast (included with payment to lodge)

What’s not included:

• Transportation to the Algonquin Radio Observatory

• A 3 day, daily vehicle permit fee must be purchased at the Sand Lake Gate to enter the park. This vehicle permit will allow participants to remain in the park until 10:00 pm on Sunday.

• Snacks

• Alcoholic Beverages

Workshop Fee:

Important note: The fees for this year’s event are broken down into two stages. One to Andrew McLachlan for the workshop and the other payment direct to the lodge for meals and accommodation.

The workshop fee is $350 + HST. Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer. In order to register for this workshop payment of this fee is due now.

By July 1, 2020 the accommodation and meal fee must be paid directly to the Algonquin Radio Observatory by email transfer. Details will be provided to registrants at the time of booking. The fees for meals and accommodation are as follows:

Double occupancy = $285 + HST per person

Single Occupancy = $325+HST per person

Waiver of Liability forms will be signed by registrants at the meet and greet dinner on Friday September 25th.

This workshop is open to a maximum of 15 participants.

To reserve your spot in this exclusive workshop please contact me by clicking here.

Cancellation Policy:

Prior to July 1, 2020 workshop fee refunded less $75 administration fee.

As of July 1, 2020 no refunds

Dednrobates tinctorius - captive

The next Frogs of the World Photographic Workshop will be held on Saturday March 14, 2020 at Lifelike Imaging in Mississauga, Ontario (10:00 am to 3:00 pm)

The space for this workshop is limited to a maximum of 8 participants to allow ample time for folks to photograph each species of frog.

These are the only workshops available in Canada whereby you will be able to capture stunning imagery of 15 – 20 different species of frogs and toads from all over the world. We will be photographing numerous varieties of dart frogs endemic to the Amazon rainforest, and several other species of frogs from Costa Rica, South America, and Madagascar. It would cost tens of thousands of dollars to explore the jungles of the world, with hired guides, on your own, in hopes of photographing a mere fraction of these species. These workshops, in partnership with Understory Enterprises, will bring you an incredible opportunity to photograph these 15 – 20 species of frogs in a comfortable atmosphere with natural, pleasing studio set-ups.

Epipedobates tricolor

The recommended gear for photographing these tiny frogs is a macro lens and off camera flash. Alternately, using high quality close-up filters such as the Canon 500D filters will allow many lenses such as the Nikon 80-400mm or Canon 100-400mm to focus close enough for these small subjects. Please contact me here if you have any equipment inquiries when registering for this workshop. I also have custom made flash diffusers that will allow folks to capture stunning imagery using camera mounted flash as well. A note about flash use; you should possess a basic understanding of how to operate your flash and make +/- adjustments to flash output.

Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided during the workshop.

La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinbatrachium valerioi) - captive

To register for this workshop contact me by clicking here .

Payments can be made via email transfer or by cheque made payable to Andrew McLachlan.

Hope to see you there!

The one day cost of the workshop is $195 CDN plus applicable taxes ($195 +$25.35 HST = $220.35 CDN).

Cancellation Policy:

31 days prior to workshop date 50% refund

30 days prior to workshop date no refund

Ranitomeya imitator 'nominal' - captive

The 3rd Annual Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop wrapped up today. This year we were blessed with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark with no wind whatsoever. It was quite lovely to be able to photograph without the constant need for gloves to keep fingertips warm. We also had mostly overcast conditions which is the best light of all for photographing the woodland waterfalls we were visiting. A relatively shallow bed of snow also made for mostly easy walking along the trails, although the mild weather did create a few sections where we had to be careful of slip and fall due to icy sections. Nonetheless, we succeeded in completing our visits without incident. I always recommend to folks to bring along crampons for added traction along trails that may have icy sections.

Below is a selection of imagery created at each of our stops on this one-of-a-kind workshop in Ontario’s Muskoka region. I used a variety of lenses from my trusty Laowa 12mm Zero D lens, to my Nikkor 28-300mm lens, and also my Nikkor 200-500mm lens, which is very useful for reaching out into rivers to capture icy details on exposed rocks and such. My filter choices for the vast majority of all my winter photography are those created by Singh Ray Filters and my go to filter choices are neutral polarizers and neutral density filters.

Folks that may be interested in attending the 4th Annual Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Workshop or any other events that I have or will announce this year can contact me by clicking here to be added to my workshop contact list 🙂

Potts Creek in winter, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

Potts Creek in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Skeleton Creek in winter at Hatchery Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Skeleton Falls Details in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Skeleton River in winter at Skeleton Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Skeleton Falls in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Rosseau River at Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Rosseau River in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Potts Creek in winter, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

Potts Creek Details in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Potts Creek in winter, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

Little High Falls in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Rosseau River at Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Rosseau River in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Skeleton River in winter at Skeleton Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Skeleton Falls in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Rosseau River at Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Rosseau River Details in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

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