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Archive for September, 2012

Boardwalk at Sifton Bog, London, Ontario

Over the next week I will be hitting the trails, traveling to some of my favorite destinations for fall colour photography. I’ll try to pop back in to say hello and perhaps show a few fresh images during the coming week. For those of you in south-central Ontario I hear that Algonquin Provincial Park is at peak colour now, so it would make a great destination for folks to head out to this weekend coming. I will be there on Monday. The above image is of the boardwalk at Sifton Bog in London, Ontario which I made a quick stop at for a few new photos of the area. Sifton Bog is an Environmentally Significant Area, being one of the southern most acid bogs in all of Canada.

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

See ya soon!

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When it comes to photographing frogs it is rather hard to beat Red-eyed Treefrogs for their photogenic qualities. During a recent photo shoot with numerous captive bred frog species I was thrilled to be able to photograph a lovely Red-eyed Treefrog. Since treefrogs are mostly nocturnal I chose to photograph them perched on potted, tropical plants that would look like a more natural setting and used a small flash to achieve the background I desired for these images. If there is no background close enough to the frog the flash will most often render the background dark, as though the images were created at night.

When I was researching this photo shoot it was important to me that the frogs I was going to photograph were all captive bred. With frog populations in serious decline around the globe I would refuse to photograph any wild caught specimens.

Please remember to click on each of the photos to see the larger, more sharper version and let us know which is your favorite Red-eyed Treefrog photo and why.

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Craigleith shoreline at Georgian Bay

 

Last Saturday I spent the day up at Craigleith, near Collingwood, Ontario on the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay. For landscape photography it is hard to beat the impressive vistas that abound on Georgian Bay. From Killbear to Killarney, the Bruce Peninsula, Flower Pot Island, and the 30,000 Islands the opportunities are endless. The shoreline at Craigleith is of special interest not just for the lovely scenes over the open water but also for the number of fossils that can easily be found here. After helping my daughter look for fossils along the rocky shore, I decided to try a few quick handheld landscapes and crashing wave images. I had to try them handheld as I hadn’t really planned on doing much photography so I left the tripod at home. Yikes! As soon as I saw the incoming waves crashing into the rocky shoreline I sure wished that I had brought the tripod along. I will most certainly be planning a return visit, preferably during windy conditions for some really big waves. Here are a few of the handheld wave images I captured on this day as well as one of the better fossils that we found embedded in the rocky shoreline. The fossil is that of a Trilobite which is roughly 300-400 millions of years old.

The wave images were all photographed with the Nikon D800 and a Nikon 80-400mm VR lens with a polarizing filter attached. The two wider view photos were photographed with the Nikon 12-24mm lens and polarizer on my Nikon D800. To bring out the details in the crashing waves I used the Photoshop plug-in, Color Efex 4 from Nik Software and selected the ‘Tonal Contrast’ filter to emphasize the details in the splashing water.

Hope you enjoy these photo and do remember to click on each image to see the larger, sharper version.

Incoming waves on Georgian Bay

Craigleith shoreline at Georgian Bay

Incoming waves on Georgian Bay

Trilobite fossil at Craigleith, Ontario

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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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Whenever I am out photographing Bullfrogs I can’t resist creating some frogscape images when I come across a cooperative fellow. This male bullfrog was more than cooperative for me as he chose to hang-out under this raised lily pad leaf for three days in a row, before moving on elsewhere in the wetland. I guess it was a cool place to hang out. Photographing images like this have become easier than ever with Live View technology. To create the above image I simply brought the canoe up alongside of the frog, used my wide angle lens set to approximately 35mm, composed the photo, and auto-focused on the eye. I also used a 2-stop neutral density filter to hold back the sky. This is often a necessity for frogscapes as the foreground is usually much darker than the sky. To keep the frog square with the world I always refer to the double bubble level that is in the cameras hot-shoe.
If you haven’t checked out the latest issue of the Creative Photography eMini Magazine yet be sure to click on the link in the sidebar to see the latest issue. And while there do note the first photography contest for the magazine has been announce – The MiniMag Sunflower Photo Contest. All the details you need to know to enter the contest are on the front page of the MiniMagazine and to view some of the great images entered already check out the Facebook Photo Album here. If your image is chosen as the winning image your photo will be featured in the Creative Photography eMiniMagazine and Arthur Morris’ Birds As Art Blog. You will also receive a copy of Denise Ippolito’s must-have eBook ‘Bloomin’ Ideas’ and a free ticket to a 2 day nature photography seminar with Denise and Arthur on Staten Island, New York.

Hope to see your sunflower photos soon. 🙂

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