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Archive for October, 2015

American Toad (male) chorusing in wetland at night. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Handheld

American Toad (male) chorusing in wetland at night.
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Handheld

It has been quite some time since I have played around with the Photoshop Plug-in Fractalius. On October 15th a new version of Fractalius was released (Version 2.51) and I decided I would upgrade to this version and give it a try. I have always loved using the previous versions of Fractalius to created artistic renderings of my frog and toad imagery, so it was only natural that I select such an image to experiment with this latest version. Above is an image of a male American Toad (Bufo americanus) with it’s vocal sac fully inflated while chorusing in a wetland at night during last spring’s breeding season. Below is the same toad image as it appearred in the Fractalius software interface page. Please note the slider settings if you wish to try such an effect out on one of your own images. Once I was happy with my slider adjustment settings I saved these settings as a custom preset, calling it “Glow Wire For Frogs,” so that I can recall the same settings for any future images that I wish to apply a similar effect too.

Fractalius Version 2.51 Interface

Fractalius Version 2.51 Interface

And below you will see the final version of the Fractalius rendering on the American Toad image. If you look closely you wil notice that I have erased the effect of the Fractalius filter from the toad’s eyeball, allowing the natural eye to be visible.

American Toad With Fractalius Rendering Applied

American Toad With Fractalius Rendering Applied

 

While this effect may not be everybody’s cup of tea, it can be fun to play around and experiment with various effects and ideas. What do you think of this American Toad rendering?

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Autumn Colour, Parry Sound, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 200-55mm VR Lens @ 500mm ISO 800, f11 @ 1/100 sec Handheld from canoe

Autumn Color, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens @ 500mm
ISO 800, f11 @ 1/100 sec
Handheld from canoe

A follow-up to my previous post where I featured the juvenile Common Loon that I photographed using the new Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR Lens. After I was finished photographing the very cooperative young loon, I spent some additional time in the canoe paddling along the shoreline of Horseshoe Lake and also exploring the nearby wetland. One of my most favorite things about the 200-500mm zoom range of this lens is that it fits so perfectly with my love of creating intimate landscapes. Being able to zoom in on a given scene and extract various intimate scenes from within the grand landscape is a ton of fun. Here is a selection of my three favorites, each created using the impressive 4.5 stops of vibration reduction while handholding the lens from the canoe.

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

Eastern larch in Autumn Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm Lens @ 500mm ISO 400, f11 @ 1/160 sec Handheld

Eastern larch in Autumn, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm Lens @ 500mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/160 sec
Handheld from canoe

Autumn color, Parry Sound, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm Lens @ 500mm ISO 800, f11 @ 1/160 sec. Handheld

Autumn color, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm Lens @ 500mm
ISO 800, f11 @ 1/160 sec.
Handheld from canoe

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Common Loon - juvenile Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens @ 500mm ISO 1000, f9 @ 1/4000 sec

Common Loon – juvenile (Gavia immer)
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens @ 500mm
ISO 1000, f9 @ 1/4000 sec

Recently I have been using the new Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR Lens for my wildlife imagery and intimate landscape scenes. I will do a full review of the lens once I have had more time with it, but I must admit that so far I am lovin’ this lens – money well spent 🙂

On the weekend past, the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I was up at Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario to close-up the family cottage for the winter. Amid doing the various chores that needed tending to before closing up the cottage I noticed a juvenile Common Loon slowly making its way along the shoreline of the lake. I quickly grabbed my gear and jumped into the canoe and paddled towards the loon. This youngster will hang out on the lake for about another couple of weeks before flying to southern, coastal waters where it will remain for 2-3 years prior to flying north again. As I made my approach I slowed down to ensure I did not startle the loon and was glad to see that it was going to be a co-operative. Once I had the canoe into position I sat in the bottom of the canoe to gain a slightly lower perspective and photographed the loon while it swam about the canoe looking for a fish dinner below. On occasion the loon would come in almost too close to the canoe and I would have to wait for it to swim further away from my position. I experimented with using the lens in both the Full Frame format and the 1.5 DX Sensor Crop feature on the Nikon D800. I will select this sensor crop on the Nikon D800 when I wish for a little more “reach” as it will create an effective focal length that would be roughly the equivalent to adding a 1.4 Teleconverter onto the lens, however, there is no loss of f-stops. When working with the 1.5 DX Sensor Crop the 200-500mm lens becomes a 300-750mm lens.

Here is a sampling of some of the photos I created of this juvenile Common Loon with the new Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens. Please do remember to click on each image to view the sharper, larger versions.

Common Loon - juvenile Nikon D800, Nikon 200-555mm VR Lens @ 500mm ISO 800, f8 @ 1/1250 sec

Common Loon – juvenile (Gavia immer)
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens @ 500mm
ISO 800, f8 @ 1/1250 sec

 

Common Loon - juvenile Nikon D800 (1.5 DX Sensor Crop selected) Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens @ 440mm (660mm effective focal length) ISO 1000, f10 @ 1/1000 sec

Common Loon – juvenile (Gavia immer)
Nikon D800 (1.5 DX Sensor Crop selected)
Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens @ 440mm (660mm effective focal length)
ISO 1000, f10 @ 1/1000 sec

 

Common Loon - juvenile Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens @ 480 mm ISO 1000, f10 @ 1/1000 sec

Common Loon – juvenile (Gavia immer)
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens @ 480 mm
ISO 1000, f10 @ 1/1000 sec

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Red Rock Point on Georgian Bat in Killarney, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 80mm ISO 50, f32 @ 1/5 sec Nikon Polarizing Filter

Red Rock Point on Georgian Bat in Killarney, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 80mm
ISO 50, f32 @ 1/5 sec
(Nikon Polarizing Filter)

 

I recently was reading about an interesting technique for creating water blurs on Moose Peterson’s blog. This technique works wonderfully for river scenes, waterfalls, and along lake shores or oceans. In the image above of beautiful Red Rock Point on Georgian Bay the waves were crashing quite nicely and I was able to create a nice scene with the waves rolling in. I did want to create an image with a much longer exposure, however, the time of day would not permit such an exposure and my 10-stop Neutral Density filter was back in the car. Since I was suffering from nagging lower back pain I was not about to make the trek back to the car to get the filter. Then I remembered the article that I read about utilizing the camera’s multiple Exposure feature to create the blurred look to water imagery. I set my Nikon D800 to the Multiple Exposure feature and dialed in a six frame exposure. Below you can see the effect of this technique. Do note that due to very blustery conditions there is some blurring to the trees as a result of the wind.

 

Multiple Exposure of Red Rock Point on Georgian Bay in Killarney, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 80mm ISO 50, f32 @ 1/5 sec 6 Frame Multiple Exposure (each frame has the same f-stop and shutter speed)

Multiple Exposure of Red Rock Point on Georgian Bay in Killarney, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 80mm
ISO 50, f32 @ 1/5 sec (Nikon Polarizing Filter)
6 Frame Multiple Exposure (each frame has the same f-stop and shutter speed)

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Killarney Lake, The Crack, Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 200, f22 @ 1/20 sec

Killarney Lake, The Crack, Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 200, f22 @ 1/20 sec

I was recently up in the Killarney region of Ontario and most specifically to hike the strenuous trail up to The Crack. I made the trek to the summit despite being plagued with lower back pain from my back, which liked to irritate me several times throughout any given year, but these occurrences have lessened significantly since starting regular visits to my chiropractor. A few times during the hike I felt a sharp twinge in the lower back, but a quick rest and a couple of stretches had me ready to proceeded onward in a few minutes. The view over Killarney Lake and the surrounding terrain from The Crack is epic to say the least, and well worth the roughly two hour hike to the summit – the last half hour of the hike is the hardest section of the trail. One of the most impressive features of this area is the abundance of the white quartzite of the LaCloche Mountain Range scene from this location in Killarney Provincial Park.

Below are several other images created during my visit to this region made famous by the Group of Seven. Please note the captions for the whereabouts of each image featured below. To read about more awesome locations throughout Northeastern Ontario please click here to read my roadtrip blog post that was written for Northern Ontario Tourism.

A.Y. Jackson Lake in Killarney Provincial PArk, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm lens @ 130mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/50 sec Nikon Polarizing Filter

A.Y. Jackson Lake in Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm lens @ 130mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/50 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

White Quartzite Details, The Crack, Killarney Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm ISO 200, f22 @ 1/25 sec.

White Quartzite Details, The Crack, Killarney Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm
ISO 200, f22 @ 1/25 sec.

 

The LaCloche Mountains in Killarney Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

The LaCloche Mountains in Killarney Provincial Park.
Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens
ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

 

George Lake, Killarney Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Nion 200-500mm lens @ 320mm ISO  50, f16 @ 1.3 sec.

George Lake, Killarney Provincial Park.
Nikon D800, Nion 200-500mm lens @ 320mm
ISO 50, f16 @ 1.3 sec.

 

Rusty Old Wreck, Granite Ridge Trail Killarney Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.8 sec. In-Camera HDR

Rusty Old Wreck, Granite Ridge Trail
Killarney Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.8 sec.
In-Camera HDR

 

Sunset at Red Rock Point in Killarney, Ontario Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 50, f22 @ 5 seconds Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Sunset at Red Rock Point in Killarney, Ontario
Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 50, f22 @ 5 seconds
Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

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