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Archive for the ‘Landscapes’ Category

I’d like to announce an awesome eBook entitled “ONE IMAGE” authored by good friend, fellow photographer, and colleague Kyle McDougall. ONE IMAGE is a 196 page eBook that is full of inspirational landscape photographs, all created using Kyle’s one image methodology with stellar results. As Kyle states within the early pages of the book: “In a nutshell, the One Image process is the act of setting out to create only a single photograph while on location, or at the very least, exhausting all of your options before moving on to the next.”

In this day and age where it seems photographs are judged by the number of likes they receive on Facebook or Instagram. ONE IMAGE is thought-provoking, adaptable and flexible concept that reminds us to slow down, become one with nature, and make deliberate decisions when crafting our landscape imagery, rather than run around a location creating a multitude of images only to select our favorite image at the home computer. Something we are all guilty of at one point or another during our photographical pursuits.

From the first chapter “Concept – Take Control of Your Art” to the last chapter “Moving Forward” Kyle reminds us of one of the most important and thought-provoking points that we must first and foremost be creating our photography for ourselves. After all did we not purchase our camera gear because we enjoy taking photographs?

The ONE IMAGE process will raise your awareness for creating meaningful landscape imagery by making deliberate and specific choices when crafting your photographs, by consciously deciding what to include or exclude, and by understanding light and how it plays a significant role in shaping the resulting photograph.

ONE IMAGE will help you develop a workflow that will guide you through the process of creating meaningful landscape imagery for YOU! Just as Kyle states on page 185 Take the time. Do the work. Be thoughtful. Be unique. Create for yourself”

To order your copy of ONE IMAGE please click here.

 

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Silver Thatch Palm at Sunset, Cayman Brac, Cayman Island, BWI
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm Lens
ISO 200
f11 @ 1/50

 

I have been hard at work editing the many thousands of images created during my two week trip to the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac within Cayman Islands. Each morning I awoke at 5:30 a.m. to be on location roughly one hour prior to sunrise. One of the key elements to successful landscape imagery is to arrive for work on time! For me that means being on site long before sunrise and staying well past sunset. Often I find my favorite photos are created in the brief window of opportunity prior to sunrise or they are created after the sun has dipped below the horizon. The opening photo for this blog post, the Cayman Islands national tree, is the Silver Thatch Palm Trees was created one evening while I was up on the bluff photographing Brown Booby birds in soft light and decided to take advantage of my Nikkor 200-55mm lens to isolate these trees against the beautiful glowing sky.

 

Below are some early morning scenes from Pollard Bay on the island’s south east side. Here the Caribbean Sea rolls into the rugged iron shore that surrounds much of island. This area is by far my favorite sunrise location on the island and when the seas get rough tide pools are created on the rugged shoreline rock creating lots of foreground interest. For each of the Pollard Bay images I used my never-leave-home-without-it Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter. And furthermore, since each image was created in pre-dawn light I was able to use long shutter speeds to smooth out the ocean waves so that they would not become a distracting element within each scene.

Pollard Bay, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 15 seconds
Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

Pollard Bay, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 8 seconds
Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

Pollard Bay, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 15 seconds
Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

Pollard Bay, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 5 seconds
Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

On the morning of February 26th when I headed out there was a persistent drizzle in the air, but that did not deter me from making the 20 minute drive up to the bluff to photograph an inclement weather sunrise looking out across the Caribbean Sea – I was certain there would be a little bit of color peaking through as the sun rose.

 

Sunrise From The Bluff, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 2 seconds
Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

Sunrise on Caribbean Sea, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 1.3 seconds
Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

On February 28th I was in the mood for a sandy beach sunrise, which brought me to the public beach area which has several large rocks scattered about that make for nice foreground elements. Again in pre-dawn light a long shutter speed allowed for the blurring of the incoming waves which were starting to get much larger as the winds were getting much stronger at this point in the trip.

 

Public Beach, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 50
f16 @ 4 seconds
Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

One part of this recently concluded trip that I was looking most forward to was the underwater photography I had planned to do with both the Nikon D800 and Nikon D500. I purchased an Ewa Marine Housing for this part of the trip but that will be reviewed here on the blog shortly. I did, however, take a few underwater sea-scapes with that set-up of which two of my favorites can be seen below. I only wish a shark could have been swimming through these sea-scape scenes 🙂

 

Sea-Scape, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 500
f16 @ 1/200 sec

 

Sea-Scape, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 500
f11 @ 1/320 sec

 

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

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Sunrise at Pollard Bay on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 250
f16 @ 30 seconds
Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

I returned from a two week stay on Cayman Brac in the Cayman Islands on March 8th and have been busy processing the image files this week. I will share many more images here in the coming days, including a selection of underwater photos captured using my Nikon cameras in an Ewa Marine Housing. First I thought I would share my gear bag for this trip. My go-to pack for traveling light is the Manfrotto Advanced Travel Backpack which is distributed in Canada by Gentec International. I am always amazed at how much gear I can fit into this well designed pack that meets the current carry-on luggage requirements of airlines. Here is what I packed into this gear bag for the trip:

  • Nikon D800
  • Nikon D500
  • Nikkor 18-35mm Lens
  • Nikkor 105mm Micro Lens
  • Nikkor 200-500mm Lens
  • Nikon SB400 Spedlight
  • Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
  • 77mm Polarizing Filter
  • 95mm Polarizing Filter
  • Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter
  • Cable Release
  • Gepe Card Holder
  • 2 extra batteries for the camera bodies and lithium AA batteries for for the SB400

Manfrotto Advanced Travel Backpack

The total weight of the gear bag fully packed was 19lbs, which was a tad over the weight requirement for the Twin Otter flight from Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac but the good folks from Cayman Air were fine with me carrying my camera gear with me on the flight. Packed in my checked luggage was my MeFoto Travel Tripod, which was carried in the tripod pocket of the Manfrotto Advanced Travel Backpack once I arrived on Cayman Brac. The water repellent fabric of the pack and the included rain cover came in particularly useful towards the end of my trip as the winds became very strong with 8-10 foot waves crashing into the island’s iron shore causing significant salt spray. It was comforting to know that my gear was safe in the pack when not is use. To read my earlier, in-depth review of this great gear bag please click here.

Stay tuned for much more form this beautiful Caribbean island getaway. To view a larger and sharper version of today’s featured image from Pollard Bay on the island’s south easterly side please do click on the image.

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lake-traverse-2017

Please note that this workshop is now SOLD OUT with wait list only.

Join me 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 15, 16, & 17. Lake Traverse is situated in a remote area of the park and is rich in both history and stunning scenery. To reach this remote location in Algonquin Provincial Park you must enter 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 very comfortable Algonquin Radio Observatory, located on the shores of Lake Traverse. A tour of the immense satellite has been arranged during the mid-day hours 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.

This workshop will run rain or shine.

A quick note about the Algonquin Radio Observatory (from their website):

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.

 

This workshop will be open to a maximum of 10 participants.

The cost of this workshop is $495 based on double occupancy (single supplement $40). Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer.

A non-refundable deposit of $200 to secure a space in this workshop is required. Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer.

Participants with any special dietary needs must communicate them at time of booking so the necessary arrangements can be made to meet your requirements.

 

Itinerary:

Friday September 15:

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

Saturday September 16:

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 17:

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 photograph at is only a short walking distance from our home base at the Algonquin Radio Observatory.

What’s Included:

  • Landscape photography instruction by yours truly
  • Lodging at Algonquin Radio Observatory
  • Friday – dinner
  • Saturday – breakfast, lunch, & dinner
  • Sunday – breakfast

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to Algonquin Radio Observatory
  • A 3 day, daily vehicle permit must be purchased at the Sand Lake Gate to enter the park (currently $17 per day. This would allow participants to remain in the park until 10:00 pm on Sunday)
  • Snacks
  • Alcoholic Beverages

In the event that the workshop does not meet the required minimum number of participants to run all deposits will be refunded in full.

To reserve your spot for this exclusive workshop please contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca

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Winter Tree, Innisfil, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm

Winter Tree, Innisfil, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm

 

One of my most favorite winter subjects to photograph is the skeletal forms of tree in winter. Living in a rural area in Essa Township provides me with ample opportunities to photograph these winter trees. Often I will head out at either sunrise or sunset to photograph them and when doing so I always search for the trees that are a slight rise in the terrain so that I can compose them against the sky being very careful not to allow any of the branches on the tree to merge with the horizon. It can also be rewarding to create artistic renderings of winter trees with a variety of photoshop plug-ins. In this post I am revealing two such creations that utilized the Topaz Labs plug-in Simplify. For the two artistic renderings at the end of this blog post I selected one of the sketch presets in Simplify and tweaked the sliders until I achieved the strong black and white treatment.

Winter Tree, Innisfil, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm

Winter Tree, Innisfil, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm

 

Winter Tree, Innisfil, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm

Winter Tree, Innisfil, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm

 

Winter Tree - Topaz Simplify

Winter Tree – Topaz Simplify

 

Winter Tree - Topaz Simplify

Winter Tree – Topaz Simplify

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Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 26mm Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Sunset at Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 26mm
Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

I finally had a chance to go through my image files from my September trip along the shore of Lake Superior Provincial Park. One of my most favourite locations within the park is that of Gargantua Harbour. A long, winding dirt road brings you to within walking distance of the lake, where you will come to a fantastic beach to the left and to the right the shoreline is scattered with large boulders which have been rounded and smoothed by the waves of Lake Superior. A couple of other bays that are often quite productive for landscape photography are Old Woman Bay and Katherine Cove. As you view the images make note of the captions and you will notice that for some of the imagery I chose to use my B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter. I will often resort to this filter when I am wishing to blur the wave action to a silky smooth texture, but the ambient light is still too bright to facilitate this, therefore, I will add the 10-Stop ND filter and presto I can usually go down to 30 second exposures with easy. When using this very dark filter I find it is best to use Live View and open up the aperture of the lens to compose the scene and focus the lens. I will then stop the lens down to my desired f-stop and click the shutter.

Please do remember to click on the images to view the larger, sharper versions.

Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm 30 Second Exposure B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
30 Second Exposure
B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

 

Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

 

Old Woman Bay, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Filter

Old Woman Bay, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm
Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Filter

 

Katherine Cove, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 20mm 25 Second Exposure B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

Katherine Cove, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 20mm
25 Second Exposure
B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

 

Katherine Cove, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 35mm 25 Second Exposure B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

Katherine Cove, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
25 Second Exposure
B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

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Winter Stream, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

Winter Stream, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

Happy New Year to all!!

This morning I arose bright and early to greet the new year with a winter sunrise over a small stream near my rural home. It was a beautiful and peaceful morning.

To view the larger, sharper version please remember to click on the image 🙂

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