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Brooks Falls, Almaguin Highlands, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 200
f16 @ 0.5 sec

On Friday October the 13th I awoke at 5:00 a.m. to commence driving into Ontario’s Almaguin Highlands situated just north of the town of Huntsville. I was hoping for stunning autumn colour along the Magnetawan River at Brooks Falls, however, that was not to be as there was already some significant leaf fall in the area. Fall colour in Ontario has been a bit odd this year with some areas having stunning colour while other parts of seen dull colours, and some locales have even seen leaf fall without much colour change at all. Perhaps this has to do with our overly wet, cool summer. Nonetheless, I arrived at Brooks Falls and was pleased to see that the river was full and ragging.

My intention for this day’s outing was to explore several waterfalls with the Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero Distortion Lens. When using such an extreme wide angle lens getting the camera into the right position is very critical to success of the image. Strong foreground subjects are a must to grab the viewer’s attention. Often my chosen perspective for each image was not much more than about 12 inches from the rushing water, which added complications in having to deal with water spray and droplets of water hitting the front element of the lens. Before each frame that was captured I would give the lens a wipe with a micro fiber cleaning cloth. Patience and perseverance did result in several frames without water droplets being present.

When I had finished photographing Brooks Falls I ventured south to the Skeleton River in Rosseau, Ontario to a couple of waterfalls that I was certain would still have some nice colour due to the sugar maple trees that line the river banks. Below are the images created at both Skeleton Falls, and Hatchery Falls. Skeleton Falls is a little known waterfall that is accessed by hiking down a very step grade within the forest, while the more popular Hatchery Falls is accessed by a well worn foot path through easy terrain.

Skeleton Falls, Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 0.6 sec

What is my most important piece of gear for photographing waterfall imagery? Hip waders. More often than not the best perspective to photograph many waterfalls is from within the river itself. River banks tend be messy environments with distracting elements such as twigs/branches intruding into the scene. By photographing from within the river you can often eliminate or at the very least reduce these distracting elements impact on the scene.

 

Hatchery Falls, Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 0.3 sec

 

Hatchery Falls, Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 1/4 sec

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Small stream in the Cordillera Escalera, Peru
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 4 seconds

Over the course of the last few days I have been busy optimizing the image files from my trip to the Cordillera Escalera near Tarapoto, Peru. I created and uploaded of a selection of the imagery into a gallery of its own to my website today. Please click here to view the Peru Gallery. The daily temperatures during the trip were around 34 degrees Celsius with humidity around 80%, which in turn gives us a humidex value of close to 52 degrees Celsius. To say it was hot would be an understatement. In fact, I felt very tired for several days after returning from Peru. Although I drank plenty of water, I believed that my electrolytes might be on the low side, therefore a trip to the pharmacy to buy some electrolytes packets was in order and upon drinking the electrolytes I felt 100% better. On my next trip I will be sure to pack electrolyte packets to replenish what is sweated out during the heat of the day.

Tree Frog (Osteocephalus family) in the Cordillera Escalera, Peru
Nikon D500, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100
f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Photographically speaking the main subjects I created images of were landscapes and micro fauna. Above is an image of a tree frog from the Osteocephalus family that was encountered during one of our many night-time excursions. Being able to photograph numerous species of frogs within the Amazon rainforest was a fantastic opportunity, especially the Cochran Frog (Rulyrana saxiscandens) an endangered species with a very limited range within Peru’s Cordillera Escalera. I was also fascinated by a large, old growth tree that I discovered during one of the hikes. This tree had another tree that had set root and grabbed hold of it’s massive trunk some time ago, but what really caught my eye was the plethora of orchid roots that covered virtually every inch of the old growth tree.

Root details in the Cordillera Escalera, Peru
Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm VR Lens @ 85mm
ISO 100
f16 @ 0.8 sec

Please do remember to click on each of the photos to view the larger, sharper versions and enjoy the new website gallery 🙂

Cochran Frog (Rulyrana saxiscandens),  Cordillera Escalera, Peru
Nikon D500, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100
f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

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Tununtunumba Falls in the Cordillera Escalera, Chazuta, Peru
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens at 24mm
ISO 64
f18 @ 0.3 sec
Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

After a full 24 hours of travel I arrived back home in Ontario at 11:30 am on Saturday, September 23rd. I spent much of today resting, doing laundry, and doing an initial edit of some of the imagery created during my time in Tarapoto, Peru. One of the highlights of the trip was a grueling hike to Tununtunumba Falls deep within the Cordillera Escalera near Chazuta, Peru. The trail into the waterfall was 4 kilometers (8 km round trip) of what I would describe as the most strenuous hiking I have ever undertaken with numerous, very steep inclines as we made are through  the mountains and two river crossings. The temperature on the day of the hike was 34 degrees Celsius, with roughly 80% humidity, making the humidex factor 51 degrees Celsius – it was hot! Nonetheless, it was such an awesome experience to be hiking through this area of the Amazon. Stay tuned for many more images in the coming days 🙂

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

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Sunrise over Lake Traverse, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

 

Shortly after Google announced that they will be ending support the Nik Collection, Macphun announced that they will be releasing a Windows version of Luminar. I took the time to try out the beta version of Luminar and do initially like what it has to offer. The software interface is very user friendly and some of the presets seems to be a little over the top for my tastes, others are quite functional, yielding natural looking results. It is important to keep in mind that this is a beta version and the official release of the program later this fall will have many more features available. In my opinion it will be a very viable option for folks that relied on the Nik Collection as a standard part of their workflow.

Here are a few older images that I have tweaked using the beta version of Luminar.

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

WDYT?

 

Oxtongue River, Ontario

 

Lower Rosseau Falls, Ontario

 

Pre-dawn on Lake Traverse, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

 

Rusty Old Wreck, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

 

Lake Traverse, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

 

Sunset on Georgian Bay, Ontario

 

Oxtongue River, Ontario

 

Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario

 

 

 

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Lake Superior offers photographers some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery that Ontario has to offer. Join Andrew McLachlan from October 19th to 22nd and immerse yourself in a photographic retreat capturing the awe-inspiring beauty of Lake Superior’s rugged shoreline and area waterfalls during the Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat. Experience sensational sunsets over Lake Superior, ragging waterfalls, and crashing waves. This photographic retreat has been timed to coincide with the onset of Lake Superior’s storm season, which should mean massive waves crashing into the rugged coastline of the greatest of the Great Lakes. In addition this event as been timed at the start of a new moon cycle that will allow for impressive opportunities to photograph the night sky and possibly the Aurora Borealis, given the right weather conditions to permit clear skies. I am well travelled along Lake Superior’s coast and have selected various locations that will enable participants to create stunning imagery accompanied by in-depth, personal, in-the-field, photographic instruction that will aid you on all your future photographic endeavours. There will be no set itinerary for this photography retreat as we will make daily decisions based on the current weather conditions to maximize our photographic opportunities.

This will photography retreat is open to a maximum of 8 participants.

The cost of this event is $625 + HST based on double occupancy (Single Supplement Fee is an additional $120)

What’s Included:

  • 3 Nights Accommodation at the Wawa Motor Inn (Check-in on the 19th at 4:00 p.m. / Check-out on the 22nd at 11:00 a.m.)
  • In-room coffee
  • High-Speed Wireless Internet (poor weather conditions may affect quality)
  • Continental Breakfast (October 20, 21, & 22)
  • Box Lunch (October 20 & 21)
  • Meet and greet dinner on October 19th at 6:00 p.m.
  • Dinner (October 20 & 21)

 

What’s Not Included:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Snacks
  • Transportation (participants are encouraged to carpool from the Wawa Motor Inn to our daily destinations)

 

To secure your spot in Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat your payment, in full, is due now. Payments can be made via email transfer or by cheque made payable to Andrew McLachlan. To book and reserve your spot please email me by clicking here.

 

Cancellation Policy:

No refunds after September 18, 2017.

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Summer 2017 Issue of ON Nature Magazine

The Summer 2017 issue of On Nature Magazine has hit the newstand. On the cover of this issue is a starry nightscape created by yours truly. I created this image from the deck of my cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario with a Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens mounted to a Nikon D800 and pointed it straight up at the sky. The wide angle view of the fisheye lens also caught the tree tops as they were silhouetted against the dark starry sky.

Ontario Nature (formerly known as The Federation of Ontario Naturalists) dates back to 1931. They are dedicated to protecting our natural places through conservation and education. To find out more about Ontario Nature and how you too can get involved please click here .

Please click on the photo to see the larger version.

Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement about a nightscape workshop in one of Ontario’s absolute best locations for viewing the night sky.

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Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 100
f16 @ 8 seconds

When I was a kid I used to love watching a TV series called “Land of the Lost,” which aired on the NBC network from 1974 -1976. This series was essentially about a family that was trapped in an alternate universe inhabited by dinosaurs. There are a few locations throughout Ontario, especially along the Niagara Escarpment where I am often reminded of this show as the landscape really does make you feel as though you are entering a different world. On a recent excursion last week I found myself again in this situation. The place was the Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park which is a small, park with no services, just hiking trails. The hiking trails are part of the historic Bruce Trail that runs from Niagara River to Tobermory. This trail is more than 890 kilometres in  length with an additional 400 plus kilometres of side trails. Within the Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park we find the Standing Rock and Caves Side Trail which is where all of today’s images were created. After climbing down into the first crevice blue trail markers guide you through the deep, cool crevices with walls that are draped in thick carpets of moss, liverworts, and numerous species of ferns. I spent the better part of about 4 hours exploring these crevices and will definitely need to schedule a return trip to complete the exploration. I took only two lenses with me on this excursion; the Nikkor 18-35mm lens and the Laowa 12mm Zero D lens. The conditions in the crevices were very cool temperatures and due to the steep crevice walls many of the exposures were seconds long. The day was a hot, muggy kind of day but down in the crevices I was actually catching a chill. When I made my out of the crevices my lenses fogged immediately upon exposure to the warmer, humid air. Here are several images created during my first outing to this newly discovered location.

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

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 3 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 4 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 1 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 3 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 1.6 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 30 seconds

 

In the below image we can see how the center slab of rock, millions of years ago, broke free of the rock wall on the right and went crashing into the rock wall on the left side of the composition.

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 100
f16 @ 25 seconds

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