Archive for the ‘Macro’ Category

Due to the very successful, first-ever Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop in May I will be hosting two photographic workshops, with new species of dart frogs in each session, in August at the Crinan Community Centre located at 13568 Dunborough Line in West Elgin, Ontario, located near London, Ontario.

The dates and times for these workshops are:

Saturday, August 19, 2017  10:00a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  (SOLD OUT – wait list)

Sunday, August 20, 2017       10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (SOLD OUT – wait list)

The space for each workshop is limited to a maximum of 8 participants to allow ample time for folks to photograph each species. Each workshop will feature different species and colour varieties of dart frogs.

These are the only workshops available whereby you will be able to capture stunning imagery of 15 different species of dart frogs endemic to the Amazon rainforest. It would cost tens of thousands of dollars to explore the Amazon jungle 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 species of dart frogs for only $195, plus HST, in a comfortable atmosphere with natural studio set-ups. 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 provide custom made flash diffusers that will allow folks to capture equally stunning imagery using camera mounted flash as well.

Please note: folks wishing to sign up for both dates will receive a 15% discount, which works out to $339.13 plus HST to attend both sessions.

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

To register for this workshop folks may contact me by clicking here for availability.

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

Hope to see you there!


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Phyllobates terribilis (mint)
©Martina Schneider

Today’s post features  several images from some of the participants that attended the first ever Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop.  I think you will agree with me that they all did a fantastic job of creating many stunning images. As you scroll down through the images do note the captions to see which participant created each photo and please do click on the photos to see the larger versions. In the opening photo Martina Schneider did an absolutely amazing job of capturing the image of the Phyllobates terribilis from a very low perspective – a frog’s eye view if you will 🙂

Ranitomeya ventrimaculata
©Paul Infelise

Paul Infelise also used a very low perspective to capture a stunning image of the Ranitomeya ventrimaculata revealing the stunning colouration of the frog’s underside.

Ranitomeya fantastica
©Laurie Thomson

For one of our set-ups we got a little creative by utilizing a large white plastic serving tray to display the frogs against the pure white background. Laurie Thomson’s took the creativity one awesome step further in her photo of the Ranitomeya fantastica above by including the fingertips of the frog handler to create a sense of scale. Notice how the full grown frog is not much bigger than a fingernail!

Cruziohyla crasperdopus
©Barb Marszalek

Towards the end of the workshop we brought out a group of three Cruziohyla crasperdopus which Barb Marszalek captured beautifully as they climbed over each other. The colouration of these frogs allows them to remain camouflaged on the bark of certain palm trees while they sleep during the daylight hours. Barb attended one of my previous workshops at Reptilia and created many incredible photos, of which one received a Gold Ribbon at the Etobicoke Camera Club competition and a Bronze Medal in the Animal Category of the Greater Toronto Council of Camera Clubs competition. Awesome achievement Barb!

Ranitomeya imitator
©George Nagy

Longtime blog supporter George Nagy created this wonderful image of my favourite dart frog the Ranitomeya imitator as it rested on a large monstera leaf. George not only positioned the frog very nicely within the frame but also paid close attention to the details of the leaf allowing the one yellowish vein to act as a diagonal leading line.

Below you will see a few additional images created by each of these participants.

We will be announcing the date of the next dart frog workshop very soon and it will feature a completely new collection of dart frogs!

Dendrobates tinctorius “citronella”
©Martina Schneider


Epipedobates anthonyi
©George Nagy


La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobactrachium valerioi) – female with eggs
©Laurie Thomson


Dendrobates auratus campana
©Barb Marszalek


Dendrobates tinctorius “azureus”
©Paul Infelise


Ranitomeya vanzolinni
©George Nagy


Epipedobates anthonyi
©Laurie Thomson


Dendrobates auratus
©Martina Schneider


Dendrobates tinctoius “azureus”
©Barb Marszalek


Ameerega hahneli – defence posture
©Laurie Thomson


Ameerega hahneli
©Barb Marszalek


Ameerega hahneli
©Martina Schneider


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Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Participant Group Photo

On Saturday May 13th the first Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest was held at the Crinan Community Centre. We had 7 wonderful and fun loving participants. The day was full of laughter and great image opportunities. A very big round of thanks goes out to Mark and Jackie Pepper of Understory Enterprises for being absolutely fantastic at wrangling the frogs for the participants throughout the entire day. Also a very big thank-you goes out to each of the participants for being such awesome and fun loving folks! I am eager to share with you the workshop participants photos here on the blog once they are ready to share because they were all creating some really awesome imagery!

The Crinan Community Centre is a fabulous location for the workshop and rich in history too. It originally opened as a school on October 22, 1913 and had separate entrances for the boys and girls. It closed as a school in 1965 and was restored many years later to serve as a community centre in the Dutton/Dunwich area of Ontario. Below is a creative edit of the hall that I photographed early in the morning when I first arrived.

Crinan Community Centre

The workshop participants were able to photograph 20 different species of dart frogs in natural table-top set-ups as well as a couple of add-on tree frog species towards the end of the day. Workshop participant Sherry Butts came up with a great idea of using a large white plastic plate for some creative frog portraits too. And longtime blog follower George Nagy was the winner of the door prize, a Wimberley Plamp, graciously provided by Wimberley.

We will be offering a second workshop at this same location in August or September and it will feature an entirely different selection of dart frog species. Any folks that are interested should contact me here to be added to the contact list for this soon to be announced second workshop.

During the workshop I only created a small handful of images as my priority was to assist the participants in capturing their own great photos of the frogs. Below are a few of my favorite images from the day.

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

Ranitomeya imitator – captive


Epipedobates anthonyi – captive


Phyllobates terribilis – captive


Dendrobates tinctorius azureus – captive


La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) – captive


A trio of Cruziohyla craspedopus – captive


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The Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop is fast approaching with limited space remaining. On Saturday May 13th at 10:00 am at the Crinan Community Centre located at 13568 Dunborough Line in West Elgin, Ontario those that are already registered will be creating incredible imagery of a vast variety of dart frogs endemic to the forests of Peru. In order to photograph this vast variety of frogs in the wild it would cost tens of thousands of dollars and extensive, guided travel, but in this four hour photographic workshop you will create impressive imagery of nature’s most colourful animals, in natural settings, in comfort.

One lucky participant will be walking away with a door prize donated by Wimberley!

One such frog we will be photographing is Phyllobates terribilis aka “The Terrible One.” This frog is the deadliest vertebrate on the planet with enough alkaloid toxins to kill 100 people. Fortunately all dart frogs in captivity lose their toxins and are perfectly safe. They develop their toxins through the ants and termites that they feed on in the Amazon Rainforest, without this food supply they lose their toxicity.

All frogs used in this workshop are captive bred specimens.

Here are a few examples of what you will be able to capture if you register for the workshop. Do note that there are limited spaces remaining. For more information please click here.

Phyllobates terribilis (mint) – captive


Phyllobates terribilis – captive


Dendrobates auratus campana


Epipedobates anthonyi – captive


Phyllobates vittatos – captive


Dendrobates tinctorius (Azureus) – captive


Dendrobates tinctorius (Citronella) – captive


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The March / April 2017 issue of the on-line photography magazine Wildlife Photographic is now available on the Apple App Store & the Google Playstore. This issue features many great articles, by accomplished photographers and is accompanied by equally fantastic wildlife imagery. My Bullfrog image appears on the cover of the magazine and my FROG-scapes 101 article on how I go about creating my signature frog-scape photography. If you do not already subscribe to this magazine please use this code freetialwp to receive a free three month subscrition. At the end of the three month trial you will need to subscribe through regular methods to continue receiving this great magazine. Please follow these instructions to start your free three month trial:

Download Wildlife Photographic from the Apple App Store  http://bit.ly/1aKP3qR or on Google Play http://bit.ly/1JOhMcW

Tap ‘Subscribe’ on the app home page

Tap ‘Current Subscribers’ from the drop down menu

Enter code freetrialwp

This code will be available to use until April 30, 2017

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Red-eyed Tree Frog

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive

Today’s post will feature imagery from Tim Harding. I first met Tim a couple of years ago at Tiny Marsh near Elmvale, Ontario. Tim signed up for my recently concluded frog and reptile photographic workshop that was held at Reptilia on January 7th and captured some lovely images. We had a great turn out of talented folks and I hope to feature more imagery from the workshop participants as they submit their images. Here are a few images that Tim was able to create during the workshop. As usual, the Red-eyed Tree Frogs performed perfectly and posed very co-operatively atop the pink bromeliad blossom. The Vietnamese Moss Frogs with their superb, camouflage coloring blend in nicely on a large, lichen covered piece of tree bark. The dendrobates auratus dart frog with its incredibly bright colors really pops when placed on a few old dried oak leaves to create a forest floor-like setting. And finally the Fire Salamander gives us a nice pose while it is crawling around on a large section of moss. Tim was using a small softbox on his off camera flash to help soften the light. Using small softboxes is an excellent way to soften the harsh light of a bare flash bulb and often they will help to reduce some, but not all, of the flash generated spectral highlights as well.

Vietnamese Moss Frog - captive

Vietnamese Moss Frog – captive


Dendrobates auratus - captive

Dendrobates auratus – captive


Fire Salamander - captive

Fire Salamander – captive

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On Saturday, January 7, 2017 I will be hosting a Reptile & Amphibian Photographic Workshop at Reptilia commencing at 8:30 a.m. sharp. The cost of the workshop will be $85, which includes admission to the Reptilia Zoo. We will be photographing each of the animals featured in the above card during the first two hours, before entering the Reptilia Zoo to photograph many species of snakes (both venomous and constrictors), alligators, and lizards for roughly another two hours. Generally  two to three hours provides ample time to photograph the reptiles located within the zoo after we have finished photographing the reptiles and amphibians in the controlled set-ups, but folks that wish to stay longer do have the remainder of the day available to spend in the zoo. This workshop will be limited to a maximum of 10 people. Payment for this workshop can be made via email transfer or by cheque. Please contact me at mclachlan@bell.net at your earliest convenience to reserve your spot for this workshop and for further info on sending payment.

To photograph these subjects I do find it best use a 100mm macro lens, or other lenses with close focusing capability. You will also need to bring along your flash and either a flash sync cord or a wireless flash trigger as we will be working with off camera flash and preferably a flash bracket that will allow you to position the flash out over the lens to yield the optimum results. I often have two spare off-camera macro flash brackets that folks can borrow for the day should they be in need of such a bracket and a couple of killer home-made flash diffusers too. The room in which we photograph the reptiles and amphibians does have a tendency to get rather warm so you may wish to wear light clothing. To photograph the reptiles in the zoo afterwards lenses that cover the 100mm to 300mm range will be preferable. Tripods have a tendency to become an exercise in frustration when photographing reptiles and amphibians, which is why I recommend using off camera flash and hand-holding so that you will have the mobility to capture these quick-moving subjects.

During this workshop we will photograph the following species:

  • Vietnamese Moss Frog
  • Red-eyed Tree Frogs
  • Blue & Black Dart Frog (Dendrobates auratus)
  • Fire Salamander
  • Green Tree Python
  • Rainbow Boa

Each of these species will be photographed in “natural-like” settings using my popular, home-made mini-pond, stunning tropical plants in full bloom, as well as an array of natural props so that each set-up will offer something unique. Your images will look like you just spent an awesome day in the jungle photographing these amazing and colourful critters. Do get your name in early as I have several folks already anticipating the announcement of this workshop.


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