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Archive for the ‘Muskoka’ Category

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D
ISO 50, f16 @ 0.5 seconds

Each of the three images featured in today’s post were created with the Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens. I often receive emails from folks asking me various questions about this lens, complimenting me on the extreme wide-angle scenics I have created with it thus far. The Laowa 12mm Zero D lens quickly became my favorite lens in my gear bag. It is very small, all metal construction, and razor sharp too! Not too mention a fraction of the cost when compared to Canon, Nikon, or Sigma alternatives. With such an extreme wide angle of view it is very important to look for strong foreground elements and then get in very close to those elements. Once you think you are close enough, chances are that you can get a little closer to make the elements within the composition stand out even more for a more effective image. This is exactly what I did for these Muskoka area scenes. Often I was positioning the lens so low and close, the only way to compose the scenes was by utilizing the Live View as I could not physically get close to the camera and tripod because they were sitting on thin ice.

Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D
ISO 50, f16 @ 1 second

You to can photograph these scenes by attending the first-ever Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop on January 27th & 28th. The workshop is going to be tons of fun with top notch photographic instruction to ensure that you create stunning winter scenics in Muskoka’s winter wonderland. There are only a couple of spots still available and folks can contact me by clicking here for more information.

Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D
ISO 50, f16 @ 1 second

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Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River near Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 27mm
ISO 50, f16 @ 2.5 seconds
Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

I decided to start my adventures for 2018 with a trip to some woodland waterfalls in Ontario’s Muskoka District with fellow photographer David Topping. After enduring several consecutive days of brutally cold temperatures I figured the conditions were perfect to explore these locations and that the brutally cold temperatures would have created thick ice formations with beautiful turquoise tones – I was not mistaken nor disapointed. Often when the temperatures get extremely cold there will be a lot of interesting ice formations developing along the river banks and the cascades too. My typical approach is to get in close with a wide angle lens to make best use of the foreground ice formations. This approach must be exercised with caution. If you get too close and the ice is unstable you will break through and fill your winter boots with icy cold water, as I did during my visit on Tuesday January 2nd. My choice of lenses for the day varied from the Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D lens to the Nikon 18-35mm lens to the Nikon 200-500mm Lens. The former was my go-to choice for many of the images while the latter was used to capture icy river details that will be shared in a later post. The conditions for the day were overcast with light snow, no wind due to the surrounding forest, and a temperature that seemed to hover around -8 degrees Celsius which made working without gloves possible.

For folks that missed the announcement or are thinking about registering for the Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop I do still have a couple of spaces available. Please click here to contact me directly and register yourself for this event.

Skeleton Falls on the Skeleton River near Rosseau, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 50, f16 @ 1 second

 

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cayman brac, cayman islands, british west indies, caribbean

Sunrise at Pollard Bay
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

As 2017 draws to a close, I would like to share a selection of my ten personal favorite images that I created over the last twelve months. Two highlights for 2017 were spending a couple of weeks on the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac, as well as one week in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Amazonian rainforest near Tarapoto, Peru. For 2018 I am offering workshops to both of these locations and cannot wait to meet-up with the folks attending the Cayman Brac Workshop in February. There is still space available for our inaugural Peru 2018, which promises to be a one-of-a-kind adventure for landscape and micro fauna photography.

sister island rock iguana, rock iguana, cayman brac, cayman islands, british west indies, cyclura nubila caymanensis

Sister Island Rock Iguana (Cyclura nubila caymanensis)
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

 

brown booby, sula leucogaster, cayman brac, cayman islands, british west indies

Brown Booby chick (Sula leucogaster)
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

In September I embarked on a journey to Tarapoto, Peru as a scouting trip for the upcoming Peru 2018 – Landscapes and Micro Fauna of the Cordillera Escalera event which is scheduled for early July 2018. Our rainforest hikes were most productive with several species of dart frogs photographed, awe inspiring waterfalls, and a rare opportunity to photograph the endangered Cochran Frog (Rulyrana saxiscandens). I am looking most forward to taking a group of participants into this region for an all-inclusive, once-in-a-lifetime photographic experience!

peru, cordillera escalera, sunrise, rainforest, amazon rainforest, jungle

Sunrise in the Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

peru, dart frog, peru, cordillera escalera, ameerega trivittata, three striped poison frog

Three-striped Poison Frog (Ameerega trivittata), Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

peru, cordillera, escalera, amazon rainforest, rainforest, waterfall, tununtunumba

Cataratas Tununtunumba in the Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

peru, amazon rainforest, cochran frog, rulyrana saxiscandens, cordillera escalera

Cochran Frog (Rulyrana saxiscandens)
Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

Aside from the two main trips taken in 2017 I spent a significant amount of time exploring my own backyard here in Ontario. Several visits to the Georgian Bay shoreline yielded many lovely scenes. During the springtime months I spent my usual amount of time exploring nearby wetlands, at night, for fresh images of frogs and toads chorusing during the breeding season. On one of those evenings I located a wonderful male Spring Peeper singing in a Hemlock bough high above the pond. Throughout the summer much of my photograph efforts seemed to be concentrated at the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario where I encountered a very co-operative female White-tailed Deer grazing on a nearby peat bog as I canoed through the wetland one evening.

 

sunset, pary sound, ontario, muskoka, georgian bay

Sunset on Georgian Bay near Parry Sound, Ontario

 

frog, tree frog, spring peeper, hyla crucifer, ontario, barrie, wetlands

Spring Peeper (Hyla crucifer) with vocal sac fully inflated

 

deer, white tailed deer, peat bog, wetland, parry sound, ontario, muskoka, canada

White Tailed Deer on peat bog with cotton grass.
Parry Sound, Ontario

With the new year just around the corner I am pleased to say that I have finally completed my eBook on frog photography. It is now undergoing the editing phase prior to publication. I will also be announcing several new photographic workshops in the coming months. Stay tuned for the announcements regarding those. As a side note for folks that may have missed the announcement for the Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop there are a few spaces still available. The Muskoka region has seen a lot of snow this year, which is going to make these waterfalls even more inspiring. Hotel accommodations will be in short supply for this event with folks booking up rooms for their snowmobile excursions and other area events. If you are interested in attending please contact me by clicking here.

I would like thank everybody for their continued support of my blog, those that have attended my photogaphic workshops and to wish everybody a safe and prosperous 2018!

See you next year 🙂

 

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Join Andrew McLachlan in Ontario’s Muskoka District on January 27 & 28, 2018 for an in-depth photographic exploration of the finest waterfalls in the region. Embrace the beauty of Muskoka this winter and learn the skills of landscape photography amid a winter wonderland of snow clad, iconic white pines and intricate ice formations that adorn these waterfalls and rivers. Maximum number of participants is 10.

Itinerary:

Saturday January 27:

• Meet in the parking lot of the Sleep Inn, Bracebridge at 7:00 a.m. and carpool to waterfalls

• Stop for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

• Visit additional waterfalls

• Dinner at local restaurant at 7:00 p.m.

• Get some rested for early start on Sunday

Sunday January 28:

• Meet in the parking lot of the Sleep Inn, Bracebridge at 7:00 a.m. and carpool to waterfalls

• Stop for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

• Depart for home

What’s Included:

• In-depth photographic instruction during each photo sessions with LCD review

• Saturday dinner at nearby restaurant

What’s Not Included:

• Accommodations (numerous options available… I will be staying at the Sleep Inn in Bracebridge)

• Transportation

• Car pooling of participants is encouraged to arrive at each location

• Breakfast and lunch

• Alcoholic Beverages

Workshop Fee:

225.00 CDN plus taxes

Payment can be made via email transfer or by cheque.

To reserve your spot in the Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular please contact me by clicking here to arrange payment.

Cancellation Policy:

No Refunds. Check your schedule carefully prior to booking.

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On Tuesday November 14 at 7:30 p.m. I will be presenting my Ontario & Beyond: Wild Places Wild Faces program for the Photo Arts Club of Newmarket Camera Club at the Newmarket Communtiy Centre and Lions Hall located at 200 Doug Duncan Drive in Newmarket, Ontario. Non-members are welcome to attend the presentation for an entry fee of $5 per person. The presentation features tons of Ontario related imagery and info for those looking for new places to explore within our province as well as destinations that are further afield such as Cayman Brac and the Amazon Rainforest.

Hope to see you there 🙂

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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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Common Loon, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario
Nikon D500
Nikon 200-500mm VR lens @ 500mm (35mm equivalent = 750mm)
ISO 800
f8 @ 1/2000 sec

I spent much of last week on Horseshoe Lake enjoying the last week of my daughter’s summer break from school. We were treated on more than one occasion to the resident Common Loons bringing their late season chick into our bay to feed. Each time they arrived I paddled out into the bay in my canoe with my Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm VR lens to create some fresh, handheld, imagery. I much prefer using a canoe over a motor boat for photographing loons as it allows for a peaceful approach that does not cause any distress to the birds.

This year the loons have what appears to be a late season chick that has only recently began to molt. Why late season? We had a very cool spring and early summer and Horseshoe Lake has experienced extremely high water levels all summer with the lake level sitting at roughly two feet higher than normal – the highest I have ever witnessed in 35 years on the lake. This high water level negatively impacted nesting sites on the lake. I have never before seen an adult Common Loon coming into winter plumage with a chick of this size, at this time of year.

Here are a few newly processed images from my time with the Common Loons last week. My favorite is the tender moment shared between adult and chick. It was fun watching the chick diving and swimming while following the parent underwater. Each time the chick surfaced a wing flap would occur. The adult was having great success catching crawfish for the chick to eat. If the parent surfaced without any food the chick would bite the adults neck gently – perhaps to say “I am hungry, you need to do better than that”

Please do remember to click on each of the photos to view the larger versions.

Common Loon with chick, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario
Nikon D500
Nikon 200-500mm VR lens @ 500mm (35mm equivalent = 750mm)
ISO 800
f11 @ 1/800 sec

 

Common Loon juvenile, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario
Nikon D500
Nikon 200-500mm VR lens @ 240mm (35mm equivalent = 360mm)
ISO 800
f8 @ 1/640 sec

 

Common Loon juvenile, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario
Nikon D500
Nikon 200-500mm VR lens @ 500mm (35mm equivalent = 750mm)
ISO 800
f8 @ 1/640 sec

 

Common Loon, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario
Nikon D500
Nikon 200-500mm VR lens @ 500mm (35mm equivalent = 750mm)
ISO 800
f11 @ 1/1250 sec

 

Common Loon, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario
Nikon D500
Nikon 200-500mm VR lens @ 500mm (35mm equivalent = 750mm)
ISO 500
f8 @ 1/1000 sec

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