Archive for the ‘ontario’ Category

On Tuesday March, 27, 2018 I will be presenting my “Ontario & Beyond – Wild Places Wild Faces” program for the Ajax Photography Club at the Ajax Community Centre located at 75 Centennial Road in the HSM Room. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. Guests are welcome to attend for a $10 admission fee. Mark the date in your calendars and come on out for an enjoyable evening of nature photography and learn the secrets behind how I capture and optimize my my landscape and wildlife imagery.

Hope to see you there 🙂


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Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario

On January 27th & 28th we held our first-ever Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop. We had 5 fabulous clients that made the entire event lots of fun. Our conditions at the waterfalls could have been better but we all made the best of the conditions that we were presented with. The area experienced a real swing in temperatures throughout January from -30 Celsius to +10 Celsius with lots of rain. The rain and warm temps melted away much of the snow that had accumulated early in the month and the rain over the course of the last few weeks created some treacherously, icy conditions. The ice was so made at some locations that it did prevent us from accessing certain vantage points at some waterfalls for safety reasons. On the flip side though there were some really cool ice formations along the river banks that we all took advantage of with our long lenses. To illustrate the effect of the warmer than usual weather and excessive rains the image below of an old weathered boathouse on Lake Rosseau pretty much sums it up.

Lake Rosseau Boathouse in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

In the coming weeks I will share some of the images created by the particiapnts with you here on the blog. From what I have seen so far, you are in for a real treat 🙂

In the photo that opens this blog post you can see the glare ice at Hatchery Falls and this ice extended down to the base of the falls making it impossible to access the lower area for different perspectives. My trusty Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D lens was used to create this extreme wide angle view.

Ice details at Potts Creek, Muskoka, Ontario

The ice detail images that I created were captured with the Nikon 28-300mm VR lens mounted to a Nikon D800. This is a great b-roll lens that produces razor sharp images, which is quite the opposite to what the so-called internet experts have to say. I will do a thorough review of this lens in the coming weeks.

Ice details at Potts Creek, Muskoka, Ontario

The timing of this workshop also coincided with the3rd annual Bracebridge Fire & Ice Festival. After supper a couple of us decided to see what Bracebridge Falls looked like all lit up at night and explore the fireworks display that was to occur later that evening.


Bracebridge Falls at Night, Muskoka, Ontario


Bracebridge Fire & Ice, Muskoka, Ontario

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Adelphobates galactonotus

Here are a few recently optimized dart frog images from one of our previous Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop. Registration is open for the recently announced, first dates of 2018.  I was pleased to enroll a few more participants yesterday for the Sunday February 25th date. Effective today there is space for only one participant on Sunday February 24th and a few spaces available for Saturday February 25th. These workshops allow you to create stunning imagery of nature’s most colorful animals in a comfortable setting. It would cost tens of thousands of dollars in both travel expenses and the hiring of guides to be able to photograph a fraction of the varieties offered during these events.

For the February dates we are having three very special additions to our line-up. They are Red-eyed Tree Frogs, Brazilian Milk Frogs, and Vietnamese Moss Frogs.

To find out more about the workshop please click here and to register yourself for either or both dates please do so by clicking here.


Ranitomeya imitator

The Ranitomeya imitator are very small, and very colorful with bright iridescent markings. Interestingly enough the Ranitomeya imitator are completely harmless. They mimic the bright coloration of dart frogs to warn predators that maybe they should stay clear of them. Did you know that all species of dart frogs lose their toxicity in captivity? They require the ants and termites that they feed on in the wild to generate their deadly toxins. Each and every frog that is featured in these workshops is a captive-bred specimen. At no time do we ever use wild caught frogs.

Dendrobates auratus campana

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I am pleased to announce that after the success of the Lake Traverse 2017 Photographic Workshop in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park there will be a Lake Traverse 2018!

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 14, 15, & 16. 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.

A quick note about the Algonquin Radio Observatory:

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 15 participants.

The cost is $525 plus taxes, based on double occupancy (single supplement fee add $40). Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer.

A non-refundable retainer of $250 to secure a space in this workshop is required. Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer. The balance owing will be due by June 1, 2018

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



Friday September 14:

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

Saturday September 15:

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 16:

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

What’s Included:

  • In-depth 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 fee 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
  • Alcholic Beverages

To book and reserve your spot for this exclusive workshop please contact me by clicking here.

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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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Sunset on Lake Superior, Ontario, Canada

Lake Superior offers landscape photographers some of the most dramatic scenes anywhere in Ontario. Stunning sunrises, jaw-dropping sunsets, thundering waterfalls, and so much more await at the Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat being held on October 17 – 21, 2018 at the Rock Island Lodge. Registration for this event is open. Folks wishing to register can contact me directly by clicking here and for further information please click here.

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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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