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The Last Sunrise

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On Thursday morning I start my long day of travel back home to Ontario from my two week stay on the Caribbean Island of Cayman Brac. This morning’s sunrise was probably the best during my two weeks here. I grabbed a quick cellphone snap of it, to share, using the HDR feature, that I love, on my Samsung Note 2.

See ya soon :)

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Cayman Brac Update

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Here’s a quick cellphone snap using the HDR feature on my Samsung Note 2. I did a pre-dawn trip to Pollard Bay this morning for sunrise imagery and then explored the rugged coast along the base of the 144 foot bluff located at the east end of the island.

My snorkeling trips have been very productive and I will share those photos with you once I return to Ontario and have time to process the image files. So far I have captured some nice photos of: Octopus,  Caribbean Reef Squid, Stonefish , Sand Divers, and Stingrays.

See you soon :)

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Cayman Brac

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I have arrived on the beautiful island of Cayman Brac. After some much needed rest after a long day of travel yesterday I am ready to begin exploring the area above and below the sea. Cayman Brac will be my home for the next two weeks ☺

At dusk on the day before I left Ontario the snowy owl that has been over – wintering in the fields behind my house finally landed on a more suitable perch, instead of the usual barn roof or hydro poles. Below is my favorite of the many images I created of the owl. I photographed her until my fingers were numb from the cold, won’t need to worry about that for the next 14 days ☺

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Spruce Tree Sapling_6220

My second entry into the #treesinfourseasons challenge is a macro photo of a spruce tree seedling that I photographed while exploring the edges of a woodland beaver pond many years ago. I was immediately drawn to the way the radiating patterns of the hair-cap moss and the seedling resembled each other.

Today I nominate Roy Ramsay, the editor of Outdoor Photography Canada to continue the #treesinfourseasons photo challenge..

Your challenge images must represent all four seasons, one from each season. With each entry please challenge one other person and use the hashtag #treesinfourseasons so everyone can search to find all the entries as the challenge progresses.

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Aquarium Set-up_1173

Above you will see the temporary set-up that I used to create the Water Tiger images in the previous post. Click on the image to see the larger version and you will see that I have used a pair of clothes pegs to hold a small piece of cardboard that has been painted with greens and browns to try and get a pond water look onto the back wall of the aquarium. In the image above I used water-logged leaves as the substrate, which did work not bad but they do hold a lot of debris that can cloud the water. On my second attempt at using this set-up I opted for a sandy substrate that worked much better. By setting the small 2.5 gallon aquarium on the bucket photography was made so much easier and the dip net was essential for catching the various critters that I was able to photograph.

In the images below you will notice that some have relatively clean looking water. I achieved this by cloning out some of the larger particles that were in the water and also with a quick and dirty method discovered by reducing the structure and contrast sliders in Nik Viveza 2 to create the ‘clean’ look. Do note that the images with the sandy bottom yield a cleaner look. The debris in the frog photo (you shoulda known I could not resist the temptation for over-under froggie photos :) ), which is a result of the leafy substrate is acceptable to me as frog ponds are seldom crystal clear anyway.

Here are a few of the recent edits from the aquatic pond life set-up. Please let me know which is your favorite and don’t forget to click on each to see the larger, sharper versions.

Salamander Larva. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, ISO 50, f14 @

Salamander Larva. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, Nikon Speedlight SB400, ISO 100, f14 @ 1/60

Gray Tree Frog Tadpole. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, ISO 400, f20 @ 1/60

Gray Tree Frog Tadpole. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, Nikon Speedlight SB400,  ISO 400, f20 @ 1/60

Predaceous Diving Beetle Larva Breathing at Surface. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, ISO 400, f16 @ 1/60

Predaceous Diving Beetle Larva Breathing at Surface. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, Nikon Speedlight SB400, ISO 400, f16 @ 1/60

Green Frog. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, ISO 500, f16 @ 1/125

Green Frog. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, ISO 500, f16 @ 1/125

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OOPS!!!

It would seem that I suffered a braincramp while writing the previous blog post and forgot to post the image from Killbear Provincial Park. You can view the image on my Facebook page. Just click on the link in the sidebar.

It has been very hot and humid here. here in Parry Sound and today a nasty thunderstorm rolled through the area. Hoping for a nice sunrise tomorrow as the storm system moves on.

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Old Boat_8532

While vacationing in the Cayman Islands, on the island of Cayman Brac I often passed this old wooden boat along the road on the south side of the island. I could not help myself but to create a low perspective, wide angle composition that I could bring home to play around with for that grungy look. After making the required tweaks in ACR and performing a bit of image clean-up for dust bunnies and such I opened the image in Nik / Google’s Color Efex 4 and selected the Detail Extractor tool. Using a heavy hand I enhanced the detail to a slightly grunge look and applied the results. Next I opened the image a second time the exact same way to apply the Detail Extractor Tool a second time. This is my lazy-HDR technique when I am seeking that grungy effect. I often use this technique for my Rusty Old Wrecks gallery, which is on my Smugmug page. Please do click here to view this gallery too.

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