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Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category

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 Fox in Winter

Red Fox, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm lens @ 310mm ISO 100 f9 @ 1/500 sec

Red Fox, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm lens @ 310mm
ISO 100, f9 @ 1/500 sec

On the morning of Thursday February 9th I drove north to Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park for a day of wildlife photography with friend and colleague Don Johnston. It was a chilly morning with temperatures starting out at -17 degrees Celsius and warming up to about -7 degrees Celsius by early afternoon. After spending a number of hours photography Pine Marten we decided to try our luck with some of Red Foxes that have become overly habituated to human presence. Knowing this prior to my visit I instinctively knew that I wanted to try some wide angle close-up captures, so I took along my Nikon D800 with the Nikkor 18-35mm lens attached for the wide angle imagery and my Nikon D500 with the Nikkor 200-500mm lens for the telephoto captures. After a short trek along the unplowed winter road we could see two foxes out in the open area of the snow covered road. Once we arrived I decided to lay down in the snow and see what would happen. Since these foxes have become so accustomed to the human presence their curiosity brought them in close enough that I was able to capture a few wide angle close-up images of them. When they tired of me laying in the snow they wandered back closer to the forest’s edge whereby I was able to created numerous telephoto images of them. Here is a selection of my favorite images that I created of the Red Foxes in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. It was a great day and the foxes with their lush winter coat against the freshly fallen snow and clear blue skies was quite lovely however, it often too bright for the foxes as they would keep their eyes closed quite tightly due to the brightness of the day. I deleted a very large percentage of my image captures from this day simply due to the foxes having their eyes closed up too tightly.

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

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm ISO 200 f8 @ 1/1000 sec

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 200, f8 @ 1/1000 sec

 

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm ISO 100 f8 @ 1/800 sec

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm
ISO 100, f8 @ 1/800 sec

 

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm ISO 200 f8 @ 1/800 sec

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 200, f8 @ 1/800 sec

 

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 270mm ISO 500 f8 @ 1/1000 sec

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 270mm
ISO 500, f8 @ 1/1000 sec

 

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm ISO 200 f8 @ 1/1000 sec

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 200, f8 @ 1/1000 sec

 

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm ISO 500 f8 @ 1/3200 sec

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm
ISO 500, f8 @ 1/3200 sec

 

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm ISO 100 f8 @ 1/400 sec

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm
ISO 100, f8 @ 1/400 sec

 

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm ISO 100 f8 @ 1/400 sec

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm
ISO 100, f8 @ 1/400 sec

 

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm ISO 200 f8 @ 1/800 sec

Red Fox in Winter, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 200, f8 @ 1/800 sec

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Pine Marten - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm ISO 1000 f8 @ 1/160 sec

Pine Marten – Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 1000
f8 @ 1/160 sec

 

On the morning of January 25th I awoke early and made the two hour trek north to Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park to spend the day photographing Pine Martens with my new Nikon D500. It turned out to be a very productive visit with many wonderful opportunities. I mounted my Nikkor 200-500mm lens on the Nikon D500 as this combination as been proving to be quite deadly, especially given the fact that the Nikon D500 has an APS-C size sensor, therefore the 200-500mm lens becomes the 35mm equivalent of a 300-750mm lens. Here are a few of the Pine Marten images that were created during this visit to Algonquin. All images were created with the Nikon D500 and Nikkor 200-500mm lens firmly mounted to my tripod with a Wimberely Sidekick attached to my ballhead.

Please do remember to click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper versions.

Pine Marten - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 220mm ISO 1000 f8 @ 1/800 sec

Pine Marten – Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 220mm (330mm equivalent)
ISO 1000
f8 @ 1/800 sec

 

Pine Marten - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm ISO 1000 f8 @ 1/80 sec

Pine Marten – Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 1000
f8 @ 1/80 sec

 

Pine Marten - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 310mm ISO 1000 f8 @ 1/320 sec

Pine Marten – Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 310mm (465mm equivalent)
ISO 1000
f8 @ 1/320 sec

 

Pine Marten - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 420mm ISO 1000 f8 @ 1/320 sec

Pine Marten – Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 420mm (630mm equivalent)
ISO 1000
f8 @ 1/320 sec

 

Pine Marten - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 400mm ISO 1000 f8 @ 1/420 sec

Pine Marten – Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 400mm (600mm equivalent)
ISO 1000
f8 @ 1/420 sec

 

Pine Marten - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 640mm ISO 1000 f8 @ 1/320 sec

Pine Marten – Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 320mm (480mm equivalent)
ISO 1000
f8 @ 1/640 sec

 

Pine Marten - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 270mm ISO 1000 f8 @ 1/640 sec

Pine Marten – Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 270mm (405mm equivalent)
ISO 1000
f8 @ 1/640 sec

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Daybreak at Marie Louise Lake in Ontario's Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

 

Looking back over the past year I came to the realization that I created some of my own personal favorites during 2016. As this year comes to a close here is the selection of my most favorite images. From the stunning daybreak display above on Marie Louise Lake in Ontario’s Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, to the Bullfrogs on Horseshoe Lake, to beautiful vistas along the Niagara Escarpment in Bruce Peninsula National Park, to winter scenes close to home, and to the highest cliffs in Ontario at the Top of the Giant Trail over-looking Lake Superior. I arrived just in time to capture nature’s beauty when she was ready to put on a stellar show!

I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of 2017 as I will commence several new ventures with my photography, including a schedule of upcoming workshops that I will announce shortly.

I would like to take a moment to thank you all for your support of my work and to wish you all a very Happy New Year and all the best for the year ahead.

Please do remember to click on each of the images to view the sharper, larger version.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Bullfrog in Wetland on Horseshoe Lake, Ontario

Bullfrog in Wetland on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Halfway Log Dump, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario

Halfway Log Dump, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario

 

Winter Stream in Thornton, Ontario

Winter Stream in Thornton, Ontario

 

Daybreak on Horseshoe Lake, Ontario

Daybreak on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive

 

Top of the Giant, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

Top of the Giant, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

 

Interrupted ferns in autumn in woodland setting, Torrance Barrens, Ontario, Canada

Ferns in Autumn Woodland, Torrance Barrens, Ontario

 

Northern Water Snake, Horseshoe Lake, Ontario

Northern Water Snake, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Night Scape on Marie Louise Lake in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. Minor crop applied to fix tilted horizon.

Night-scape, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

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Northern Shoveler drake Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

A couple of weeks ago I made my way down to Humber Bay Park in Toronto, along the Lake Ontario shoreline. I was pleased to see a beautiful Northern SHoveler drake in one of the ponds however, he was not being the most co-operative fellow. Yesterday I return for a follow-up visit to see if he was still hanging around. To my surprise there were numerous Northern Shoveler drakes present at the pond and they were being most co-operative. In roughly two hours I had created hundreds of image files of these ducks that have eluded me for a very long time. To gain the low angle perspective I laid down on one of the boardwalks beside the pond. This low perspective will give the resulting imagery a duck’s eye view and help create the soft out-of-focus background. Here is a selection of images created during yesterday’s visit.

Any folks that are interested in private-in-the-field instruction to hone their waterfowl photography skills can contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca to discuss booking a session for four hours of my undivided attention.

Northern Shoveler Drake Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1600 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1600 sec

 

Northern Shoveler Drake Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

 

Northern Shoveler Drake - wing flap Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake – wing flap
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

 

Northern Shoveler Drake - wing flap Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake – wing flap
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

 

Northern Shoveler Drake Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1250 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1250 sec

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Tamrac Pro Digital Zoom 10

During the last few months I have been using Tamrac’s M.A.S. System (Modular Accessory System) and the Pro Digital Zoom 10 to carry my equipment during photo excursions. The folks that have been following my blog for a while may recall last September I wrote about a mishap I encountered with one of my old Lowepro Street and Field lens cases. For those of you who have recently began to follow my blog here is the short version – while jumping down from a log beside a beaver pond, the velcro fastening system on the Lowepro lens case failed and the case went for a swim in the pond with my Nikon 12-24mm lens inside. I quickly went for a swim in the pond to rescue the lens before it suffered any damage resulting from the dunking.

Fast-forward to this year when the opportunity to become sponsored by Tamrac was presented to me by Gentec International, the supplier to Tamrac products in Canada, I was very eager to try out their M.A.S. System, which stands for Modular Accessory System and their Pro Digital Zoom 10 pack. When the packs arrived I was immediately impressed with the high quality fabric used in their construction. This fabric is called ‘ballistic nylon,’ which is a thick, tough, synthetic nylon material that is very durable. All the zippers have large pull tabs that make opening the packs and lens cases a breeze. I have also noted as I canoe throughout wetlands, when I inadvertently splash water over the packs that the water actually beads on the fabric.

What I love most about modular systems, aside from being able to customize them to your individual needs, is the ability to simply meander about in the field, knowing that everything I need is with me when photographic opportunities are presented. There is no searching for the pack you left laying on the ground while you wandered about or worse, hoping you have time to run back and grab that one piece of gear you need to photograph that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you have been dreaming of. This type of carrying system is also very friendly towards by frequent back problems.

Here is what I love about the Pro Digital Zoom 10 Pack:

  • large flap on top of the pack provides excellent protection from the elements, although not being used to such an extra large flap did take some getting used too but the extra protection this provides my gear in the field is paramount.
  • inside the large flap is a zippered pocket that I often carry my most frequently used filter – a polarizing filter.
  • easily holds my Nikon D800 with the Nikon 80-400mm VR lens attached.
  • I can carry the pack as a shoulder bag or use the built in belt loop to attach the pack to the M.A.S belt.
  • it is compatible with the M.A.S. system allowing me the convenience of changing the accessory packs around to suit the photographic needs day. In the above photo I have fitted the Pro Digital Zoom 10 with the Lens Case Pro 200 and the Lens Case Pro 50. In the Pro 200 case I have housed two small lenses, a 12-24mm and a 18-70mm lens (separated by a piece of foam padding) and in the Pro 50 case I have housed my 105mm micro lens.
  • a large front pocket to house additional items such as cable release, double bubble level, spare battery, and compact flash cards. Note the batteries and flash cards can be stored in Tamrac’s ‘Battery Management System‘ that is also found inside the large front pocket, however, I do prefer to carry my compact flash cards in water tight protective cases.

My personal M.A.S. set-up

In the above photograph (click on the photo to see a larger version that also shows the weeds and clover growing in my lawn :)) is my personal set-up of M.A.S. packs attached to the accessory belt. On longer hikes I will often remove the lens cases from the Pro Digital Zoom 10 and fasten them to this belt. The image above shows the two medium sized Backpack Side Pockets, the Lens Case Pro 100, and the Filter Belt Pack. Here is what goes in these packs:

  • the first Backpack Side Pocket houses my Wimberely Macro Bracket-single arm set-up and my Nikon SB400 Speedlight that I frequently use for my frog photography.
  • the Lens Case Pro 100 will often house an additional lens or other small accessories that I may carry into the field. This all depends on the needs of the day.
  • the second Backpack Side Pocket contains my Better Beamer Flash Extender and my SB600 Speedlight or alternately I will use this pack for my graduated neutral density filters.
  • the Filter Belt Pack is used for various filters such as my 3 & 10 stop Neutral Density filters, Canon 500D close-up filter, and my Singh Ray Warming Polarizing Filter

One small detail of the M.A.S. system that has impressed me most of all is the method by which they are attached to the accessory belt or the Pro Digital Zoom 10 pack – velcro and snaps. Velcro is often the main choice of camera bag manufactures to fasten such accessory items to the main packs, however, Tamrac have taken the time to add durable metal snaps (see the image below) for added security to ensure the accessories do not fall off. I most often find that velcro tends to lose its effectiveness over time but with these metal snaps I feel very confident that the next time I jump over a log alongside a beaver pond I will not be going for an unanticipated swim to retrieve any lens cases from the pond.

Velcro and metal snap buttons found on M.A.S. system accessories

If you are in need of a new modular carrying system for your photographic forays check out the various accessories that are available for the Tamrac M.A.S. system to see if there is a selection of packs and cases available to suit your individual photographic needs.

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While I find photographing animals in the wild to be a much more fulfilling and rewarding experience, controlled subjects can also offer unique opportunities. I will often attempt to capture images of a given subject that I know will be virtually impossible for me to capture in the field, such as the Bobcat portrait above. I also tend to select subjects that are threatened or endangered. Here is a collection of some of my favorite images of controlled subjects. Hope you enjoy this collection of photos.

This Red Fox was trying to sleep while keeping a watchful eye on a pair of young Siberian Tigers were playing in an adjacent enclosure.

I highly doubt that I will ever see a Wolverine in the wild so when the opportunity to photograph one in a controlled situation presented itself I jumped at the chance.

A young Siberian Tiger hissing at its litter mate while playing. Would you really want to be this close to a tiger in the wild with this menacing look?

A Lioness photographed near my home at a sanctuary that gives exotic pets a home when there owners realize that big cats don’t make good house pets.

A beautiful, captive, Swainson’s Hawk spreads its wings in the wind for a pleasing pose.

Great Horned Owl

Turkey Vulture – ugly as they may be, vultures are one of the most beneficial species on the planet – nature’s clean-up crew.

Lynx – I’ve seen one Lynx in the wild, in Ontario, in my lifetime. It ran across a highway with no chance to photograph it.

Eastern Screech Owl – difficult to find and photograph with a pleasing background.

Green Water Dragon – by using a flash I was able to eliminate many elements in lizards enclosure and give the illusion that it was photographed at night.

A highly endangered Cuban Crocodile photographed at a breeding facility in Cuba. These crocodiles are now thought to only exist in Cuba’s Zapata Swamp.

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