Archive for the ‘workshops’ Category

Today I am announcing Teaching Moment Photographic Workshops with the first installment being Rusty Old Wrecks. These workshops will be a series of inexpensive, half day sessions that also give back! Just how will they give back – for every 5 Teaching Moment Photographic Workshops that you attend you will receive a $50 (Canadian currency) voucher redeemable on any future workshop that you attend.

Join me on Saturday November 4, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for the Rusty Old Wrecks Photographic Workshop being held at McClean’s Auto Wreckers, near Milton, Ontario. Whether you are relatively new to photography or looking for instruction to fine tune your craft this 4 hour workshop provides excellent subject matter with acres of old dilapidated cars and trucks to chose from. You will learn everything from the basics of good composition, using filters to your advantage, and the benefits of HDR photography. The cost of this workshop is $65 plus HST and must be paid in advance of the workshop date. To reserve your spot and to arrange payment please contacting me by clicking here. The maximum number of participants for this event is 10.

This workshop will run rain, shine, or snow.

Stay tuned for more Teaching Moment Photographic Workshop announcements soon.


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The Cayman Brac 2018 Photo Tour has just been discounted by $425 US making the tour of this incredible Caribbean island available for only $1275 US plus condominium rental. Cayman Brac is a premier destination for photographing nesting Brown Booby. During this tour we will also be photographing the rugged landscape of the island, numerous species of herons, the endangered Cayman Brac Parrot, the critically endangered Sister Island Rock Iguana, and a host of other species. Please click here to find out more about this remote, safe, tropical paradise in the Caribbean sea.

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Star Trails, Lake Traverse, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 125
f4 @ 30 minutes

We wrapped up the Lake Traverse program this morning to enable folks plenty of time for their long journeys home. We had a fantastic group of participants and created many superb landscape images. I would also like to extend a very BIG thank-you to Don Johnston for assisting me during the program. Don is a great teacher who’s dedication to helping folks get the most of the experience is greatly appreciated.  In the coming weeks I will share the participant images with you here on the blog. Aside from our regularly planned landscape photography locations we organized two night-scape sessions and were blessed with clear skies on both nights, however the second night was the clearest of all due to the first night having a very light haze in the sky. The northern lights were visible for both nightscape sessions but they were not very pronounced. Tinges of color are present within the star trails image above. After spending a couple of hours creating Milky Way Nightscapes over the Petawawa River and the Algonquin Radio Observatory satellite dish we had three participants that wanted to capture a star trail image. We made our way down to the shore of Lake Traverse, set up our compositions, dialed in the ISO, f-stop, and set the shutter speed to BULB. We then tripped the shutters on our cameras and chatted for a half hour while we created our star trail images. We completed our start trails imagery by approximately 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Just in time to grab a few winks before heading back out for misty sunrises at 6:30 a.m.

I arrived home late this afternoon and immediately unpacked and began packing for my departure tomorrow afternoon to the rainforests of Tarapoto, Peru.

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La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi)
Nikon D500, Nikkor 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

The La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) is a small tree frog (about one inch) endemic to the rainforests of Costa Rica. When view from underneath you can see all of their internal organs, blood vessels, and bones – hence the name glass frog. During each Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop we bring this species out as a bonus species. The above image is optimized from a horizontal capture as can be seen in the unedited RAW directly file below. In hindsight this fantastic pose on a Monsterra leaf should have been capture in both horizontal and vertical orientations. Hindsight and Photoshop knowledge is a wonderful thing because with a little tweaking you can have both.

La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) RAW FILE
Nikon D500, Nikkor 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

In the screen shot of the Photoshop interface below you can see that I have selected the Crop Tool (I set the Ratio to 3712 X 5568 pixels, the same dimensions as an image from a Nikon D500). I then moved the crop tool and enlarged the ratio until I had the frog positioned exactly where I wanted it to be. As you can see from the screen shot below, the crop tool as been extended well beyond the actual image. This was done deliberatley. Note that I have checked the Content Aware box (please click on the image to view the larger version making it easier to see). All I have to do now is click on the crop tool’s check mark to initiate the cropping and let content aware will fill in the areas beyond the frame. usually there may be a little touch up needed as the content aware may not fill in the spaces perfectly, but in this case it did a wonderful job with no additional touch up required. The final task that was performed was cloning out the flash generated spectral highlights on the frog. I often find that enlarging the image to about 400% simplifies the task of cloning out these highlights, although it can be a time consuming task.

And last but not least is the optimized horizontal orientation of the La Palma Glass Frog. Please do remember to click on the images to view the larger, versions.

La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi)
Nikon D500, Nikkor 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket


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Ranitomeya fantastica © Paul Infelise

A quick update on the recently announced Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop on Saturday, November 25th as it is now SOLD OUT (wait list). If enough interest is generated or the wait list becomes sufficient we will add a second date on Sunday, November 26th. If you missed out on getting your name in for the Saturday date, it is not too late, please send me an email by clicking here asking me to add you to the wait list.

Today’s post again features imagery by two participants in the recently concluded dart frog workshop. I love the pose of the Ranitomeya fantastica on the branch in the opening photo that Paul Infelise captured. The male Denrobates tinctorius “Mount Matecko” below seems to have a tough guy look to him and although a tad tight in the frame I really do like the pose on the Dendrobates tinctorius in the final image by Paul.


Dendrobates tinctorius “Mount Matecko” © Paul Infelise


Dendrobates tinctorius © Paul Infelise


Mark Pomeroy sent along a small selection of his imagery from the day as well. Each of the frogs that mark sent are very small, measuring roughly the size of a thumb nail, with the exception of the Ranitomeya reticulata which is a little bit smaller than that! Mark’s Ranitomeya variablis on the Monsterra leaf is posing for us quite nicely and the placement within the frame works well too. The La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) has a very inquisitive look to its pose. The dark background creates the effect that this is a night time capture, which is an accurate representation for this nocturnal species. The Glass Frogs are always brought at the end of each event as a bonus species and they never disappoint. As mentioned previously the Ranitomeya reticulata is slightly smaller than a thumb nail in size and I like that mark kept it small in the frame as I think it enhances the diminutive size of this incredibly tiny, yet colorful dart frog.


Ranitomeya variablis © Mark Pomeroy


Hyalinobatrachium valerioi © Mark Pomeroy


Ranitomeya reticulata © Mark Pomeroy

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Without a doubt nature’s most colourful animals are the Dart Frogs which are endemic to the Amazon Rainforest. You have seen many of my images of these amphibians before as well as the stunning photos created by the previous workshop participants. We are holding one more Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop in 2017 and it will be held in Mississauga, Ontario at LifeLike Imaging on:

Saturday, November 25, 2017  10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The space for each workshop is limited to a maximum of 8 participants to allow ample time for folks to photograph each species of frog.

Workshop fee is $195.00 plus HST. ($195.00 + $25.35 HST = $220.35)

To reserve your spot in this workshop payment in full is due now.

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 with a guide 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 have custom made flash diffusers that will allow folks to capture stunning imagery using camera mounted flash as well.

All frogs photographed at these workshops are captive bred subjects and we will be featuring 15 species not featured at any of the previously held events.

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!

This will likely be the last “Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop” until April 2018.

 Cancellation Policy

  • More than 30 days notice will be refunded their workshop fee less a $25 administration fees.
  • 30 days notice or less No Refunds.

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Ameerega hahneli   ©Sherry Butts

This post is feature several images from some of the participants that attended the recently concluded Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshops on August 19th & 20th. We had a great group of folks for each date and tons of fun creating great images. We incorporated the use of props for some species to illustrate just how tiny they are. These props included a ten cent coin and the thumb of yours truly for a human touch 🙂 I am really proud of the images that the workshop participants created during these two events as well as their post processing skills. I will share more images from other participants when they are able to send their images along. Below are a few images from the first group of participants that were able to submit their images this week. Stay tuned for more images soon 🙂

First time participant Alan Jones made the trek from Michigan to attend both days of the workshop and created many great images using his Nikon D800 with the now discontinued Nikon 200mm Micro lens and the R1 Wireless Close-up Speedlight System I love the upright pose Alan captured of the Epipedobates tricolor, the side profile of the Phyllobates terribilis, and the low perspective for the Dendrobates leucomelas.

Dendrobates leucolemla   ©Alan Jones

Phyllobates terribilis   ©Alan Jones


Epipedobates tricolor   ©Alan Jones


Jennifer St. Louis was also a first time participant at the dart frog workshop. Jen was using a small soft box on her camera mounted flash to add a soft even light, which is something I may start incorporating. I absolutely love the image she captured of the Ranitomeya flavovitta below. Her low perspective allows the frog to stand out beautifully against the poster-like, out-of-focus background. Her image of the Hyalinobatrachium valerioi on the Monsterra leaf creates a nice sense of scale for this tiny tree frog and her Dendrobates leucomelas image really pops against the soft greens of the same leaf.


Ranitomeya flavovittata   ©Jen St. Louis


Hyalinobatrachium valerioi   ©Jen St. Louis


Dendrobates leucomelas   ©Jen St. Louis


Return workshop participant Don Johnston captured the Epipedobates tricolor on a 10 cent Canadian coin which really gives us a great sense of scale for this tiny but colorful frog. Don was also using the discontinued Nikon 200mm Micro lens with a light source provided by his Nikon SB900 Speedlight mounted to a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket. The benefit of using such a lens is that you gain more working distance, which can be most beneficial at times. Don’s capture of the Dendrobates tinctorius on the soft green moss (direct from Peru) pops nicely as does his Phylobates terribilis sitting on the Cordelyne leaf – what better combination than a bright yellow frog sitting on a bright purplish-pink leaf 🙂


Epipedobates tricolor   ©Don Johnston


Dendrobates tinctorius “azureus”   ©Don Johnston


Phyllobates terribilis   ©Don Johnston


Sherry Butts’, a returning workshop participant, opening image of the Ameerega hahneli reaching up to my thumb nail was only made better when the frog actually climbed up onto my thumb nail. Sherry was using one of my home-made flash diffusers to add soft, even lighting and while these custom-made diffusers are impracticable for field use they allow the workshop participant to create stunning imagery without the need to invest in expensive off camera flash brackets. Sherry loves going for a creative look in her images and as a result applied a beautiful texture overlay to her capture on the Phyllobates terribilis on a leaf stem.


Ameerega hahneli   ©Sherry Butts


Phyllobates terribilis   ©Sherry Butts

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