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Due to the very successful, first-ever Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop in May I will be hosting two photographic workshops, with new species of dart frogs in each session, in August at the Crinan Community Centre located at 13568 Dunborough Line in West Elgin, Ontario, located near London, Ontario.

The dates and times for these workshops are:

Saturday, August 19, 2017  10:00a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  (SOLD OUT – wait list)

Sunday, August 20, 2017       10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (SOLD OUT – wait list)

The space for each workshop is limited to a maximum of 8 participants to allow ample time for folks to photograph each species. Each workshop will feature different species and colour varieties of dart frogs.

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 on your own 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 provide custom made flash diffusers that will allow folks to capture equally stunning imagery using camera mounted flash as well.

Please note: folks wishing to sign up for both dates will receive a 15% discount, which works out to $339.13 plus HST to attend both sessions.

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!

 

Rainbow and Passing Storm, Thornton, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 200
f11 @ 1/80 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Inclement weather can often be a landscape photographer’s best friend. This is especially true during the moments of changing weather patterns as dramatic lighting can and will likely occur. Two nights ago as a series of thunder storms were rolling through the farmland surrounding my home an incredible fleeting moment presented itself as the storms began to clear . As I looked out the window, across my backyard, I could see that there was some clearing in the skies to the west. I grabbed a camera body and lens, ran outside, and across the road into the freshly plowed field as I was certain there was going to be a glorious rainbow as soon as the sun shone through the clearing in the western sky. I did not have to wait long before my prediction became a reality and the sun lit up the field before me and cast a rainbow in the east. After capturing a few frames of the full rainbow, with a partial double rainbow visible, many of the dark storm clouds had passed and a tiny bit of blue sky were being revealed but a very interesting and ominous cloud formation had formed overhead, while a touch of the rainbow remained. The incredible opportunity presented by this passing storm cell lasted only 10 minutes. Being prepared and attuned to the ongoing weather system ensured that I was ready for this fleeting moment in nature.

 

Rainbow and Passing Storm, Thornton, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-85mm VR Lens
ISO 400
f11 @ 1/250 sec

Phyllobates terribilis (mint)
©Martina Schneider

Today’s post features  several images from some of the participants that attended the first ever Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop.  I think you will agree with me that they all did a fantastic job of creating many stunning images. As you scroll down through the images do note the captions to see which participant created each photo and please do click on the photos to see the larger versions. In the opening photo Martina Schneider did an absolutely amazing job of capturing the image of the Phyllobates terribilis from a very low perspective – a frog’s eye view if you will 🙂

Ranitomeya ventrimaculata
©Paul Infelise

Paul Infelise also used a very low perspective to capture a stunning image of the Ranitomeya ventrimaculata revealing the stunning colouration of the frog’s underside.

Ranitomeya fantastica
©Laurie Thomson

For one of our set-ups we got a little creative by utilizing a large white plastic serving tray to display the frogs against the pure white background. Laurie Thomson’s took the creativity one awesome step further in her photo of the Ranitomeya fantastica above by including the fingertips of the frog handler to create a sense of scale. Notice how the full grown frog is not much bigger than a fingernail!

Cruziohyla crasperdopus
©Barb Marszalek

Towards the end of the workshop we brought out a group of three Cruziohyla crasperdopus which Barb Marszalek captured beautifully as they climbed over each other. The colouration of these frogs allows them to remain camouflaged on the bark of certain palm trees while they sleep during the daylight hours. Barb attended one of my previous workshops at Reptilia and created many incredible photos, of which one received a Gold Ribbon at the Etobicoke Camera Club competition and a Bronze Medal in the Animal Category of the Greater Toronto Council of Camera Clubs competition. Awesome achievement Barb!

Ranitomeya imitator
©George Nagy

Longtime blog supporter George Nagy created this wonderful image of my favourite dart frog the Ranitomeya imitator as it rested on a large monstera leaf. George not only positioned the frog very nicely within the frame but also paid close attention to the details of the leaf allowing the one yellowish vein to act as a diagonal leading line.

Below you will see a few additional images created by each of these participants.

We will be announcing the date of the next dart frog workshop very soon and it will feature a completely new collection of dart frogs!

Dendrobates tinctorius “citronella”
©Martina Schneider

 

Epipedobates anthonyi
©George Nagy

 

La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobactrachium valerioi) – female with eggs
©Laurie Thomson

 

Dendrobates auratus campana
©Barb Marszalek

 

Dendrobates tinctorius “azureus”
©Paul Infelise

 

Ranitomeya vanzolinni
©George Nagy

 

Epipedobates anthonyi
©Laurie Thomson

 

Dendrobates auratus
©Martina Schneider

 

Dendrobates tinctoius “azureus”
©Barb Marszalek

 

Ameerega hahneli – defence posture
©Laurie Thomson

 

Ameerega hahneli
©Barb Marszalek

 

Ameerega hahneli
©Martina Schneider

 

Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Participant Group Photo

On Saturday May 13th the first Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest was held at the Crinan Community Centre. We had 7 wonderful and fun loving participants. The day was full of laughter and great image opportunities. A very big round of thanks goes out to Mark and Jackie Pepper of Understory Enterprises for being absolutely fantastic at wrangling the frogs for the participants throughout the entire day. Also a very big thank-you goes out to each of the participants for being such awesome and fun loving folks! I am eager to share with you the workshop participants photos here on the blog once they are ready to share because they were all creating some really awesome imagery!

The Crinan Community Centre is a fabulous location for the workshop and rich in history too. It originally opened as a school on October 22, 1913 and had separate entrances for the boys and girls. It closed as a school in 1965 and was restored many years later to serve as a community centre in the Dutton/Dunwich area of Ontario. Below is a creative edit of the hall that I photographed early in the morning when I first arrived.

Crinan Community Centre

The workshop participants were able to photograph 20 different species of dart frogs in natural table-top set-ups as well as a couple of add-on tree frog species towards the end of the day. Workshop participant Sherry Butts came up with a great idea of using a large white plastic plate for some creative frog portraits too. And longtime blog follower George Nagy was the winner of the door prize, a Wimberley Plamp, graciously provided by Wimberley.

We will be offering a second workshop at this same location in August or September and it will feature an entirely different selection of dart frog species. Any folks that are interested should contact me here to be added to the contact list for this soon to be announced second workshop.

During the workshop I only created a small handful of images as my priority was to assist the participants in capturing their own great photos of the frogs. Below are a few of my favorite images from the day.

Please do remember to click on each of the photos to see the larger, sharper version.

Ranitomeya imitator – captive

 

Epipedobates anthonyi – captive

 

Phyllobates terribilis – captive

 

Dendrobates tinctorius azureus – captive

 

La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) – captive

 

A trio of Cruziohyla craspedopus – captive

 

Recently I created a slideshow presentation of my February trip to the Caribbean Island of Cayman Brac using Adobe Spark and shared it on my social media sites. I wanted to share this project with those that follow along here at the blog as well. To view the slideshow simply click on the above picture and scroll down through the project.

Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement in the next week or so about an exclusive opportunity to join me in Febraury 2018 for a guided tour of these stunning vistas on Cayman Brac. Folks that are interested in this photo tour can send a quick email here to have their email address added to my workshop email list to avoid missing out on this incredible opportunity.

The Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop is fast approaching with limited space remaining. On Saturday May 13th at 10:00 am at the Crinan Community Centre located at 13568 Dunborough Line in West Elgin, Ontario those that are already registered will be creating incredible imagery of a vast variety of dart frogs endemic to the forests of Peru. In order to photograph this vast variety of frogs in the wild it would cost tens of thousands of dollars and extensive, guided travel, but in this four hour photographic workshop you will create impressive imagery of nature’s most colourful animals, in natural settings, in comfort.

One lucky participant will be walking away with a door prize donated by Wimberley!

One such frog we will be photographing is Phyllobates terribilis aka “The Terrible One.” This frog is the deadliest vertebrate on the planet with enough alkaloid toxins to kill 100 people. Fortunately all dart frogs in captivity lose their toxins and are perfectly safe. They develop their toxins through the ants and termites that they feed on in the Amazon Rainforest, without this food supply they lose their toxicity.

All frogs used in this workshop are captive bred specimens.

Here are a few examples of what you will be able to capture if you register for the workshop. Do note that there are limited spaces remaining. For more information please click here.

Phyllobates terribilis (mint) – captive

 

Phyllobates terribilis – captive

 

Dendrobates auratus campana

 

Epipedobates anthonyi – captive

 

Phyllobates vittatos – captive

 

Dendrobates tinctorius (Azureus) – captive

 

Dendrobates tinctorius (Citronella) – captive

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 500
f5.6 @ 1/800 sec

Without a doubt the Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) is North America’s most beautiful duck. In the late 19th and early 20th century they were hunted to near extinction, but in 1918 after the hunting season was closed they steadily grew in numbers and now there is estimated to be more than a million Wood Ducks in North America. I frequently encounter them in the woodland ponds and quiet lake shores throughout the Parry Sound region however, they are often very quick to take flight and disappear into deeper, inaccessible areas of the wetlands. During a recent trip to Toronto’s High Park to photograph the famous Sakura Cherry trees in full bloom I encountered a large flock of very co-operative and very tame Wood Ducks. I spent roughly three hours photographing the ducks until the lighting began to turn too harsh and created close to 3,000 images. The photos featured in today’s blog post represent a small number and my favorites of the initial edit from the day. The proximity of the pond that the ducks were foraging in provided a nice mixture of sun and shade which allowed for capturing the ducks in various lighting scenarios. My preference is to create images of the Wood Ducks in shade or overcast light for beautiful fine feather details.

Each of the featured images were created with the amazing Nikon D500 and the Nikkor 200-500mm VR lens handheld. Being able to capture images at 1o frames per second with the Nikon D500’s 200 image buffer ensures that I never miss a shot due to exhausting the camera’s buffer, which will happen often with my Nikon D800 due to the large size of the image files. I do however selectively use the 10 fps on the Nikon D500 in very short bursts. I will only hold down the shutter for longer bursts during periods of intense action whereby I am hoping to capture the best possible image for the corresponding action.

Please remember to click on each of the photos to view the larger, sharper view.

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 410mm (615mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/200 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake wing flap
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/400 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake taking flight
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 800
f8 @ 1/2000 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/800 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 200
f5.6 @ 1/320 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/400 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake wing flap
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 370mm (555mm equivalent)
ISO 200
f8 @ 1/320 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/500 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 410mm (615mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/200 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – hen
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/100 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 500
f8 @ 1/500 sec

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) – drake
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 640
f8 @ 1/1000 sec

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