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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

 

cayman brac, cayman islands, british west indies, caribbean

Sunrise at Pollard Bay
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

As 2017 draws to a close, I would like to share a selection of my ten personal favorite images that I created over the last twelve months. Two highlights for 2017 were spending a couple of weeks on the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac, as well as one week in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Amazonian rainforest near Tarapoto, Peru. For 2018 I am offering workshops to both of these locations and cannot wait to meet-up with the folks attending the Cayman Brac Workshop in February. There is still space available for our inaugural Peru 2018, which promises to be a one-of-a-kind adventure for landscape and micro fauna photography.

sister island rock iguana, rock iguana, cayman brac, cayman islands, british west indies, cyclura nubila caymanensis

Sister Island Rock Iguana (Cyclura nubila caymanensis)
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

 

brown booby, sula leucogaster, cayman brac, cayman islands, british west indies

Brown Booby chick (Sula leucogaster)
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

In September I embarked on a journey to Tarapoto, Peru as a scouting trip for the upcoming Peru 2018 – Landscapes and Micro Fauna of the Cordillera Escalera event which is scheduled for early July 2018. Our rainforest hikes were most productive with several species of dart frogs photographed, awe inspiring waterfalls, and a rare opportunity to photograph the endangered Cochran Frog (Rulyrana saxiscandens). I am looking most forward to taking a group of participants into this region for an all-inclusive, once-in-a-lifetime photographic experience!

peru, cordillera escalera, sunrise, rainforest, amazon rainforest, jungle

Sunrise in the Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

peru, dart frog, peru, cordillera escalera, ameerega trivittata, three striped poison frog

Three-striped Poison Frog (Ameerega trivittata), Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

peru, cordillera, escalera, amazon rainforest, rainforest, waterfall, tununtunumba

Cataratas Tununtunumba in the Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

peru, amazon rainforest, cochran frog, rulyrana saxiscandens, cordillera escalera

Cochran Frog (Rulyrana saxiscandens)
Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

Aside from the two main trips taken in 2017 I spent a significant amount of time exploring my own backyard here in Ontario. Several visits to the Georgian Bay shoreline yielded many lovely scenes. During the springtime months I spent my usual amount of time exploring nearby wetlands, at night, for fresh images of frogs and toads chorusing during the breeding season. On one of those evenings I located a wonderful male Spring Peeper singing in a Hemlock bough high above the pond. Throughout the summer much of my photograph efforts seemed to be concentrated at the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario where I encountered a very co-operative female White-tailed Deer grazing on a nearby peat bog as I canoed through the wetland one evening.

 

sunset, pary sound, ontario, muskoka, georgian bay

Sunset on Georgian Bay near Parry Sound, Ontario

 

frog, tree frog, spring peeper, hyla crucifer, ontario, barrie, wetlands

Spring Peeper (Hyla crucifer) with vocal sac fully inflated

 

deer, white tailed deer, peat bog, wetland, parry sound, ontario, muskoka, canada

White Tailed Deer on peat bog with cotton grass.
Parry Sound, Ontario

With the new year just around the corner I am pleased to say that I have finally completed my eBook on frog photography. It is now undergoing the editing phase prior to publication. I will also be announcing several new photographic workshops in the coming months. Stay tuned for the announcements regarding those. As a side note for folks that may have missed the announcement for the Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop there are a few spaces still available. The Muskoka region has seen a lot of snow this year, which is going to make these waterfalls even more inspiring. Hotel accommodations will be in short supply for this event with folks booking up rooms for their snowmobile excursions and other area events. If you are interested in attending please contact me by clicking here.

I would like thank everybody for their continued support of my blog, those that have attended my photogaphic workshops and to wish everybody a safe and prosperous 2018!

See you next year 🙂

 

Season’s Greetings

Wishing everybody a safe and happy holiday season!

I will be back before New Year’s to reflect on the past year with a small selection of my favorite images from 2017.

All the best,

Andrew

La Palma Glass Frog – unedited RAW Image File

The above photo is an unedited RAW image file of a La Palma Glass Frog that was photographed at our popular “Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshops” with a Nikon D500, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, and a Nikon SB400 Speedlight mounted on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket. While the flash-generated spectral highlights are well controlled and their is minimal debris to clean-up on the Monsterra leaf, used as a prop, there is one thing that bothers me about this photo as presented. What is that? I do wish that I had switched to the vertical orientation to best represent the frog’s pose on the leaf, however, all is not lost and my wish can be easily achieved with a few simply steps in Photoshop.

After making some initial edits to the image in Adobe Camera Raw the image is brought into the Photoshop interface as seen below.

La Palma Glass Frog Photoshop Interface with the Crop Tool selected and the Content-Aware box checked

Once the image is opened in Photoshop I select the Crop Tool and the Ratio option from the drop down box in the upper left corner of the interface. When using the Ratio option you can select the exact pixel dimensions that you want to use. In this case I entered the pixel dimensions fro a vertically oriented image photographed with a Nikon D500. With crop dimensions now in place over the image I simply drag out the corners of the crop for the desired look and position the frog where I want it to be within the frame. Before I click the check mark to perform the desired crop I check the Content-Aware box. By doing so Content-Aware will fill in the black areas outside of the actual image area to match the surrounding elements. In this case it will fill in the sliver along the bottom and the larger portion at the top. The natural indent of the Monsterra leaf will be fixed later with a simple quick mask removal technique.

After performing the above mentioned steps, the optimized image file for the vertically oriented La Palm Glass Frog image can be seen below. In this situation the Content-Aware did an amazing job of replicating the leaf to fill in the areas that were outside of the image. The Clone Stamp tool was used at varying hardnesses to evict the flash generated spectral highlights and debris on the leaf surface. The lower left corner of the image where the indent of the Monsterra leaf was creating a distraction was fixed quickly and effortlessly by utilizing a Quick Mask. To learn more about using Quick Masks and other techniques to easily optimize image files take a look at APTATS 1 & 2.

La Palma Glass Frog – Optimized Image File

 

Ranitomeya reticulata (Iquitos) – captive bred
Nikon D500, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec

Over the last several days I have been hard at work doing an edit on my soon to be completed eBook on frog photography. I have also been doing a few edits of recently captured images from the November installment of “Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop,” which was a great success with folks creating many stunning photos of 15 different species of frogs endemic to the Amazon rainforest. It is also important to mention that all of these frogs are captive bred specimens. As of this writing the next frog workshop will likely be held in late February after I have returned from my Cayman Brac 2018 Photo Tour. Folks that are interested in attending this event should reach out to me here to be added to the contact list.

In case folks missed the posts announcing some of my recent workshop additions for 2018 please click on the below workshop titles for more information and how you can get signed up for these events while there is still space available:

Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular

Peru 2018: Landscapes & Micro Fauna of the Cordillera Escalera

Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat

 

Cruziohyla craspedopus – captive bred
Nikon D500, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec

During the most recent frog workshop we had fun trying out both white and black backgrounds for creative effect. The Dendrobates tinctorius Matecho worked out quite well on both. This was a large, male specimen of about 2 inches and quite co-operative.

Dendrobates tinctorius (Matecho) – captive bred
Nikon D500, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec

 

Dendrobates tinctorius (Matecho) – captive bred
Nikon D500, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec

For those that sign up for the first-ever Peru 2018 photo tour you will have the amazing opportunity to photograph dart frogs within their natural habitat, not too mention the incredible landscapes and other micro fauna opportunities. One such specimen we are likely to encounter will be Ranitomeya summersi shown below. Having photographed dart frogs in captivity and in the Amazon rainforest I can honestly say that it is quite a thrill to be able to see them in the wild and to photograph them too.

Ranitomeya summersi – captive bred
Nikon D500, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec

A newcomer to the frog workshop this time around was the Dendrobates tinctorius oyapock. In a few weeks I will be doing a private shoot of many new frogs that will be featured in upcoming workshops, including a nice selection of tree frogs. Stay tuned for the new pics soon 🙂

Ranitomeya tinctorius (Oyapock) – captive bred
Nikon D500, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec

 

 

Join Andrew McLachlan in Ontario’s Muskoka District on January 27 & 28, 2018 for an in-depth photographic exploration of the finest waterfalls in the region. Embrace the beauty of Muskoka this winter and learn the skills of landscape photography amid a winter wonderland of snow clad, iconic white pines and intricate ice formations that adorn these waterfalls and rivers. Maximum number of participants is 10.

Itinerary:

Saturday January 27:

• Meet in the parking lot of the Sleep Inn, Bracebridge at 7:00 a.m. and carpool to waterfalls

• Stop for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

• Visit additional waterfalls

• Dinner at local restaurant at 7:00 p.m.

• Get some rested for early start on Sunday

Sunday January 28:

• Meet in the parking lot of the Sleep Inn, Bracebridge at 7:00 a.m. and carpool to waterfalls

• Stop for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

• Depart for home

What’s Included:

• In-depth photographic instruction during each photo sessions with LCD review

• Saturday dinner at nearby restaurant

What’s Not Included:

• Accommodations (numerous options available… I will be staying at the Sleep Inn in Bracebridge)

• Transportation

• Car pooling of participants is encouraged to arrive at each location

• Breakfast and lunch

• Alcoholic Beverages

Workshop Fee:

225.00 CDN plus taxes

Payment can be made via email transfer or by cheque.

To reserve your spot in the Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular please contact me by clicking here to arrange payment.

Cancellation Policy:

No Refunds. Check your schedule carefully prior to booking.

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