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Star Trails Over Lake Traverse, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

The Lake Traverse Photographic Workshop wrapped up about a week ago. This late follow-up is the result of being off the grid immediately after the workshop in Ontario`s remote boreal forest in the James Bay Lowlands to scout  a potential workshop offering for 2020. Stay tuned for some incredible photo opportunities from this remote area of the province. I returned a couple of days ago and after getting caught up with submissions and prepping for other upcoming workshops finally have a day or two to breathe.

Photogrpahing the starry night sky at this location is always tons of fun as it is one of the darkest areas within the province. When clear skies prevail there are numerous options for starry night skies and star trails too. Although not visible to us during the creation of the star trail image above, the 45 minute exposure did record faint colours from the aurora borealis.

Petawawa River, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

I was quite pleased to receive this unsolicited email from Lake Traverse workshop participant Geoff:

First and foremost I’d like to thank you for the wonderful weekend up at the Observatory in Algonquin Park. It was nice to spend some time with people whom shared common interests. You put things together really well. It was quite a new experience for me with the astro photograghy. It was the perfect spot to observe the night sky as we were so far into the park and beyond a lot of light pollution. And the trip up the satellite dish, way bigger than I ever thought, was a real surprise. 

      And putting that aside for a moment, what a beautiful place to take landscape photos. The lakes and rivers were so plentiful and in actual fact in our short time up there we only sampled a small amount of what Algonquin Park has to offer. It truly is a nature lovers delight. And where ever we went there were no crowds. 

      As for you personally I just wanted to thank you again. I’ve had you teaching me about macro photography in your Frog Photography workshop. I’ve had you teaching me about my camera, lenses and filters. And of course this latest workshop in Algonquin with a new group of people. The nice thing was the fact that it wasn’t so large a group that you couldn’t spend time with each and every photographer. You were still able to help each person with there specific issues. This is the greatest thing about your workshops. I’ve heard about others that were large numbers of students and time with the instructor was scarce. I will look forward to attending another work shop with you again. I may even do the Algonquin trip should you plan on another next year

Algonquin Radio Observatory Laser Light Painting
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

New for this year`s workshop was having the ability to paint the massive satellite dish with lasers for an other-worldly effect.

Rusty Old Wreck, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

My favourite part of these workshops is visiting the rusty old wreck hidden in the surrounding woodland. The images I created during this year`s workshop I applied a light treatment with Topaz Impression 2 to create an old time feeling.

Stay tuned for the 2019 announcement of the Lake Traverse Photographic Workshop. To be added to the early bird notification list please do shoot me an email by clicking here.

Milky Way, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

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I am pleased to announce that after the success of the Lake Traverse 2017 Photographic Workshop in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park there will be a Lake Traverse 2018!

Join me for an exclusive, weekend workshop deep in the heart of Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park on scenic Lake Traverse for an opportunity to create stunning imagery from this remote, pristine landscape. This event will be held on September 14, 15, & 16. Lake Traverse is situated in a remote area of the park and is rich in both history and stunning scenery. To reach this remote location in Algonquin Provincial Park you must enter at the Sand Lake Gate. In the early 1900’s lumber baron J.R. Booth established a private lodge – The Booth Turtle Club on the shores of Lake Traverse. Today remnants of this lodge can be found in the woodlands such as impressive stone fireplaces and a rusted old wreck decaying in the forest. The timing of this event will allow for misty sunrises over Lake Traverse and assuming weather conditions co-operate we are in one of the best locations in all of Ontario to photograph the night sky and possibly the aurora borealis. Furthermore, we are situated a short walking distance from picturesque waterfalls on the Petawawa River.

Our accommodations for this event will be at the very comfortable Algonquin Radio Observatory, located on the shores of Lake Traverse. A tour of the immense satellite has been arranged during the mid-day hours when lighting for photography is generally at its worst. Also available to participants is the use of canoes and kayaks during the mid-day hours to explore the lake on your own.

A quick note about the Algonquin Radio Observatory:

The Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO) is Canada’s national radio observatory featuring Canada’s premiere Earth station facility. ARO is a division of space technology company Thoth Technology Inc.

Completed and commissioned in the 1965, ARO’s 46m antenna is the largest antenna in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The observatory is situated on a 100 acre wild and breathtakingly beautiful site in the North of Algonquin Provincial Park on Lake Traverse, deep inside the park. The observatory hosts a suite of state-of-the-art scientific equipment including its own atomic clock and still operates with a state-of-the-art technical capability.

ARO is the official ground station for Northern Light, Canada’s mission to Mars.

This workshop will be open to a maximum of 15 participants.

The cost is $525 plus taxes, based on double occupancy (single supplement fee add $40). Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer.

A non-refundable retainer of $250 to secure a space in this workshop is required. Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer. The balance owing will be due by June 1, 2018

Participants with any special dietary needs must communicate them at time of booking so the necessary arrangements can be made to meet your requirements.

 

Itinerary:

Friday September 14:

Meet & Greet Dinner at 6:00 p.m. follow by photographic presentation and a nightscape photo session (assuming weather conditions co-operate)

Saturday September 15:

Morning Photo Session (6am – 10am followed by breakfast, tour of satellite, Petawawa River Session, Rusty Old Wreck Session, Evening Photo Session, Nightscape Session (assuming weather conditions co-operate)

Sunday September 16:

Morning photo session (6am – 10am) followed by breakfast. Checkout is at 11:00 a.m. however, participants are permitted to explore other areas of the park at their leisure for the remainder of the day.

Do Note: Each location we will photograph at is a short walking distance from our home base at the Algonquin Radio Observatory.

What’s Included:

  • In-depth landscape photography instruction by yours truly
  • Lodging at Algonquin Radio Observatory
  • Friday – dinner
  • Saturday – breakfast, lunch, & dinner
  • Sunday – breakfast

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to Algonquin Radio Observatory
  • A 3 day, daily vehicle permit fee must be purchased at the Sand Lake Gate to enter the park (currently $17 per day. This would allow participants to remain in the park until 10:00 pm on Sunday)
  • Snacks
  • Alcholic Beverages

To book and reserve your spot for this exclusive workshop please contact me by clicking here.

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© Barb Marszalek

Today’s post is featuring the imagery of participants from the Lake Traverse Photographic Workshop that was held in September. The caption for each image will indicate which participant captured each of the published photos. I selected the dates for this workshop to coincide with a new moon and hoped that we would have crystal clear skies photographing the starry night sky. We did! We were also blessed with a touch of autumn colour in the surrounding woodlands and the weather conditions prior to our arrival were perfect for getting various mushrooms and fungi to flourish.

In the first three images we see three different takes on how the participants captured the massive satellite dish at the Algonquin Radio Observatory. Barb Marszalek chose to capture the vertical orientation that also included mush of the Milky Way. John Weatherburn went for the horizontal view and also managed to capture much of the Milky Way. Finally in Dave Dennis’ mid-day image of the satellite dish he placed the sun directly behind the dish and went with a somewhat creative edit, which works quite nicely I think.

© John Weatherburn

 

© Dave Dennis

Our mornings were spent on the shore of Lake Traverse photographing sunrise. During September most mornings there is much mist rising from the lake as it cools down for the coming winter. At times there can be too much mist and focusing on details can be a very beneficial option. Workshop assistant extraordinaire Don Johnston alerted the participants as he captured a fabulous detail image of a group of reeds that were very close to shore, while Mandeep Bal created an iconic autumn in Algonquin sunrise by waiting for the sun to rise high enough in the sky to break through the persistent mist.

© Don Johnston

 

© Mandeep Bal

As mentioned earlier the conditions were ripe for mushrooms and fungi in the forest and Nijole Mockevicius found a beautiful coral fungi cluster on the forest floor and processed the image file beautifully to keep the natural whites of the fungi as they appeared.

© Nijole Mockevicius

Dave Dennis brought along some mini-people as props to create some fun images during the workshop and I just love how his hikier being chased by the bear turned out. Barb Marszalek brought some mini-wildlife subjects with her and loaned the bear to Dave. These look like so much fun I may have to buy myself some 🙂

© Dave Dennis

A very short walk from our base camp at the Algonquin Radio Observatory is the Petawawa River. I had hoped that I could guide folks upriver to the waterfall, but high water levels on the river this year made that an unsafe trek, so we photographed from the single lane bridge that gives a clear view of the rapids on the river. Barb Marszalek created the autumn scene of the Petawawa River below and framed the composition very nicely. In my honest opinion I think it belongs in a calendar 🙂

© Barb Marszalek

Mid-day cloud cover provided perfect conditions for the participants to work on intimate, autumn forest scenes. A small cluster of Aspen trees and Bracken Fern provided the ideal subject matter for such imagery. Don Johnston captured a lovely colour version and do note that Don was very careful not to let the aspen trunks merge with each other. John Weatherburn created an image very similar to that of Don Johnston, but John went for a B&W conversion that I find to be very effective as well.

© Don Johnston

 

© John Weatherburn

Mandeep Bal also chose to go with a B&W conversion of his minimalistic, but very effective capture of a small island in Lake Traverse. Dorion Liebgott photographed another iconic scene from Lake Traverse – fisherman among the rising mist. Dorion’s image illustrates just how thick the rising mist can get at times as you cannot see any of the land surrounding these fisherman. Finally Mark Kannegiesser created a wonderful and fun image of workshop participant Bruce Monick as he went out to explore the lake in a canoe during a break in the workshop activities. I must say Algonquin and canoes go so well together!

© Mandeep Bal

 

© Dorion Liebgott

 

© Mark Kannegiesser

Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement in early November for Lake Traverse 2018. Any folks that are interested in attending the 2018 Lake Traverse Photographic Workshop can notify me by clicking here to be added to the contact list.

 

 

 

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lake-traverse-2017

Please note that this workshop is now SOLD OUT with wait list only.

Join me for an exclusive, weekend workshop deep in the heart of Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park on scenic Lake Traverse for an opportunity to create stunning imagery from this remote, pristine landscape. This event will be held on September 15, 16, & 17. Lake Traverse is situated in a remote area of the park and is rich in both history and stunning scenery. To reach this remote location in Algonquin Provincial Park you must enter at the Sand Lake Gate. In the early 1900’s lumber baron J.R. Booth established a private lodge – The Booth Turtle Club on the shores of Lake Traverse. Today remnants of this lodge can be found in the woodlands such as impressive stone fireplaces and a rusted old wreck decaying in the forest. The timing of this event will allow for misty sunrises over Lake Traverse and assuming weather conditions co-operate we are in one of the best locations in all of Ontario to photograph the night sky and possibly the aurora borealis. Furthermore, we are situated a short walking distance from picturesque waterfalls on the Petawawa River.

Our accommodations for this event will be at the very comfortable Algonquin Radio Observatory, located on the shores of Lake Traverse. A tour of the immense satellite has been arranged during the mid-day hours when lighting for photography is generally at its worst. Also available to participants is the use of canoes and kayaks during the mid-day hours to explore the lake on your own.

This workshop will run rain or shine.

A quick note about the Algonquin Radio Observatory (from their website):

The Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO) is Canada’s national radio observatory featuring Canada’s premiere Earth station facility. ARO is a division of space technology company Thoth Technology Inc.

Completed and commissioned in the 1965, ARO’s 46m antenna is the largest antenna in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The observatory is situated on a 100 acre wild and breathtakingly beautiful site in the North of Algonquin Provincial Park on Lake Traverse, deep inside the park. The observatory hosts a suite of state-of-the-art scientific equipment including its own atomic clock and still operates with a state-of-the-art technical capability.

ARO is the official ground station for Northern Light, Canada’s mission to Mars.

 

This workshop will be open to a maximum of 10 participants.

The cost of this workshop is $495 based on double occupancy (single supplement $40). Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer.

A non-refundable deposit of $200 to secure a space in this workshop is required. Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer.

Participants with any special dietary needs must communicate them at time of booking so the necessary arrangements can be made to meet your requirements.

 

Itinerary:

Friday September 15:

Meet & Greet Dinner at 6:00 p.m. follow by photographic presentation and a nightscape photo session (assuming weather conditions co-operate)

Saturday September 16:

Morning Photo Session (6am – 10am) followed by breakfast, tour of satellite, Petawawa River Session, Rusty Old Wreck Session, Evening Photo Session, Nightscape Session (assuming weather conditions co-operate)

Sunday September 17:

Morning photo session (6am – 10am) followed by breakfast. Checkout is at 11:00 a.m. however, participants are permitted to explore other areas of the park at their leisure for the remainder of the day.

Do Note: Each location we will photograph at is only a short walking distance from our home base at the Algonquin Radio Observatory.

What’s Included:

  • Landscape photography instruction by yours truly
  • Lodging at Algonquin Radio Observatory
  • Friday – dinner
  • Saturday – breakfast, lunch, & dinner
  • Sunday – breakfast

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to Algonquin Radio Observatory
  • A 3 day, daily vehicle permit must be purchased at the Sand Lake Gate to enter the park (currently $17 per day. This would allow participants to remain in the park until 10:00 pm on Sunday)
  • Snacks
  • Alcoholic Beverages

In the event that the workshop does not meet the required minimum number of participants to run all deposits will be refunded in full.

To reserve your spot for this exclusive workshop please contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca

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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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Sunset on Horseshoe Lake in Muskoka near the town of Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Sunset on Horseshoe Lake in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Its hard to believe that another year has flown by and that we are now heading into 2016. It is also that time of year when I like to share with you some of my favorite images that I created throughout the past year. One of the highlights of the past year for me was to spend two weeks on the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac, where I quite literally spent more time in the ocean than I did on land, and while on land I spent much of that time photographing Brown Booby birds at the nest with chicks. The day before I boarded the plane for Cayman Brac I was rewarded with our resident, over-wintering Snowy Owl perching in a dead tree across the road from my home. I also spent quite a bit of time photographing frogs, as I usually do :), and created my most favorite Bullfrog-scape to date. My travels throughout much of the year was somewhat limited as I was staying closer to home to assist my elderly parents. I was however able to attend a personal invite to the Algonquin Radio Observatory on Lake Travers in Algonquin Provincial Park and do stay tuned as I will be setting up a workshop at this location during the summer months. In September I finally made the trek up to The Crack in Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park despite a bad flare-up with my lower back and a bad right foot. My foot problem was corrected with a small surgical procedure that prevented me from doing much hiking in October and November, but I am all healed now and ready to hit the trails in 2016.

I hope you enjoy viewing these images again here in this Top 10 for 2015 post and do remember to click on each image to view the larger, sharper versions.

See ya in 2016 🙂

Happy New Year to all and safe travels to those of you who are traveling during this time.

Bullfrog (male) in wetland on Horseshoe Lake Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Bullfrog (male) in wetland on Horseshoe Lake
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

 

Stonefish camouflaged on the ocean floor Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Stonefish camouflaged on the ocean floor
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

 

High-key Common Loon on Horseshoe Lake Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

High-key Common Loon on Horseshoe Lake
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

 

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

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

 

Snowy Owl in dead tree Thornton, Ontario, Canada

Snowy Owl in dead tree
Thornton, Ontario, Canada

 

Brown Booby (male) with chick Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Brown Booby (male) with chick
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

 

Octopus Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Octopus
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

 

The Crack over-looking Killarney Lake LaCloche Mountain Range Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The Crack over-looking Killarney Lake
LaCloche Mountain Range
Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

 

Sunrise on Lake Travers Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Sunrise on Lake Travers
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

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Sunrise on Lake Travers - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR Lens @ 240mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/320 sec

Sunrise on Lake Travers – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR Lens @ 240mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/320 sec

In the month of August I spent 4 days on Lake Travers in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park and am now finally catching up on processing many of those image files created during that time. My timing for the visit to Lake Travers was perfect as the cool nights allowed for lots of misty morning sunrise scenes. I loved it so much that I am considering putting together a workshop at this location. Any folks that are interested should contact me via email (info@andrewmclachlan.ca)  to have their name(s) added to the short list. Although Lake Travers is in a remote area of Algonquin Provincial Park our accommodations will be in a private home-like setting with easy access to amazing sunrise imagery, night-scapes, and the scenic Petawawa River. Below are a few of the images which I created at Lake Travers during my last visit.

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

 

Sunrise on Lake TRavers - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 35mm ISO 100, f16 @ 3 sec.

Sunrise on Lake Travers – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 3 sec.

 

Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f22 @ 0.6 sec Nikon Polarizing Filter

Petawawa River – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f22 @ 0.6 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Lake Travers - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/50 sec Handheld From Canoe

Lake Travers – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/50 sec
Handheld From Canoe

 

Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 31mm ISO 100, f29 @ 2.5 sec Nikon Polarizing Filter

Petawawa River – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 31mm
ISO 100, f29 @ 2.5 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f22 @ 2.5 sec Nikon Polarizing Filter

Petawawa River – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f22 @ 2.5 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f22 @ 0.5 sec  Nikon Polarizing Filter

Petawawa River – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f22 @ 0.5 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Lake Travers - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/10 sec Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Grad Filter

Lake Travers – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/10 sec
Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Grad Filter

 

 

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