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Posts Tagged ‘amphibians’

Pre-dawn Light at The Torrance Barrens  Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm ISO 100 f16 @ 1.6 seconds

Pre-dawn Light at The Torrance Barrens / Dark Sky Reserve
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm
ISO 100
f16 @ 1.6 seconds

On Friday February 26th I finally had some free time to get out and spend a day in the field creating some fresh winter landscapes. The first stop on my list was to visit Torrance Barrens / Dark Sky Reserve near Gravenhurst, Ontario. This is one of my favorite locations in summer and fall, but I had never explored it in the dead of winter. It was a very chilly morning with a cloudless sky, which meant there would not be mush of a decent sunrise so I chose to frame these scraggly spruce trees against the western sky and wait for the rising sun to cast a pinkish glow on the western horizon.

The next stop on my list was to make a first-ever winter trip over to Lower Rosseau Falls. Fortunately the road in was plowed and there was even a clearing plowed to allow a car or two to park near the river. Hiking through the woods down to the base of the falls was a little treacherous as there was significant ice build-up beneath a foot of fresh snow – I fell flat on my butt several times.

Due to the bright conditions on this day, to slow down the exposure times to blur the rushing waters I dialed in an ISO of 50 on my Nikon D800 and also used a Nikon Polarizing Filter to further extend the exposure times. I was in such a rush to get out the door and on my way on this day that I also forgot to take along my cable release. To overcome this I simply framed my compositions as I normally would, then activated the Live View feature, as this will lock up the mirror to allow live viewing on the LCD screen, and then finally I selected the 2 second self-timer to trip the shutter.

 

Lower Rosseau Falls in Winter Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 29mm ISO 50 f22 @ 1/10 sec.

Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River in Winter
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 29mm
ISO 50
f22 @ 1/10 sec.

 

Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 23mm ISO 50 f22 @ 1/5 sec.

Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River in Winter
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 23mm
ISO 50
f22 @ 1/5 sec.

After a successful shoot at Lower Rosseau Falls I made the short drive over to Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River. There was not a lot of interesting ice development at Hatchery Falls mostly due to high water levels in the river not allow any interesting formations to develop. Nonetheless, the hike in to Hatchery Falls was beautiful and I had the entire location all to myself to enjoy:)

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River near Rosseau, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 23mm ISO 50 f22 @ 1 second

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River in Winter
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 23mm
ISO 50
f22 @ 1 second

 

Frogs of the World Workshop Space Available

For folks that may have missed the announcement for my Frogs of the World Workshop there are still some spaces available should you be interested. The date of the workshop is Saturday, March 5th at 8:00 a.m. with a cost of $85. Please contact me directly at info@andrewmclachlan.ca if you are interested in attending this workshop. For more information about the workshop please click here to see the official announcement.

Frogs of the World Workshop

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Red-eyed Tree Frogs Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Red-eyed Tree Frogs
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

 

For those that may have missed the early posting regarding my first-ever Frogs of the World Photographic Workshop to be held on Saturday March 5th at 8:00 a.m. please click HERE for more information. We still have a few spaces available for this controlled session with captive frogs that are endemic to Madacasgar, Vietnam, South America, Costa Rica, and Australia. After we have completed our 2 hour session with the frogs we will be able to photograph some beautiful reptiles, including some highly venomous snakes through the safety of their enclosures:)

Green Anaconda Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Green Anaconda
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Vietnamese Moss Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Vietnamese Moss Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Green Mamba Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 111, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Green Mamba
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 1oo, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Tomato Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Tomato Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Sharp-nosed Viper Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Sharp-nosed Viper
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

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Frogs of the World Workshop

Today I am pleased to announce my first-ever, captive frog photography workshop. We will meet on Saturday March 5th 2016 at 8:00 a.m. at Reptilia in Vaughan, Ontario where we will spend the next two hours photographing Tomato Frog (Madagascar), Vietnamese Moss Frog (Vietnam), Red-eyed Tree Frog (Costa Rica), Budgett’s Frog (South America), and White’s Tree Frog (Australia). After we have completed the two hour frog session, as an added bonus, we will be permitted to enter the Reptilia Zoo to photograph a wide assortment of venomous and non-venomous reptiles, in their enclosures, for the remainder of the day. The use of flash is permitted and it is highly recommend that folks use an off-camera, macro flash set-up for photographing the frogs. Some of the species tend to be quite active, making the use of a tripod virtually impossible. I do recommend a tripod and flash for the various opportunities that will present themselves in the zoo afterwards.

The cost of this workshop is $85.00 and payment can be made via email transfer or cheque made payable to “Andrew McLachlan” Space will be limited to 10 participants. Please contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca for further information and for sending either the email transfer or cheque as payment. Once participants have signed up and paid I will forward driving directions to Reptilia as well as other information that you may find useful to be prepared for an exciting day of amphibians and reptiles.

Hope to see you there:)

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Red-Eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Flash Bracket

Red-Eyed Tree Frog walking along branch- captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Flash Bracket

I often receive kind words from the folks that follow my Instagram feed (@mclachlanwild), Facebook page, and here on the blog regarding my frog photography. It is these kind words that keep me inspired to keep creating and trying out new ideas with my frog imagery. About a week and a half ago I booked a controlled photo shoot with various, captive, tropical frog species.  This photo shoot was planned for two main reasons with the first being to add some very cool frogs to my image library, and secondly to see if such a set-up could work for frog photography workshops. I am pleased to announce that I will indeed be organizing frog workshops, under controlled conditions, with several captive frog species. Please do stay tuned as I will announce the details soon. This blog post is just a taste of the kind of imagery that will be created during the workshops. I created no less than 500 images during the session and still have numerous images to optimize. While I do enjoy wading through wetlands and laying in the muck to capture the various frogs of the Great Lakes Region, it is a nice change of pace to create imagery of these beautiful tropical frogs species under controlled conditions whereby you will stay clean, warm, and dry:) Please feel free to shoot me an email at info@andrewmclachlan.ca if you are interested in this upcoming workshop and I will be sure to add you to the contact list.

The frogs species that I photograph during this controlled shoot were:

  • Red-Eyed Tree Frog – endemic to Costa Rica
  • Budgett’s Frog (also known as Paraguay Horned Frog) – South America
  • White’s Tree Frog – endemic to Australia
  • Vietnamese Moss Frog – endemic to Vietnam
  • Tomato Frog – endemic to Madagascar

My favorite frogs to photograph during this controlled shoot were the highly aquatic Budgett’s Frog, which is a voracious predator quite capable of devouring prey as large as mice, and secondly the Vietnamese Moss Frog. Moss Frogs have amazing coloration and skin textures, which allow them to blend into their native habitat along river banks in Vietnam.

Here is a selection of the various species that were photographed during this session. Each of these species will most likely be featured in the first workshop. Also note that each of these images was created using a handheld rig with a small Nikon SB400 Speedlight (now discontinued) on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

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

Budgett's Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Budgett’s Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Vietnamese Moss Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Vietnamese Moss Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

 

White's Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

White’s Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Tomato Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec  Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley Macro Bracket

Tomato Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Budgett's Frog on land - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Macro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley Macro Bracket

Budgett’s Frog on land – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Macro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Vietnamese Moss Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon q05mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely Macro Bracket

Vietnamese Moss Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely Macro Bracket

 

Vietnamese Moss Frog abstract - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Vietnamese Moss Frog abstract – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

 

White's Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely Macro Bracket

White’s Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

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Male Green Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Male Green Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

In frog photography patience is a virtue and good things will come to those who wait. On May 30th of this year (yes, I am way behind on processing my image files) the night time temperatures were perfect for the male Green Frogs to congregate at a nearby wetland and chorus to entice females to the pond for mating. As I waded about the pond I noticed one particular male that was clinging to an old cattail stem, while floating in a section of the pond with no distracting debris floating in the water. I slowly made my way over to where he was and once directly in front of him, I slowly moved myself into a kneeling position in front of him. As I did this I was reminded of the hole in my chest waders as cold pond water began to trickle into the waders. Also it was a perfect night for the first mosquitoes of the season to emerge and feast upon your truly. I do not use any sort of bug spray when I am out photographing frogs and toads due to its toxicity to them. I would hate to handle a frog or toad with bug spray on my hands as it would be harmful and likely fatal to them. The time span between the above image and the one below is exactly seven minutes. Once I was in position, I waited and waited and waited, all the while swatting mosquitoes with slow-motion-like movement so that I would not disturb the frog. As I was waiting I kept watching the frog’s torso, as it began to fill with air I knew it was going to call very soon. In the above photo you can clearly see how bloated the frog looks and then in one quick moment all the air is pushed out, inflating the vocal sac, and the Green Frog’s signature loose banjo string-like call can be heard.

Male Green Frog with Vocal Sac Inflated Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Male Green Frog with Vocal Sac Inflated
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

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Bullfrog Among Lily Pads on Horseshoe Lake Nikon D800 (with 1.5 sensor crop activated), Sigma EX DG f2.8 15mm Fisheye Lens ISO 800, f8 @ 1/60 sec

Bullfrog Among Lily Pads on Horseshoe Lake
Nikon D800 (with 1.5 sensor crop activated), Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens
ISO 800, f8 @ 1/60 sec

Without a doubt my most often go-to lens for Bullfrog in the wetland on Horseshoe Lake is my Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, and more often than not I select the Nikon D800’s 1.5 sensor crop when creating these images. By selecting the 1.5 sensor crop I am effectively using a 22mm fisheye lens with a close focusing distance of 5.5 inches. The close focusing capabilities of the Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens are hard to beat when it comes to creating these Bullfrog portraits. To view a larger selection of my fisheye imagery on the Sigma Canada website please click here.

Please remember to click on the images to see the larger, sharper version.

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Amazon Milk Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

Amazon Milk Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

A few months ago there was a wonderful exhibit of tropical frogs at Ontario’s Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. One day in April I made a trip out to see and photograph some of the species that were on display. Photographing such animals through the glass walls of their enclosures can often be a bit troublesome due to finger prints and scratches on the glass, however, there are few simple techniques that can be employed for success. When I photograph captive subjects through the glass walls of their enclosures I will always get as close to the glass as possible to eliminate / reduce the risk of scratches and fingerprints from showing up in the resulting images. To get as close to the glass as possible I ensure that I am using my rubber lens hood so that I do not become one of those individuals that has left unsightly scratches on the enclosures. A relatively large rubber lens hood aligned flush with the glass wall of the enclosure will often reduce the risk of the flash from reflecting off the glass, ruining the photos when it fires.

Rubber Lens Hood on Nikon 105mm Micro Lens

Rubber Lens Hood on Nikon 105mm Micro Lens

At public exhibits I often find it too difficult to work with a tripod, mostly due to the number of visitors and elementary school class trips that attend. As a result I do much prefer to work with flash and when I photogenic subject and pose is noticed I can then quickly grab a few photos without affecting the other visitors that are also there.

Dendrobates auratus Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

Dendrobates auratus
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

For the image above of the Dendrobates auratus I was able to get a very low perspective and a pleasing background by placing the lens flush with the glass wall at the moment the dart frog jumped to the front of the enclosure. Dart frogs are often very quick and sometime difficult to photograph, but this image gives the impression that I am lying flat on the ground in their rainforest home, yet I was dry and comfy:)

African Bullfrog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

African Bullfrog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

Pictured above is an African Bullfrog. What is not to love about a frog with teeth! These frogs will eat anything they can stuff in their mouths from insects to full grown mice. You will notice that in this image the camera was pointed downwards, with the lens close to the glass and in a downward postion the flash will not reflect back into the resulting images, however, if I tried the same perspective after taking a few steps backwards the flash would be noticeable and the images would be deleted.

Argentine Horned Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

Argentine Horned Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

Warty skinned frogs such as the above Argentine Horned Frog do pose some challenges with flash generated spectral highlights. In Photoshop I will often evict the most noticeably distracting highlights, for many of the smaller ones as seen above I will open Selective Color and add a touch of Black to the White channel which tones them down a bit.

Waxy Monkey Treefrog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

Waxy Monkey Treefrog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

Treefrog specimens are usually very uncooperative subjects as they are mostly nocturnal so when one is encountered alert and wide-eyed grab as many photos as you can because they will probably go back to sleep very soon.

Below is a Fire-belly Toad which is an Asiatic species and very common in the pet trade. Believe it or not I actually used to keep Fire-belly Toads in a large terrarium many years ago and they lived for roughly 21 years.

Fire-belly Toad Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

Fire-belly Toad
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

After photographing many of these wonderful frog species from around the globe in a single afternoon I thought it would be fun to take one of the images and create a frog fract using the Photoshop plug-in Fractalius. Below is a Goliath Frog skeleton. The Goliath Frog is the largest frog in the world, they live alongside streams and such in Cameron, in Africa.

Please do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions:)

Goliath Frog Skeleton Fractalius Rendering

Goliath Frog Skeleton
Fractalius Rendering

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