Posts Tagged ‘barrie’

Coomon Loon (Gavia immer) Lake SImcoe, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Common Loon

Here are a few recent images that I have captured during this pandemic. All but the Common Loon were photographed n my backyard. The Common Loon was photographed on Lake Simcoe near Barrie, Ontario at first light. Arriving at first light not only ensured killer light but also meant I would have the location all to myself as most folks do not get out to take advantage of the sweet light at sunrise.

Each of the songbird images were created from my photo blind that is set-up in my backyard at a birdfeeder adorned with attractive perches for natural looking photos.

Every image in this post was photographed using the Nikon D500 and Nikkor 200-500mm VR lens with a wide open aperture of f5.6.

During these times of social distancing and self-isolation consider creating your own backyard birdfeeder set-up to see what you might be able to capture. It can be a great way to practice bird photography skills with common species, try new techniques,, and to just have fun and feel good. To guide you through the process of creating simple set-ups from which to photograph garden birds please take a look at Andy Rouse’s Wild Angle -Episode 2 by clicking here.

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Song Sparrow


White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

White-crowned Sparrow


Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Male Red-winged Blackbird



Female Brown-headed Cowbird


Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

Chipping Sparrow


Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

Common Grackle

Read Full Post »

Old Fire Engine - Topaz Detail

Old Fire Engine – Topaz Detail


This afternoon while on my way home from running a few errands in Barrie, Ontario I decided to take one of the backroads home, and am so glad I did as I came across a wonderful old fire engine parked beside a lovely grouping of blue spruce trees. We had a very light dusting of snow last night as well, which helped add another element of interest to the scene. After creating a few quick images I rushed home to play around with the images in some of the various Topaz Labs plug-ins that I have. Above is a quasi-grunge version using Topaz Detail. Below are two alternate renderings using Topaz Impressions and Topaz Black & White Effects 2.

Please remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions. Which artistic rendering do you prefer most?

I have decided to change the way I post images to the blog for the coming year. I will go into more detail on what prompted the change soon.

Old Fire Engine - Topaz Impression

Old Fire Engine – Topaz Impression

Old Fire Engine - Topaz Black & White Effects 2

Old Fire Engine – Topaz Black & White Effects 2

Read Full Post »

Roadsign after ice storm_7101

Above is one of the roadsigns near my home after today’s lengthy periods of freezing rain. The driving conditions were fine for me however, much of the landscape was coated in thick ice. I spent several hours driving around capturing various scenes from along the roadways. Here are a few of the images I created this afternoon.

For the folks that are in the vicinity of the Burlington Art Gallery in  southern Ontario on Saturday April 13th, don’t forget Mike Grandmaison’s seminar for the Latow Photographers Guild. Click here for further details.

Wetland after ice storm_7002

Wetland after ice storm, Barrie, Ontario

Page wire fence after ice storm_7015

Page-wire fence and ice

Tree after ice storm_6978

Lone tree in field after ice storm, Thornton, Ontario

Ice storm aftermath_6971

Forest coated in ice after the storm, Thornton, Ontario

Rural Scene after ice storm_6963

Rural scene after ice storm, Thornton, Ontario

Winter trees after ice storm_7049

Winter trees after ice storm, Thornton, Ontario


Read Full Post »

Tiny Marsh at sunrise (3-stop reverse graduated filter)

On Friday morning I made a quick trip up to Tiny Marsh for some sunrise photography. Tiny Marsh, located just west of Barrie, Ontario, is one of my favorite destinations for sunrise photography and wetland wildlife images too. Don’t let the name fool you, this is a very large wetland. The wetland section of this location is 600 hectares in size and is surrounded by 300 hectares of forest and fields. It is managed, in part, by Ducks Unlimited Canada. This was my first visit to the marsh this year as I have been too busy to get here sooner. I often arrive long before sunrise to allow time to walk out across the wetland trails to be where I want to be when the show begins. It is always a pleasure to listen to the sounds of the marsh as it awakens with the new day. Black Terns, Pied-billed Grebe, Osprey, Trumpeter Swans, Least Bitterns, Otters and many other critters abound here.

I have begun to use a Singh Ray 3-stop reverse graduated filter for sunrise photos where the sun is just above the horizon. The reverse graduated filter does a wonderful job at holding back the bright sun as it rises above the horizon. This filter yields more pleasing results for these type of images as opposed to using an ordinary graduated filter.

Tiny Marsh at sunrise (3-stop reverse graduated filter)

While waiting for the sun to rise don’t forget to look over your shoulder. Often you will find some rather pleasing colors in the sky. For the image below I used a combination of a Singh Ray 2-stop soft edge graduated filter with a Singh Ray Color Intensifier. The original image was composed with some wild rice poking into the foreground. To include the cloud formation reflections I was forced to include them in the composition and then evict them later in post processing.

Tiny Marsh (Singh Ray 2-stop grad filter & Color Intensifier)

As I was walking out along the wetland trail towards my car, the sun was much higher in the sky and broke through an opening in the cloud cover producing rays of light that shone down on the wetland. For the image below I used a 2-stop graduated filter and a Cokin Blue and Yellow Polarizing Filter. I don’t particularly like using the blue and yellow filter, but do find that it has its place when used sparingly. Often when using this type of filter with digital capture some adjustment to white balance and color temperature is required. If you are interested in using this type of filter I would suggest you purchase the Singh Ray version (I keep putting it off, but need to replace the Cokin one with this one) which is called ‘Gold-N-Blue” and to use if effectively refer to Darwin Wiggett’s blog entry at Focus on Singh Ray Filters.

Tiny Marsh (2-stop grad filter & Cokin Blue & Yellow polarizer)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: