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The 3rd Annual Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop wrapped up today. This year we were blessed with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark with no wind whatsoever. It was quite lovely to be able to photograph without the constant need for gloves to keep fingertips warm. We also had mostly overcast conditions which is the best light of all for photographing the woodland waterfalls we were visiting. A relatively shallow bed of snow also made for mostly easy walking along the trails, although the mild weather did create a few sections where we had to be careful of slip and fall due to icy sections. Nonetheless, we succeeded in completing our visits without incident. I always recommend to folks to bring along crampons for added traction along trails that may have icy sections.

Below is a selection of imagery created at each of our stops on this one-of-a-kind workshop in Ontario’s Muskoka region. I used a variety of lenses from my trusty Laowa 12mm Zero D lens, to my Nikkor 28-300mm lens, and also my Nikkor 200-500mm lens, which is very useful for reaching out into rivers to capture icy details on exposed rocks and such. My filter choices for the vast majority of all my winter photography are those created by Singh Ray Filters and my go to filter choices are neutral polarizers and neutral density filters.

Folks that may be interested in attending the 4th Annual Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Workshop or any other events that I have or will announce this year can contact me by clicking here to be added to my workshop contact list 🙂

Potts Creek in winter, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

Potts Creek in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Skeleton Creek in winter at Hatchery Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Skeleton Falls Details in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Skeleton River in winter at Skeleton Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Skeleton Falls in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Rosseau River at Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Rosseau River in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Potts Creek in winter, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

Potts Creek Details in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Potts Creek in winter, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

Little High Falls in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Rosseau River at Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Rosseau River in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Skeleton River in winter at Skeleton Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Skeleton Falls in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Rosseau River at Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Rosseau River Details in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

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Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula)

Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) in tree with cached Meadow Vole, Ontario, Canada

On the morning of December 19th fellow photographer and friend Don Johnston and myself made an early morning trip to a location, near my home, with an over-wintering Northern hawk Owl. It was a bitterly cold morning with temperatures hovering around -21 degrees Celsius. Upon our arrival the owl was sitting high in a tree with no possibility for any successful imagery. We set-up near a small tree along one of the roads to keep an eye on the owl’s movements and chatted while drinking our coffees to stay warm. Soon the forecasted snow flurries began with large fluffy flakes falling. After waiting for over an hour the owl decided to leave its perch high in the tree and descend to a lower perch, which just so happened to be in the tree we were standing in close proximity too. This tree, unknown to us held a previously cached Meadow Vole. Northern Hawk Owls are known for hunting and caching their kills in the crooks of branches, behind tree bark, and even burying them in the snow. They can reserve precious energy this way by returning to cached prey to feed, rather than to go on the hunt again. The owl remained in the tree for about 10 minutes allowing us a wonderful opportunity to capture numerous horizontal and vertical poses amid the beautiful falling snow. Indeed it felt like an early Christmas present 🙂

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Killarney Workshop.jpg

Join award winning photographer Andrew McLachlan in Killarney, Ontario May 4th, 5th & 6th 2020 for 2 ½ days of in-depth photographic exploration. This early spring workshop will avoid black fly season. During this workshop we will visit some of the finest landscapes along the Georgian Bay coast as well as iconic vistas within Killarney Provincial Park. You will be walking among the magnificent landscapes that once inspired the legendary Group of Seven, creating your own masterpieces. Marvel at the pink granite outcrops along Georgian Bay and the ancient white quartzite ridges of the La Cloche Mountain Range, while exploring the ‘crown jewel’ of the Ontario park system in Killarney Provincial Park.

The Killarney Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat will require the ability to walk along trails with uneven terrain that are rated as easy to moderate trails. Please do not hesitate to inquire should you have any concerns regarding your abilities.

Our photography retreats are geared towards creating dramatic imagery throughout the entire day, to provide you with extensive opportunities for photographic instruction. For folks that arrive in the Killarney area on the afternoon of Sunday May 2nd there will be the added bonus of a Sunday evening photo shoot near the town of Killarney.

I will be staying at The Sportsman Inn and do recommend that participants book their own accommodations here as well. However, you are welcome to explore other options for accommodations in Killarney, which may include AirBnBs or camping in Killarney Provincial Park.

I am also pleased to announce that Singh Ray Filters have graciously provided me with filters to use as teaching tools for registrants attending my photography retreats.

Dates: May 4, 5, & 6, 2020

Maximum number of participants is 8

Itinerary:

Day 1:

• Sunrise photo session

• Breakfast (on your own)

• Mid-morning photo shoot

• Lunch (on your own)

• Afternoon & Sunset photo sessions

• Dinner (on your own)

Day 2:

• Sunrise photo session

• Breakfast (on your own)

• Mid-morning photo shoot

• Lunch (on your own)

• Afternoon & Sunset photo sessions

• Dinner (on your own)

Day 3:

• morning photo session

• breakfast (on your own)

• participants depart for home at 11:00 a.m.

What’s Included:

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

• Image review and casual Lightroom / Photoshop sessions on Monday and Tuesday evening

What’s Not Included:

• Transportation (car pooling of participants is encouraged)

• Accommodations and meals

• Daily passes for entry into Killarney Provincial Park (unnecessary if you have the annual park pass)

• Snacks such as protein bars are excellent choices while out photographing.

• Alcoholic Beverages

Workshop Fee:

$325 CDN plus taxes

To reserve your spot in the Killarney Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat payment in full is due now.

Please contact me by clicking here to register for this event

Cancellation Policy:

91 days prior to the workshop date 50% of workshop fee is refunded.

90 days prior to the workshop date or less no refunds.

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Water Lilies in wetland on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

Water Lilies in Wetland, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

All good things come to an end eventually. On July 31, 2019 I bid farewell to the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario as it was sold to new owners. I will miss the area dearly as it is where my love of nature photography took hold. It is where I began to explore woodlands, beaver ponds, and wetlands to gain the knowledge that has allowed me to photograph many of my most cherished images. It is also the place where I perfected my Bullfrog-scapes

After spending a couple of weeks there prior to the closing date of the sale I was lucky enough to be graced with numerous photographic opportunities, so there will be plenty more images to share in the coming weeks. During these two weeks it felt like all the wildlife I photographed over the years had come to bid farewell as I had so many amazing close-up encounters with many of the species that inhabit the lake, and surrounding forest.

I hope to return to the area at least once a year to continue to document the wildlife in the large wetland near the cottage property and to continue my explorations of the small lakes hidden in the forest, but for now here is a selection of imagery that I created during my last two weeks at the cottage. I do have many, many more unprocessed image files from Horseshoe Lake that I will continue to share as time and temperment allow 🙂

Sadly, after 35 years, this chapter of my life has come to an end. However, as one chapter closes another will open and it only takes one step to start that journey.

Stay tuned

Bullfrog_1847

Bullfrog in wetland habitat, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

 

Eastern Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta), Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

Eastern Painted Turtle, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

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Wetland on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Green Darner_573

Green Darner Dragonfly, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

Common Loon, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Tree Swallows_9877

Tree Swallows, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

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Wetland on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

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Over-under Bullfrog, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

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Common Merganser, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Milky Way, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

Milky Way over Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

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Sydenham River on the Niagara Escarpment at Inglis Falls, Ontario, Canada

On my drive home from the recently concluded Bruce Peninsula Photography Workshop I made a brief stop at Inglis Falls Conservation Area. It has been many years since I visited this location. I was also a little disappointed as I personally think the area has suffered some decline due to government cutbacks. Nonetheless, I made my way downstream from the falls to scenic sections of the river that I have long wanted to explore with the Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens.

Sydenham River on the Niagara Escarpment at Inglis Falls, Ontario, Canada

I carefully made my way out onto to a small 2 foot sized rock mid-stream to first, and foremost, get myself away from distracting shoreline elements and to put the viewer into the river. If you are not accustomed to entering a ragging river I do not encourage trying this. I have been doing so for several decades and always take extra precautions when doing so.

Sydenham River on the Niagara Escarpment at Inglis Falls, Ontario, Canada

Each of these images were photographed with no filtration. I accidentally forgot to grab my polarizing filter for the Laowa 12mm lens before I made my decent into the river gorge. I was on limited time and figured that the overcast conditions and the fast flow of the river would provide sufficient exposures to achieve the amount of  blur I like. I was not mistaken.

Sydenham River on the Niagara Escarpment at Inglis Falls, Ontario, Canada

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Casa Loma_810

About one week ago I accompanied my wonderful 11 1/2 year old autistic daughter, Ava, on one of her Girl Guides of Canada outings to Casa Loma in Toronto, Ontario. Casa Loma is North America’s only full sized castle and one of Toronto, Ontario’s premier historic attractions.

In 1911 Sir Henry Pellat hired architect E.J. Lennox to build the 200,000 square foot castle on top of a hill over-looking Toronto. The castle was built at a cost of $3,500,000 and was, at the time, the largest private residence in Canada.

During my trip to the castle with the Girl Guides I took along my Nikon D800 and the insanely wide, and razor sharp, Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens to capture a few of the scenes that caught my attention. Here is a selection of those photos.

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Casa Loma_856-1

Casa Loma_818

Casa Loma_843

Casa Loma_795

Casa Loma_766-1

Casa Loma_0782

Casa Loma_822

Casa Loma_840

Casa Loma_0815-1

Casa Loma_833

Casa Loma_0869

Casa Loma_913

Casa Loma_773

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Red-eyed Tree Frog_3529

Red-eye Tree Frog – captive bred

On Saturday February 16th we held another highly successful and sold out Frogs of the World Photographic Workshop with 8 fabulous participants. Several of those participants were repeat students. During these workshops with captive bred specimens we use set-ups that mimic the natural habitat of the frogs in the wild for a truly realistic appearance.

Each image that appears in this post utilizes my homemade flash diffuser that was the highlight of the This Might Just Be The Best Flash Diffuser Ever blog post and post processing techniques employ light use of luminosity masking techniques by using the TK Basic V6 Action Panel by Tony Kuyper

To find out more about future Frogs of the World Photographic Workshops please click here and to be added to the contact list for upcoming events please send me an email  by clicking here

Ranitomeya vanzolinni - captive bred

Ranitomeya vanzolinni – captive bred

 

Cruziohyla craspedopus_3543

Fringed Leaf Frog – captive bred

 

Dendrobates auratus microspot albino

Dendrobates auratus microspot ablino – captive bred

 

Oophaga sylvatica_3512

Oophaga sylvatica – captive bred

 

Vietnamese Moss Frog_3471

Vietnamese Mossy Frog – captive bred

 

Vietnamese Moss Frog_3489

Vietnamese Mossy Frog Abstract – captive bred

 

Cruziohyla craspedopus_3553

Fringed Leaf Frog – captive bred

 

Ranitomeya vanzolinni_3523

Ranitomeya vanzolinni – captive bred

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Amherst Island_1740

Sunrise, Amherst Island, Ontario

It is always fun to look back at this time of the year and reflect on the past year and the images that were created during my travels. In this post I am featuring my favorite photographs of 2018. All of the images featured in this blog post have been featured here over the course of the year with the exception of the opening sunrise image, which was created during a trip to Ontario’s Amherst Island a few days ago. As the sun rose the clouds took on the appearance of what resembled a blazing forest fire. It was a lovely sunrise to complete the year with 🙂

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and all the very best for a prosperous 2019!

Lake-Superior_7559

Daybreak, Lake Superior, Wawa, Ontario

Rock Iguana_8468

A critically endangered Cayman Brac Iguana, British West Indies

Ice Details, Ontario, Canada

Ice Crystal Details, Georgian Bay, Ontario

Bullfrog_2722

Over-Under Bullfrog, Parry Sound, Ontario

Caribbean Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea), Cayman Brac, British West Indies

Caribbean Reef Squid, Radar Reef, Cayman Brac, British West Indies

Skeleton River_9777

Skeleton River in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

Spring Peeper_6451

Spring Peeper, Parry Sound, Ontario

Southern Stingray (Dasyatis americana), Grand Cayman, British West Indies

Southern Stingray, Grand Cayman, British West Indies

Storm Clouds Over Lake Superior, Ontario, Canada

Approaching Storm Lake Superior, Ontario, Canada

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Saw Whet Owl_5477

Northern Saw Whet Owl, Ontario

Late on the morning of November 12th I finally located my first Northern Saw Whet Owl. I have tried several times over the years to locate and photograph this tiny species of owl, often coming close but never succeeding. After scouring a small cedar grove for about an hour I paused to rethink where I should look next when I noticed two bright yellow eye staring back at me, not more than 3 feet from where I stood. Alas, I had found a Northern Saw Whet Owl. As the owl was roosting within the thick boughs of the cedar trees it was tricky to get a clear photograph so I decided to frame the owl in such a way that also tells a story about its habitat.

My go-to lenses for these images were the Nikon 200-500mm Lens and the Nikon 28-300mm Lens. The Nikon 200-500mm lens was deployed to capture tight portraits of the owl hidden within the branches of the cedar trees. The Nikon 28-300mm lens was the main lens used as I was able to easily capture full body images with minimal foreground clutter. The minimum one foot focusing distance of the Nikon 28-300mm lens makes it a very versatile and functional lens. Often the Nikon 28-300mm lens is trashed by the “so-called” internet experts, but this lens in the right hands, with the right vision, and proper photographic technique yields quality imagery everytime!

Below are a few additional images of the Northern Saw Whet Owl I photographed yesterday.

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Northern Saw Whet Owl, Ontario

Saw Whet Owl_5812

Northern Saw Whet Owl, Ontario

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Northern Saw Whet Owl, Ontario

Saw Whet Owl_5568

Northern Saw Whet Owl, Ontario

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Old GMC Truck in Field. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/40, polarizing filter

Old GMC Truck in Field. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/40, polarizing filter

I have been rather busy over the course of the last week but thought I would share this typical summer scene that I created last weekend. It is now the season where folks can buy corn from local farmers as they set-up stands along the smaller two-lane highways. I have always loved this particular farmer’s ‘advertising billboard’; a rusty old wreck at the edge of the field with the Canadian flag flying proud.

To process this image I utilized Nik Software’s Detail Extractor filter, but only on the truck so that the rest of the scene would take on too much of a grungy-look. I made some final tweaks with Nik Software’s Viveza 2.

Please click on the image to see the larger, sharper version.

Don’t forget to check out the August issue of the Creative Photography eMini-Magazine, This magazine is published on a monthly basis by Denise Ippolito and subscriptions to the magazine are free.

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