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Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail in Autumn Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm ISO 50, f16 @ 1.3 sec.

Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail in Autumn
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm ISO 50, f16 @ 1.3 sec.

Sorry for my absenteeism during the month of January folks, but it was a rather hectic month. I am still quite busy moving into February as I work towards finishing up various projects and submissions to clients before heading to Cayman Brac in early March, not too mention getting my BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year entries prepared and submitted before the contest deadline on February 18th.

Here are three recent edits that I thought I would share with you. Each of these images were created during 2014. The two scenes from Georgian Bay were captured along the Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario during what was a rather windy and stormy evening, which worked out very well for the rugged terrain along the Georgian Bay coast. I am hoping to make a trip to this location later this winter for a round of winter landscapes. The Bullfrog image was created from my canoe in the wetland on Horseshoe Lake at dusk when the Bullfrogs tend to become more active and thus easier to locate.

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

Bullfrog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, ISO 3200 f18 @ 1/80 sec. Handheld

Bullfrog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, ISO 3200 f18 @ 1/80 sec. Handheld

Georgian Bay at Sunset Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 400, f16 @ 5 sec. Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Grad Filter

Georgian Bay at Sunset
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 400, f16 @ 5 sec. Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

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Sunrise on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Sunrise on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

 

At this time of year I usually take a moment to repost some of my favorite images that I captured throughout the past twelve months. I did not do as much traveling about as I had hoped to due to various reasons, but I did mange to find the time to travel to the beautiful Caribbean island of Cayman Brac (a return trip is planned for March 2015) for some memorable imagery and discover the awesome Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario. Here is a selection of my 14 favorite photos from 2014. Hope you enjoy them and please remember to click on each image to view the larger, sharper version.

I would also like to thank each of my subscribers for their continued support here and wish you all a safe and prosperous New Year!

Happy New Year!!!

Barn Owl in Cave on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Barn Owl in Cave on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Octopus on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Octopus on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Snowy Owl in Blizzard Conditions, Thornton, Ontario

Snowy Owl in Blizzard Conditions, Thornton, Ontario

Green Frog Chorusing in Pond at Night, Thornton, Ontario

Green Frog Chorusing in Pond at Night, Thornton, Ontario

Fisheye Lens View of Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario

Fisheye Lens View of Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario

Soldier Crab on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Soldier Crab on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Bullfrog on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

Bullfrog on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

Skeleton River in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

Skeleton River in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

Cuban Tree Frog at Night on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Cuban Tree Frog at Night on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Conch Shell Sunrise on the Caribbean Sea, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Conch Shell Sunrise on the Caribbean Sea, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Sunrise at Pollard Bay, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Sunrise at Pollard Bay, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Skeleton River in Black & White, Muskoka, Ontario

Skeleton River in Black & White, Muskoka, Ontario

Sunset on the Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail, Parry Sound, Ontario

Sunset on the Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail, Parry Sound, Ontario

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Lake Superior Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 20 seconds, B+W 10-stop Neutral Density Filter

Lake Superior Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 20 seconds, B+W 10-stop Neutral Density Filter

This evening the winter wind is howling outside and snow squalls are rolling through the region, so I decided to play around with converting some older photos to black and white. I have always liked the original color versions of these images but for one reason or another I never did get around to optimizing them. Often when situations like this arise I will open the images into Nik / Google’s Silver Efex Pro 2 for a B&W conversion that suits the scene. In the opening photo, which was created on the shores of Lake Superior near the mouth of the Coldwater River I used a 10-stop neutral density filter to ‘calm‘ the incoming waves and help reveal the boulders beneath the surface. A small crop from the top to evict a rather boring cloudless sky rounded out the image optimization.

In the Georgian Bay scene below that was created in Ontario’s Killbear Provincial Park I used my Tiffen 3-stop neutral density filter to achieve the same calming effect on the bay, which allows us to focus our attention on the foreground rocks, which received a light-handed dose of Nik / Google’s Detail Extractor from Color Efex

Georgian Bay at Killbear Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 5 seconds. Tiffen 3-stop Neutral Density Filter

Georgian Bay at Killbear Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 5 seconds. Tiffen 3-stop Neutral Density Filter

After creating the above scene on Georgian bay I simply turned around to create one of the terrain that was behind me. Killbear Provincial Park is noted for its spectacular vistas of Georgian Bay and the rugged granite shoreline is wonderful for both color and B&W images.

Rugged Terrain at Killbear Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm EX DG f2.8 Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f16 @ 1/200.

Rugged Terrain at Killbear Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm EX DG f2.8 Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f16 @ 1/200.

And finally below is an older capture created on the Sixteen Mile Creek at Hilton Falls Conservation Area upstream from Hilton Falls. This lovely river and waterfall are situated on the Niagara Escarpment. Many of the waterfalls and rivers of the Niagara Escarpment are best viewed in early spring when water levels are typically high.

Sixteen Mile Creek. Hilton Falls Conservation Area. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm. ISO 100, f16 @ 1.3 seconds, Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

Sixteen Mile Creek in Hilton Falls Conservation Area. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm. ISO 100, f16 @ 1.3 seconds, Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

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

On another note: I am now active on Intsagram. You can connect with me on Intsagram at MCLACHLANWILD. I have also added an Instagram widget to the sidebar of the blog for easy access. Hope to see you over at Instagram too 🙂

 

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The 'Blue Hour' on Georgian Bay. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 50, f22 @ 3 seconds

The ‘Blue Hour’ on Georgian Bay. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 50, f22 @ 3 seconds

During the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend I traveled between the Georgian Bay shoreline and Muskoka area waterfalls. The weather was a mixed bag of rain, cloud, wind, and sun. I have just found some time to process some of the photos that were created on that weekend and wanted to share them with you. The Georgian Bay shoreline images were created after the sun had set. I love this time of day as the exposures get longer and some really cool effects and colors can be found, like the ‘blue hour’ image above. I like how the wave action has blurred the reeds in the foreground, capturing the passage of time.

In-camera HDR along Georgian Bay. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 64, f22 @ 13 seconds.

In-camera HDR along Georgian Bay. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 64, f22 @ 13 seconds.

Above I used the in-camera HDR function on my Nikon D800 and dialed in a low ISO of 64 for a lengthy exposure to smooth out the wave action on the bay.

Thunder Creek. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 400, f16 @ 1.3 seconds

Thunder Creek. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 400, f16 @ 1.3 seconds

While exploring the Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail I could hear the distinct sound of a waterfall within the surrounding woodland. I short walk led me to this wonderful cascade on Thunder Creek, which empties into Georgian Bay. I am assuming this small waterfall is only active after periods of heavy rain. On previous visits here in the summer months I do not recall hearing any waterfall as I made my way across Thunder Creek.

Last Light at Rosseau River. Muskoka Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 seconds.

Last Light at Rosseau River. Muskoka Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 seconds.

By the end of what would be my last day of creating images this fall, I found myself at Lower Rosseau Falls as the sun was dipping beneath the horizon. A lovely puddle had formed in a depression in the granite, which had collected rain water, and was now reflecting the lovely autumn colors of a sugar maple tree on the opposite bank. A low perspective ensured that the reflection occupied much of the puddle’s surface.

Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1.6 seconds.

Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1.6 seconds.

Another visit was planned to Hatchery Falls during the Thanksgiving weekend as well for one last go around with the fall colors. In this image I positioned myself directly at the river edge, beneath a slight over-hang in the rock, which protected me and my gear from the river’s spray. After framing the scene and confirming via Live View that I was pleased with the composition I created several photos each time I would increase the ISO settings to capture the water at different levels of blur. I settled on the scene that I created using ISO 200. Often when I am creating landscape imagery after I have composed the scene through the view finder I will activate the Live View feature of the Nikon D800 and take two steps backwards to analyze the scene on the LCD screen. You got it so you might as well use 🙂

Please note: On Monday, October 27th I will be presenting for GRIPS (Grand River Imaging & Photographic Society) at the Kitchener East Presbyterian Church. Start time will be at 7:30 p.m. Click here for the calendar page on the GRIPS website and for the map.

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Georgian Bay Shoreline After Sunset, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 400, f16 @ 6 seconds, Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Georgian Bay Shoreline After Sunset, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 400, f16 @ 6 seconds, Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

On Friday, October 10 I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to drive from the cottage on Horseshoe Lake to the Rugged Hiking Trail in Parry Sound to catch the last rays few rays of light. This day was a mixed bag of rain, sun, and wind. I will share a number of the images that I created on the Friday evening in the days ahead, but I first wanted to share the above photo that I created several minutes after sunset. I will often remain on location well after the sun has set. Often this is when I create my most memorable imagery. Too often I see folks pack-up their gear as soon as the sun has dipped below the horizon and head-off to catch dinner or head for home. When I take the time to remain on location for extended periods of time, I am ready to witness and create imagery of the subtle or dramatic effects that the light has on the landscape. If I pack-up and head home I will surely miss something special.

In the above photograph I was immediately drawn to the veins of pink granite that stood out against the black granite. I carefully composed the scene to have these veins of pink granite entering the composition in the lower left corner and running diagonally into the scene to act as a leading line, drawing the viewer into the scene.

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

 

 

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Granite Rock Formation Along the Rugged Fitness Trail. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

Granite Rock Formation Along the Rugged Fitness Trail, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

I did another scouting trip along the Rugged Fitness Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario. This wonderful trail follows the shoreline of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. The Georgian Bay shoreline is noted for its impressive rock formations. You can see a touch of fall color starting to show in the trees along the trail. I will be visiting here again very soon to photograph the peak colors of Autumn. My scouting trips have been conducted to note the best spots along the trail so that when I return I will no exactly where I want to be. In the photo above I use the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens  (my new favorite landscape lens)as I lay flat on the rock, resting my elbows on the granite for added stability, while I created the handheld image.

Rugged Fitness Trail Along Georgian Bay, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 second

Rugged Fitness Trail Along Georgian Bay, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

I could not resist using the fisheye lens again to create a rounded perspective of this granite ‘staircase’ as it makes it way out into Georgian Bay. When a fisheye lens is pointed downward the horizon will become rounded, this makes me feel as though I am seeing the curvature of this planet. While this look is not everybody’s cup of tea, I think it is pretty cool 🙂

Granite Rock Formation Along Georgian Bay Coast on the Rugged Fitness Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/100 sec

Granite Rock Formation Along Georgian Bay Coast on the Rugged Fitness Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/100 sec

Once again I used the fisheye lens to create another rocky scene along the trail. The Sigma fisheye lens focuses down to 5.5 inches, which can be very effective at emphasizing foreground elements such as this wonderful granite formation covered with orange lichens. Note that there is very little distortion to this image as I held the lens perfectly square with the world to minimize the distortion causing properties of the lens.

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

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Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200 f16 @ 1/100

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200 – f16 @ 1/100

On the afternoon of August 22nd as a storm was approaching I ventured over to the North Shore Rugged Fitness Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario with the fisheye lens. This was my first visit to this section of the Georgian Bay shoreline and it will most certainly not be my last. In fact, I am planning to organize some landscape workshops at this location – stay tuned for more info on this. Georgian Bay is noted for its spectacular and photogenic scenery – a photographer’s paradise. The rugged and rocky terrain  has been carved by glaciers and battered by waves, which have led to some very cool rock formations and patterns. During my visit I had a blast using my new Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye lens for an up-close and personal look at some of the splendid vistas I encountered. For the image above I had to precariously position myself and my feet to avoid seeing my toes on the bottom edge. Below are a few additional images, all created with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye lens.

Each of the images in this post received a touch of Nik’s Detail Extractor Tool from Color Efex 4. I will often use this tool on photographs that do have a significant amount of rugged and rocky terrain in them as it helps give the rock a nice boost in details.

Please remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper version. And please take a moment to let me know which is your favorite.

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 200 f16 @ 1/125

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 200 – f16 @ 1/125

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100 f16 @ 1/100

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100 – f16 @ 1/100

As you can see in the above image, the sun came out and created a somewhat harsher than desired light on the scene. I did however feel that it was not all that bad, but that it would also be perfect for creating a black and white conversion with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.

Georgian Bay Shoreline Parry Sound, Ontraio. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 100 f16 @ 1/100

Georgian Bay Shoreline Parry Sound, Ontraio. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 100 – f16 @ 1/100

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