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Posts Tagged ‘hatchery falls’

Brooks Falls, Almaguin Highlands, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 200
f16 @ 0.5 sec

On Friday October the 13th I awoke at 5:00 a.m. to commence driving into Ontario’s Almaguin Highlands situated just north of the town of Huntsville. I was hoping for stunning autumn colour along the Magnetawan River at Brooks Falls, however, that was not to be as there was already some significant leaf fall in the area. Fall colour in Ontario has been a bit odd this year with some areas having stunning colour while other parts of seen dull colours, and some locales have even seen leaf fall without much colour change at all. Perhaps this has to do with our overly wet, cool summer. Nonetheless, I arrived at Brooks Falls and was pleased to see that the river was full and ragging.

My intention for this day’s outing was to explore several waterfalls with the Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero Distortion Lens. When using such an extreme wide angle lens getting the camera into the right position is very critical to success of the image. Strong foreground subjects are a must to grab the viewer’s attention. Often my chosen perspective for each image was not much more than about 12 inches from the rushing water, which added complications in having to deal with water spray and droplets of water hitting the front element of the lens. Before each frame that was captured I would give the lens a wipe with a micro fiber cleaning cloth. Patience and perseverance did result in several frames without water droplets being present.

When I had finished photographing Brooks Falls I ventured south to the Skeleton River in Rosseau, Ontario to a couple of waterfalls that I was certain would still have some nice colour due to the sugar maple trees that line the river banks. Below are the images created at both Skeleton Falls, and Hatchery Falls. Skeleton Falls is a little known waterfall that is accessed by hiking down a very step grade within the forest, while the more popular Hatchery Falls is accessed by a well worn foot path through easy terrain.

Skeleton Falls, Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 0.6 sec

What is my most important piece of gear for photographing waterfall imagery? Hip waders. More often than not the best perspective to photograph many waterfalls is from within the river itself. River banks tend be messy environments with distracting elements such as twigs/branches intruding into the scene. By photographing from within the river you can often eliminate or at the very least reduce these distracting elements impact on the scene.

 

Hatchery Falls, Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 0.3 sec

 

Hatchery Falls, Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 1/4 sec

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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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Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 21mm. ISO 200, f16 @ 0.4 sec

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 21mm. ISO 200, f16 @ 0.4 sec

I spent the early morning hours today at beautiful Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River in Ontario’s Muskoka Region. The autumn colors are at peak conditions throughout the area and heavy rains have kept the rivers  flowing at a good pace. It turned out be a very drizzly kind of day, which is perfect conditions for waterfall photography. Having visited Hatchery Falls in both winter and summer this year I knew it would be most beneficial to take along a pair of hip waders and wade out into the middle of the river below the falls for a more pleasing view of the river, downstream of the falls. One of the best ways to improve your waterfall photography is to get out into the river for the up close and personal look. I will be spending a few more days in the Muskoka Region this coming weekend and do hope to revisit Hatchery Falls as well as some of my other favorite sites. Today’s images were either created with the razor sharp Nikon 18-35mm lens or the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens.

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

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, F16 @ 0.4 sec

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, F16 @ 0.4 sec

Looking Downstream at Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec

Looking Downstream at Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec.

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec.

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Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 100, f22 @ 1 second.

Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 100, f22 @ 1 second.

When I am out photographing along rivers and waterfalls I always take the time to stand and watch the flow of the river to predict how it will blur during longer exposures. I will then select a perspective to compliment that flow. Note in this image of Hatchery Falls in Ontario’s popular Muskoka region that the river is flowing on a diagonal from right to left and exiting the frame in the lower left corner. Also make note that I selected a composition that allowed for a clean bottom edge, which often makes for a more pleasing composition. I did not however arrive at this composition from the get go. I worked the situation, fine tuning and tweaking my perspective until I was happy with the results. I am eagerly looking forward to photographing Hatchery Falls in the coming weeks when the autumn colors will be all a blaze.

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

 

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Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fisheye Lens. ISO 50 f22 @ 1/5 sec.

Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fisheye Lens. ISO 50 f22 @ 1/5 sec.

 

I have just returned from a week away in the Parry Sound & Muskoka regions of Ontario where I had a blast using my newest and favorite photographic tool; the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. On of my chosen destinations was Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River near the town of Rosseau. I had previously visited this waterfall during the winter months and wanted to return this summer and for the soon to come autumn scenes. I created several various compositions on this recent visit which I will share with you shortly. Do note that when the fisheye lens is positioned as square as possible with the world there is minimal distortion of the scene. My chosen perspective for this scene was determined after carefully studying the flow of the river and then ensuring that I captured the interesting detail as the river exits the composition.

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

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Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

This morning I awoke at 5:00 a.m. to begin my journey north to Ontario’s Muskoka region to meet up with fellow photographer / friend Kyle McDougall. Do take a moment to check out Kyle’s work as he is a very talented photographer.The plan was to visit several of the areas secluded, woodland waterfalls. The weather forecast was for cloudy conditions with temperatures hovering around 2-3 degrees Celsius. Perfect weather for a comfortable day photographing winter waterfalls.

Ontario’s Muskoka region has been hit hard this winter with tons of snowfall. There is roughly four feet of snow on the ground and significant ice formation at some of the waterfalls, due to the brutal cold temperatures encountered this winter. At each of  the destinations it was somewhat tricky getting into position for some of the images as I would often sink to my waist in deep snow along the riverbanks. My lower back problems did not appreciate this very much and are now getting even with me for heading off without my snowshoes.

Potts Creek, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Potts Creek, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (10-stop Neutral Density Filter Used)

On today’s waterfall excursion I experimented with some new techniques, gear, and camera features. In the image that opens this blog post I used the focus stacking technique, whereby I created three separate images with each focused at a different point from foreground to horizon and then assembled them in photoshop to create one image file. In the above image at Potts Creek I was very disappointed to see lots of foam floating in the creek below the falls, but I noted that it was floating around in a circular motion. By attaching a B&W 10-stop Neutral Density Filter to the lens I was able to create an image with a 30 second exposure that would record the circular motion making it a pleasing element within the composition.

Skeleton Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Skeleton Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (in-camera HDR)

The final experiment I tried was setting my Nikon D800 to it’s in-camera HDR function. By doing so the camera would create a natural-looking TIFF file of 100 MB. I was quite pleased with the in-camera HDR results and will use this mode often. For winter imagery I found it opened up the shadowed areas nicely and brought out the greens in the cedar trees well too. While optimizing these images I chose to add a touch of Nik / Google’s Detail Extractor filter from Color Efex 4 to bring out the fine details in the snow.

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

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