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Posts Tagged ‘muskoka’

Sunrise on the Agawa River in Ontario's Lake Superior Provincial Park

Sunrise on the Agawa River in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park

This year I decided to come up with a ‘baker’s dozen’ of favorite photographs that I created over the past twelve months. It was difficult to narrow it down to just 13 images, but here they are. Please do click on the images to see the larger, sharper version.

This past year I re-visited my most favorite location within Ontario – Lake Superior Provincial Park, and was blessed with one of the most beautiful sunrises I have witnessed. In February I traveled to the Port Antonio region of Jamaica where I photographed one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Caribbean and my favorite image of my daughter Ava while she was having fun in a swing at Boston Bay. I was invited to co-write the Fractasic eGuide with good friend, colleague, and mentor Denise Ippolito, and to do ‘The Three Frosties‘ guest blog post for one of the world’s premier bird photographers Arthur Morris.

A scouting trip for planning what will become the launch of my first workshop to the tip of Lake Erie’s Long Point Peninsula (a UNESCO World Biosphere) was a success. Folks wishing to be added to the interested list for this workshop, which will likely run in late spring, should shoot me an email here.

Also Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma lenses was kind enough to loan me the Sigma f2.8 15mm EX DG Fisheye Lens, which opened up a whole new world to me for creativity and fun times photographing the natural world.

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I did creating them.

May you all have a safe and prosperous 2014.

Cheers!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Ava on swing at Boston Bay, Jamaica

Ava on swing at Boston Bay, Jamaica

Reich Falls on the Drivers River, Jamaica

Reich Falls on the Drivers River, Jamaica

Johnstone's Whistling Frog chorusing, Jamaica

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog chorusing, Jamaica

Lone tree after ice storm near Thornton, Ontario

Lone tree after ice storm near Thornton, Ontario

Storm clouds over winter wheat crop near Bradford, Ontario

Storm clouds over winter wheat crop Bradford, Ontario (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Bullfrog-scape with the Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens

Bullfrog-scape on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Rusty Old Wreck in fog, Milton, Ontario

Rusty Old Wreck in fog, Milton, Ontario

The tip of the Long Point Peninsula at sunrise, Lake Erie, Ontario

The tip of the Long Point Peninsula at sunrise, Lake Erie, Ontario

Bullfrog (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Bullfrog (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Aspen Trees Multiple Exposure inspired by Denise Ippolito

Aspen Trees Multiple Exposure inspired by Denise Ippolito

Window Frost Pattern

Window Frost Pattern

Fractalius of Woodland Interior, Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario

Fractalius of Woodland Interior, Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bullfrog_1116

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Nikon 18-35mm

This past summer I created numerous frog-scape photographs using either the new AFS Nikkor 18-35mm f3.5-4.5G ED Lens or the Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fish-eye Lens. Nikon’s new 18-35mm lens allows a close focusing of 12 inches while the Sigma Fish-eye focuses down to 5.9 inches, which is almost a full 4 inches closer than that of Nikon’s 16mm fish-eye lens (being able to focus closer with the Sigma lens is a huge advantage). The main difference between using the fish-eye lens versus using the wide angle zoom for frog-scapes is that the fish-eye lens will distort the horizon line giving it a rounded appearance, while the wide angle zoom will keep the horizons straight. I like both perspective equally so I will often change lenses to create two variations, especially when the subjects are being co-operative.

As you scroll through my favorite frog-scapes created last summer at the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario, do note the captions that indicate which lens was used to create each of the images.

Please click on each image to see the larger, sharper versions and please take a moment to let me know which ones are your favorites.

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fish-eye Lens

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Nikon 18-35mm

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Nikon 18-35mm

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland - Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

Bullfrog in Wetland – Nikon D800 & Sigma 15mm Fish-eye

 

 

 

 

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In-camera Aspen Tree Blur near Coldwater, Ontario

In-camera Aspen Tree Blur near Coldwater, Ontario

Here are a few recently optimized images from my photo excursions in September and October that I wanted to share with folks. I have been swamped lately with various projects as well as getting caught up on a large backlog of image files sitting on my hard-drives…never seems to be enough time and the backlog keeps getting bigger. Hope you like this collection of recently edited photographs.

To read my most recent article in Denise Ippolito’s Creative Photography eMini-Magazine click here. Be sure to subscribe to this on-line creative photography magazine as it is loaded with tons of useful info and tips and it is absolutely free.

Please click on each of the photos to see the larger, sharper versions.

Thompson's Rapids in Ontario's Almaguin Highlands

Thompson’s Rapids in Ontario’s Almaguin Highlands

Sand River, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario.

Sand River, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario.

River aux Sables at Chutes Provincial Park. Massey, Ontario.

River aux Sables at Chutes Provincial Park. Massey, Ontario.

Magnetawan River in Ontario's Almaguin Highlands.

Magnetawan River in Ontario’s Almaguin Highlands.

 

 

 

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6 Image Multiple Exposure with a Pan Blur

6 Image Multiple Exposure with a Pan Blur

During my last day at the family cottage, during the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I was playing around with capturing multiple exposures with my Nikon D800 set to take six images before assembling each image into one multiple exposure. Above you will see a newly optimized image that I came across during a recent edit of the images photographed on that weekend. For the image above I incorporated two sideways pan blurs into the mix when capturing the series of 6 images and came up with the above result. I kinda like it…what do you think? :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rosseau River_5055

One location I have visited frequently this past year has been that of Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River. I am a big advocate of revisiting locations over and over and over. With each new visit to a location different elements tend to grab your attention. Perhaps it is because the light on the scene is ever-changing and never the same as it was before, or our frame of mind at the time.

During the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend I was up at the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake to close up for the coming winter. The family cottage is only a short drive from Lower Rosseau Falls. So, when most of the chores were completed I took a short  break to capture a few fresh images of the river. On this visit I decided I would make my way down to the mouth of the river where it flows into Lake Rosseau. When the water levels in the river are high, a portion of the water gets diverted around the rocky terrain, which then flows back into the main stream downriver creating a small pleasing cascade.  I have always been attracted to the directional differences of the river here when this occurs. Above and below are two different compositions of this scene.

I was initially disappointed that the autumn color was past peak at this point in time with significant leaf fall, but do think this transition phase of the forest can be equally beautiful. What do you think?

Please click on each of the photos to see the larger, sharper versions.

Rosseau River_5046

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6 Image Multiple Exposure of Autumn Forest Scene. Parry Sound, Ontario

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Autumn Forest Scene. Parry Sound, Ontario

On the Canada Thanksgiving Weekend I arrived at the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario to close-up for the coming winter. Most often this weekend is when the fall colors are at their peak condition in this region of Ontario however, this year they were past peak, with significant leaf fall. Below the forest canopy there was some lingering color and I decided to try my hand some additional multiple exposures while taking my dog Koko for her morning walk each day. I captured countless multiple renditions and thought I would share three of my favorites.

Please click on each of the images to view the sharper, larger versions.

6 Image Multiple Exposure of White Birch and Autumn Color

6 Image Multiple Exposure of White Birch in Autumn. Parry Sound, Ontario.

 

6 Image Multiple Exposure in Sugar Maple Forest. Parry Sound, Ontario.

6 Image Multiple Exposure in Sugar Maple Forest. Parry Sound, Ontario.

 

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Rosseau River_1635Rosseau River in Ontario’s Muskoka Region

Recently I purchased the new Nikon 18-35mm lens and have had a blast using it on my favorite subjects – waterfalls and bullfrogs.  If I could only have one lens it would most certainly be a wide angle zoom lens. The corner-to-corner sharpness of this lens is amazing. I will do a more in-depth summary of my thoughts on this lens in the near future. Above is a recent capture made along the Rosseau River. The water levels were quite low during my visit and I was able to cross the river to an area that is inaccessible during periods of higher flow. This image was created using the Nikon 18-35mm lens on a Nikon D800 firmly mounted on my tripod. An ISO of 250 was selected with the aperture set to f16 for an exposure of 1.3 seconds. After reviewing a few test images on the D800′s LCD screen to critique the amount of blur to the flowing river, I determined this to be the look I wanted to achieve. Below you will see a Black & White conversion of the image and a creative rendition too. The B&W version was created using Nik / Google’s Silver Efex Pro 2, while the creative version was created with Topaz Labs Black & White Effects 2.

Please remember to click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper version and take a moment to let us know which is your favorite and why.

Rosseau River_1635-B&WRosseau River in B&W (Silver Efex Pro 2)

Rosseau River_1635-B&W EffectsRosseau River – B&W Effects 2

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Ferns in B&W_9675-1

Topaz Labs Restyle – Grass Swing Preset

I have been working on few black and white conversions of some recently captured images and was about to prepare a blog post for them, but then I was notified of a cool new photoshop plug-in available from Topaz Labs called Restyle. By entering the coupon code “restyleit” you will only pay $29.99 and this code will be good until the end of August. I downloaded the software this morning and began playing around with it. I select three images that I had converted to black and white and then began to explore various options by scrolling through the vast number of presets. Above you will see a black and white image of a cluster of ferns that was tweaked by selecting the preset ‘Grass Swing.’ As I explore this new plug-in in my creative tool-kit a little more I will do a more in-depth blog post to discuss its pros and cons.

In the images below, which are both from along the Rosseau River in Ontario Canada’s popular Muskoka Region – a killer destination for autumn color. I have indicated in the image captions which preset was used on these black and white conversions to achieve the desired effect. To find out more about this cool new plug-in and to download your own copy please click here.

Do remember to click on the images to see the larger, sharper versions and let me know your thoughts and favorite image with the Restyle effect applied :)

Topaz Labs Restyle - Dark Dreams

Topaz Labs Restyle – Dark Dreams

 

Topaz Labs Restyle - Blue Black Ice

Topaz Labs Restyle – Blue Black Ice

 

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Snapping Turtle_20130615_110105Common Snapping Turtle in Beaver Pond

This week’s SmartPhone Snap is a follow-up to the previously posted Turtle-scape. As mentioned in that post, I first came across the snapping turtle as it was lazily basking on the surface of a beaver pond along the path I typically take my dog Koko for a walk, when I am at the family cottage in the Parry Sound region of Ontario. Since the only camera I had with me at the time was the one on my Samsung S2X I decided to tie Koko to a nearby tree and make my way to the edge for a couple of quick snaps. After taking Koko back to the cottage I went back out to the beaver pond for some additional images with the Nikon D800.

Hope you like this week’s edition of the SmartPhone Snap :)

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Common Snapping Turtle_7893Common Snapping Turtle at rest on beaver dam, Parry Sound, Ontario

While I was in the Parry Sound region of Ontario last weekend I came upon a very large Common Snapping Turtle floating in a beaver pond while I was out for my daily walk with my dog. Afterwards I decided to return without my dog and this is when I found the turtle basking on the beaver’s dam. Most often in situations similar to this it is difficult to approach the turtles closely, but nonetheless I decided to see if I could make my way in for a turtle-scape with my 24-85 VR lens. I decided to use this lens for its image stabilization feature as I knew I would never be able to get my tripod into position without disturbing the turtle. As it turned out I was able to get quite close and actually sat myself down within 1-2 feet of the turtle. It was so comfortable with my presence that it decided to close its eyes and have a nap, periodically opening its eyes to check me out. Each time the eyes opened I created my turtle-scapes. Above is my favorite.

Common Snapping Turtles evolved roughly 40 million years ago and shared the planet with dinosaurs.I am always reminded of the dinosaurs when I find these reptiles and marvel at how they have survived through the years, including the events that led to the mass extinction of dinosaurs. Sadly, after sharing the Earth with humans for a short period of time they are now listed as a “species at risk’ in some parts of their Canadian range.

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