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Posts Tagged ‘muskoka’

Newly Emerging Leaves in Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens

Spring arrived very slowly to the Muskoka area this year, but nonetheless it has arrived in all it’s splendor. I am often drawn to the newly emerging leaves within the forest but on a bright sunny and cloudless day there is often too much contrast within the forest however, looking up changes the perspective to one that is quite photogenic and even allows the opportunity to incorporate the sun into the composition as I did with the above image using the Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens.

My most favourite past-time in spring includes getting out into the vernal ponds to photograph the various frogs that show up in vast numbers to breed. Although the frogs have been chorusing for a number of weeks I was unable to find time in my schedule to get out into the ponds until this past weekend. I was excited to finally get out and try my new home-made flash diffuser mentioned in the This Might Just Be The Best Flash Diffuser Ever! blog post. As I expected I was more than thrilled with the performance of the flash diffuser in the field. Due to the larger size of the diffuser I did have to be cautious with my approach to the frogs and be careful that the diffuser did not bump any corresponding branches or foliage that may disturb the frogs, thus interrupting their singing. Below are a few of the images I captured over the course of the weekend exploring the vernal ponds. During these excursions I was delighted to encounter a Wood Frog at one of the ponds. It has been a great number of years since I have seen a Wood Frog in the woodlands of Muskoka.

Spring Peeper chorusing
Nikon D500, Nikkor 105mm Micro Lens

The below image of the chorusing Spring Peeper was particularly challenging to photograph as he was singing beside a rather fresh pile of Moose scat. Positioning myself as I would normally do would have seen me laying in the scat, therefore, a different approach was much needed. To gain a low perspective and avoid the moose scat I utilized the Nikon D500’s tilting LCD screen so that I could hold the camera at ground level using LIve View to compose and capture the image.

Spring Peeper chorusing
Nikon D500, Nikkor 105mm Micro Lens

 

Wood Frog
Nikon D500, Nikkor 105mm Micro Lens

The below image of the Green Frog among Hair-cap Moss really illustrates the usefulness of the home-made diffuser. Under normal flash conditions there would be many unpleasant shadows created by a bare flash. The polystyrene diffuser softens the light, eliminating any and all harsh shadows.

Green Frog
Nikon D500, Nikkor 105mm Micro Lens

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On Tuesday March, 27, 2018 I will be presenting my “Ontario & Beyond – Wild Places Wild Faces” program for the Ajax Photography Club at the Ajax Community Centre located at 75 Centennial Road in the HSM Room. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. Guests are welcome to attend for a $10 admission fee. Mark the date in your calendars and come on out for an enjoyable evening of nature photography and learn the secrets behind how I capture and optimize my my landscape and wildlife imagery.

Hope to see you there 🙂

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Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario

On January 27th & 28th we held our first-ever Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop. We had 5 fabulous clients that made the entire event lots of fun. Our conditions at the waterfalls could have been better but we all made the best of the conditions that we were presented with. The area experienced a real swing in temperatures throughout January from -30 Celsius to +10 Celsius with lots of rain. The rain and warm temps melted away much of the snow that had accumulated early in the month and the rain over the course of the last few weeks created some treacherously, icy conditions. The ice was so made at some locations that it did prevent us from accessing certain vantage points at some waterfalls for safety reasons. On the flip side though there were some really cool ice formations along the river banks that we all took advantage of with our long lenses. To illustrate the effect of the warmer than usual weather and excessive rains the image below of an old weathered boathouse on Lake Rosseau pretty much sums it up.

Lake Rosseau Boathouse in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

In the coming weeks I will share some of the images created by the particiapnts with you here on the blog. From what I have seen so far, you are in for a real treat 🙂

In the photo that opens this blog post you can see the glare ice at Hatchery Falls and this ice extended down to the base of the falls making it impossible to access the lower area for different perspectives. My trusty Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D lens was used to create this extreme wide angle view.

Ice details at Potts Creek, Muskoka, Ontario

The ice detail images that I created were captured with the Nikon 28-300mm VR lens mounted to a Nikon D800. This is a great b-roll lens that produces razor sharp images, which is quite the opposite to what the so-called internet experts have to say. I will do a thorough review of this lens in the coming weeks.

Ice details at Potts Creek, Muskoka, Ontario

The timing of this workshop also coincided with the3rd annual Bracebridge Fire & Ice Festival. After supper a couple of us decided to see what Bracebridge Falls looked like all lit up at night and explore the fireworks display that was to occur later that evening.

 

Bracebridge Falls at Night, Muskoka, Ontario

 

Bracebridge Fire & Ice, Muskoka, Ontario

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Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D
ISO 50, f16 @ 0.5 seconds

Each of the three images featured in today’s post were created with the Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens. I often receive emails from folks asking me various questions about this lens, complimenting me on the extreme wide-angle scenics I have created with it thus far. The Laowa 12mm Zero D lens quickly became my favorite lens in my gear bag. It is very small, all metal construction, and razor sharp too! Not too mention a fraction of the cost when compared to Canon, Nikon, or Sigma alternatives. With such an extreme wide angle of view it is very important to look for strong foreground elements and then get in very close to those elements. Once you think you are close enough, chances are that you can get a little closer to make the elements within the composition stand out even more for a more effective image. This is exactly what I did for these Muskoka area scenes. Often I was positioning the lens so low and close, the only way to compose the scenes was by utilizing the Live View as I could not physically get close to the camera and tripod because they were sitting on thin ice.

Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D
ISO 50, f16 @ 1 second

You to can photograph these scenes by attending the first-ever Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop on January 27th & 28th. The workshop is going to be tons of fun with top notch photographic instruction to ensure that you create stunning winter scenics in Muskoka’s winter wonderland. There are only a couple of spots still available and folks can contact me by clicking here for more information.

Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D
ISO 50, f16 @ 1 second

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Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River near Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 27mm
ISO 50, f16 @ 2.5 seconds
Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

I decided to start my adventures for 2018 with a trip to some woodland waterfalls in Ontario’s Muskoka District with fellow photographer David Topping. After enduring several consecutive days of brutally cold temperatures I figured the conditions were perfect to explore these locations and that the brutally cold temperatures would have created thick ice formations with beautiful turquoise tones – I was not mistaken nor disapointed. Often when the temperatures get extremely cold there will be a lot of interesting ice formations developing along the river banks and the cascades too. My typical approach is to get in close with a wide angle lens to make best use of the foreground ice formations. This approach must be exercised with caution. If you get too close and the ice is unstable you will break through and fill your winter boots with icy cold water, as I did during my visit on Tuesday January 2nd. My choice of lenses for the day varied from the Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D lens to the Nikon 18-35mm lens to the Nikon 200-500mm Lens. The former was my go-to choice for many of the images while the latter was used to capture icy river details that will be shared in a later post. The conditions for the day were overcast with light snow, no wind due to the surrounding forest, and a temperature that seemed to hover around -8 degrees Celsius which made working without gloves possible.

For folks that missed the announcement or are thinking about registering for the Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop I do still have a couple of spaces available. Please click here to contact me directly and register yourself for this event.

Skeleton Falls on the Skeleton River near Rosseau, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 50, f16 @ 1 second

 

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cayman brac, cayman islands, british west indies, caribbean

Sunrise at Pollard Bay
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

As 2017 draws to a close, I would like to share a selection of my ten personal favorite images that I created over the last twelve months. Two highlights for 2017 were spending a couple of weeks on the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac, as well as one week in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Amazonian rainforest near Tarapoto, Peru. For 2018 I am offering workshops to both of these locations and cannot wait to meet-up with the folks attending the Cayman Brac Workshop in February. There is still space available for our inaugural Peru 2018, which promises to be a one-of-a-kind adventure for landscape and micro fauna photography.

sister island rock iguana, rock iguana, cayman brac, cayman islands, british west indies, cyclura nubila caymanensis

Sister Island Rock Iguana (Cyclura nubila caymanensis)
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

 

brown booby, sula leucogaster, cayman brac, cayman islands, british west indies

Brown Booby chick (Sula leucogaster)
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

In September I embarked on a journey to Tarapoto, Peru as a scouting trip for the upcoming Peru 2018 – Landscapes and Micro Fauna of the Cordillera Escalera event which is scheduled for early July 2018. Our rainforest hikes were most productive with several species of dart frogs photographed, awe inspiring waterfalls, and a rare opportunity to photograph the endangered Cochran Frog (Rulyrana saxiscandens). I am looking most forward to taking a group of participants into this region for an all-inclusive, once-in-a-lifetime photographic experience!

peru, cordillera escalera, sunrise, rainforest, amazon rainforest, jungle

Sunrise in the Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

peru, dart frog, peru, cordillera escalera, ameerega trivittata, three striped poison frog

Three-striped Poison Frog (Ameerega trivittata), Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

peru, cordillera, escalera, amazon rainforest, rainforest, waterfall, tununtunumba

Cataratas Tununtunumba in the Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

peru, amazon rainforest, cochran frog, rulyrana saxiscandens, cordillera escalera

Cochran Frog (Rulyrana saxiscandens)
Cordillera Escalera, Peru

 

Aside from the two main trips taken in 2017 I spent a significant amount of time exploring my own backyard here in Ontario. Several visits to the Georgian Bay shoreline yielded many lovely scenes. During the springtime months I spent my usual amount of time exploring nearby wetlands, at night, for fresh images of frogs and toads chorusing during the breeding season. On one of those evenings I located a wonderful male Spring Peeper singing in a Hemlock bough high above the pond. Throughout the summer much of my photograph efforts seemed to be concentrated at the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario where I encountered a very co-operative female White-tailed Deer grazing on a nearby peat bog as I canoed through the wetland one evening.

 

sunset, pary sound, ontario, muskoka, georgian bay

Sunset on Georgian Bay near Parry Sound, Ontario

 

frog, tree frog, spring peeper, hyla crucifer, ontario, barrie, wetlands

Spring Peeper (Hyla crucifer) with vocal sac fully inflated

 

deer, white tailed deer, peat bog, wetland, parry sound, ontario, muskoka, canada

White Tailed Deer on peat bog with cotton grass.
Parry Sound, Ontario

With the new year just around the corner I am pleased to say that I have finally completed my eBook on frog photography. It is now undergoing the editing phase prior to publication. I will also be announcing several new photographic workshops in the coming months. Stay tuned for the announcements regarding those. As a side note for folks that may have missed the announcement for the Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Photographic Workshop there are a few spaces still available. The Muskoka region has seen a lot of snow this year, which is going to make these waterfalls even more inspiring. Hotel accommodations will be in short supply for this event with folks booking up rooms for their snowmobile excursions and other area events. If you are interested in attending please contact me by clicking here.

I would like thank everybody for their continued support of my blog, those that have attended my photogaphic workshops and to wish everybody a safe and prosperous 2018!

See you next year 🙂

 

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Join Andrew McLachlan in Ontario’s Muskoka District on January 27 & 28, 2018 for an in-depth photographic exploration of the finest waterfalls in the region. Embrace the beauty of Muskoka this winter and learn the skills of landscape photography amid a winter wonderland of snow clad, iconic white pines and intricate ice formations that adorn these waterfalls and rivers. Maximum number of participants is 10.

Itinerary:

Saturday January 27:

• Meet in the parking lot of the Sleep Inn, Bracebridge at 7:00 a.m. and carpool to waterfalls

• Stop for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

• Visit additional waterfalls

• Dinner at local restaurant at 7:00 p.m.

• Get some rested for early start on Sunday

Sunday January 28:

• Meet in the parking lot of the Sleep Inn, Bracebridge at 7:00 a.m. and carpool to waterfalls

• Stop for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

• Depart for home

What’s Included:

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

• Saturday dinner at nearby restaurant

What’s Not Included:

• Accommodations (numerous options available… I will be staying at the Sleep Inn in Bracebridge)

• Transportation

• Car pooling of participants is encouraged to arrive at each location

• Breakfast and lunch

• Alcoholic Beverages

Workshop Fee:

225.00 CDN plus taxes

Payment can be made via email transfer or by cheque.

To reserve your spot in the Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular please contact me by clicking here to arrange payment.

Cancellation Policy:

No Refunds. Check your schedule carefully prior to booking.

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