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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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Milky Way Night-scape at the Algonquin Radio Observatory

I decided not to wait until January to share with you my personal 20 favorite images that I captured during 2019. Many of the selected images were created during several of my workshops this past year. I always teach by example and capture various images to share with participants, in-the-field, so they too can create similar photos. The first image in this post was created during the Lake Traverse Photography Retreat with night-scape scenes of the massive satellite being the highlight of the trip. We have been blessed with clear skies every year for this workshop and hopefully 2020 we will be blessed with the same conditions.

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In-camera Pan Blur of Birch Trees, Wawa, Ontario

Even when photography conditions seem to be less than ideal there is always something to photograph, which is what I demonstrated during my Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat when I created the above in-camera vertical pan blur of birch trees in late day light.

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Over-Under Bullfrog, Parry Sound, Ontario

During some my personal photography days I made good use of my final days with the family cottage to create my all-time favorite frog-scape scenes as can be seen in the above and below images of a large male Bullfrog in it’s watery home within the wetland on Horseshoe lake near Parry Sound, Ontario. These two frog-scapes were created using the Laowa 15mm 1:1 Wide Angle Macro Lens on a Nikon D500.

Bullfrog (lithobates catesbeiana) on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

Bullfrog-scape, Parry Sound, Ontario

The following two photographs were created in March on a personal excursion with two past workshop participants. We had an incredible afternoon exploring the icy shoreline and caves of Georgian Bay on the Bruce Peninsula. In fact we loved it so much we will likely be going back again this winter 🙂

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Ice Cave, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

 

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Halfway Rock Point, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

My first-ever Bruce Peninsula Workshop was a great success with many wonderful opportunities, especially those we encountered on two separate mornings at Half Way Log Dump on Georgian Bay. The image below was created during a foggy morning with the Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens. Stay tuned for the 2020 Bruce Peninsula Workshop announcement in the new year.

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Halfway Log Dump, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

Personal trips to the North Shore Rugged Hiking Trail in Parry Sound always yields impressive vistas. Watch for single day workshops at this location to be announced for the 2020 season.

Georgian Bay at sunset, Parry Sound, Ontario

Sunset on Georgian Bay, Parry Sound, Ontario

Late October found me on the shores of Lake Superior with two back to back events and some of the absolute best landscape photography conditions I have encountered in the area to date. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to photograph this impressive area of the province. Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat.

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Afternoon Light on Lake Superior in Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario

 

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Sunset on Lake Superior, Wawa, Ontario

In July I bid farewell to 35 years at the family cottage and will miss exploring the wetland on the lake as it is where I created a significant number of memorable imagery over the years. Below are two photos that were created in the weeks leading up the departure.

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

Fragrant White Waterlilies on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

Storm Clouds at Dusk in Wetland, Parry Sound, Ontario

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River is a highlight of the Muskoka Winter Waterfall Spectacular Workshop and I am really looking forward to being back in the area this coming weekend for the 3rd annual event. If you are looking for a last minute photography workshop in beautiful Muskoka there are still a couple of spaces available. Please contact me by clicking here if interested.

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River in winter, Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Hatchery Falls in Winter, Muskoka, Ontario

When I discovered the newly emerging Green Darner Dragonfly this summer it was a perfect opportunity to test out my dual flash system for macro photography. More to come on that later 🙂

Green Darner Dragonfly, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

Green Darner Dragonfly, Parry Sound, Ontario

The Lake Superior coast in Pukaskwa National Park near Marathon, Ontario as long been a favorite of mine. When I had a couple of personal days in between my two Lake Superior events I made the trek further north to explore the impressive ruggedness of the area.

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Lake Superior, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario

I do not particularity do a lot of bird photography but when a rare visitor of Ontario’s boreal forest over-winters 20 minutes from home it is worth every effort to capture it. My favorite image of the Northern Hawk Owl was created during a light snow flurry on a bitterly cold day. It was not until after the owl landed in this tree that I became aware of the meadow vole it had cached in the tree earlier.

Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula)

Northern Hawk Owl, Schomberg, Ontario

In April I hosted an Ohio State Reformatory Workshop with Sherry Butts. It was a great success and we look forward to meeting the new participants for the 2020 event. If you wish to sign up for the 2020 Ohio State Reformatory Photo Tour please reach out to me by clicking here. The image below with the red chair was created in the library and the sunrays were added using Luminar for a creative effect.

Ohio State Reformatory, Manfield, Ohio, U.S.A.

Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio

The Tan Jumping Spider below was my first attempt at photographing very small subjects using a 105mm macro lens with a Raynox DCR-250 diopter and dual flash tubes. My wife had informed me of a spider on the ceiling in the kitchen. I said I would get me camera ready 🙂  I carefully moved the spider onto a small piece of bark for a natural setting. In 2020, once insects emerge from hibernation please watch for many posts about extreme macro photography.

Tan Jumping Spider (Platycryptus undatus)

Tan Jumping Spider, Thornton, Ontario

The final two images that are among my personal favorites for 2019 were created in the Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve in Muskoka, Ontario on a glorious morning with clear skies and cool temperatures. These conditions were perfect for creating a significant amount of mist rising from the surrounding wetlands, that began to glow a fiery orange when the sun rose over the horizon. A Nikkor 200-500mm lens was used to create each of these images.

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Daybreak in the Torrance Barrens, Muskoka, Ontario

 

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Red Maple in the Mist, Muskoka, Ontario

As 2020 approaches I am looking forward to the new opportunities that will arise, and to meeting new and past workshop participants.

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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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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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Lake Superior 2020

Join award winning photographer Andrew McLachlan for the 3rd Annual Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat. This intensive, photographic event on Lake Superior will be held at the Rock Island Lodge, which is situated on seven stunning acres of Lake Superior shoreline near Wawa, Ontario. Capture the true essence of Lake Superior while walking in the footsteps of the Group of Seven as we explore the most impressive scenery Ontario has to offer.

The Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat will provide participants with 3 full days and 2 half days of photography! Please note that each photographic destination selected for this event is accessed by short, easy walking trails. Photographers of all skill levels are welcome to register.

Dates: October 14 – October 18th, 2020.

The maximum number of participants is 10.

Often referred to as Canada’s inland sea, Lake Superior offers the most dramatic scenery available for the landscape photographer in Ontario. Being well-travelled along this coast I will ensure that you are in the right location at the right time, receive in-depth photographic instruction, and are inspired to capture breathtaking imagery. We will focus our efforts on landscape photography at sunrise and sunset, mid-day photography, as well as starry nightscapes (weather permitting). Mid-day photo sessions to specific locations will based on the current weather conditions that each day provides. There will also be time set aside after dinner for image review and Photoshop / Lightroom image optimization. The dates for this retreat were chosen as they coincide with the onset of Lake Superior’s stormy season, which often means rough seas and waves crashing into the rugged coast.

Here is a testimonial from 2019 participant Scott Powers:

“I had a great time on the 2019 Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat with Andrew McLachlan. The 3 ½ days flew by with endless opportunities to shoot different and exciting landscapes that are so near to home, and yet so foreign to many of us. Lake Superior is truly spectacular scenery.

My goal was to learn more about photographing landscapes and my expectations were exceeded. Andrew’s easy-going nature and extensive knowledge helped me to improve my understanding and knowledge in just about every area. So many things that I “sort of knew”, just fell into place with repeated activities throughout the week.

If you are an amateur who wants to improve, or if you are just looking for an opportunity to hang out with a great group of like-minded people, I highly recommend Andrew’s tour”

New for 2020: the fee for accommodations and meals will be paid directly to Naturally Superior Adventures / Rock Island Lodge by June 1, 2020. Accommodation is limited at Rock Island Lodge; therefore, lodge rooms will be assigned to those that register for the retreat first. Once the Rock Island Lodge maximum has been met additional participants will be placed at the High Falls Motel & Cabins. The High Falls Motel is located about five minutes away from Rock Island Lodge and is where I stay during the retreat.

Itinerary:

October 14th:

  • Check in at 2:00 p.m. at Rock Island Lodge
  • Meet & Greet with a sunset photo session at Rock Island Lodge
  • Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
  • Inspiring photographic presentation on the areas we will be photographing around Lake Superior
  • night sky photo session (weather permitting)

October 15th – 17th:

  • morning photo session
  • breakfast
  • free time / mid-morning photo session
  • image review / Photoshop instruction at Rock Island Lodge
  • lunch (either on site or bagged lunch in the field)
  • free time / early afternoon photo session
  • late afternoon/sunset photo session
  • dinner
  • Photoshop / Lightroom instruction
  • night sky photo session (weather permitting)

October 18th:

  • morning photo session
  • breakfast
  • participants depart for home at 10:00 a.m.

What’s Included:

  • In-depth photographic instruction at each photo session with in-the-field image review
  • Nightly Photoshop / Lightroom image optimization sessions
  • A selection of various filter types on hand during photo sessions to enhance your creativity. Filters graciously supplied by Singh Ray Filters.

 

What’s Not Included:

  • Accommodation and meals will be paid directly to Naturally Superior Adventures / Rock Island Lodge
  • Transportation (car-pooling of participants is encouraged)
  • Snacks and Alcoholic Beverages

Workshop Fee:

$700.00 CDN plus taxes is due now to register for this event.

Payment may be made by email transfer or by cheque made payable to Andrew McLachlan.

Please contact me by clicking here to register for this event.

Accommodations & Meals:

This payment is to be made directly to Naturally Superior Adventures / Rock Island Lodge. Details to be provided upon registration.

$527.36 CDN plus taxes per person based on double occupancy due no later than June 1, 2020

$767.36 CDN plus taxes per person based on single occupancy due no later than June 1, 2020

Rock Island Lodge waiver of liability and dietary requirement forms are to be completed at time of making final payment.

Cancellation Policy:

91 days prior to the workshop date 50% refund on workshop fee.

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

Please note: if we are able to fill cancellations from a wait list of potential participants a full refund will be given.

 

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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

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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

 

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Green Darner Dragonfly, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

Common Loon, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

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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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Muskoka Fall Colour Spectacular

Join Andrew McLachlan in Ontario’s Muskoka District on October 7th, 8th, & 9th 2019 for 2 ½ days of in-depth photographic exploration of the finest waterfalls, rivers, forests and wetlands of the region. Embrace the beauty of Muskoka and learn the skills of landscape photography amid the palette of autumn.

Maximum number of participants is 8

Why worry about dealing with unrelenting crowds in Algonquin Provincial Park when you can enjoy photographing fall colour in Ontario’s Muskoka District without crowds and with better scenery too!

Do note that there will be some walking involved on woodland trails over uneven ground. The longest walk will be roughly 1 kilometre in length. Please do not hesitate to inquire should you have any concerns regarding physical limitations that may affect your ability to attend this event. Most of the locations selected are within very close proximity to where we will park our vehicles.

Itinerary:

Monday, October 7th:

• Meet in the parking lot of Brooks Falls (Huntsville area) at 7:00 a.m. for waterfall photo session

• Stop for lunch (on your own) at 1:00 p.m.

• Oxtongue Rapids & Ragged Falls (Huntsville area) photo session

• Dinner (on your own) at local restaurant at 7:00 p.m.

• Get some rested for early start on Tuesday

Tuesday, October 8th:

• Meet at 6:00 a.m. at the Sleep Inn Bracebridge and carpool to waterfall for photo sessions

• Stop for lunch (on your own) at 1:00 p.m.

• Additional waterfall / river sessions

• Sunset photo session – weather permitting

• Complimentary dinner at local restaurant

Wednesday, October 9th:

• Meet at 6:00 a.m. at Sleep Inn Bracebridge and carpool to Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve for sunrise and morning photo session

• Depart for home 12:00 p.m.

What’s Included:

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

• Dinner at nearby restaurant on Tuesday October 8th

What’s Not Included:

• Accommodations (numerous options available… I will be staying at the Sleep Inn in Bracebridge – they serve a continental style breakfast)

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

• Breakfast and lunch

• Alcoholic Beverages

Workshop Fee:

$325.00 CDN plus taxes

Payment can be made via email transfer or by cheque.

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

A Waiver of Liability will be sent to participants at the time of registering.

Please do not delay in booking your accommodations as hotels / motels in the area will fill up quickly.

Cancellation Policy:

61 Days or greater – full refund less $75 administration fee

60 Days or less – No Refunds

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