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Spring Peeper Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 400, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Flash Bracket

Spring Peeper
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 400, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Flash Bracket

 

About one and a half weeks ago the temperatures around my home warmed up enough to lure the first frogs out of hibernation and into the vernal ponds to chorus. As usual I grabbed my chest waders and jumped into the pond. The first frogs to emerge around my home are the Chorus Frogs, Spring Peeper, and Wood Frog. I had great success with each of these species, including an interesting encounter whereby two male Wood Frogs had mistaken a pair of Spring Peepers, in amplexus, as potential mates. I was also able to locate my first ever pair of Chorus Frogs in amplexus. A couple of nights ago the temperatures rose high enough to bring out the Northern Leopard Frogs (I was able to photograph an awesome grayish-brown phase specimen), which filled the night air with their guttural snore-like song. The American Toads have also emerged, but have yet to start singing. With the next several nights destined to be cooler than normal, with the risk of snow flurries, the ponds will go silent again until things warm up again. Here are a few of my newest images from my outings to the vernal ponds this season.

You may notice in some of these images that my ISO was set at 400. This was my bad as my default setting is always ISO 100 for such imagery. This is a reminder to me to remember to double check my camera settings each time I head out to the ponds. The iTTL flash ensured correct flash exposure even though I forgot to reduce the ISO from 400 down to 100.

Chorus Frogs in Amplexus Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 400, f22 @ 1/60 sec  Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Chorus Frogs in Amplexus
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 400, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Wood Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Wood Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Wood Frogs grasping onto Spring Peepers in Amplexus Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 400, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Wood Frogs Grasping onto Spring Peepers in Amplexus
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 400, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Wood Frogs grasping onto Spring Peepers in Amplexus Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micor Lens ISO 400, f22 @ 1/60 sec. Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Wood Frogs Grasping onto Spring Peepers in Amplexus (the second Wood Frog and Spring Peeper are beneath the water in this capture)
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 400, f22 @ 1/60 sec.
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Wood Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Wood Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Northern Leopard Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Northern Leopard Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

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Bullfrog in Wetland on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 31mm ISO 800, f18 @ 1/100 second Nikon Polarizing Filter

Bullfrog in Wetland, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 31mm
ISO 800, f18 @ 1/100 second
Nikon Polarizing Filter

The recent warm weather that we have been experiencing this week has already got me dreaming of the new Bullfrog images that I will be creating in the wetland on Hosreshoe Lake, near Parry Sound, Ontario. While there are numerous locations throughout the province of Ontario that could easily be named as my favorite places, I do feel most at home on Horseshoe Lake. Of all the Bullfrog images that I create each year in the wetland on the lake, this image that was created last summer is by far my personal favorite. This coming year I am looking forward to trying new things with my frog work, which will include video clips. I am all set with LED lighting and microphones for night-time forays into wetlands. I am also intrigued by a new camera concept / design by LIGHT and hope to be able to give this new camera technology a whirl with the Bullfrogs of Horseshoe Lake.

To create the frog-scape image above I simply positioned my canoe alongside of this large male Bullfrog, sat in the bottom of the canoe for greater stability, and using the Live View feature on my Nikon D800, I reached out over the side of the canoe, placing the camera low to the surface of the water to create an image whereby the frog dominates the foreground yet the habitat in which the frog lives is quite apparent.

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Pre-dawn Light at The Torrance Barrens  Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm ISO 100 f16 @ 1.6 seconds

Pre-dawn Light at The Torrance Barrens / Dark Sky Reserve
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm
ISO 100
f16 @ 1.6 seconds

On Friday February 26th I finally had some free time to get out and spend a day in the field creating some fresh winter landscapes. The first stop on my list was to visit Torrance Barrens / Dark Sky Reserve near Gravenhurst, Ontario. This is one of my favorite locations in summer and fall, but I had never explored it in the dead of winter. It was a very chilly morning with a cloudless sky, which meant there would not be mush of a decent sunrise so I chose to frame these scraggly spruce trees against the western sky and wait for the rising sun to cast a pinkish glow on the western horizon.

The next stop on my list was to make a first-ever winter trip over to Lower Rosseau Falls. Fortunately the road in was plowed and there was even a clearing plowed to allow a car or two to park near the river. Hiking through the woods down to the base of the falls was a little treacherous as there was significant ice build-up beneath a foot of fresh snow – I fell flat on my butt several times.

Due to the bright conditions on this day, to slow down the exposure times to blur the rushing waters I dialed in an ISO of 50 on my Nikon D800 and also used a Nikon Polarizing Filter to further extend the exposure times. I was in such a rush to get out the door and on my way on this day that I also forgot to take along my cable release. To overcome this I simply framed my compositions as I normally would, then activated the Live View feature, as this will lock up the mirror to allow live viewing on the LCD screen, and then finally I selected the 2 second self-timer to trip the shutter.

 

Lower Rosseau Falls in Winter Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 29mm ISO 50 f22 @ 1/10 sec.

Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River in Winter
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 29mm
ISO 50
f22 @ 1/10 sec.

 

Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 23mm ISO 50 f22 @ 1/5 sec.

Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River in Winter
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 23mm
ISO 50
f22 @ 1/5 sec.

After a successful shoot at Lower Rosseau Falls I made the short drive over to Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River. There was not a lot of interesting ice development at Hatchery Falls mostly due to high water levels in the river not allow any interesting formations to develop. Nonetheless, the hike in to Hatchery Falls was beautiful and I had the entire location all to myself to enjoy:)

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River near Rosseau, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 23mm ISO 50 f22 @ 1 second

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River in Winter
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 23mm
ISO 50
f22 @ 1 second

 

Frogs of the World Workshop Space Available

For folks that may have missed the announcement for my Frogs of the World Workshop there are still some spaces available should you be interested. The date of the workshop is Saturday, March 5th at 8:00 a.m. with a cost of $85. Please contact me directly at info@andrewmclachlan.ca if you are interested in attending this workshop. For more information about the workshop please click here to see the official announcement.

Frogs of the World Workshop

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Tiny Marsh in Winter Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm lens @ 200mm ISO 400, f22 @ 0.4 sec.

Tiny Marsh in Winter
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm lens @ 200mm
ISO 400, f22 @ 0.4 sec.

 

I awoke at 5:00 a.m. this morning to make the drive to Tiny Marsh in Elmvale, Ontario for what I hoped would be some nice winter sunrise scenes over the frozen wetland. As it turned out the cloud cover persisted and eliminated any chance of a sunrise, however, as often happens at Tiny Marsh, there is frequently interesting wind-swept patterns of snow and ice over the frozen marshland. The temperatures were a balmy -3 degrees Celsius and the winds were relatively light – it was a good morning to be at the marsh. In south-central Ontario we have been experiencing unusually warm weather and have just started to get some colder weather settling in to freeze the lakes, rivers, and wetlands. I spent several hours exploring the frozen patterns along the edges of the marshland and located one Snowy Owl but it was too far out across the unstable, newly forming ice to risk approaching it for photos. In fact, for many of the images I created this morning I received no less than half a dozen soakers when I stepped too far off the edge of the shoreline for a better perspective and sank through the ice up to my calfs. By the time I was ready to leave my boots were full of ice cold water and my toes were a tad chilly…hopefully the images were worth the effort:)

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

 

Pre-dawn Light Over Tiny Marsh Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f16 @ 20 seconds

Pre-dawn Light Over Tiny Marsh
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 20 seconds

 

Winter Details at Tiny Marsh Nikon D800, Nikon 200-400mm lens @ 480mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1 second

Winter Details at Tiny Marsh
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm lens @ 480mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1 second

 

Winter at Tiny Marsh Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm lens @ 68mm ISO 100,  f16 @ 0.3 sec

Winter at Tiny Marsh
Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm lens @ 68mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.3 sec

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Sunset on Horseshoe Lake in Muskoka near the town of Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Sunset on Horseshoe Lake in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Its hard to believe that another year has flown by and that we are now heading into 2016. It is also that time of year when I like to share with you some of my favorite images that I created throughout the past year. One of the highlights of the past year for me was to spend two weeks on the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac, where I quite literally spent more time in the ocean than I did on land, and while on land I spent much of that time photographing Brown Booby birds at the nest with chicks. The day before I boarded the plane for Cayman Brac I was rewarded with our resident, over-wintering Snowy Owl perching in a dead tree across the road from my home. I also spent quite a bit of time photographing frogs, as I usually do:), and created my most favorite Bullfrog-scape to date. My travels throughout much of the year was somewhat limited as I was staying closer to home to assist my elderly parents. I was however able to attend a personal invite to the Algonquin Radio Observatory on Lake Travers in Algonquin Provincial Park and do stay tuned as I will be setting up a workshop at this location during the summer months. In September I finally made the trek up to The Crack in Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park despite a bad flare-up with my lower back and a bad right foot. My foot problem was corrected with a small surgical procedure that prevented me from doing much hiking in October and November, but I am all healed now and ready to hit the trails in 2016.

I hope you enjoy viewing these images again here in this Top 10 for 2015 post and do remember to click on each image to view the larger, sharper versions.

See ya in 2016:)

Happy New Year to all and safe travels to those of you who are traveling during this time.

Bullfrog (male) in wetland on Horseshoe Lake Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Bullfrog (male) in wetland on Horseshoe Lake
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

 

Stonefish camouflaged on the ocean floor Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Stonefish camouflaged on the ocean floor
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

 

High-key Common Loon on Horseshoe Lake Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

High-key Common Loon on Horseshoe Lake
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

 

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

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

 

Snowy Owl in dead tree Thornton, Ontario, Canada

Snowy Owl in dead tree
Thornton, Ontario, Canada

 

Brown Booby (male) with chick Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Brown Booby (male) with chick
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

 

Octopus Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Octopus
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

 

The Crack over-looking Killarney Lake LaCloche Mountain Range Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The Crack over-looking Killarney Lake
LaCloche Mountain Range
Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

 

Sunrise on Lake Travers Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Sunrise on Lake Travers
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

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Winter details on the Skeleton River in Muskoka Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 31mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 sec.

Winter details on the Skeleton River in Muskoka
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 31mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 sec.

 

While I am patiently waiting for winter to arrive I have been reviewing some older winter scenes that I captured a few years ago on the Skeleton River in Muskoka near the town of Rosseau, Ontario. While going through some of these older images I came across a few that I had forgotten about and just now have taken the time to optimize the image files. I often enjoy visiting winter rivers to explore the frozen details that develop, especially during periods of extremely cold weather when the ice really has time to create interesting designs. By Christmas day the forecast is for temperatures of near +12 degrees Celsius and rain😦 Hopefully we will get some decent snowfall and cold temperatures soon so that I can get out for some fresh winter imagery, but for now it looks like we are going to be having a green Christmas.

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

Skeleton River in Winter, in Muskoka near Rosseau, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 18035mm lens @ 35mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/5 sec

Skeleton River in Winter, in Muskoka near Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/5 sec, Polarizing Filter

 

Winter Details Along the Skeleton River Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 100mm ISO 100, f32 @ 0.6 sec

Winter Details Along the Skeleton River
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 100mm
ISO 100, f32 @ 0.6 sec, Polarizing Filter

 

Winter Details on the Skeleton River in Muskoka near Rosseau, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 180mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 sec

Winter Details on the Skeleton River in Muskoka near Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 180mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 sec, Polarizing Filter

 

Winter Details on the Skeleton River in Muskoka near Rosseau, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 185mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec

Winter Details on the Skeleton River in Muskoka near Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 185mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 sec, Polarizing Filter

 

Skeleton River in Winter in Muskoka near Rosseau, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm lens @ 62mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/5 sec

Skeleton River in Winter in Muskoka near Rosseau, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm lens @ 62mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/5 sec, Polarizing Filter

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Sunrise on Lake Travers - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR Lens @ 240mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/320 sec

Sunrise on Lake Travers – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR Lens @ 240mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/320 sec

In the month of August I spent 4 days on Lake Travers in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park and am now finally catching up on processing many of those image files created during that time. My timing for the visit to Lake Travers was perfect as the cool nights allowed for lots of misty morning sunrise scenes. I loved it so much that I am considering putting together a workshop at this location. Any folks that are interested should contact me via email (info@andrewmclachlan.ca)  to have their name(s) added to the short list. Although Lake Travers is in a remote area of Algonquin Provincial Park our accommodations will be in a private home-like setting with easy access to amazing sunrise imagery, night-scapes, and the scenic Petawawa River. Below are a few of the images which I created at Lake Travers during my last visit.

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

 

Sunrise on Lake TRavers - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 35mm ISO 100, f16 @ 3 sec.

Sunrise on Lake Travers – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 3 sec.

 

Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f22 @ 0.6 sec Nikon Polarizing Filter

Petawawa River – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f22 @ 0.6 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Lake Travers - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/50 sec Handheld From Canoe

Lake Travers – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/50 sec
Handheld From Canoe

 

Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 31mm ISO 100, f29 @ 2.5 sec Nikon Polarizing Filter

Petawawa River – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 31mm
ISO 100, f29 @ 2.5 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f22 @ 2.5 sec Nikon Polarizing Filter

Petawawa River – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f22 @ 2.5 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f22 @ 0.5 sec  Nikon Polarizing Filter

Petawawa River – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f22 @ 0.5 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Lake Travers - Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/10 sec Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Grad Filter

Lake Travers – Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/10 sec
Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Grad Filter

 

 

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