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Gray Treefrog on Branch at Night Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

Gray Treefrog on Branch at Night
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

For the first time since the inception of this blog I went an entire month without a new blog post. Yikes! Sorry folks. The month of June quickly became a hectic month me as I was spending many evenings driving to various frog ponds near my home and the cottage in search of fresh froggie imagery, processing a large, multi-print, fine art order for the corporate head-quarters of a financial institution in the United States, and several other responsibilities that were leaving me little time to post any new content. The good news is that I was by no means slacking off on creating fresh imagery and now have many new photos, tips, and info to share in upcoming posts.

Each of the frog images within the post were created throughout the month of June during the peak of the spring chorus (breeding season) and surprisingly enough I do still hear the American Toads and Gray Treefrogs chorusing around my home, mostly due to the cool nights prolonging the breeding season this year.

American Toad with Vocal Sac Inflated

American Toad with Vocal Sac Inflated Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

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

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

American Toad with Vocal Sac Inflated. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

American Toad with Vocal Sac Inflated. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

During my travels to various ponds in June I discovered two new ponds that have become my preferref locations for frog photography. At one pond I was amazed at the sheer numbers of American Toads that were floating out in the deeper, inaccessible sections of the pond. They would make their way in towards the stands of last season’s dried cattail stems to chorus. Also among the dried cattail leaves were vast numbers of Spring Peepers. Finding a Spring Peeper among a stand of dried cattail leaves is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Most often the Spring Peepers will be chorusing well above the surface of the pond and once discovered, a slow approach is mandatory as they will become aware of your presence quickly and stop chorusing. If this happens remain still for about 10-15 minutes and you will soon be rewarded for your patience.

Spring Peeper with Vocal Sac Inflated.

Spring Peeper with Vocal Sac Inflated. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

At the second pond that was newly discovered there were large congregations of Northern Leopard Frogs, which were quite co-operative as well as Green Frogs. Creating images of these two species with their vocal sacs inflated has always been a challenge for me as the call is quick and seemingly unannounced, but upon carefully studying the frog’s behavior I have noticed that they do indeed give very subtle clues that they are about to croak :) Green Frogs will quickly flap the skin on their throat a couple of times just prior to calling, and the Northern Leopard Frogs (as do other frogs) will noticeably begin to draw air in making their body appear inflated. Once they look pretty full of air, a song is soon to follow.

Northern Leopard Frog with Vocal Sacs Inflated

Northern Leopard Frog with Vocal Sacs Inflated. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

Green Frog with Vocal Sac Inflated.

Green Frog with Vocal Sac Inflated. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

This season I wanted to try creating some night-time imagery of frogs that had a slightly different look to them and thus I decided to head-out into the ponds with my Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens to see what I might be able to create. Below are two of my favorite fisheye night frog photos. When using the fisheye lens for these images it was imperative that I paid close attention to the placement of the flash, cords, and mini-flashlight (used for focusing) as they would end up within the image if placed incorrectly.

Gray Treefrog at Night in Wetland. Nikon D800, Sigma EX DG f2.8 15mm Fisheye Lens, Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket, ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Gray Treefrog at Night in Wetland. Nikon D800, Sigma EX DG f2.8 15mm Fisheye Lens, Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket, ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Green Frog in Wetland at Night.

Green Frog in Wetland at Night. Nikon D800, Sigma EX DG f2.8 15mm Fisheye Lens, Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket, ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Of all the frogs and toads I get to photograph, none are more enjoyable than the Gray Treefrog. Often Gray Treefrogs will strike interesting poses as they climb around vegetation. Below are a few more Gray Treefrog photos that were created over the past month.

Gray Treefrog.

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

Gray Treefrog.

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

Gray Treefrog.

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

Gray Treefrog.

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

Gray Treefrog.

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

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

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

Gray Treefrog with Vocal Sac Inflated. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

Gray Treefrog with Vocal Sac Inflated. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

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Andrew_McLachlan_Ontario_Landscape_Cover

I am looking forward to presenting “A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape”  on Tuesday April 14th to the Toronto Digital Photography Club. The presentation will be starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Edithvale Community Centre located at 131 Finch Ave West in Toronto. As usual, I will be offering copies of my eBook (on CD) to those in attendance, at the presentation special of $20 CDN.

“A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape” is an extensive guide to landscape photography in Ontario complete with driving directions to each of the one-hundred plus locations featured within the guide. It is the only such guide that is available to folks, guiding them around the province to many beautiful vistas. The guide was published in 2011 by Birds As Art Books (Arthur Morris) and is also available for purchase on-line here, however, the presentation special does not apply to on-line sales.

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Winter Details at Hatchery Falls in Muskoka, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 180mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 seconds

Winter Details at Hatchery Falls in Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 180mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 seconds

I am looking forward to departing this bitterly cold winter soon for the warmth of the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac, but thought I would share a few winter detail images that I recently processed while I finish-up on some of my much needed tasks prior to my departure. Some of these photos were created last winter, but I did not have time to edit them until recently. For each of these images I used my old Nikon 80-400mm VR lens to zoom in on some of the interesting details that can be found within the winter landscape.

One more week of cold temperatures to endure :) I have been in contact with some of the folks I met last year on Cayman Brac and can’t wait to get down there to photograph the Brown Booby’s with chicks as they have been hatching over the past week!

Winter Details Along the Skeleton River in Muskoka, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 185mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 seconds

Winter Details Along the Skeleton River in Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 185mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 seconds

Frozen Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400 mm VR lean @ 135mm ISO 800, f29 @ 1/125 sec. Handheld

Frozen Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400 mm VR lean @ 135mm
ISO 800, f29 @ 1/125 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber bay Park, Toronto Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 135mm ISO 800, f16 @ 1/640 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 135mm
ISO 800, f16 @ 1/640 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber bay Park, Toronto, Ontario Nikon D800, Nion 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm ISO 800, f16 @ 1/250 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm
ISO 800, f16 @ 1/250 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 240mm ISO 800, f16 @ 1/800 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 240mm
ISO 800, f16 @ 1/800 sec. Handheld

 

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Andrew_McLachlan_Ontario_Landscape_Cover

On Tuesday February 17th at 8:00 p.m. yours truly will be presenting the ‘A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape’ lecture for the Country Images Camera Club. This presentation will be held at the Art Ferguson Building located at 16195 Bayview Avenue in Newmarket, Ontario. I have previously presented for Country Images Camera Club so I am looking most forward to meeting these great folks again. As usual I will have copies of my eBook for sale at the low presentation special of $20 each.  A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape is the only extensive guide available for landscape photography within the Province of Ontario.

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Female Cardinal Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec

Female Northern Cardinal
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec

This morning when I awoke, I made my way into the kitchen to check the outside temperature on the thermometer by the kitchen window – it was reading -27 degrees Celsius. This temp would normally be fine with me but here in the land of the windchill factor the winds were making it feel more like -42 degrees Celsius. Now that’s getting a little chilly :) Nonetheless, I knew the cold and wind would make for some productive songbird photos from my heating blind that is set-up by the backyard birdfeeding station. After a quick protein shake for breakfast and a hot cup of coffee I made my way out to the blind. As predicted the birds were quite active as they filled up on the variety of feed that I put out for them to offer them a varied diet. The only problem that I encountered was that my aging portable heater that I use inside the blind was not able to contend with the brutally cold wind that was howling outside and my blind is by no means wind-proof. I last about two hours before I was forced to head back into the house to warm up. Here is a selection of my favorite songbird images from this morning’s time inside the blind.

Female Cardinal (vertical crop created from horizontal capture) Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

Female Northern Cardinal
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

In the female Cardinal image above the vertical orientation was cropped from an original capture that was in the horizontal perspective. I felt that the vertical crop represented her better here. Doesn’t she look at tad chilly herself with the frosty build-up around the eye.

Blue Jay Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/400 sec.

Blue Jay
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/400 sec.

The Blue Jays never seem to disappoint at the feeding station, although this morning they did look a touch puffier as they tried to stay warm amid the frigid temperatures and windchill.

Male Redpoll Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 360mm (DX crop = 540mm 35mm equivalent) ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec

Male Common Redpoll
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 360mm (DX crop = 540mm 35mm equivalent) ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec

On the coldest winter days I often get visits from Redpolls that have ventured down south, from the treeline in the extreme northern regions of Ontario.

Female Redpoll Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec

Female Common Redpoll
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec

And below are a couple of Black-capped Chickadee images. Like the Blue Jays, the chickadees are always present and entertaining to watch at the feeding station, and generally they become quite tame. They will often visit the feeders while I am changing the perches around and they will even take seed right out of my hand.

Black-capped Chickadee Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

Black-capped Chickadee
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

Black-capped Chickadee Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

Black-capped Chickadee
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

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Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail in Autumn Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm ISO 50, f16 @ 1.3 sec.

Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail in Autumn
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm ISO 50, f16 @ 1.3 sec.

Sorry for my absenteeism during the month of January folks, but it was a rather hectic month. I am still quite busy moving into February as I work towards finishing up various projects and submissions to clients before heading to Cayman Brac in early March, not too mention getting my BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year entries prepared and submitted before the contest deadline on February 18th.

Here are three recent edits that I thought I would share with you. Each of these images were created during 2014. The two scenes from Georgian Bay were captured along the Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario during what was a rather windy and stormy evening, which worked out very well for the rugged terrain along the Georgian Bay coast. I am hoping to make a trip to this location later this winter for a round of winter landscapes. The Bullfrog image was created from my canoe in the wetland on Horseshoe Lake at dusk when the Bullfrogs tend to become more active and thus easier to locate.

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

Bullfrog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, ISO 3200 f18 @ 1/80 sec. Handheld

Bullfrog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens, ISO 3200 f18 @ 1/80 sec. Handheld

Georgian Bay at Sunset Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 400, f16 @ 5 sec. Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Grad Filter

Georgian Bay at Sunset
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 400, f16 @ 5 sec. Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

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Duchesnay Falls Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens, ISO 50, f16 @ 1/25 sec.

Looking up at a frozen Duchesnay Falls
Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens, ISO 50, f16 @ 1/25 sec.

I have completed much of the processing of the image files from my trip up to Duchesnay Falls in North Bay, Ontario and thought I would share them with folks here on the blog. Each of these photographs were created on Wednesday, January 7th on what turned out to be a bitterly cold day, with the outside temperature hovering at -26 degrees C. I love being outdoors in such weather creating photographs. Think about it now – at these temps you are almost guaranteed to have such destinations all to yourself and there are no mosquitoes to contend with :)  As long as I dress in in multiple layers and wear appropriate footwear (Sorels rated to -40) and head-wear I can stay out all day if need be.

Please do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions.

Duchesnay Creek Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 50, f22 @ 0.3 sec.

Duchesnay Creek
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 50, f22 @ 0.3 sec.

Duchesnay Creek Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 50, f16 @ 0.4 sec.

Duchesnay Creek
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 50, f16 @ 0.4 sec.

In the final image below note how the river’s brownish water has created tea-colored ice formations within the river. At first I was disappointed when I discovered this darkly stained ice, but the longer I looked at it I thought that it was rather interesting and created some interesting color to what otherwise be a typical winter river-scape.

Duchesnay Creek Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens 20mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 sec.

Duchesnay Creek
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens 20mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 sec.

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