Posts Tagged ‘petawawa river’

Lake Traverse Photography Retreat

Join Andrew McLachlan for an exclusive, weekend workshop deep in the heart of Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park on scenic Lake Traverse for an opportunity to create stunning imagery from this remote, pristine landscape. This event will be held on September 20, 21, & 22, 2019. Lake Traverse is situated in a remote area of the park and is rich in both history and scenery. To reach this remote destination in Algonquin Provincial Park you must enter the park at the Sand Lake Gate. In the early 1900’s lumber baron J.R. Booth established a private lodge – The Booth Turtle Club on the shores of Lake Traverse. Today remnants of this lodge can be found in the woodlands such as impressive stone fireplaces and a rusted old wreck decaying in the forest. The timing of this event will allow for misty sunrises over Lake Traverse and assuming weather conditions co-operate we are in one of the best locations in all of Ontario to photograph the night sky and possibly the aurora borealis. Furthermore, we are situated a short walking distance from picturesque waterfalls on the Petawawa River.

Our accommodations for this event will be at the Algonquin Radio Observatory, located on the shores of Lake Traverse. The Algonquin Radio Observatory is closed to the public and inaccessible. However, exclusive access has been granted to our workshop group for this event. A tour of the immense satellite has been arranged during the mid-day hours on Saturday, when lighting for photography is generally at its worst. Also available to participants is the use of canoes and kayaks during the mid-day hours to explore the lake on your own.

A quick note about the Algonquin Radio Observatory:

The Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO) is Canada’s national radio observatory featuring Canada’s premiere Earth station facility. ARO is a division of space technology company Thoth Technology Inc. Completed and commissioned in the 1965, ARO’s 46m antenna is the largest antenna in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The observatory is situated on a 100 acre wild and breathtakingly beautiful site in the North of Algonquin Provincial Park on Lake Traverse, deep inside the park. The observatory hosts a suite of state-of-the-art scientific equipment including its own atomic clock and still operates with a state-of-the-art technical capability. ARO is the official ground station for Northern Light, Canada’s mission to Mars.


Friday September 20:

Meet & Greet Dinner at 6:00 p.m. follow by photographic presentation and a nightscape photo session (assuming weather conditions co-operate)

Saturday September 21:

Morning Photo Session (6am – 10am followed by breakfast, tour of satellite, Petawawa River Session, Rusty Old Wreck Session, Evening Photo Session, Nightscape Session (assuming weather conditions co-operate)

Sunday September 22:

Morning photo session (6am – 10am) followed by breakfast.

Checkout is at 11:00 a.m. however, participants are permitted to explore other areas of the park at their leisure for the remainder of the day.

Do Note: Each location we will photograph at is a short walking distance from our home base at the Algonquin Radio Observatory.

What’s Included:

• In-depth landscape photography instruction by yours truly

• Lodging at Algonquin Radio Observatory • Friday – dinner

• Saturday – breakfast, lunch, & dinner

• Sunday – breakfast

What’s not included:

• Transportation to Algonquin Radio Observatory

• A 3 day, daily vehicle permit fee must be purchased at the Sand Lake Gate to enter the park. This vehicle permit will allow participants to remain in the park until 10:00 pm on Sunday.

• Snacks

• Alcoholic Beverages

Workshop Fee:

$585 plus taxes, per person, based on double occupancy.

$625 plus taxes, per person, for single occupancy.

A non-refundable retainer of $250 is due now to secure your spot in this workshop.

Payments are accepted by cheque or e-mail transfer.

The balance owing will be due no later than June 1, 2019.

A Waiver of Liability will sent to registrants at the time of booking, to be returned with the non-refundable retainer.

This workshop is open to a maximum of 15 participants.

To reserve your spot in this exclusive workshop please contact me by clicking here.

Cancellation Policy:

61 days prior to the workshop date full refund less $250.00 non-refundable retainer.

60 days prior to the workshop date No Refunds

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© Barb Marszalek

Today’s post is featuring the imagery of participants from the Lake Traverse Photographic Workshop that was held in September. The caption for each image will indicate which participant captured each of the published photos. I selected the dates for this workshop to coincide with a new moon and hoped that we would have crystal clear skies photographing the starry night sky. We did! We were also blessed with a touch of autumn colour in the surrounding woodlands and the weather conditions prior to our arrival were perfect for getting various mushrooms and fungi to flourish.

In the first three images we see three different takes on how the participants captured the massive satellite dish at the Algonquin Radio Observatory. Barb Marszalek chose to capture the vertical orientation that also included mush of the Milky Way. John Weatherburn went for the horizontal view and also managed to capture much of the Milky Way. Finally in Dave Dennis’ mid-day image of the satellite dish he placed the sun directly behind the dish and went with a somewhat creative edit, which works quite nicely I think.

© John Weatherburn


© Dave Dennis

Our mornings were spent on the shore of Lake Traverse photographing sunrise. During September most mornings there is much mist rising from the lake as it cools down for the coming winter. At times there can be too much mist and focusing on details can be a very beneficial option. Workshop assistant extraordinaire Don Johnston alerted the participants as he captured a fabulous detail image of a group of reeds that were very close to shore, while Mandeep Bal created an iconic autumn in Algonquin sunrise by waiting for the sun to rise high enough in the sky to break through the persistent mist.

© Don Johnston


© Mandeep Bal

As mentioned earlier the conditions were ripe for mushrooms and fungi in the forest and Nijole Mockevicius found a beautiful coral fungi cluster on the forest floor and processed the image file beautifully to keep the natural whites of the fungi as they appeared.

© Nijole Mockevicius

Dave Dennis brought along some mini-people as props to create some fun images during the workshop and I just love how his hikier being chased by the bear turned out. Barb Marszalek brought some mini-wildlife subjects with her and loaned the bear to Dave. These look like so much fun I may have to buy myself some 🙂

© Dave Dennis

A very short walk from our base camp at the Algonquin Radio Observatory is the Petawawa River. I had hoped that I could guide folks upriver to the waterfall, but high water levels on the river this year made that an unsafe trek, so we photographed from the single lane bridge that gives a clear view of the rapids on the river. Barb Marszalek created the autumn scene of the Petawawa River below and framed the composition very nicely. In my honest opinion I think it belongs in a calendar 🙂

© Barb Marszalek

Mid-day cloud cover provided perfect conditions for the participants to work on intimate, autumn forest scenes. A small cluster of Aspen trees and Bracken Fern provided the ideal subject matter for such imagery. Don Johnston captured a lovely colour version and do note that Don was very careful not to let the aspen trunks merge with each other. John Weatherburn created an image very similar to that of Don Johnston, but John went for a B&W conversion that I find to be very effective as well.

© Don Johnston


© John Weatherburn

Mandeep Bal also chose to go with a B&W conversion of his minimalistic, but very effective capture of a small island in Lake Traverse. Dorion Liebgott photographed another iconic scene from Lake Traverse – fisherman among the rising mist. Dorion’s image illustrates just how thick the rising mist can get at times as you cannot see any of the land surrounding these fisherman. Finally Mark Kannegiesser created a wonderful and fun image of workshop participant Bruce Monick as he went out to explore the lake in a canoe during a break in the workshop activities. I must say Algonquin and canoes go so well together!

© Mandeep Bal


© Dorion Liebgott


© Mark Kannegiesser

Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement in early November for Lake Traverse 2018. Any folks that are interested in attending the 2018 Lake Traverse Photographic Workshop can notify me by clicking here to be added to the contact list.




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