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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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Green Mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps), Captive ©Don Johnston

Green Mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps) – Captive
©Don Johnston

In this post I want to feature some of the images created by two of the clients that attended my first Frogs of the World Workshop on March 5th. It was a pleasure to meet Don Johnston and Keith Carroll, and both created some very lovely images. Keith and Don had great success using off-camera flash and their 100mm Macro lenses during the frog portion of the workshop and Don used his Nikon 200mm Micro lens and off-camera flash to photograph some very impressive reptile images in the Reptilia Zoo. Don Johnston came up with an interesting idea and subsequent effect during the workshop by using a small plant mister to create a rainfall effect, and in his Red-eyed Tree Frog image the frog seems to be quite enjoying the little shower:)

For folks that may be interested, I am hosting my second Frogs of the World Workshop on April 30th. More information about that workshop can be found here. There are still some spaces available, but they are going quickly. Please contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca if you are ready to sign up for the workshop.

Please remember to click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper version and please let Don and Keith know which of their images are your favorites:)

 

Red-eyed Tree Frogs ©Keith Carroll

Red-eyed Tree Frogs – Captive
©Keith Carroll

 

American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis), Captive ©Don Johnston

American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis) – Captive
©Don Johnston

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog ©Keith Carroll

Red-eyed Tree Frog – Captive
©Keith Carroll

 

Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis, Captive ©Don Johnston

Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis) – Captive
©Don Johnston

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas), Captive ©Don Johnston

Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) – Captive
©Don Johnston

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Frogs of the World

On Saturday, April 30, 2016 I will be hosting my second Frogs of the World Workshop at Reptilia commencing at 8:00 a.m. sharp. The cost of the workshop will be $85, which includes admission to the Reptilia Zoo. We will photograph 5 species of frogs for the first 2 hours, before entering the zoo to photograph many species of snakes (both venomous and constrictors), alligators, and lizards. Generally  two to three hours provides ample time to photograph the reptiles located in the zoo portion, but we do have the remainder of the day available to spend in the zoo. This workshop will be limited to a maximum of 10 people, so do not delay if you are sitting on the fence. Payment for this workshop can be made via email transfer or by cheque. Please contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca if you are interested in this workshop and for further info on making your payment.

To photograph the frogs it is best to use a 100mm macro lens and off camera flash, preferably a flash bracket that will allow you to position the flash out over the lens will yield the best results. I have two spare off-camera macro flash brackets that folks can borrow for the day should they be in need of such a bracket. The room in which we photograph the frogs does have a tendency to get rather warm so you may wish to wear light clothing. To photograph the reptiles in the zoo afterwards generally a lens in the 200-300mm range will work well. Tripods have a tendency to become an excercise in frustration when photographing reptiles and amphibians, which is why I recommend using off camera flash and handholding so that you will have the mobility to capture these quick-moving subjects.

For this session we will photograph the following species of frogs:

  • Tomato Frog
  • Budgett’s Frog
  • Vietnamese Moss Frog
  • Green Tree Frog
  • Red-eyed Tree Frog

I am looking forward to meeting some new folks at this workshop. I will be featuring some images by past participants in a day or so. I had hoped to do so by now but unfortunately was hit with a brutal ice storm last Thursday that left me without hydro for 48 hours and devastating damage to almost every tree on my half acre rural lot, but fortunately only minor damage to my home’s eaves trough even though several large branches came down on my roof….funny thing is I was at a Chinese food restaurant on Thursday and my fortune cookie said “Good news is on the way”:)

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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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Frogs of the World Workshop

Today I am pleased to announce my first-ever, captive frog photography workshop. We will meet on Saturday March 5th 2016 at 8:00 a.m. at Reptilia in Vaughan, Ontario where we will spend the next two hours photographing Tomato Frog (Madagascar), Vietnamese Moss Frog (Vietnam), Red-eyed Tree Frog (Costa Rica), Budgett’s Frog (South America), and White’s Tree Frog (Australia). After we have completed the two hour frog session, as an added bonus, we will be permitted to enter the Reptilia Zoo to photograph a wide assortment of venomous and non-venomous reptiles, in their enclosures, for the remainder of the day. The use of flash is permitted and it is highly recommend that folks use an off-camera, macro flash set-up for photographing the frogs. Some of the species tend to be quite active, making the use of a tripod virtually impossible. I do recommend a tripod and flash for the various opportunities that will present themselves in the zoo afterwards.

The cost of this workshop is $85.00 and payment can be made via email transfer or cheque made payable to “Andrew McLachlan” Space will be limited to 10 participants. Please contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca for further information and for sending either the email transfer or cheque as payment. Once participants have signed up and paid I will forward driving directions to Reptilia as well as other information that you may find useful to be prepared for an exciting day of amphibians and reptiles.

Hope to see you there:)

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Red-Eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Flash Bracket

Red-Eyed Tree Frog walking along branch- captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Flash Bracket

I often receive kind words from the folks that follow my Instagram feed (@mclachlanwild), Facebook page, and here on the blog regarding my frog photography. It is these kind words that keep me inspired to keep creating and trying out new ideas with my frog imagery. About a week and a half ago I booked a controlled photo shoot with various, captive, tropical frog species.  This photo shoot was planned for two main reasons with the first being to add some very cool frogs to my image library, and secondly to see if such a set-up could work for frog photography workshops. I am pleased to announce that I will indeed be organizing frog workshops, under controlled conditions, with several captive frog species. Please do stay tuned as I will announce the details soon. This blog post is just a taste of the kind of imagery that will be created during the workshops. I created no less than 500 images during the session and still have numerous images to optimize. While I do enjoy wading through wetlands and laying in the muck to capture the various frogs of the Great Lakes Region, it is a nice change of pace to create imagery of these beautiful tropical frogs species under controlled conditions whereby you will stay clean, warm, and dry:) Please feel free to shoot me an email at info@andrewmclachlan.ca if you are interested in this upcoming workshop and I will be sure to add you to the contact list.

The frogs species that I photograph during this controlled shoot were:

  • Red-Eyed Tree Frog – endemic to Costa Rica
  • Budgett’s Frog (also known as Paraguay Horned Frog) – South America
  • White’s Tree Frog – endemic to Australia
  • Vietnamese Moss Frog – endemic to Vietnam
  • Tomato Frog – endemic to Madagascar

My favorite frogs to photograph during this controlled shoot were the highly aquatic Budgett’s Frog, which is a voracious predator quite capable of devouring prey as large as mice, and secondly the Vietnamese Moss Frog. Moss Frogs have amazing coloration and skin textures, which allow them to blend into their native habitat along river banks in Vietnam.

Here is a selection of the various species that were photographed during this session. Each of these species will most likely be featured in the first workshop. Also note that each of these images was created using a handheld rig with a small Nikon SB400 Speedlight (now discontinued) on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

Please do remember to click on each of the images to view the sharper, larger version:)

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

White’s Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

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

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

 

Budgett's Frog on land - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Macro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley Macro Bracket

Budgett’s Frog on land – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Macro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

 

Vietnamese Moss Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon q05mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely Macro Bracket

Vietnamese Moss Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely Macro Bracket

 

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

Vietnamese Moss Frog abstract – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec
Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely F-2 Macro Bracket

 

White's Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Nikon SB400 Speedlight on a Wimberely Macro Bracket

White’s Tree Frog – captive
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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