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White's Tree Frog Nikon D5200, Nikon 105mm Micro VR lens ISO 100, f18 @ 1/60 sec

White’s Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D5200, Nikon 105mm Micro VR lens
ISO 100, f18 @ 1/60 sec

 

Today’s blog post is featuring the work of Barb Marszalek. Barb was one of the participants on the recently concluded Frogs of the World Photographic Workshop. To create these photos Barb was using her hand-held Nikon D5200 with a Nikon 105mm Micro VR Lens. Since the Nikon D5200 has an APS-C size sensor the 105mm Micro lens becomes the 35mm equivalent of a 157mm lens. Barb’s Nikon Speedlight was fitted with my custom-made tracing paper flash diffuser. I will feature this ridiculously inexpensive but extremely effective, do-it-yourself- flash diffuser in a future blog post. Barb did a great job capturing the White’s Tree Frog a-top of the brilliant red Bromeliad blossom as well as the Vietnamese Moss Frog – a true master of camouflage – on a large, flat piece of lichen and moss covered tree bark. Also you can anticipate the action of the Red-eyed Tree frog  as it is poised to leap from it’s perch on the pink bromeliad blossom. In the final image of the female Fire Belly Toad, which was photographed on a small lichen covered branch resting in the home-made mini-pond that I set-up for each of these workshops, Barb framed the composition quite nicely ensuring that the water extended across the entire bottom edge of the frame.

Congrats on the beautiful images Barb!!!

Vietnamese Moss Frog Nikon D5200, Nikon 105mm Micro VR Lens ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec

Vietnamese Moss Frog
Nikon D5200, Nikon 105mm Micro VR Lens
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog Nikon D5200, Nikon 105mm Micro VR Lens ISO 100, f18 @ 1/60 sec

Red-eyed Tree Frog
Nikon D5200, Nikon 105mm Micro VR Lens
ISO 100, f18 @ 1/60 sec

 

Fire Belly Toad - captive Nikon D5200, Nikon 105mm Micro VR Lens ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec

Fire Belly Toad – captive
Nikon D5200, Nikon 105mm Micro VR Lens
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec

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Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec

 

The recently concluded Frogs of the World Photographic Workshop was a great success with the amphibians being very co-operative. The workshop participants came away with a stunning selection of imagery, of which I will share with you in a soon to be published blog post. A beautiful selection of tropical plants was sourced out to maintain natural looking set-ups to mimic what would we would find in the native habitats of each species we were photographing. This past workshop featured a couple of new additions as well – Dendrobates auratus dart frog and a Fire Salamander! Here are a few of the images I created in between assisting the workshop participants with their compositions and off camera flash techniques.

I will be hosting the next workshop in January and will likely mix it up a bit with some amphibians and a couple of very colorful, non-poisonous snakes!!! Please send me an email at info@andrewmclachlan.ca to be added to the “early-bird sign-up list” and you to can be creating stunning images of these incredibly beautiful and colorful critters without slogging through the swamp!

Do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper version.

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Fire Salamander - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Fire Salamander – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Fire Belly Toad - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Fire Belly Toad – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Dendrobates auratus - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Dendrobates auratus – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

White's Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

White’s Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Vietnamese Moss Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Vietnamese Moss Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Dendrobates auratus - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Dendrobates auratus – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

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Northern Shoveler drake Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

A couple of weeks ago I made my way down to Humber Bay Park in Toronto, along the Lake Ontario shoreline. I was pleased to see a beautiful Northern SHoveler drake in one of the ponds however, he was not being the most co-operative fellow. Yesterday I return for a follow-up visit to see if he was still hanging around. To my surprise there were numerous Northern Shoveler drakes present at the pond and they were being most co-operative. In roughly two hours I had created hundreds of image files of these ducks that have eluded me for a very long time. To gain the low angle perspective I laid down on one of the boardwalks beside the pond. This low perspective will give the resulting imagery a duck’s eye view and help create the soft out-of-focus background. Here is a selection of images created during yesterday’s visit.

Any folks that are interested in private-in-the-field instruction to hone their waterfowl photography skills can contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca to discuss booking a session for four hours of my undivided attention.

Northern Shoveler Drake Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1600 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1600 sec

 

Northern Shoveler Drake Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

 

Northern Shoveler Drake - wing flap Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake – wing flap
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

 

Northern Shoveler Drake - wing flap Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake – wing flap
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/2500 sec

 

Northern Shoveler Drake Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1250 sec

Northern Shoveler – drake
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500 VR Lens
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1250 sec

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Autumn color at Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Laowa 15mm Macro Lens ISO 100, f16 @ 0.8 sec. Singh Ray Thin Mount Warm-Tone Polarizing Filter

Autumn color at Hatchery Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 15mm Macro Lens
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.8 sec.
Singh Ray Thin Mount Warm-Tone Polarizing Filter

Now that the leaves have fallen from the trees I have found time to process some of this year’s newly created autumn scenes. I took the time to photograph a few typical fall color scenes with the brilliant reds and oranges of the sugar maple trees and the surrounding landscape as seen above and below, but mostly I noticed I focused on different elements of the season.

Georgian Bay near Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm VR Lens @ 85mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/10 sec Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

Georgian Bay near Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 24-85mm VR Lens @ 85mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/10 sec
Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

 

Georgian Bay, North Shore Rugged Hiking Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens " 18mm ISO 50, f16 @ 1/5 sec. Nikon Neutral POlarizing Filter Sing Ray 2-stop Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Georgian Bay, North Shore Rugged Hiking Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 50, f16 @ 1/5 sec.
Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter
Singh Ray 2-stop Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

Oxtongue River, Dwight, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/5 sec Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

Oxtongue River, Dwight, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/5 sec
Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

As I began editing the new image files I noticed that many of the photos had a more intimate view of the season. The cinnamon tones of dying ferns, autumn colors reflecting in flowing rivers, and impressionistic-style blurs of a grander scene reflecting in quiet ponds. Below are a few of these intimate autumn scenes that were newly created this year during several excursions into the autumn woodlands. The autumn fern scene was created on a particularly blustery day that required me to dial in an ISO of 800 and wait for a bit of a lull in the persistent breeze. After a lengthy wait I was rewarded with a moment of stillness.

Interrupted Ferns, Torrance Barrens, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 800, f8 @ 1/20 sec.

Interrupted Ferns, Torrance Barrens, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 800, f8 @ 1/20 sec.

One afternoon I decided to park beside a small quiet pond to have my lunch when I noticed the interplay of reflected sugar maple trees and paper birch trunks on the surface of the pond. Using my Nikon 200-500mm lens I zoomed in on various sections of the reflection to create several impressionistic blurs of the scene.

Autumn Reflections, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm lens @ 500mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.3 sec.

Autumn Reflections, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm lens @ 500mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.3 sec.

On another afternoon I found myself at McCutcheon’s Falls on the Black River in the village of Vankoughnet. After creating a few various compositions of the waterfall and surrounding autumn color I became drawn to a small section of the river where a sunlit sugar maple tree was reflecting off the river’s surface. Once again using my Nikon 200-500mm lens I zoomed the lens out to this section of the river to create this intimate view of the flowing water with stunning, blazing color as it reflected on the water.

Autumn Reflections, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm lens @ 450mm ISO 100, 16 @ 0.3 sec.

Autumn Reflections, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm lens @ 450mm
ISO 100, 16 @ 0.3 sec.

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frog-pond-adventures

I am pleased to announce that tonight I will be presenting my Frog Pond Adventures program for the Country Images Camera Club at 8:00 p.m. The presentation will be held at the Newmarket Community Centre in Hall 1, which is located at 200 Doug Duncan Drive in Newmarket, Ontario. This will be my third time presenting to the Country Images Camera Club and I am looking forward to meeting these great folks again.

Just a quick reminder to folks about my upcoming Frogs of the World Photographic Workshop on Saturday November 26th at 8:30 a.m. I still have some space available. Please click here to see the blog post announcement for the workshop and feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience if you have any questions regarding this upcoming workshop.

frogs-of-the-world_november-26th

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frogs-of-the-world_november-26th

On Saturday, November 26, 2016 I will be hosting my third Frogs of the World Workshop at Reptilia commencing at 8:30 a.m. sharp. The cost of the workshop will be $85, which includes admission to the Reptilia Zoo. This time around we will photograph 4 species of frogs  and one specie of salamander for the first 2 hours, before entering the Reptilia 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 within the zoo after we have finished photographing the frogs in the controlled situations, 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 mclachlan@bell.net at your earliest convenience to reserve your spot for this workshop and for further info on sending payment.

To photograph the frogs it is best to use a 100mm macro lens, or other lenses with close focusing capability, 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 often 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, although excellent opportunities also exist for using the 100 macro lenses too. Tripods have a tendency to become an exercise in frustration when photographing reptiles and amphibians, which is why I recommend using off camera flash and hand-holding so that you will have the mobility to capture these quick-moving subjects.

For this session we will photograph the following species:

  • Vietnamese Moss Frog
  • Red-eyed Tree Frogs
  • White’s Tree Frog
  • Blue & Black Poison Dart Frog
  • Fire Salamander

Each of these species will be photographed in “natural-like” settings using either my popular home-made mini-pond, stunning tropical plants in full bloom, as well as an array of natural props so that each set-up will offer something unique.

 

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Hattie Cove on Lake Superior in Pukaskwa National Park Sleeklens Light Rays Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

Hattie Cove on Lake Superior in Ontario’s Pukaskwa National Park
Sleeklens Light Rays Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

 

Recently I was given the opportunity to try some overlays by Sleeklens on my landscape imagery. I was drawn to the Light Leaks and Light Rays overlays for their effectiveness in regards to enhancing the sun for a “natural” creative look. When the right image is chosen to apply one of these overlays the result can be pleasing and not over-the-top in terms of it’s creative effect.

In the fisheye scene above of Hattie Cove on Lake Superior in Ontario’s Pukaskwa National Park I composed the early morning scene to catch a sunburst effect with the fisheye lens. By applying a Light Rays overlay I was able to give the sunburst a more pronounced and dramatic appearance within the scene. Converting the image to black & white was not my initial intention but I felt it brought the image together for a natural look.

In the below photograph of a misty morning on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario I chose to apply the same Light Rays overlay that was used in the Hattie Cove image above. Once the overlay is brought into Photoshop I can easily maneuver the rays around using the Move Tool or the Transform Tool. Since the overlay is on its own layer the Opacity of that layer can be adjusted to taste easily as well. Here I chose to reduce the opacity significantly so that the rays of light were just becoming visible through the misty conditions of the morning.

Misty Morning Sunrise on Horseshoe Lake. Parry SOund, Ontario Sleeklens Light Rays Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

Misty Morning Sunrise on Horseshoe Lake. Parry Sound, Ontario
Sleeklens Light Rays Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

Below is a photo created along the Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail in the town of Parry Sound, Ontario with a Light Leaks overlay applied. This image would express the most creative use I applied, but I do like the added interest it gives to this mid-day scene. To created the desaturated look to this image I originally was creating a B&W conversion in Nik’s Silver Effects 2 but later decided to reduce the opacity of the Silver Effects to bring back a touch of colour to the image.

Georgian Bay Rugger Hiking Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario Sleeklens Light Leaks Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario
Sleeklens Light Leaks Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

While these Light Rays and Light Leaks overlays may not be everybody’s cup of tea, they do work for me when applied to the right situation. I often create artistic renderings of many of my landscape and wildlife imagery and the Sleeklens overlays now give me another option in my toolkit to utilize along the creative pathway. If you also like to explore the artistic / creative rendering side of your imagery, then you may also find the Sleeklens Photoshop Overlays to be a useful tool and rewarding option too.

 

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