Posts Tagged ‘port antonio’

Johnstone's Whistling Frog with HighLight Warnings

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog with HighLight Warnings

Above you see a photo of a Johnstone’s Whistling Frog that I created in Port Antonio, Jamaica. This was the first image that I created of these lovely little frogs during my stay in Jamaica. Being excited at photographing a new species I forgot to check my camera settings before clicking the shutter. When I scrolled back through a couple of the frames to confirm my exposures were correct I realized my error and immediately dialed in the correct settings but the frog jumped away. I was left with this image, which on the camera’s LCD screen was showing what appeared to be blown-out highlights (note that in the above image I made adjustments in ACR to mimic what I was seeing on the camera’s LCD screen – the highlight warnings on the camera would have been black instead of red as shown above).

Directly below is the same image as it opened in ACR. You can see that the highlights are not too bad after all. The red highlight warnings seen here red here are the flash generated spectral highlights, which are indeed blown-out with no detail whatsoever.

Johnstone's Whistling Frog in ACR inter-face

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog in ACR inter-face

Now look at the optimized image file below. After making the required slider adjustments in ACR I was able to recover a great deal of detail in what the camera originally indicated was blown-out and lacking detail. I then opened the image in Photoshop and using a series of Quick Masks and Clone Stamp Tool applications addressing the flash generated highlights.

Johnstone's Whistling Frog, Port Antonio, Jamaica

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog, Port Antonio, Jamaica

This is why I do not delete photos, in the field, as seen on the camera’s LCD screen. I always wait until I am editing a trip’s images when back home at the computer.

Please click on the images to see the larger, sharper versions.

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Sunrise on the Agawa River in Ontario's Lake Superior Provincial Park

Sunrise on the Agawa River in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park

This year I decided to come up with a ‘baker’s dozen’ of favorite photographs that I created over the past twelve months. It was difficult to narrow it down to just 13 images, but here they are. Please do click on the images to see the larger, sharper version.

This past year I re-visited my most favorite location within Ontario – Lake Superior Provincial Park, and was blessed with one of the most beautiful sunrises I have witnessed. In February I traveled to the Port Antonio region of Jamaica where I photographed one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Caribbean and my favorite image of my daughter Ava while she was having fun in a swing at Boston Bay. I was invited to co-write the Fractasic eGuide with good friend, colleague, and mentor Denise Ippolito, and to do ‘The Three Frosties‘ guest blog post for one of the world’s premier bird photographers Arthur Morris.

A scouting trip for planning what will become the launch of my first workshop to the tip of Lake Erie’s Long Point Peninsula (a UNESCO World Biosphere) was a success. Folks wishing to be added to the interested list for this workshop, which will likely run in late spring, should shoot me an email here.

Also Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma lenses was kind enough to loan me the Sigma f2.8 15mm EX DG Fisheye Lens, which opened up a whole new world to me for creativity and fun times photographing the natural world.

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I did creating them.

May you all have a safe and prosperous 2014.



Ava on swing at Boston Bay, Jamaica

Ava on swing at Boston Bay, Jamaica

Reich Falls on the Drivers River, Jamaica

Reich Falls on the Drivers River, Jamaica

Johnstone's Whistling Frog chorusing, Jamaica

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog chorusing, Jamaica

Lone tree after ice storm near Thornton, Ontario

Lone tree after ice storm near Thornton, Ontario

Storm clouds over winter wheat crop near Bradford, Ontario

Storm clouds over winter wheat crop Bradford, Ontario (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Bullfrog-scape with the Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens

Bullfrog-scape on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Rusty Old Wreck in fog, Milton, Ontario

Rusty Old Wreck in fog, Milton, Ontario

The tip of the Long Point Peninsula at sunrise, Lake Erie, Ontario

The tip of the Long Point Peninsula at sunrise, Lake Erie, Ontario

Bullfrog (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Bullfrog (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Aspen Trees Multiple Exposure inspired by Denise Ippolito

Aspen Trees Multiple Exposure inspired by Denise Ippolito

Window Frost Pattern

Window Frost Pattern

Fractalius of Woodland Interior, Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario

Fractalius of Woodland Interior, Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario












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Reich Falls_5070Reich Falls near Port Antonio, Jamaica

One of my favorite locations visited during my 10 day trip to the Port Antonio region of Jamaica was Reich Falls. This stunning waterfall is found in the rainforest-like environment of Jamaica’s John Crowe Mountains. On the day I traveled to this destination I was blessed with over-cast conditions, which are often the favored conditions for waterfall photography. The easiest way to photograph this river was to leave the footwear on the riverbank downstream and walk up river, photographing along the way. The processing of these image files has varied somewhat but I do find that I am using Nik/Google’s Detail Extractor Tool found in Color Efex Pro 4 often, to reveal additional detail in cascading rivers.

Please take a moment to let me know which image is your favorite and why and do remember to click on the photos to see the larger, sharper version.

Driver's River_Jamaica_5046Drivers River in the John Crowe Mountains, Jamaica

This is the river scene that greeted me as I made my way through the forest and reached the riverbank. I was in awe. This is perhaps the most photogenic river I have ever had the pleasure to photograph.

Driver's River_Jamaica_5074Drivers River in the John Crowe Mountains, Jamaica

Above is a scene a little further upstream from the previous photo. The Detail Extractor Tool in Nik/Google’s Color Efex Pro 4 really enhanced the foreground water nicely.

Driver's River_Jamaica_5080-1Drivers River in the John Crowe Mountains, Jamaica

A beautiful, turquoise pool at the base of a small cascade along the Drivers River. I could not get over the stunning color of the water. This is a true representation of the water’s color.

Driver's River_Jamaica_5091Drivers River in the John Crowe Mountains, Jamaica

Directly above and below you will see the same scene captured in both vertical and horizontal orientations. This something I do for almost all of my landscape work. While I will usually tend to favor one version over the other, I find it to be a good practice to create an image in each orientation, especially if you plan to market your imagery one day.

Driver's River_5087Drivers River in the John Crowe Mountains, Jamaica

In addition to the above, I am pleased to announce that I am now a moderator in the Landscape Forum at BirdPhotographers.net. Do check out the links to BirdPhotographer.net, a premier online educational nature photography community. I have been a member for a several years now and find it to be a great educational resource. The critique forums are beneficial to folks at all stages in their photographic development.

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Port Antonio_Jamaica_6325

Drapers Shoreline, Port Antonio, Jamaica

The Drapers shoreline near Port Antonio, Jamaica is characterized by tranquil coves and rugged peninsulas. Above the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea gently lap a rocky section of the coast, adorned with lush, tropical foliage. Below, waves crash into a rugged section of a small peninsula, carved by centuries of waves battering against the rocks. Creating images of waves hitting rugged shorelines can be a little addictive. You never quite know what you will capture and before you know it you have created a hundred or so wave photos. Here are two of my favorite wave blurs created on my 10 day stay in the Port Antonio, Jamaica area in February of this year.

Wave Blur_Port Antonio_Jamaica_6384

Crashing Wave Blur, Port Antonio, Jamaica

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Radial Wave Blur, Port Antonio, Jamaica

In the final image below an exposure of several seconds was used to capture a series of gentle waves washing over the rocks along this section of shoreline. Often I found myself drawn to these ocean side vistas with their lush tropical foliage cascading over the rocky embankments.

Port Antonio_Jamaica_6155

Drapers Shoreline, Port Antonio, Jamaica

Please do remember to click on each of the photos to see the larger, sharper version.

Time is also running out on the Sigma Scholarship Contest. To find out more about this awesome contest for photography student please click on the Sigma Scholarship Contest logo in the sidebar of the blog. Best of luck to all who enter!

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Ghost Crab_5271

Ghost Crab on San San Beach, Port Antonio, Jamaica

Above is an optimized photo of a Ghost Crab captured on San San Beach in Port Antonio, Jamaica. These crabs are relatively easy to photograph but you do need to remain very still. Often they will disappear into their tunnels in the sand if they detect the slightest movement made by a ‘potential predator.’  In this case that was me, but by lying on the sand motionless this crab soon emerged again to forage on the beach for food. As the crab began moving further to my left I found it difficult to contort my position on the sand to suitably follow it and wound up creating the image below with the crab practically walking out of the frame. How did I fix this composition? I used a series of quick masks, layer masks, move tool, and some touch-up work with the clone stamp tool to create the optimized version. I learned how to perform such fixes to such images by reading Robert O’Toole’s APTATS 2. APTATS stands for Advanced Photoshop Tips and Techniques and for $30 is well worth the investment. Final tweaking to the image above was performed by using Nik Software’s (now Google) Viveza 2 and Color Efex Pro’s Detail Extractor filter.

Ghost Crab_5271_RAW Capture

Original RAW Capture of the Ghost Crab

Sigma Scholarship Contest Note:

Only one month left to enter Sigma’s Scholarship Contest. Please click on the link in the sidebar of the blog for more information on contest rules and how to enter. Best of luck to all entries!

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Port Antonio_Jamaica_6128

Sunrise along the Caribbean Coast in Drapers, Jamaica

Still busy processing the image files from my recent trip to the Port Antonio region of Jamaica. Here are three of my most recently processed photos that I thought I would share. For the image above I used my Singh-Ray 3-stop reverse graduated neutral density filter. The reverse grads are deadly at holding back the brightness of the sun as it rises above the horizon.

The image below is a scene of the lush, low-lying mountains surrounding Port Antonio which was captured at dusk.

Port Antonio_Jamaica_6308

Dusk near Port Antonio, Jamaica

And in the final image that was photographed at a private, secluded beach I chose to sit down on the ocean floor to photograph the scene looking up at what I believe is an almond tree over-hanging the Caribbean Sea. To darken the sky and cut down on unwanted reflections I used a Nikon neutral polarizing filter.

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The Caribbean Sea near Drapers, Jamaica


On the weekend of April 13, 2013 the Latow Photographers Guild will be having their Annual Photography Weekend at the Burlington Art Centre with one of Canada’s finest landscape photographers; Mike Grandmaison. Mike has traveled throughout Canada extensively building a photographic collection of stunning imagery that you are sure to find inspiring. To find out more about Mike’s seminar on Saturday April 13th, from 9:00 am to 4:30pm, and the Annual Photography Weekend please click here. Mike’s latest book ‘Mike Grandmaison’s Prairie and Beyond‘ has just been nominated for two Manitoba Book Awards. Mike’s other books; Canada, The Canadian Rockies, Georgian Bay and Muskoka are all impressive collections bound to inspire and get your creative juices flowing too.

Hope to see you there 🙂

Please click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper version of each.

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Frenchman's Cove_5792

Frenchman’s Cove, Port Antonio, Jamaica

One of the prettiest beaches visited during our 10 day stay in Port Antonio, Jamaica was the very lovely Frenchman’s Cove. So lovely in fact it has been declared as one of the finest beaches in the world by the luxury travel magazine Conde Nast Traveller. This small sandy cove is guarded by a rugged shoreline that extends out from the cove and a small river empties into the cove as well. My daughter had a great time playing and snorkeling in the gentle current of the stream which was teeming with several species of fishes that are tolerant of the brackish water at the river’s mouth.

Frenchman's Cove_5797

Small River at Frenchman’s Cove, Port Antonio, Jamaica

After photographing a few beach and river scenes I made my way up to an elevated patio area of the restaurant at the beach to gain a higher perspective for photographing the rugged coast that guards the cove. Since I was handholding each of these landscape scenes I also wanted to use the railing of the elevated patio to help stabilize myself for the resulting images. Once I had composed each photograph, and before clicking the shutter, I would hold my breath for a second or two. By doing so will provide you with another means of gaining further stability for handheld photography.

Frenchman's Cove_5951

Frenchman’s Cove, Port Antonio, Jamaica

Frenchman's Cove_5956

Frenchman’s Cove, Port Antonio, Jamaica

Above the rugged coast of the Caribbean Sea at Frenchman’s Cove sits what appears to be an abandoned villa, or one damaged by past hurricanes. I could help but think of Robinson Caruso when I saw this old villa a-top the rugged shoreline. Looks like Home-Sweet-Home to me 🙂

Frenchman's Cove Villa_5938

Frenchman’s Cove Villa, Port Antonio, Jamaica

Please remember to click on each photo to see the larger, sharper version and let us know which one is your favorite image.

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Johnstone's Whistling Frog_5985

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog (Eleutherodactylus johnstonei) with vocal sac inflated

Every night as the sun began to set during my stay at Search Me Heart in Port Antonio Jamaica, the nights would begin to fill with the choruses of the Johnstone’s Whistling Frog, also known as the Lesser Antillean Whistling Frog. This tiny little frog, which measures roughly 3/4 of an inch in length, is one of the most widely distributed frogs in the Caribbean, mostly due to trade among the islands. It would be very easy for these frog to hitch a ride among bananas and such being traded between neighboring Caribbean islands. These little frogs do not require water to reproduce as the female will deposit her eggs among leaf litter from which tiny froglets will emerge.

Prior to departing for Port Antonio, Jamaica I did a ton of research to learn of various landscape locations I would want to visit and what wildlife species may be indigenous to the region. During my research I discovered that there is roughly 27 species of frogs in Jamaica. Knowing that in advance I decided I should take along my gear that I frequently use for frog photography, however I did not really want to carry the additional weight of my Nikon 105mm micro lens, so I decided to leave that lens at home and follow my own advice here about the Nikon 80-400mm macro lens solution. By using my Nikon 80-400mm VR lens with the Canon 500D Close-up filter and my Nikon SB400 Speedlight, on a flash bracket, I was well equipped to capture these tiny frogs. I did not know that these tiny frogs would be so plentiful among the vegetation of Search Me Heart’s gardens. Each night before heading off to bed I would spend about an hour or so wandering about the lush gardens with a small flashlight, trying to located the frogs as they sang. In the photo above I had to wait patiently for this little fella to commence singing again after I discovered him among some yellowed foliage of wild banana plants and the frog below would show up virtually every night on the very same leaf to chorus. By frequently searching out these subjects I was able to capture some of my most favorite frog images to date.

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

Johnstone's Whistling Frog (Eleutherodactylus johnstonei)

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog (Eleutherodactylus johnstonei)

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Daybreak along the coast, in the village of Drapers, Jamaica

Not far from our accommodations at Search Me Heart (which I will go into detail about in a future post) in the village of Drapers, in Portland Parish near Port Antonio, Jamaica I discovered a small footpath that led down to the sea. I was immediately drawn to the wave battered rocky coast at the end of this footpath and subsequently spent several mornings here awaiting daybreak. I much prefer to capture images such as this, before the sun has risen above the tree-line. I just love the pastel tones in the sky at this time of day. After composing the image I activated the live-view function of the Nikon D800 and zoomed in on a section of rock and water to adjust the focus manually, ensuring a razor-sharp capture. Once the focus was set I waited for the cloud movement to place the tiny dead branch against the sky rather than merged in with the cloud formations. I also utilized my Singh Ray 3-stop reverse graduated filter here to hold back the brightest portions of the sky and an exposure time of 0.6 seconds provided enough time to create an interesting blur to the undulating ocean.

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

A reminder for all photography students enrolled in an accredited Canadian university or college photography program shooting with Sigma lenses, don’t forget to enter Sigma Canada’s Scholarship Contest for your chance to win $3000 towards your tuition or to win a second prize of a $1000 photo gear package from Gentec International, the Canadian distributor of Sigma lenses in Canada. For more information be sure to click on the Sigma Scholarship Contest logo in the sidebar.

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Reich Falls_5063

Reich Falls on the Driver’s River, Jamaica

As I work my way through the edits from my recently completed 10 day trip to the Port Antonio area of Jamaica, I wanted to share this image of Reich Falls – pronounced Reach Falls. This waterfall is found off the beaten path within the John Crow Mountain Range, in the Portland Parish, on the Driver’s River and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Jamaica. I will feature some additional photos from this waterfall and scenes from down-river shortly. This can be a very popular destination for tour buses operated from the tourist resorts, however, by connecting with the local folks we were able to visit the falls at such a time that was absent of crowds of people.

After I completed the photographs I had hope to take, it was time for a relaxing swim, at the base of the falls, in this cool, clear mountain stream – simply amazing! By the time we had hiked back out to the car we were greeted with a torrential downpour that lasted for most of the rest of the day.

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