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Sunrise on Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens
Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter
ISO 50
f16 @ 0.6 sec

 

The recently concluded, inaugural, Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat was a fantastic success. A very BIG thank-you to Don Johnston for his hard work and assistance with this event. We had 10 fabulous participants that were eager to explore the landscape amid wind, snow, and rain. Our efforts were not only to photograph the grand, magnificent scenes before us, but to also concentrate on the smaller details at our feet as they can often tell an important part of the story as well. We were grateful that the first two days presented beautiful sunrises and sunsets. On the third day we had a lovely sunrise at the onset of what turned out to be a very windy and rainy day, which allowed folks time to rest after a busy first two days and to process some of their imagery from the first two days as well. On the fourth and final full day of photography we enjoyed many areas of Lake Superior Provincial Park from the Sand River area to the Old Woman Bay area under mush calmer conditions although it was chilly with the air temperatures hovering around 2 degrees Celsius.

Lake Superior has long been my favourite location within Ontario for landscape photography. The possibilities are endless. During this retreat I enjoyed composing scenes with my Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens as it was my first trip to the region with this extreme wide angle lens in my gear bag.

Below are a series of my initial edits from the retreat…stay tuned for more imagery soon.

I will be planning a second annual Lake Superior Wild & Scenic Photography Retreat. For those that are interested in registering for the event please do send along your contact info to me, by clicking here, if you are not already on my contact list. Don Johnston and yours truly are very well travelled along the Lake Superior coast and know where to be during the given weather conditions to maximize the photographic efforts.

 

Sunrise on Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens
Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter
ISO 50
f16 @ 0.8 sec

 

Sunset on Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens
Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter
ISO 100
f16 @ 13 sec

 

Sunrise on Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 1.3 sec

 

Sunset on Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens at 29mm
Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter
ISO 50
f16 @ 5 sec

 

Wave Polished Stones on Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Nikon 28-300mm lens at 170mm
ISO 50
f18 @ 1/8 sec

 

In-camera Wave Blur, Old Woman Bay, Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Nikon 200-500mm lens
ISO 50
f32 @ 1/5 sec

 

Crashing Wave on Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens
ISO 50
f16 @ 1/60 sec

 

Moonlit Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens at 31mm
ISO 3200
f11 @ 13 seconds

 

Sunset on Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens
Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter
ISO 50
f16 @ 1.3 sec

 

Sunset on Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens
Singh Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter
ISO 100
f16 @ 5 sec

 

Rugged Lake Superior Shoreline
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 0.8 sec

 

Wave Breaking at Katherine Cove, Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens at 35mm
ISO 50
f22 @ 0.5 sec

 

Wave Polished Stones, Lake Superior
Nikon D800, Nikon 28-300mm Lens at 125mm
ISO 100
f16 @ 0.6 sec

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Lower Rosseau Falls
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens

The Muskoka Autumn Colour Spectacular Photographic Workshop wrapped up on October 3rd. I am just getting around to the follow-up reort now. I have been swamped prepping for my Lake Superior Retreat as well as organizing new events for 2019.

Although the fall colours were slow in their progression this year we were able to find some lovely colour at a few of our destinations. We had two long days of photography as we visited numerous waterfalls and rivers through the Muskoka District, from Huntsville to Dwight to Rosseau.

Wilson’s Falls
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens

Although the water levels at Wilson’s Falls were very low it turned out this provided wonderful opportunities to capture some autumn colour and the red granite river bed while the river defined the foreground elements. The Oxtongue River near Dwight is often a busy location during fall colour, but I ensured that the workshop group arrived early to have several hours of the river to ourselves. By the time we were wrapping up here there were many people starting to arrive.

Oxtongue River
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D lens

Ragged Falls on the Oxtongur River in Ragged Falls Provincial Park is another very popular destination however, the surrounding cedar forest is not conducive to autumn colour/ Nonetheless, we arrived shortly before sunset and were greeted with wonderful light!

Ragged Falls, Oxtongue River
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D lens

Throughout the workshop we experienced much light rain. It often rained heaviest when we would took our lunch breaks. The rainy weather did provide us with the absolute best conditions possible for our intended subject matter. The rain also allowed us ample opportunity to explore intimate forest details sue to the wonderful even lighting from the overcast cloud cover.

Old Growth White Pine Roots
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D lens

 

Forest Details
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm Zero D lens

 

Granite Details
Nikon D800, Nikon 28-300mm lens

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I am pleased to announce that after the success of the Lake Traverse 2017 Photographic Workshop in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park there will be a Lake Traverse 2018!

Join me 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 14, 15, & 16. Lake Traverse is situated in a remote area of the park and is rich in both history and stunning scenery. To reach this remote location in Algonquin Provincial Park you must enter 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 very comfortable Algonquin Radio Observatory, located on the shores of Lake Traverse. A tour of the immense satellite has been arranged during the mid-day hours 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.

This workshop will be open to a maximum of 15 participants.

The cost is $525 plus taxes, based on double occupancy (single supplement fee add $40). Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer.

A non-refundable retainer of $250 to secure a space in this workshop is required. Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer. The balance owing will be due by June 1, 2018

Participants with any special dietary needs must communicate them at time of booking so the necessary arrangements can be made to meet your requirements.

 

Itinerary:

Friday September 14:

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

Saturday September 15:

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 16:

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 (currently $17 per day. This would allow participants to remain in the park until 10:00 pm on Sunday)
  • Snacks
  • Alcholic Beverages

To book and reserve your spot for this exclusive workshop please contact me by clicking here.

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Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 26mm Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Sunset at Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 26mm
Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

I finally had a chance to go through my image files from my September trip along the shore of Lake Superior Provincial Park. One of my most favourite locations within the park is that of Gargantua Harbour. A long, winding dirt road brings you to within walking distance of the lake, where you will come to a fantastic beach to the left and to the right the shoreline is scattered with large boulders which have been rounded and smoothed by the waves of Lake Superior. A couple of other bays that are often quite productive for landscape photography are Old Woman Bay and Katherine Cove. As you view the images make note of the captions and you will notice that for some of the imagery I chose to use my B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter. I will often resort to this filter when I am wishing to blur the wave action to a silky smooth texture, but the ambient light is still too bright to facilitate this, therefore, I will add the 10-Stop ND filter and presto I can usually go down to 30 second exposures with easy. When using this very dark filter I find it is best to use Live View and open up the aperture of the lens to compose the scene and focus the lens. I will then stop the lens down to my desired f-stop and click the shutter.

Please do remember to click on the images to view the larger, sharper versions.

Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm 30 Second Exposure B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
30 Second Exposure
B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

 

Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

Gargantua Harbour, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

 

Old Woman Bay, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Filter

Old Woman Bay, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm
Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Filter

 

Katherine Cove, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 20mm 25 Second Exposure B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

Katherine Cove, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 20mm
25 Second Exposure
B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

 

Katherine Cove, Lake Superior Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 35mm 25 Second Exposure B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

Katherine Cove, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
25 Second Exposure
B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter

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Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens ISO 100, f8 @ 1/8 sec. Photo Captured at 7:33 a.m.

Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f8 @ 1/8 sec.
Photo created at 7:33 a.m.

On the morning of September 14th, while on my recently concluded trip along the north shore of Lake Superior, I awoke in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park on the Sibley Peninsula, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. I was staying at the Marie Louise Lake Campground within the park, which provides an excellent view of the “sleeping giant.” Ojibway legend describes the “giant” as Nanabijou, the spirit of deep water that turned to stone when the secret location of a silver mine in Silver Islet was revealed to white men. I had set my alarm to be up well before sunrise as I had hope for some early morning imagery before packing up and heading to my next destination on the north shore. When I arose the sky appeared very cloudy and I was facing a westerly direction so I decided to start packing and make an early getaway. As I was packing I turned and noticed a faint glow on the Marie Louise Lake. The sun had found a clearing in the clouds as it was rising and was starting to illuminate the clouds in the west quite nicely. I grabbed my gear and made my way down to the shoreline of the lake.

The images in this blog post were created within 13 minutes of each other, with the last image being created as most of the color had faded from the scene. The best lighting on this scene really only lasted for 9 minutes and the changes of the light’s intensity can be seen in each of the images as the minutes roll by. Please note the time that each image was created in the captions for each image. Splendid moments like this are fleeting, but when witnessed leave a lasting impression. Being in the right place at the right time and being prepared allowed me to capture this amazing display that Mother Nature revealed on this morning.

This scene also reminded me of one of my most favorite quotes by photographer Ansel Adams – “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.

Please do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger sharper version and please take a moment to let me know which is your most favorite of these daybreak scenes on Marie Louise Lake.

Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 35mm ISO 100, f8 @ 1/5 sec. Photo created at 7:36 a.m.

Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 35mm
ISO 100, f8 @ 1/5 sec.
Photo created at 7:36 a.m.

 

Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 26mm ISO 100, f8 @ 1/8 sec Photo created at 7:38 a.m.

Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 26mm
ISO 100, f8 @ 1/8 sec
Photo created at 7:38 a.m.

 

Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 35mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.3 sec. Photo created at 7.42 a.m.

Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 35mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.3 sec.
Photo created at 7.42 a.m.

 

Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1/4 sec Photo created at 7:46 a.m.

Marie Louise Lake at Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/4 sec
Photo created at 7:46 a.m.

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Pre-Dawn Light on Lake Travers in Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f16 @ 8 seconds Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Pre-Dawn Light on Lake Travers in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 8 seconds
Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Towards the end of last week I spent several days up on the shore of Lake Travers in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. The first morning of my stay in the area provided the best conditions for daybreak imagery. The nights turned rather cool after this day and subsequently the heavy mist rising from the lake made visibility very poor, until the sun had rose high enough in the sky to burn off the misty conditions. The above scene was created at approximately 5:30 a.m. on the first morning. No less than half an hour later the sun still hidden by the horizon began to light the clouds hovering above the lake – as seen below.

Sunrise on Lake ravers in Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 19mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1.3 seconds Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Sunrise on Lake Travers in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 19mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1.3 seconds
Singh Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

After the sun had risen and the colors faded from the sky I jumped into the canoe and paddled out across the lake. After about an hour paddling about the perimeter of Lake Travers I turned to look over my shoulder (photographer’s must remember to do this – sometimes what is behind you is more interesting than the scene before you) and was more than impressed by the cloud formations. Using my Nikon 18-35mm lens with a Nikon Polarizing filter attached I composed the scene and created several varying handheld compositions. Each and every time that I create a handheld image, before clicking the shutter, I take a breath and hold it as this will often eliminate the risk of breathing from causing movement that may contribute to un-sharp images.

Cloud Formations Above Lake Travers in Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 200, f8 @ 1/25 second Nikon Polarizing Filter Hand-Held Capture

Cloud Formations on Lake Travers in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 200, f8 @ 1/25 second
Nikon Polarizing Filter
Hand-Held Capture

On my very last night in the park the skies were so unbelievably clear I could not resist the temptation to experiment with photographing the starry night sky. I think night photography will become a bit of an addiction 🙂 I can’t wait to give it another go!

The Milky Way Above the Algonquin Wilderness Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 6400, f4.5 @ 30 seconds

The Milky Way Above the Algonquin Wilderness
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 6400, f4.5 @ 30 seconds

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

I am on the road photographing again next week, but promise to return with lots of images to share and tips too 🙂

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Lake Superior Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 20 seconds, B+W 10-stop Neutral Density Filter

Lake Superior Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 22mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 20 seconds, B+W 10-stop Neutral Density Filter

This evening the winter wind is howling outside and snow squalls are rolling through the region, so I decided to play around with converting some older photos to black and white. I have always liked the original color versions of these images but for one reason or another I never did get around to optimizing them. Often when situations like this arise I will open the images into Nik / Google’s Silver Efex Pro 2 for a B&W conversion that suits the scene. In the opening photo, which was created on the shores of Lake Superior near the mouth of the Coldwater River I used a 10-stop neutral density filter to ‘calm‘ the incoming waves and help reveal the boulders beneath the surface. A small crop from the top to evict a rather boring cloudless sky rounded out the image optimization.

In the Georgian Bay scene below that was created in Ontario’s Killbear Provincial Park I used my Tiffen 3-stop neutral density filter to achieve the same calming effect on the bay, which allows us to focus our attention on the foreground rocks, which received a light-handed dose of Nik / Google’s Detail Extractor from Color Efex

Georgian Bay at Killbear Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 5 seconds. Tiffen 3-stop Neutral Density Filter

Georgian Bay at Killbear Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, ISO 100, f16 @ 5 seconds. Tiffen 3-stop Neutral Density Filter

After creating the above scene on Georgian bay I simply turned around to create one of the terrain that was behind me. Killbear Provincial Park is noted for its spectacular vistas of Georgian Bay and the rugged granite shoreline is wonderful for both color and B&W images.

Rugged Terrain at Killbear Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm EX DG f2.8 Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f16 @ 1/200.

Rugged Terrain at Killbear Provincial Park. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm EX DG f2.8 Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f16 @ 1/200.

And finally below is an older capture created on the Sixteen Mile Creek at Hilton Falls Conservation Area upstream from Hilton Falls. This lovely river and waterfall are situated on the Niagara Escarpment. Many of the waterfalls and rivers of the Niagara Escarpment are best viewed in early spring when water levels are typically high.

Sixteen Mile Creek. Hilton Falls Conservation Area. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm. ISO 100, f16 @ 1.3 seconds, Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

Sixteen Mile Creek in Hilton Falls Conservation Area. Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 24mm. ISO 100, f16 @ 1.3 seconds, Nikon Neutral Polarizing Filter

Please do remember to click on each image to view the larger, sharper version.

On another note: I am now active on Intsagram. You can connect with me on Intsagram at MCLACHLANWILD. I have also added an Instagram widget to the sidebar of the blog for easy access. Hope to see you over at Instagram too 🙂

 

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