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Posts Tagged ‘stock photography’

Summer 2017 Issue of ON Nature Magazine

The Summer 2017 issue of On Nature Magazine has hit the newstand. On the cover of this issue is a starry nightscape created by yours truly. I created this image from the deck of my cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario with a Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens mounted to a Nikon D800 and pointed it straight up at the sky. The wide angle view of the fisheye lens also caught the tree tops as they were silhouetted against the dark starry sky.

Ontario Nature (formerly known as The Federation of Ontario Naturalists) dates back to 1931. They are dedicated to protecting our natural places through conservation and education. To find out more about Ontario Nature and how you too can get involved please click here .

Please click on the photo to see the larger version.

Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement about a nightscape workshop in one of Ontario’s absolute best locations for viewing the night sky.

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Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 100
f16 @ 8 seconds

When I was a kid I used to love watching a TV series called “Land of the Lost,” which aired on the NBC network from 1974 -1976. This series was essentially about a family that was trapped in an alternate universe inhabited by dinosaurs. There are a few locations throughout Ontario, especially along the Niagara Escarpment where I am often reminded of this show as the landscape really does make you feel as though you are entering a different world. On a recent excursion last week I found myself again in this situation. The place was the Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park which is a small, park with no services, just hiking trails. The hiking trails are part of the historic Bruce Trail that runs from Niagara River to Tobermory. This trail is more than 890 kilometres in  length with an additional 400 plus kilometres of side trails. Within the Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park we find the Standing Rock and Caves Side Trail which is where all of today’s images were created. After climbing down into the first crevice blue trail markers guide you through the deep, cool crevices with walls that are draped in thick carpets of moss, liverworts, and numerous species of ferns. I spent the better part of about 4 hours exploring these crevices and will definitely need to schedule a return trip to complete the exploration. I took only two lenses with me on this excursion; the Nikkor 18-35mm lens and the Laowa 12mm Zero D lens. The conditions in the crevices were very cool temperatures and due to the steep crevice walls many of the exposures were seconds long. The day was a hot, muggy kind of day but down in the crevices I was actually catching a chill. When I made my out of the crevices my lenses fogged immediately upon exposure to the warmer, humid air. Here are several images created during my first outing to this newly discovered location.

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

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 3 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 4 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 1 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 3 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 1.6 seconds

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 30 seconds

 

In the below image we can see how the center slab of rock, millions of years ago, broke free of the rock wall on the right and went crashing into the rock wall on the left side of the composition.

 

Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 35mm
ISO 100
f16 @ 25 seconds

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Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f11 @ 1/6 sec

 

In the summer of 2016 Venus Optics released the Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D lens, the world’s fastest 12mm lens available for full frame cameras. The Zero D designation stands for zero distortion. Recently I purchased one of these lenses for both commercial and landscape photography. The Laowa 12mm lens is a fully manual lens (exposure and focusing). The Exif data recorded for images created with this lens will show no value for f-stop used or focal length of the lens, but that is by no means a deterrent to using this lens. All metal construction give this lens a “built like a tank” feel. It is also a very small lens and light weight at only 609 grams!

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f11 @ 1/6 sec

While this is not intended to be a lens review I will mention a few of things I like and dislike about the lens. First of all, light fall off is very acceotable and virtually disappears as the lens is stopped down. Chromatic aberration is also very well controlled and any that does become visible is easily fixed by simply checking the Remove Chromatic Aberration box in ACR. As mentioned the lens is an all metal build and this includes the two lens hoods. Yes I said two lens hoods. The lens has a small built-in lens hood that helps to protect the bulbous front element and there is also a removable petal-style lens hood as well. A disappointing note about the removable lens hood is that it causes slight vignetting. I simply choose to not use the removable lens hood when photographing with this lens, although at some point I will likely modify it so that it can be used with no vignetting.

Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f11 @ 0.3 sec

The front element of this lens has what is called a “Frog Eye Coating” for repelling dust and water. What I have noticed with the coating is that water droplets will bead on the front element and can thus be easily wiped off the lens. I love this feature!

Does the lens live up to the claim of zero distortion? Yes! If the camera is square with the world straight lines will be straight. When you point the camera up or down you will notice that trees will have a tendency to lean in or out depending on the angle at which the camera is pointed, but this common to all wide angle lenses so it is not really a downside to the lens.

Oxtongue River, Dwight, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 1/8 sec

 

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f11 @ 1/13 sec

As mentioned this lens is a manual focus lens. It also has an excellent hyperfocal scale engraved on the lens barrel that can be reliably used for focusing the lens. I simply compose the scene before, dial in my chosen f-stop, set the hyperfocal distance on the lens barrel, and click the shutter – everything from near to far is in sharp focus. To learn more about hyperfocal distance please click here for an excellent article that explains it in depth and how to apply it to your own photography.

Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontaro
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 50
f16 @ 1/10 sec

The Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D lens will not accept filters due to the bulbous front element, but there are specialized filter holders available that will permit the use of polarizers and 100mm square or rectangular Graduated ND Filters or ND filters. I am currently awaiting the arrival of the NISI filter holder and will post a review of the functionality of that filter after I have had a chance to  put it to use. Today’s images were all created without a polarizing filter. I would normall prefer to photograph waterfalls and rivers with a polarizing filter.

Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f11 @ 1/5 sec

 

Oxtongue River, Dwight, Ontario
Nikon D800, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D Lens
ISO 100
f16 @ 0.3 sec

If you are looking for an affordable, extreme wide angle lens for your full frame camera then look no further. The Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero D lens will produce razor sharp imagery at a fraction of the cost of the Canon 11-24mm or Sigma 12-24mm lenses and at a fraction of the weight.

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

 

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Rainbow and Passing Storm, Thornton, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 200
f11 @ 1/80 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Inclement weather can often be a landscape photographer’s best friend. This is especially true during the moments of changing weather patterns as dramatic lighting can and will likely occur. Two nights ago as a series of thunder storms were rolling through the farmland surrounding my home an incredible fleeting moment presented itself as the storms began to clear . As I looked out the window, across my backyard, I could see that there was some clearing in the skies to the west. I grabbed a camera body and lens, ran outside, and across the road into the freshly plowed field as I was certain there was going to be a glorious rainbow as soon as the sun shone through the clearing in the western sky. I did not have to wait long before my prediction became a reality and the sun lit up the field before me and cast a rainbow in the east. After capturing a few frames of the full rainbow, with a partial double rainbow visible, many of the dark storm clouds had passed and a tiny bit of blue sky were being revealed but a very interesting and ominous cloud formation had formed overhead, while a touch of the rainbow remained. The incredible opportunity presented by this passing storm cell lasted only 10 minutes. Being prepared and attuned to the ongoing weather system ensured that I was ready for this fleeting moment in nature.

 

Rainbow and Passing Storm, Thornton, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-85mm VR Lens
ISO 400
f11 @ 1/250 sec

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Tri-colored Heron, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm lens
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/640 sec

High-Key lighting in portraiture has a very classic look and feel in the resulting imagery, with bright white, distraction free backgrounds and minimal shadows on the intended subject. While on my recent trip to Cayman Brac I had a few opportunities to explore using this high key technique on some very co-operative birdlife that I encountered. Each of these high key images were created using the Nikkor 200-500mm lens on a Nikon D500. Each of the birds were photographed in a backlit situation whereby I simply dialed in additional exposure to open up the shadows, allowing the background to fall where it may, ignoring any blinkies (highlight warnings) on the background, but ensuring there were no blinkies on the subject. While making my initial edits to each of the images in Adobe Camera Raw I varied the amount of brightness in the backgrounds, allowing the endangered West Indian Whistling Duck portrait to be the brightest as I felt it complimented the lighter tone of the ducks feathers.

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

 

West Indian Whistling Duck, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm Lens
ISO 800
f8 @ 1/125 sec

 

Green Heron, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm Lens
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/200 sec

 

Tri-colored Heron, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands
Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm Lens
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/640 sec

 

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Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto, Ontario

On the morning of January 17th I decided to drive into the heart of downtown Toronto for some architectural photography. My chosen destination was to be in close proximity to the CN Tower and some of the impressive skyscrapers with their mirrored windows, as well as a visit to the Humber Bay Pedestrian Bridge over the Humber River. Although I was out of my comfort zone of woodlands and wetlands it was a most productive day however, the clear skies were quickly becoming over-cast due to inclement weather that was on the way. I worked quickly to capture a selection of imagery before the weather conditions worsened and to make a bee-line for my rural home north of the city, prior to the rush hour traffic that typically brings the traffic to a stand-still. Here is a small selection of the architectural photographs that I created during that day.

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

Humber Bay Pedestrian Bridge, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Cokin Blue+Yellow Polarizer used for creative effect)

Humber Bay Pedestrian Bridge, Toronto, Ontario
(Cokin Blue+Yellow Polarizing filter used for creative effect)

 

CN Tower Reflecting in the Delta Chelsea Hotel as window washers are at work. Toronto, Ontario, Canada

CN Tower Reflecting in the Delta Chelsea Hotel as window washers are at work. Toronto, Ontario

 

Royal Bank Plaza Abstract. Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Royal Bank Plaza Abstract. Toronto, Ontario

 

Humber Bay Pedestrian Bridge, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Humber Bay Pedestrian Bridge, Toronto, Ontario

 

The Restored Union Station Plaza Clock. Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Originally from 1927)

The Restored Union Station Plaza Clock Toronto, Ontario, Canada
(Originally from 1927)

 

Abstract of Humber Bay Pedestrian Bridge and Condominium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Abstract of Humber Bay Pedestrian Bridge and Condominium, Toronto, Ontario

 

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Daybreak at Marie Louise Lake in Ontario's Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Daybreak, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

 

Looking back over the past year I came to the realization that I created some of my own personal favorites during 2016. As this year comes to a close here is the selection of my most favorite images. From the stunning daybreak display above on Marie Louise Lake in Ontario’s Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, to the Bullfrogs on Horseshoe Lake, to beautiful vistas along the Niagara Escarpment in Bruce Peninsula National Park, to winter scenes close to home, and to the highest cliffs in Ontario at the Top of the Giant Trail over-looking Lake Superior. I arrived just in time to capture nature’s beauty when she was ready to put on a stellar show!

I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of 2017 as I will commence several new ventures with my photography, including a schedule of upcoming workshops that I will announce shortly.

I would like to take a moment to thank you all for your support of my work and to wish you all a very Happy New Year and all the best for the year ahead.

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Bullfrog in Wetland on Horseshoe Lake, Ontario

Bullfrog in Wetland on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Halfway Log Dump, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario

Halfway Log Dump, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario

 

Winter Stream in Thornton, Ontario

Winter Stream in Thornton, Ontario

 

Daybreak on Horseshoe Lake, Ontario

Daybreak on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive

 

Top of the Giant, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

Top of the Giant, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

 

Interrupted ferns in autumn in woodland setting, Torrance Barrens, Ontario, Canada

Ferns in Autumn Woodland, Torrance Barrens, Ontario

 

Northern Water Snake, Horseshoe Lake, Ontario

Northern Water Snake, Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

 

Night Scape on Marie Louise Lake in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. Minor crop applied to fix tilted horizon.

Night-scape, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

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