Posts Tagged ‘torrance barrens’

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Daybreak in the Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve, Ontario

On Wednesday October 9 the 2nd Annual Muskoka Autumn Colour Spectacular Photographic Workshop wrapped up. We had a fantastic group of participants and were blessed with some wonderful conditions to photograph in.

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Brooks Falls on the Magnetawan River, Almaguin Highlands, Ontario

Our first stop was at Brooks Falls on the Magnetawan River in Ontario’s Almaguin Highlands. We were blessed with beautiful autumn foliage and a good amount of flow in the river inspite of the dry conditions we have experienced this past summer.

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Hogs Trough on the Oxtongue River, Ontario

Next on our list of locations was the Oxtongue River. Upon arrival bright sunny conditions plagued us, but a quick rain shower approached to create the best conditions possible for us, both above Hogs Trough and below.

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Oxtongue River, Ontario

A quick stop at Ragged Falls further upstream was a little less than desired as this section of the river was running quite low, but autumn color reflecting in the river’s details provided some very nice opportunities, which can be seen below.

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Oxtongue River Details, Ragged Falls Provincial Park, Ontario

The second day of the workshop was spent exploring the opportunities around the Bracebridge area, which were plentiful and saw us discovering some really amazing reflections along Potts Creek.

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Potts Creek, Bracebridge, Ontario

On our final morning we may our way to the Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve and were greeted by a stunning morning. The cool night air provided the temperatures for mist to rise from Highland Pond and as the first rays of the sun broke over the tree tops the photographic possibilities were endless. What a way to end the workshop 🙂

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Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve, Ontario

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Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve, Ontario

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Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve, Ontario

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Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve, Ontario

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Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve, Ontario

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Highland Pond in the Torrance Barrens

As the fall colour display is winding down rapidly, with a large percentage of leaf fall, I am catching up on processing some of this season’s images. The image above is a three image HDR processed with Oloneo PhotoEngine that was captured at Ontario’s Torrance Barrens / Dark Sky Reserve near the town of Gravenhurst. I was immediately drawn to the line of white pine needles along the rocky shoreline and the cloud formation in the sky at Highland Pond. I composed the scene with the pine needles forming a strong diagonal line coming out of the lower right corner to draw the viewer into the scene. The Torrance Barrens was the first site designated as a dark sky reserve and is quite popular with astronomers. I hope to try some night photography in the future. The terrain here is dominated by exposed bedrock covered with lichens and moss and mostly Red Oak, White Pine and White Ash trees. I particularly enjoy the area right around Highland Pond, which is accessed from the entrance on District Rd. 13 (Southwood Road). I often arrive here for sunrise and then wander the trails afterwards to see what I might discover. Below are two additional images from my recent visit to the barrens and three sunrise images from a previous visit a couple of years ago. The Torrance Barrens / Dark Sky Reserve will be featured in my upcoming eBook.

Boardwalk over Highland Pond

My Shadow at Highland Pond

Sunrise and Mist at Highland Pond

Highland Pond at daybreak

Sunrise at Highland Pond

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Algonquin Provincial Park

I love going out to shoot in overcast, drizzly weather conditions and my favorite lens to use on these days, if I am not shooting waterfalls with my wide angle zoom, is my Nikon 80-400mm VR lens. I love to use this lens to extract images from within the landscape and to shoot blurs. The Nikon 80-400mm VR lens has one major drawback to it though, and that is the poorly designed tripod collar. When I first began using this lens, many years ago, I immediately became aware of the vibration transmitted through the lens by the camera’s mirror. Vibraton that will compromise image quality. Fortunately there is a solution available. Kirk Enterprises offers a tripod replacement collar that firmly cradles the lens eliminating the vibration problem. You can view the replacement collar here. When I use the lens to shoot blurs I like to use it in the 200-400mm range and often I will handhold the lens for camera movement blurs. When I am relying on mother nature to create the blur via wind or flowing water, I lock the camera and lens firmly to my tripod by means of the replacement tripod collar.  Some of my recent  intimate landscapes and blurs can be seen below that were created with this lens during this year’s autumn outings. Head over here to see my favorite image from my Lake Superior Provincial Park trip in September. Don’t forget to hit the ‘like’ button :).

Lichen Covered Dead Tree

Autumn Reflection in Horseshoe Lake

Torrance Barrens near Gravenhurst, Ontario

Handheld Autumn Birch Tree Blur

Torrance Barrens near Gravenhurst, Ontario

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I discovered the Torrance Barrens/Dark Sky Reserve near Gravenhurst Ontario several years ago. I immediately loved the location. It is full of many, many photographic possibilities. To reach this awesome location take Highway #169 towards the small town of Torrance. Turns South on District Road 13 and follow it for about 5-7 km to the parking lot at the barrens. There are several trails and all offer excellent opportunities. Particularly those near Highland Pond which is where this image was captured.

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