Posts Tagged ‘workshops’

Due to the very successful, first-ever Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop in May I will be hosting two photographic workshops, with new species of dart frogs in each session, in August at the Crinan Community Centre located at 13568 Dunborough Line in West Elgin, Ontario, located near London, Ontario.

The dates and times for these workshops are:

Saturday, August 19, 2017  10:00a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  (SOLD OUT – wait list)

Sunday, August 20, 2017       10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (SOLD OUT – wait list)

The space for each workshop is limited to a maximum of 8 participants to allow ample time for folks to photograph each species. Each workshop will feature different species and colour varieties of dart frogs.

These are the only workshops available whereby you will be able to capture stunning imagery of 15 different species of dart frogs endemic to the Amazon rainforest. It would cost tens of thousands of dollars to explore the Amazon jungle on your own in hopes of photographing a mere fraction of these species. These workshops, in partnership with Understory Enterprises, will bring you an incredible opportunity to photograph these 15 species of dart frogs for only $195, plus HST, in a comfortable atmosphere with natural studio set-ups. The recommended gear for photographing these tiny frogs is a macro lens and off camera flash. Alternately, using high quality close-up filters such as the Canon 500D filters will allow many lenses such as the Nikon 80-400mm or Canon 100-400mm to focus close enough for these small subjects. Please contact me here if you have any equipment inquiries when registering for this workshop. I also provide custom made flash diffusers that will allow folks to capture equally stunning imagery using camera mounted flash as well.

Please note: folks wishing to sign up for both dates will receive a 15% discount, which works out to $339.13 plus HST to attend both sessions.

Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided during the workshop.

To register for this workshop folks may contact me by clicking here for availability.

Payments can be made via email transfer or by cheque made payable to Andrew McLachlan.

Hope to see you there!


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Phyllobates terribilis (mint)
©Martina Schneider

Today’s post features  several images from some of the participants that attended the first ever Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Photographic Workshop.  I think you will agree with me that they all did a fantastic job of creating many stunning images. As you scroll down through the images do note the captions to see which participant created each photo and please do click on the photos to see the larger versions. In the opening photo Martina Schneider did an absolutely amazing job of capturing the image of the Phyllobates terribilis from a very low perspective – a frog’s eye view if you will 🙂

Ranitomeya ventrimaculata
©Paul Infelise

Paul Infelise also used a very low perspective to capture a stunning image of the Ranitomeya ventrimaculata revealing the stunning colouration of the frog’s underside.

Ranitomeya fantastica
©Laurie Thomson

For one of our set-ups we got a little creative by utilizing a large white plastic serving tray to display the frogs against the pure white background. Laurie Thomson’s took the creativity one awesome step further in her photo of the Ranitomeya fantastica above by including the fingertips of the frog handler to create a sense of scale. Notice how the full grown frog is not much bigger than a fingernail!

Cruziohyla crasperdopus
©Barb Marszalek

Towards the end of the workshop we brought out a group of three Cruziohyla crasperdopus which Barb Marszalek captured beautifully as they climbed over each other. The colouration of these frogs allows them to remain camouflaged on the bark of certain palm trees while they sleep during the daylight hours. Barb attended one of my previous workshops at Reptilia and created many incredible photos, of which one received a Gold Ribbon at the Etobicoke Camera Club competition and a Bronze Medal in the Animal Category of the Greater Toronto Council of Camera Clubs competition. Awesome achievement Barb!

Ranitomeya imitator
©George Nagy

Longtime blog supporter George Nagy created this wonderful image of my favourite dart frog the Ranitomeya imitator as it rested on a large monstera leaf. George not only positioned the frog very nicely within the frame but also paid close attention to the details of the leaf allowing the one yellowish vein to act as a diagonal leading line.

Below you will see a few additional images created by each of these participants.

We will be announcing the date of the next dart frog workshop very soon and it will feature a completely new collection of dart frogs!

Dendrobates tinctorius “citronella”
©Martina Schneider


Epipedobates anthonyi
©George Nagy


La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobactrachium valerioi) – female with eggs
©Laurie Thomson


Dendrobates auratus campana
©Barb Marszalek


Dendrobates tinctorius “azureus”
©Paul Infelise


Ranitomeya vanzolinni
©George Nagy


Epipedobates anthonyi
©Laurie Thomson


Dendrobates auratus
©Martina Schneider


Dendrobates tinctoius “azureus”
©Barb Marszalek


Ameerega hahneli – defence posture
©Laurie Thomson


Ameerega hahneli
©Barb Marszalek


Ameerega hahneli
©Martina Schneider


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Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest Participant Group Photo

On Saturday May 13th the first Dart Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest was held at the Crinan Community Centre. We had 7 wonderful and fun loving participants. The day was full of laughter and great image opportunities. A very big round of thanks goes out to Mark and Jackie Pepper of Understory Enterprises for being absolutely fantastic at wrangling the frogs for the participants throughout the entire day. Also a very big thank-you goes out to each of the participants for being such awesome and fun loving folks! I am eager to share with you the workshop participants photos here on the blog once they are ready to share because they were all creating some really awesome imagery!

The Crinan Community Centre is a fabulous location for the workshop and rich in history too. It originally opened as a school on October 22, 1913 and had separate entrances for the boys and girls. It closed as a school in 1965 and was restored many years later to serve as a community centre in the Dutton/Dunwich area of Ontario. Below is a creative edit of the hall that I photographed early in the morning when I first arrived.

Crinan Community Centre

The workshop participants were able to photograph 20 different species of dart frogs in natural table-top set-ups as well as a couple of add-on tree frog species towards the end of the day. Workshop participant Sherry Butts came up with a great idea of using a large white plastic plate for some creative frog portraits too. And longtime blog follower George Nagy was the winner of the door prize, a Wimberley Plamp, graciously provided by Wimberley.

We will be offering a second workshop at this same location in August or September and it will feature an entirely different selection of dart frog species. Any folks that are interested should contact me here to be added to the contact list for this soon to be announced second workshop.

During the workshop I only created a small handful of images as my priority was to assist the participants in capturing their own great photos of the frogs. Below are a few of my favorite images from the day.

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

Ranitomeya imitator – captive


Epipedobates anthonyi – captive


Phyllobates terribilis – captive


Dendrobates tinctorius azureus – captive


La Palma Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) – captive


A trio of Cruziohyla craspedopus – captive


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Epipedobates anthonyi – captive

Without a doubt dart frogs, also known as poison arrow frogs, are among the most colorful animals on Earth. A fascinating fact about them is that in the wild they develop their deadly toxins from their food source of ants and termites. In captivity these amphibians are fed cultivated wingless fruit flies which results in them losing their toxicity, rendering them harmless. Nonetheless, they retain their vibrant coloration.

On Saturday May 13 at 10:00 a.m. you too can have an opportunity to photograph 20 different species of dart frogs in my exclusive Darts Frogs of the Amazon Rainforest being held at the Crinan Community Centre located at 13568 Dunborough Line in West Elgin, Ontario, near London, Ontario. For further information please check out the early blog announcement for this workshop by clicking here or by visiting my Workshops page on the website by clicking here.

This post features only a sampling of species we will be photographing in a comfortable setting with realistic studio set-ups. One lucky participant will also be walking away with a door prize supplied by Wimberley!

There are still a few spaces available for this workshop. Please contact me by clicking here to register for the workshop.


Dendrobates tinctorius (Citronella) – captive


Dendrobates leucomelas – captive


Phyllobates terribilis (mint) – captive


Ameerega pongoensis – captive


Dendrobates auratus campana – captive


Phyllobates terribilis – captive


Phyllobates vittatos – captive


Ranitomeya amazonica – captive


Ranitomeya fantastica – captive


Ranitomeya imitator – captive


Dendrobates tinctorius (Azureus) – captive

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Red-eyed Tree Frog © Chuck Carson

Red-eyed Tree Frog  © Chuck Carson


Workshop participant Chuck Carson recently shared a few of his images that he created during my January Reptile & Amphibian Workshop that was held at Reptilia. I love the peek-a-boo pose on the Red-eyed Tree Frog and the dead-on stare from the Green Tree Python has excellent sharpness from the tip of the nose to the eyes, which is where you want it to be. The Dendrobates auratus was photographed on some dried oak leaves to mimic the debris on the forest floor  that these colorful dart frogs call home. Similarly the Fire Salamander that is endemic to Europe was photograph in a mini-pond set-up with lichen covered tree bark to resemble native habitat for these large salamanders. Chuck also did very well with these latter two species, especially with the very jumpy dart frog and also by paying close attention to the salamander’s reflection in the pond, being sure not to cut it off on the bottom edge.


Green Tree Python © Chuck Carson

Green Tree Python  © Chuck Carson


Dendrobates auratus © Chuck Carson

Dendrobates auratus  © Chuck Carson


Fire Salamander © Chuck Carson

Fire Salamander  © Chuck Carson

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Please note that this workshop is now SOLD OUT with wait list only.

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 15, 16, & 17. 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.

This workshop will run rain or shine.

A quick note about the Algonquin Radio Observatory (from their website):

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 10 participants.

The cost of this workshop is $495 based on double occupancy (single supplement $40). Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer.

A non-refundable deposit of $200 to secure a space in this workshop is required. Payable by cheque or e-mail transfer.

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



Friday September 15:

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

Saturday September 16:

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 17:

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 only a short walking distance from our home base at the Algonquin Radio Observatory.

What’s Included:

  • 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 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
  • Alcoholic Beverages

In the event that the workshop does not meet the required minimum number of participants to run all deposits will be refunded in full.

To reserve your spot for this exclusive workshop please contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca

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Red-eyed Tree Frog

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive

Today’s post will feature imagery from Tim Harding. I first met Tim a couple of years ago at Tiny Marsh near Elmvale, Ontario. Tim signed up for my recently concluded frog and reptile photographic workshop that was held at Reptilia on January 7th and captured some lovely images. We had a great turn out of talented folks and I hope to feature more imagery from the workshop participants as they submit their images. Here are a few images that Tim was able to create during the workshop. As usual, the Red-eyed Tree Frogs performed perfectly and posed very co-operatively atop the pink bromeliad blossom. The Vietnamese Moss Frogs with their superb, camouflage coloring blend in nicely on a large, lichen covered piece of tree bark. The dendrobates auratus dart frog with its incredibly bright colors really pops when placed on a few old dried oak leaves to create a forest floor-like setting. And finally the Fire Salamander gives us a nice pose while it is crawling around on a large section of moss. Tim was using a small softbox on his off camera flash to help soften the light. Using small softboxes is an excellent way to soften the harsh light of a bare flash bulb and often they will help to reduce some, but not all, of the flash generated spectral highlights as well.

Vietnamese Moss Frog - captive

Vietnamese Moss Frog – captive


Dendrobates auratus - captive

Dendrobates auratus – captive


Fire Salamander - captive

Fire Salamander – captive

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