- It’s time for the 3rd season from the falls in Kagawong, Manitoulin Island, also known as Bridal Veil Falls. If you missed the other two, click here and here. The opening shot is taken in early June – well both are actually. Again this time, its has a snapshot look to it, but thought it was worth putting up here on the blog.
As I mentioned in my last post, I usually stop here for lunch when I go by on my way to Gore Bay. (A well-informed source has told me that the chip stand across the road from the falls should be pretty good. I’m gonna have to try that this year). Anyway, this shot is taken basically at noon. Not much sunlight down at the bottom, huh? But plenty at the top, on the bushes and the crest. It can be a bit tricky to get a good shot here when the sun is out, with out using bracketed exposures. The shot above is combined with 5 frames , and I was lucky that the couple under falls didn’t move much during my exposure. I left them in there to get a sense of scale. The shot is taken from the same vantage point as the two previous posts.
As you can see in the shot, the water that is going over the edge has slowed down a bit compared to the spring shots. At the end of the fall it gets even worse, as you will see in my last segment from this location on my next post.
The falls goes over the edge in two places. The main one of course, and then a smaller to the right of it. If you remember the winter shot from a couple of weeks ago, that’s why the crack in the ice fall occur But at this time of year, it’s just dripping from small one, and in the shade from the big trees there are some very saturated green colored moss which I couldn’t resist to shoot as well.
I wanted to show you this 4 image panorama I made from this location. Kind of gives you a nice view from the vantage point under the highway bridge. Gorgeous place. I hope to find time to go there again one morning and to find more mist on the water. Of course, this time of year, it’s a totally different image. Colors and leaves are gone, so it’s a bit sad to look at right now to be honest, but i think with the right light and a bit fog, it can be quite interesting. A reminder for next time, a slightly longer lens (this is shot with a 35mm), and perhaps shooting the panorama with the camera vertical. It is a wee bit narrow…
My good friend Ken Bennison asked me to come with him on a trip up the West Branch this past weekend. But before I get to that, I should explain the title on this blog post. It came up as we were waiting for the light to be in the perfect spot, and for the wind to die down a bit.
Extremist is (what I learned on this trip) more or less what his own family affectionately calls him, and it refers to the way he approaches his photography. There is a very good reason why Ken is an incredible artist/landscape photographer. He does what a lot of other people wont do. He gets up at an ungodly hour, drive,hike or canoe for hours, (obviously not at the same time, but most of the time he will have to do all three to get to his location of choice.) And when he gets there he will explore the area, figure out what he want to shot, and wait for the perfect conditions to happen. Ken is not afraid to wait for hours for his shot. He knows exactly what he wants in a picture, and if the conditions aren’t there, he wont even take the camera out of the bag, because he wont be able to use the shot anyway, so if he doesn’t get the shot, he will simply return to the same spot again and again until he gets the shot he has in his mind. And the results speaks for themselves. Check out his website. I should mention that Ken’s is shooting with a Canon 7D, one lens (28-135mm) and his trusty SLIK tripod. Yes, Ken only use one lens.
Anyway, so this past weekend we were up at the West branch north of Webbwood, Ontario. A place I haven’t been to in 2 years, so it was nice to go there again, and revisit some of the places I have shot before. Examples of previous posts can be found here, here and here. We are about 80 km (~50 Miles) in the bush, driving on a gravel logging road. The weather was perfect. No wind, sunshine and frost in the air. After having shot at a couple of locations, we wound up at the little lake where I had taken the Moonshine shot a couple of years ago. All of a sudden the sunshine starts to come through the trees, and lights up some grasses in the lake. Being the extremist that Ken is, gets up and wades out into the shallow waters. Ankle deep in loon and beaver crap he sets up his tripod and starts to compose a shot. I thought this would be a good time to get a shot of him in action, so I took a few of him shooting this sunlit grass, with some mist in the background.
The shot below is my shot from this location. Not being an extremist, I of course did not go into the water.
Time to get close to the water. This is what I really like to shot. To take in the details in the rocks, the flow of the water, and the incredible colors you get this time of year. Often, you will see the colors of the trees reflect in the small rapids.
Where im standing while taking this shot and the shot in the next post, is actually under water during the spring thaw. It’s the very top part of the Onaping falls, or High Falls as some call it. You can see where the water level usually runs when the river is at its peak. As you probably have noticed if you have seen my pictures on this blog, I LOVE to get close in on the falls. I like this shot, but when i got home I realized that the top right corner is blown out. I could crop it out, but it makes the shot boring, so I left it in. I guess I need to get a split grad filter for next time.
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Of course I can’t stop going to the Onaping Falls when the trees are putting on a display. For some reason, the colors up there didn’t seem as vibrant and up front and center this year. I was probably too late. I decided to explore a bit upstream from the main trail, and the next few posts are from around the same area, but looking in different directions.
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One more from the Hwy 17 over pass. Same location as this shot, but this vantage point is from under one of the bridges looking south, as you can see on the google map. It’s definitively an area ill will revisit again.
I got a few more fall shots I would like to share. (My first Fall shots post is here). Still on Hwy 17 west of Sudbury in Northern Ontario. It’s always a treat when the water is calm, and the reflections is like mirrored perfectly.
I surprised my self, and got up early this morning in search for a picture at High Falls in Onaping. I think I got a few keepers that I will share in a later post. After the sun was getting higher in the sky, I decided to explore a bit above the falls. I found what looks to be a good sunset location so ill try to get back there later. On the way, I came across the image you see above, and i thought it was too good to pass up. High Falls is unfortunately littered with graffiti on the rocks because it’s so accessible, especially in the summer where the water levels are low. There are several marriage proposals, X loves Y, and Z was here. To be frank, I wish people would respect the falls beauty and stop painting on the rocks. That said, the graffiti on the rocks in the shot above stood out, so I had to shoot it.
This guy went all out and poured his feelings for his sweetheart out on the rocks, just above the falls. I’m not sure if its readable when it’s scaled down so here is the text letter for letter.
“So here it goes
I’ll try my Best
to explain to you
whats on my chest
I know I can LOVE
when I see the world in you
And your eyes everywhere in the world
Your important to ME in every way
I would tell you that Everyday
To me your the one
your my modivation
our potential to be together
feels as though it would last 4 ever
I want to be ur man
I can to assure u’ll
be a happy
It looks like he was running out of space at the end. That would make sense if he wrote this in the spring, where the water level would be just off the bottom of the frame.
Of course it’s not the most inspiring poem ever written, but he definitively put an effort into it. Who knows if his sweetheart read it and what happened after.
Hello folks. Yes I know its been awhile, and I’m kicking my self for not getting it done. Here’s the beginning of attempting to post more regularly.
So spring time in Northern Ontario is to me, one of the most interesting times of the year. The colors of the landscape goes from brownish grey/black to a more vibrant green color. The mood of people changes as the light returns, days are getting longer, and warmer. Of course this is the time of year where people with allergies suffer – I know I do. For about 6-8 weeks my nose and eyes will be itchy, runny. I’ll be sneezing up a storm, but it’s still my favorite time of year.
And at times, nature likes to throw a curve ball, and she did just that a couple of weeks ago. We had an amazing record-breaking March, with temperatures up to 25°C for almost a week. – That’s
pretty good frigggin awesome for N. Ontario standards. So of course every tree, bush and weed plant gets a wake up call – alrighty then, it’s that time of year, let’s get started. So the buds are budding weeks before normal, that grass is green at a time when it supposed to be, some flowers are already out, such as tulips, which turned out to be a really bad idea.
Summer in march is not gonna last, not up here, and of course, Blammo – A week with cold temperature below freezing puts an efficient hold on everything growing. On top of that, 10-15 cm of wet snow to really push progress down again. Tulips dies, fruit trees are very vulnerable at this time of year, and I’m sure many fruit growers has been hit bad. Time will tell.
The image above is shot with my 105mm macro lens, the subject is my lilac bush, and as usual, a click on the images will make it even bigger.
Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I think that was a very short weekend….
I’ll kick this week of with a shot from the paper mill in Espanola, Ontario. It’s from a set of shots taken in October last year. I just happened to be going by early in the morning, and seeing the mist or fog by the hydro damn and bridge, that’ s just an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted so I had to pull over and grab some shots. Here and here are some earlier post from Espanola.
I’ll kick this week of with a shot from the Scott Kelby’s 2011 World Wide Photo Walk. I sure hope you got to do a walk near your location, if not, try to make time for next year. I had to pleasure to do two walks that October weekend, the unofficial one in Glen Haven, MI and the official one in Traverse City, MI. I have already posted one shot from the Glen Haven walk on this blog (click here), and here is another one. It’s the path from the old Coast Guard Station, (now a museum) down to the beach.
It’s definitively a place I would like to go back to sometime next year. Beautiful place.
I found this shot while going through some shots from 2009. I thought it would be alright for a post here.
The shot is from Harris Creek, which is running under Hwy 17 East of Blind River, Ontario. It’s a nice little spot where it’s easy to get to the tiny falls.
It’s time for some more fall-fireworks from High Falls in Onaping, Ontario. Please feel free to click on the images for a larger 1200px view.
Above is from the trail that takes you along the falls and into the bush. If you walk far enough you will eventually end up on a look out that is over grown by now. Its called Sudbury Basin Lookout. Beautiful spot, but the sun was in the wrong place to get a usable shot from there.
One more from the trail. This shot was also posted on Google+
After walking in the bush for a couple of hours with a heavy backpack, I’m back at the falls dead tired and sweating like a ..well you know what I mean. I got there just in time for the late afternoon sun hitting the trees across the falls, which reflects these amazing green and golden colors along with the sky in the water. I could not pass this opportunity to grab a few shots of that. Absolutely gorgeous place.
Before I sign off, I want to say a huge Thank you for all your nice comments and tweets. Please know that they are all very much appreciated.
As mentioned in an earlier post, the weather has been outstanding up here lately. So there is no excuse, just get out there and shoot. I have explored the High Falls in Onaping, Ontario af few times now, and it changes every time I’m up there. The shots in this post are from the end of September, at the peak of the color show. I decided to put more than one shot up today, because I have a lot of shots from this place, and my blogging has been a bit on the slow side lately. It is nice to have some new ammo, so here we go.
Oh btw, if you are on a big monitor, feel free to click the images for a larger view.
The top shot is from the basin at the top of the falls. The incredible colors of the late afternoon sun on the trees and the sky paints the water. Amazing place to shot when it looks like this.
This shot is roughly half way down the falls. At this time of year the water flow in the falls are really low, so there are plenty of opportunity to get very close to the rocks and the falls. It’s a very different story in the spring…
The last big drop before the water slows down and continue its run down the Onaping River.
The fall colors has peaked up here and are starting to look a bit faded, some trees are bare and getting ready for next year.
Its Thanksgiving weekend and the weather the last week has been absolutely outstanding. Currently its 23°C outside which is pretty good for Northern Ontario in the month of October.
I went for a quick drive down the highway to Chutes Prov. Park to capture some tight shots of the falls there. The sun was out so it was perfect conditions to play with my new variable ND filter. (I still can’t believe I didn’t get around to buy one before now…) It is so cool to slow down the shutter speed and get the silky feeling of running water even in direct sunlight without the blinkies.
The shot above was a complete surprise when I looked on the LCD screen on the camera, it looked like gold was running down stream.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 70-300, 70 mm, f/22, 1/8 sec ISO200
It has been a tradition of mine to go outside the country to take part in the World Wide Photo Walk events. I have done that in 2009 and 2010, (both Denmark) so why should 2011 be any different. This year I went to Traverse City, MI. Traverse City and area is an absolutely gorgeous place this time of year. The fall colors are just about peaking, and the landscape is very inviting with lots of hills, beaches, dunes, wineries and orchards. Traverse City claims to be Cherry capital of the world – and that’s probably very true. I urge anyone within driving distance to check it out. Beautiful place.
I had the opportunity to attend two walks. Yes, I know you can only register for one, but that does not prohibit any one for tacking along another group, as long as you notify and get the OK from the leader of the walk. You can of course not submit photos for the competition. Well, I had no problem getting the OK from Ken Snyder, who was the leader of the walk in Glen Haven, MI – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
This place is just gorgeous. Incredible beach and the dunes are just spectacular. I wish we had more time to explore the area and check out the Coast Guard museum, but that will have to be next time.
Above is a 8 frame pano from the Dunes overlooking the lake. Very strong winds that day, but thankfully no rain.
I have looked at this image a lot. I don’t know why, but every time I go through my shots, I tend to stop for a second at this one. There is something very simple and pleasing thing about this shot IMO, and that is as close as I can get to explain what is does for me. It is one of those shots that will end up on one of my walls as a gallery wrap at some point.
It was shot during a World Wide Photo walk in Odense, Denmark in 2009.
One of the spots I like to go shoot is about 1 hour drive from my house. I drive by this place just about once a week as part of my daytime job, so I can kind of keep an eye on whats going on there. It’s the Duchesney Falls in North Bay, Ontario. Being visible from the highway, it’s fairly easy to determine if there’s too much water going down or too little. Too much water, and you wont get the small interesting trickles or mini falls over or between the rocks – those are the ones I like to shot, it’s also a bit tougher and of course very dangerous to get to close to the falls. Too little water is just as bad.
Nevertheless, it’s still a great place to practice photographing water falls all year round.
The shot above could be an example on why it’s not such a good idea shooting water falls in direct sunlight. The foaming white water, the wet highlights are instant blinkies even at fast shutter speeds, and remember fast shutter speeds will not give you the silky look. This is shot with my new Nikkor 16-35 mm f/4 lens, and I did not have a 77 mm polarizer or ND filter to put on, so I decided to try some bracketing on this location. In Photomatix, I made 2 tone maps. 1 for the overall scene and then a shadow map for some contrast (see Rob Hanson’s blog for this very cool technique ). In Photoshop I combined the overall tone map with the shadow map, and masked in the water from exposure that looked the best.
To me, one of the coolest things in photographs are when there is a sense of movement, there is an energy or a power in the shot. Examples of that could be lightning, storm clouds, streaking cars or trains. Water does the trick for me. I love shooting running water and by playing around with long exposures you get some pretty neat effects. To me, a tag sharp image of water falling or running is less interesting than if there is a blur to the water. Water in rivers and creeks moves, sometimes fast, sometimes slowly usually depending on the time of year and to me that movement needs to be in a shot of, lets say, a waterfall. In order to get the sense of flowing water or that cool silky look, the shutter speed needs to be slowed down – way down.
Here are a few tips on how to achieve that look.
- Use a good solid tripod.
- Use a cable release or use the timer on the camera.
- Keep ISO low.
- Use aperture mode and choose a small aperture like f/16 or f/22
- Shoot at dawn or dusk, or on an over cast day.
- To cut even more light use a polarizer, which not only remove reflections and boost colors, but also eats at least one stop of light – slowing down the shutter speed even more..
- Or you can use a ND filter also called natural density filter. The will usually reduce the light between 1 and 10 stops depending on which one you buy.
- Your goal is to end up with a shutter speed at around 1/10 sec or slower. It depends on how fast the water moves of course, but generally at that shutter speed the magic starts to happen and you get that silky smooth feel of water running.
Try it out next time you are out shooting running water, it’s very rewarding. Btw, the shot above is from Moose Creek, Levack, Ontario.