Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Point Pelee National Park & Holiday Beach Conservation Area

Sorry for the long wait for another post, but I've actually been working this week! My photo collection had outgrown my storage system, so I shifted to an upscalable Drobo storage system (a bank of hard drives). At the same time I've added all of the photos from the past year (hundreds of GBs). I have a well-edited collection, but it's still over a terrabyte of data. All the files are backed up in triple redundancy (you can never be too careful) and it takes a heck of a long time to complete a major backup!

I'm down in the Pelee area (my mom lives here, so I am visiting) and have been doing a bit of photography  when not at my computer. I've been mostly chasing birds and shoreline images.

For the first photo at the tip of Point Pelee National Park, the light was fairly flat and the beach lacked strong foreground elements. To create a more dramatic image I used a 2-stop hard edge ND grad (Singh-Ray) to darken the clouds and a slow shutter speed (1/4 second) to blur the water for a sense of movement in the foreground. In landscape photography, these kind of tricks are akin to pulling a rabbit out of a hat. When conditions are dull, there are always creative techniques to make a stronger photo.  EOS 1Ds mark III; 17-40mm lens; Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo polarizer & 2 stop hard edge ND grad; ISO 200; 1/4s at f/18; mirror lock-up & cable release

For this next photo of a White-throated Sparrow, I had set up a blind in my Mom's backyard (it's an incredible yard for migrating birds) and put out some feeders. Dozens of sparrows came in to ground feed and one would occasionally land on a strategically placed log. EOS 1Ds mark III; 500/4IS lens & 1.4x teleconverter; 580EX II flash (fill set at -1 2/3); ISO 400; 1/200s at f/5.6   

I spent a few mornings trying to photograph migrating hawks from the famous tower at Holiday Beach Conservation Area. It seems that every day I missed, the hawks were low and plentiful. On the days I was there, the birds were flying high... except for this flock of Mute Swans (an exotic species that nest in the marsh at Holiday Beach) which flew by the tower - low - in early morning light. EOS 1Ds mark III; 500/4 IS lens & 1.4x teleconverter. ISO 400; 1/2000s at f/5.6.  


  1. Ethan,

    Nice combination of images. I particularly like the sparrow image. Great thinking to get them off the ground for a more pleasing image. Enjoy the backup work! I need to do some myself.


  2. Hey Ethan, Love the shot at the beach!! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your family!! Shar

  3. Hi- I also enjoy photographing and painting nature.
    These are lovely. The bird one makes me smile.

  4. Great shots, plus tips.espec of beach with questionable weather it's always handy to have a few tricks!cheers