Friday, May 28, 2010

The pinnacle of peak photo season!

I live on the Bruce Peninsula - an incredible place for nature photography! From mid May through late June, my life is turned upside down as I try to photograph the plethora of subjects that are at their best. This brief window of time is the peak for breeding birds, plants (wildflowers & ferns) and landscapes with fresh green foliage. On any given day I'm off in many directions and forced to make hard decisions about what to shoot. I don't get to sleep much at this time of year!

These three photos, which I've photographed in the last few days, exemplify that wonderful dilemna! The first is a landscape from one of my favorite spots in Bruce Peninsula National Park. The second is a Bobolink in full song. And the third is an Ostrich fern, backlit by by evening light.

Photo 1 (above): Self portait at sunset in Bruce Peninsula National Park.
 EOS 5D mark II, TSE 24mm tilt shift lens, Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer & 2 stop soft edge ND grad (Z-pro sprocket setrup), Canon TC-80N3; horizontal flip in photoshop for optimal cover composition.The Canon TC-80N3 timer remote controller is ideal for shooting self portraits. I set it to expose every 10 seconds, which gives me plenty of time to pose for the next photo.

Photo 2 (above): Bobolink singing, Bruce Peninsula. EOS 1Ds mark III, 500/4 IS lens & 2x teleconvertor.
Photographed from my van window with the lens/camera resting on a Blubb beanbag. Bobolinks are a grassland bird species facing serious declines in many part of their range. I'm lucky to have many in the fields near my place!

Photo 3 (above): Ostrich Fern, Bruce Peninsula
EOS 5D mark II, 70-200/4 IS, 25mm extension tube; cable release & mirror lock up.
In the evening, these ferns are beautifully backlit and the distant forestedge becomes a dramatic black background.


  1. Hi Ethan,
    Wonderful pics. I will be in the BP park this weekend. For the 70-200/F4 IS do you use a canon extension tube or something else (Kenko, etc) ?


  2. Hi Florin, I use the canon extention tubes... primarily the 25mm. Years ago I had Kenko tubes and they had a smaller inner diameter than the Canon ones... thus they would cause loss of light around the edges. That was a long time ago and they may have since improved the tubes, but I have been using Canon since.

    Have fun on the Bruce!

  3. I hear you, Ethan...

    I'm often musing why the wealth couldn't be a little better distributed along seasonal lines...I can find more subjects in fifteen minutes in June here on my farm east of Kingston than I can in the entire month of February...

    Great work, I enjoy your blog immensely.


    John Haig