Monday, September 28, 2009

Algonquin finale

Just finished a great weekend photo workshop with a keen gang of photographers in Algonquin Provincial Park. A huge thanks to all the participants, my co-leader Ian "Mooseman" Brooks (see your call on YouTube soon!), workshop host Outdoor Photography Canada magazine, and Gary & Tina Schultz of the Algonquin Lakeside Inn. We had an incredible sunrise on Saturday morning and vibrant autumn colours to fill our memory cards!

Photo 1: The workshop group at the Algonquin Lakeside Inn.

Photo 2: Autumn river colours, digital "Orton" effect. EOS 5D mark II; 24-70/2.8; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer; Exposure: ISO 100; 8 seconds at f/16
I knew this scene was perfect to create an "Orton" image, merging an out-of-focus photo with a sharp version of the same scene (once done by combining two exposures, now easily accomplished digitally from a single image). Here's the link to instructions on how to do it: Orton Imagery
Photo 3: Algonquin Park wetland; EOS 5D mark II; 17-40/4 lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer & 2 stop hard edge ND grad (4x6" size, handheld in front of lens). Exposure: ISO 200; 0.8 seconds at F/20. Mirror lock-up & cable release.
I put on hip waders and carefully trudged into this pond to get a low perspective on the lilypads for this wide-angle landscape photo.
Photo 4: Moose; EOS 1Ds mark III; 500/4 IS lens; Exposure: ISO 400; 1/40 second at f/4
During the workshop we showed the group where and how to find moose, but explained that wildlife photography is usually most productive when you're out shooting by yourself. After the workshop ended, co-leader Ian and I were out searching for moose when we found this bull along Opeongo Lake Road. Ready to shoot, we had only a few moments before the moose ran off into the woods. I shot this image from the car window using a Blubb beanbag.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Algonquin Park fall colours - part 2

Fall colours are progressing well in the Algonquin Park region. I've been having a great time roaming around the park in search of the best pockets of colour, in prep for leading the Outdoor Photography Canada magazine photo workshop here this weekend.

Photos taken with Canon EOS 1DsIII or 5D mark II bodies; 24-70/2.8 lens and 17-40/4 lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Algonquin Fall colours begin

I arrived in Algonquin Park yesterday to photograph fall colours and scout for the upcoming workshop this weekend. There are many places in the park along the Highway 60 corridor where fall colours are already vibrant - approaching 50% of the canopy. It should build towards peak in about a week - around the last few days of September and first days of October. This is my favourite time of year here..... great colours and no bugs!

Photo 1: Leaf detail; Canon EOS 1DsIII; 24-70/2.8 lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer; Exposure: ISO 200; 1.3 seconds @ f/11; mirror lock-up & cable release

Photo 2: A photographer admires the fall colours. EOS 1DsIII; 17-40/4 lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer; Exposure: ISO 200; 5 seconds @ f/16; mirror lock-up & cable release
Photo 3: Leaf on rock in flowing river. EOS 1DsIII; 17-40/4 lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer; Exposure: ISO 200; 30 seconds @ f/22; mirror lock-up & cable release

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Beware: Nature Photographer loose in the City!

As a freelance photographer, I am often consumed with the business.... either out in the field photographing or spending long hours at my computer managing images and communicating with clients. It's rare that I don't have photography on my mind.

A mental break every now and then helps me to stay energized, so I've taken a couple days off this week to chill out in Toronto. Last night I saw Regina Spektor in concert at the Sound Academy (beautiful view of the Toronto skyline from there). Tonight I'm going to the U2 concert and have great tickets for the show. I listen to music non-stop when I'm on the road, and U2 is my favourite band, so I'm very excited to see them live tonight!

Photo 1: That's me last night at the Regina Spektor concert. The sunset over the Toronto skyline was amazing. Thanks to my friend Vera for getting the photo of me.

Photo 2: My friend and I sat outside the public library in Portal, Arizona this winter at 6am to use the internet connection to buy U2 concert tickets for the Toronto show tonight.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A great Bruce Peninsula landscape photo workshop

I just finished hosting a weekend landscape photography workshop on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. The weather was incredible and the participants were great to work with! A huge thanks to Judy-Ann C, Sterling G, Lisa D, David T ("Sherpa"), Richard M, Dave & Barb B, Craig B (assistant) and David G for joining along!

During the weekend we visited some of the most scenic locations on the Georgian Bay shoreline to focus on practical field techniques in landscape photography. I don't photograph much during the workshops because I'm busy helping other people shoot, but I couldn't resist a quick image of this co-operative Herring Gull posing in the foreground with Niagara Escarpment cliffs behind.

Thanks to my assistant Craig - an excellent photographer and founder of - for capturing the following photos of our workshop in action.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bird Photography Calendar

My friend Bryan Holliday has just released a 2010 calendar featuring his stunning bird photography. The 16 month calendar "Winged Journey" is available through his website:

Be sure to check out the calendar and browse Bryan's website to see his bird images.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Upcoming Presentation - Tue Sept 8 in Toronto

I'll be presenting "Freedom 35: Living the Dream" next Tuesday evening (Sept 8) at the Toronto Digital Photo Club. Come on out to see the photos and hear the stories from my North American travels in a VW camper van over the past year. The presentation is full of tips about nature photography and photo travel.

For more information, visit my website:

If you make it to the show, be sure to say hi.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Sunrise at Forillon National Park

On the way back from Newfoundland, we detoured through the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec because I wanted a chance for better light to shoot the spectacular shoreline at Cap Bon Ami in Forillon National Park. The weather cooperated and the predawn glow lit up the wet foreground rocks beautifully. The combination of layered rocks, water and cliffs makes this a magical location for landscape photography.

Photo: Cap Bon Ami, Forillon National Park, Quebec;
EOS 1DsIII; 17-40mm lens; Singh-Ray Gold'n'Blue Polarizer & 2 stop hard edge ND grad; ISO 200; 6 seconds @ f/22.