Saturday, June 25, 2011

Granite bedrock patterns - Eastern Georgian Bay

I spent a few days last week shooting on eastern Georgian Bay at a remote location with some of the most exquisite granite rock patterning I know of on the Great Lakes. My friend, Halifax area photographer Dale Wilson, joined me for the trip and was blown away by the scenic Canadian Shield islands. Our excursion was an adventure. The good ship "ViewFinder" was fully loaded with camping and camera gear. Navigating the gauntlet of shoals to reach the best islands was stressful; thankfully Dale contributed better chart reading skills than I have. At one point while en route to an evening shoot location, I looked back only to notice the stern of the boat filling with water and my camera pack partly submerged. The plug had fallen out! After rescuing the gear and beaching the boat on a nearby island, I jumped in the water with all of my clothes on and put in a spare plug before activating the bilge pump. We were dry and back shooting in 15 minutes, just in time for a great sunset!

Now safely back on land, I'm editing through the hundreds of photos from the trip. Below are a few of my favorites. These were photographed with a Canon 5D mark II body, either Canon EF 17-40 lens or Sigma 24-70mm lenses, and Singh-Ray filters. I'm already planning the next trip out there and will certainly be packing another spare boat plug!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blue-winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler has been on my most-wanted warbler photo list for a long time. I've never lucked into a cooperative one during migration at any of the migrant hotspots like Point Pelee National Park. There are quite a few blue-wingeds nesting in the region around the area where I live (Owen Sound) so this past week I spent some time shooting them here on their breeding territories. Here are a couple of shot I'm pleased to finally get! I also had a very obliging Bobolink pose for me while I was on my way to shoot the warblers.
Over the next couple weeks I'll be working on Golden-winged Warbler, which also nests in this region. Golden-winged is the elusive prize that I'm lusting over; they taunt me from high up in the treetops. Check back in a week or two to see if I have any luck shooting them!   

Blue-winged Warbler. Canon 1D mk IV; 500/4 lens & 1.4x teleconvertor
Blue-winged Warbler. Canon 1D mk IV; 500/4 lens & 2x teleconvertor

Bobolink. Canon 1D mk IV; 500/4 lens & 1.4x teleconvertor

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lakeside Daisy - shooting the best of what's around you

Above photos: Lakeside Daisy blooming in a globally rare alvar habitat

I live on the edge of Bruce Peninsula, an area that is famous for wildflowers including 42 species of wild orchids and several species that are endemic (only found here). One of my favorite species is the Lakeside Daisy, a plant endemic to the Great Lakes region and found primarily in globally rare alvar habitats (characterized by shallow soil overlaying limestone bedrock and a unique assortment of plants).

When I photograph around home, or on distant travels, I always seek to photograph things that are unique to a place. I do advance homework, researching the unique species, ecosystems, landforms or cultural icons of a particular area. With that, I develop a shot list that helps me hone in on the essence of a place.