Writing with Light

Nature

The Light Within

Slot Canyons are caused by erosion. Water seeping through cracks over millions of years chips away at the rock and forms very deep and narrow canyons. Maybe that’s why they’re so beautiful…you should never rush perfection.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print. 

Arizona, Page, Antelope Canyon, slot canyon, landscape, nature,


Two New eBooks from Ian Plant & the Team at Dreamscapes

Dreamscapes, mini-guide, wildlife photography, Ian Plant, ebook

Being away for the last week and half has thrown me behind on some of the post I wanted to work on. Before I left I had download 2 new ebooks released by the team at Dreamscapes.  I was planning on reading them and writing a review while I was away but I only got as far and doing the reading.

The first ebook  is another in their new mini-guide series, Wildlife Photography by Ian Plant.

I love these mini guides. They’re the perfect length with just enough enough information to digest in one sitting. They’re also wonderful to have with you in the field and quickly be able to refer back to the information you’re looking for. This Wildlife Photography guide is no different. Photographing wildlife has its own challenges and while it’s vital to get it technically perfect there are other things to consider such as does your image tell a story. Ian’s mini guide  touches on how tell that story by using light, providing context, positioning yourself and much more.

The 2nd release this month is Post Processing – A Guide for Nature Photographers by expert bird photographer Glenn Bartley.

Dreamscapes, post-processing, guide, nature, photography, Glenn Bartley, ebook

If you’re a bird photographer you’re gong to love this new ebook if you’re not you’ll still get plenty out of this book because it deals with post processing of images and not the capture. If you feel bogged down with your workflow then this guide will help you get up and running in no time.

Glenn Bartley shares techniques t improve and simplify your image processing and photo management. Bartley covers the gamut here from the basics of file management, monitor calibrations, RAW processing, selective adjustment and and advanced techniques to name a few.

The book interspersed with video tutorials, expert tips and timesaving tips that will help you get the most out of Photoshop and BreezeBrowser but these techniques are transferable to any imaging software you use.  I myself use primarily Lightroom and found the instructions and tips useful for LR as well.

In addition to the ebook itself you can download time-saving Photoshop actions and sample images to experiment with.

The Wildlife Photography Mini-Guide is available for $4.9 or purchase all 4 guides for $16.95. Post Process- A Guide for Nature Photographers is available for $24.95. Both books can be found at the Dreamscapes store here.

 

 


Prospect Park

Prospect Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux after they completed Central Park in Manhattan. It’s a glorious park to spend time in and I have to get back there in the summer when the trees are full of leaves. It was a beautiful day when I was there and the sun was shining but I thought this image was better suited to a black and white treatment which added a bit more of a mysterious feel to it.

On another note I’ve started a new project called T.O. Dogs. I posted the first in the series over on the PhoDOGraphy by Edith Levy site. You can check out the first in the series, a Siberian Husky named Max here.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a print.

Brooklyn, Prospect Park, trees, path, canopy, walkway, black and white, monochrome, nature


A Tree Grows There

Happy Monday! The opening night of the group Landscape Photography Show which I was a part of was this past Thursday and I’m happy to report that it was an excellent evening. Actually I had a blast. I had family and good friends come out to show their support and encouragement as well as many other attendees.  This was a first for me and it was a terrific learning experience. The exhibit will continue until March 15th. It’s very exciting to see your work printed, matted, framed and hanging for all to see. Thank you to all who attended on what was a verrry cold Toronto night.

On to today’s image. This was taken on a walk through Prospect Park in Brooklyn. I want to give this more of an artistic look so I used Topaz Simplify to process the image and added the BuzSim preset with some minor adjustments. I then processed the image further through Perfect B&W (which I’m really enjoying) to create this black and white version.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, tree, park, monochrome, black and white, Topaz Simplify


A Little Disagreement

Here’s another image that I took at the Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas. You can see the first image from the rookery here. These two fellas were arguing about something and I have to tell you they are loud. Males can weight up to 5,000 lbs, so I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to get into a fight with one.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Elephant Seal, Rookery, San Simeon, Piedras Blancas, California, beach, nature, travel photography, ocean front, beach


The Lonely Path

This is another lovely little pathway I stumbled upon when I was exploring the Rockwood Auto yard.  I posted the first one last week, which was shrouded in fog (you can see it here). The fog was a bit less dense in this area but the colour of the leaves on the one tree in this section just drew me in. I used a texture overlay to give the final image more richness.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Ontario, forest, path, autumn, fall, changing colours, trees, fine art, texture, fog


Enchanted

While at the workshop at the Rockwood Autoyard this past weekend, I broke off from the group to go do a little exploring on my own and I came upon this scene. Remember in my last post I said that there was a foggy mist that enveloped the area? See what I mean.

After some minor adjustments in Photoshop I ran the image through Topaz Clarity to give it a bit more definition and then Perfect B&W to desaturate and give it a bit of a mysterious feel.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

forest, mist, fog, Ontario, mysterious, trees, path, nature, landscape


A Shoulder To Lean On

TGIF! It’s been a long and busy week but the weekend is before us and even this rainy weather can’t change that.  This is a very exciting weekend as I’m going to meet andDenise Ippolito, workshops, Toronto, Toronto Digital Photography Club attend a couple of workshops with Denise Ippolito. My photography club is hosting Denise over the next few days and she will be conducting 4 workshops for us and a seminar.  If you’re not familiar with Denise’s work you can check out her website here. If you’re in the Toronto area there are still some spots available. The information is on the Toronto Digital Photography Club website here. Once on this page click on the 3rd bullet.

Now on to today’s image. Driving south the Pacific Coast Highway about 4 miles north of Hearst Castle is the elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas.

You can walk along the path and see these amazing creatures up close. As expected I took a lot of pictures here and I will share them with you but when I was processing them this one really put a smile on my face.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

elephant seals, rookery, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, nature,


Sea Lion Cove

As a photographer planning a trip there are certain places that you research, determine the best time to be there,  jot down your shot list and hope that mother nature cooperates with you. Then there are other times when you decide to stop at a place that was totally unplanned. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve was one of those places. My husband and I left Carmel and were going to head straight to Big Sur.  Point Lobos is located approximately 3 miles south of Carmel and I remember reading about it but thinking that we just wouldn’t have time to stop given all the other things we wanted to do and see.  When I saw the signs for Point Lobos, I said to my husband, “I think we should stop and just check it out.” Being the adventurous spirit that he is, we did.  We stopped first at Whalers Cove and did a short 1/2 hour hike along the trail, marvelling at the panoramic views.  Figuring that we were already there and realizing what a gem we “almost” missed we decided to check out Sea Lion Point Trail…. BINGO!  Following the trail along up the hill the views of the pacific  are just incredible. As we were getting higher up the hill my husband suggested we turn around as we were already behind schedule and should start towards Big Sur. Just a bit further I said.  We made it up the hill and then I started down the hill on a natural staircase that led us to Sea Lion Cove. When we got down to the bottom (after a bit of climbing across some big boulders) we had the cove all to ourselves. Ok we weren’t really alone. The rocks just offshore and the water were filled with California Sea Lions.

Park Entrance Fee – $10

The sheer joy of being on the beach and photographing sea lions swimming nearby – Priceless!

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Sea Lion t Point Trail, Sea Lion Cove, seal, harbour seal, nature, travel photography, nature photography


Bird Rock

Before we get to today’s image I just wanted to say a big “THANK YOU” to all my readers, visitors and followers. Yesterday this little blog that could hit 1000 followers. I’m humbled and grateful to each and everyone of you for your continued visits and support.

Bird Rock is one of the scenic stops along the 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove. Named for obvious reasons this massive rock that juts out of the pacific ocean is a hang out for cormorants, pelicans, seagulls as well as California sea lions. It really is quite a site to see.

Click to enlarge (believe me it really looks better in full resolution) or to Purchase a Print.

California, Pebble Beach, 17 Mile Drive, Bird Rock, birds, sea, pacific coast, travel photography

California, Pebble Beach, 17 Mile Drive, Bird Rock, birds, sea, pacific coast, travel photography


The Curious Case of the Pelican (As opposed to a Pelican Case)

Curious you say? Yes curious! There I was, sipping a nice cold Corona on the beach in Cozumel when out of the corner of my eye I saw a Pelican fly by. He floated effortlessly above the tourists who were enjoying the hot Mexican sun. Suddenly, he landed on the pier and surveyed his surroundings.
In my enhanced state of relaxation I thought to myself….do I grab the camera and run over there to get some shots of him? No! Obviously after going through the effort he’ll fly away before I get to him. So I sat there and watched. He stayed there. A mother and daughter walked up the pier to get a closer look. He just stayed there. A couple of people got off a scuba diving tour boat and walked by my little Pelican friend. He just stayed there.  Ok…that was it. If he was going to stay calmly perched in his spot for everyone else, I certainly wasn’t going to sit around and miss a wonderful opportunity. I raised my very relaxed self off of my lounge chair, grabbed my camera and off I went.
I got to the pier and inched slowly towards my friend. I do believe that he actually enjoyed the attention, posing for me happily. He was a curious little fella!

pelican, beach, sea, nature, bird, Cozumel

pelican, beach, sea, nature, bird, Cozumel

pelican, beach, sea, nature, bird, Cozumel


Weekly Photo Challenge – Delicate

My contribution to this week’s challenge….

macro photography, flower, purple, delicate


Weekly Photo Challenge – Changing Seasons

My favourite season is Fall. After a long, hot, green summer it’s nice to put on a chunky sweater, breath in the crisp air and marvel at the fiery coloured leaves when taking a walk through the park. This is an image I made in October during a photo outing with my photography club to Rouge River in Toronto.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

fall colours, rouge river, ontario, trees, landscape photography


Getting in Close

I don’t do a lot of macro or close-up photography, but like most of us, I’m always looking to expand my skills.  This weekend I participated in a close-up photography workshop with photographer Julie Waterhouse. Julie is a skilled photographer and teacher with a keen eye for detail and an infectious attitude towards learning and discovery.  I really enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone and trying different things during the workshop and if you’re not familiar with Julie I encourage you to check out her website or sign-up for her free photo-tips newsletter.

I’m still working through processing my images so you’ll see more in the coming days but here’s the first from this weekend’s workshop.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

gerber, flower, macro photography, close-up,


Forest Mist

I’d like to thank everyone for the responses to Monday’s post, asking for your opinion on either the colour or black & white version of “Swirls.”  So what did everyone think?

66% liked the colour version

22% liked the B&W version

9% liked both.

It looks like the color version was a favorite. Thank you again for taking the time to visit and providing your feedback.

On to today’s images. The start of our Tobermory weekend was, how shall I put it…soggy. We had to delay our start on the first morning because of the pouring rain. When we did finally head out, close to an hour behind schedule, the rain had subsided. It actually subsided up until we parked the cars and were ready to start hiking. That’s when the sky opened up again. Our workshop leader and photographer, Ethan Meleg, quickly put plan B into action…we would hike to a wooded area where we could at least get some shelter from the rain. This provided another photographic opportunity.

There was this wonderful mist in the air and the the rain and dampness made the colors of the forest pop.

Click on an image to enlarge (it really dies look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Tobermory, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, mist, forest, trees, nature

Tobermory, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, mist, forest, trees, nature

Tobermory, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, mist, forest, trees, nature


Tobermory – Black & White or Colour?

I took this image last month while attending Ethan Meleg’s workshop in Tobermory. This is a single exposure shot with my 10 Stop ND filter. I processed it initially in colour (which I was pleased with) but thought it might work well in B&W. Now I can’t decide which one I like better. Or really the question should be “which one works better?”

Would love to hear your opinion.

Click on either image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

Tobermory, Ontario, Bruce Peninsula, Landscape, Georgian Bay

Tobermory, Ontario, Bruce Peninsula, Landscape, Georgian Bay, monochrome


Help…I Need A Title For This Image…

I hope all my fellow Canadian and U.S. friends are enjoying this long labour Day weekend.  I thought I’d have some fun today and ask for your help in naming this image or at least providing a caption for it.

I met my two fine feathered friends the day we were hiking at Otter Point in Acadia National Park. The one on the left was quite vocal.

Acadia National Park, Maine, Otter Point, seagulls


Weekly Photo Challenge – Purple

When I saw what this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge was, I knew I had the perfect image because I had just finished processing it. This image was taken in Bar Harbor, Maine at low tide. The sun was setting behind me in a brilliant orange ball of fire but when I turned around to view what was on the other side of the sand bar this was the scene before me, the sky had taken on a blue/purple glow.

This was a single RAW exposure. I tweaked levels slightly in Photoshop and cropped it to get rid of a little too much foreground.

Click to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

Bar Harbor, Maine, Sand Bar, low tide, sunset,


Stand Tall

Sorry about the post title…I was trying to come up something a little bit more unique and witty but unfortunately I was having one of those creative-title-creating-uninspired mental blocks.  Fortunately though I was feeling a little bit more inspired when I saw this lily as the sun was setting the other day. The top petals were a bit wilted but the base of the lily was standing straight up and the light from the setting sun was shining right through.

Click to enlarge or to purchase print.

Flower, lily


Purple Petals

There’s something about flower images that when merged with a texture provides an intricate and interesting tactile experience. I had a lovely selection of cut flowers in a vase at home and decided to put my new Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro lens to the test. I loved the contrast between the purple petals and the green buds (is that what they’re called?) in the centre of the flower. I composed the image to that the petals would be more prominent in the frame. While the image, right out of the camera, was lovely I felt that adding a texture provided more drama to the piece. Let me know what you think.

Click on the image to enlarge or to purchase a print.


Yeti

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Quick post today as it’s shaping up to be a very busy week. I realized that there were still some images from my Muskoka Wildlife Centre shoot that I hadn’t shared with you.  I’d like to introduce Yeti, a Canadian Lynx. These were taken with the Canon 70 – 200mm 2.8L lens that I rented for this shoot. I still marvel at this piece of glass.

Click the image to enlarge or to purchase a print.


“You Go In First” – Weekly Photo Challenge – Two Subjects

I don’t normally post on Thursdays but as I was processing my shots from this past weekends shoot at High Park, I couldn’t resist including this image in this weeks’ WordPress weekly photo challenge.

This image is pretty much straight out of the camera. I only adjusted levels slightly in Photoshop. When I was in New York last month I stopped into B&H Photo for a little visit and came away with a new Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro lens. I haven’t really had much time to play with it but really put it to the test this past weekend. This was the lens that I used for this image and I’m quite pleased with it.

Click on the image to enlarge or to purchase a print.


Sakura

Project 52 Entry #45

On Saturday afternoon my brother-in-law called to tell me that he had gone out early in the morning to shoot the Cherry Blossoms in High Park. To be honest I didn’t know we had Sakura trees (better known as Cherry Blossoms) in Toronto. Armed with this information I planned to get up early on Sunday and get down to High Park for sunrise to shoot these beautiful trees as they were in full bloom.

The weather in Toronto on Saturday was beautiful…sunny and warm, unfortunately Sunday was a different story altogether. I was up and out of the house at 5:15 determined to capture the Sakura in beautiful light as the sun rose. The sun never appeared. It went from dark to dark grey to lighter grey. Oh well at least I beat the crowds.

The Sakura trees were presented to Toronto by the Japanese Ambassador to Canada in 1959. They were a gift from the citizens of Tokyo to the citizens of Toronto in appreciation for Toronto accepting re-located Japanese-Canadians after the Second World War.  The Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom only one week after the first buds appear. “Due to their very short bloom time, Sakura blossoms are seen as a metaphor for life itself, luminous and beautiful, yet fleeting and ephemeral.”

Click on the image to see a larger more detailed version or to purchase a print.


Cougar Town….I Mean…Time

Back to the Muskoka Wildlife Centre today. As I mentioned in my original post in this series, the cougar enclosure was the only one we weren’t allowed to enter. We had to photograph Kokanee the Cougar through the chain link fence. Aside from the difficulty of shooting through the fence (which was casting shadows), I was also positioned on a slippery snow covered slope, sandwiched between the fence and a line of trees which made it difficult to move around and track Kokanee’s movements to get a better shot. Here are a couple of shots that made the cut for today’s post.

You can click on the image to enlarge.

Now I thought to myself wouldn’t it have been neat if it was snowing that day….”I wonder how this would have looked in the snow.”  Using Perfect Effects I added some snow to this winter scene.  What do you think???