Writing with Light

Posts tagged “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.

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


Heart’s Afire

If you look really carefully the rock formations become recognizable shapes and depending on how the light filters through the beauty reveals itself.

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


The Sands of Time

The sands of time cannot be stopped years pass whether we will them or not, but we can remember…….what has been lost may yet live on in memories, that which you will hear is imperfect and fragmented yet treasure it for without you it does not exist.

Christopher Paolini

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Antelope Canyon, Arizona, Page, Navajo, slot canyon, sand, long exposure, travel, nature


Twister

Antelope Canyon is one of those places that keeps calling to me whenever I would see pictures of it but being inside the canyon and seeing it with my own eyes is an experience all onto itself. The colours, the light…the crowds 😦

I am grateful that I took a photo tour. Without a guide holding back the crowds it would be impossible to get a decent shot. As it was we had approximately 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to set up and shoot each shot. I’m glad that we had started with Rattlesnake Canyon first as it gave me an opportunity to try different settings in a less crowded canyon and at a more relaxed pace.

In the end it was worth it. Here’s the first image I come away with. More to follow.

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


Rattlesnake Canyon

I just returned from a trip to Arizona and can now happily cross off one of my photographic bucket list items…slot canyons. I’ve been wanting to photograph Antelope Canyon from the time I first saw Peter Lik’s famous image. I know it’s been photographed by everyone but none the less its something I’ve always wanted to do.

The slot canyons are on Navajo land so the only way to access them is with a Navajo guide but even so if you want help with crowd control and be able to set up a tripod then your best bet is to book a photo tour which is what I did before leaving home. I’ll give you more information on the tour company I used and the tour I booked in a subsequent post.

I did two canyons that day with the first being Rattlesnake Canyon. This was a great canyon to start with as there were no crowds and a great way to start shooting and testing different settings and exposures.

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


Rosh Hanikra

Rosh Hanikra, meaning “head of the grottos” is located on the mediterranean coast of Israel in the Western Galilee. The  caverns have been carved out for centuries by the pounding of the mediterranean.

Rosh Hanikra is the meeting point of the Israeli – Lebanese border. It’s fascinating to walk through the tunnels excavated by the British army engineering units in the early 1940’s for the Haifa – Beirut railway. The plan was to build a railway all the way to Turkey as a gateway to Europe.

My husband, son and I took a day trip to Rosh Hanikra and the city of Akko that day and they were surprised when I threw my tripod into the trunk of our car. It’s a good thing I brought it along as all these images were long exposures.

Click on the images to see a high resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

 

Israel, Rosh Hanikra, grotto, blue, water, long exposure, travel photography, nature

Israel, Rosh Hanikra, grotto, blue, water, long exposure, travel photography, nature

Israel, Rosh Hanikra, grotto, path, tunnel, long exposure, travel photography, nature

 


Lakeview Glow

There is nothing more relaxing then sitting on a dock in a The Muskoka Chair (aka The Adirondack chair…or vice versa), with a cup of coffee and a good book staring out at the lake.

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Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, Ontario, Muskoka Chairs, dock, sunset, nature


The Sugar Bush Shop

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a one day seminar on Creative Landscape Photography with renowned Canadian photographers, Darwin Wiggett and Samantha Chrysanthou. The full day seminar covered topics such as the Language of Light, Harnessing the Power of Tones and Working Advanced Compositional Patterns in Landscape. It was a full day of learning followed on Sunday morning by a 1/2 day workshop in the field.

Darwin & Samantha (you can find them at www.oopoomoo.com) put us through our paces on Sunday and had different “assignments” for the attendees but the first thing they made us all do was to change the picture style of our cameras to Monochrome….Yikes. Honestly I’ve never, ever set my camera up that way. The challenge was to look for compositional elements, patterns and most importantly tones and not to be distracted by colour. This was a fun and challenging way to shoot. Here’s an image of the Sugar Bush Shop (I call it the Sugar Shack. My husband and I took our boys their when they were young during sugaring off season.)

Toronto, Kortright Center, conservation center, nature, black and white photography


Sunflower Sunshine

I love sunflowers. In full bloom they exude happiness and light and much like a photographer they follow that light. I came across this beauty in a sunflower field in the hills of Tuscany.

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Sunflower, nature, flower, flower photography, yellow


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 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


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.

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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!

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


Nepenthe Blue Jay

While in Big Sur we stopped at Nepenthe for lunch. The view is beautiful…or so I understand it to be. Because of the fog we had the day we were there we only got to see glimpses of it. Nepenthe Restaurant, which sits high above the Pacific Ocean in the Santa Lucia mountains, is a popular spot. It was quite busy when we got there so instead of a table we opted for the first thing that was available which was seats on the terrace overlooking the Pacific. When out food came so did the Blue Jays. Do you know what this one is doing? Looking intently at my french fries…waiting for me to turn away so that he could steal one. Actually they don’t wait. They’re quite bold and one swooped in on my neighbours french fries and helped himself.

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Blue Jay, Nepanthe, Big Sur, California, bird, tree, nature, feathers


The Big Yawn

Along the 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach there’s a lookout called the Fanshell Lookout. The rocky shore and the beautiful sandy beach attracts harbor seals all year round. The ocean can be a pretty rough place. Sometimes you just need to find a spot to kick back and take a break from all that swimming.

Folks I just found out that David duChemin’s ebook Ten” – Ten Ways To Improve Your Craft Without Buying Gear is now free. Check it out!

Click on the link to enlarge (it really does look better in full resolution and you can see my little friend’s face better) or to Purchase a Print.

Seal, California Seal, Fanshell Overlook, 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, Pacific Coast Highway, rocky shore, travel photography, nature, mammal


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.

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


Yellow Rose of Friendship

The yellow rose signifies friendship and caring so I thought it appropriate to share this image with you today and wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Black Friday Special – All prints & products in my gallery are 20% Off. Use discount code Thanks2012

yellow, rose, flower, macro photography, texture

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Which Gerber? Another Close Up View

This is another image that I shot at my Close-Up Photography workshop last weekend. After processing the RAW file in colour I felt that this image would be a good candidate to make into a fine art B&W image. When I posted the first image I took at the workshop (which you can see here) I was asked by some of you which lens  I used and my settings.

Everything was shot with natural light and the use of reflectors.

This image was shot at f/2.8, 1/8s ISO 100

After I processed the RAW file in colour I felt that this image would make a good candidate for a fine art black and white conversion. So know I ask for your opinion, which do you prefer 1) Color 2) Antique B&W (created with OnOne Perfect Effects) or 3) B&W created with Topaz B&W Effects Don’t forget you can save 15% on all Topaz products by using the discount code “ELPhoto” at checkout.

Click on the images to enlarge (they really look better) or to Purchase a Print.

macro, flower, gerber

macro, flower, gerber, black and white, antique

Created with OnOne Perfect Effects

macro, flower, gerber, black and white

Created with Topaz B&W Effects


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.

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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


Weekly Photo Challenge – Silhouette

I took this a couple of years ago while in Israel.While doing a jeep tour in the desert around Eilat we stopped at sunset to build a fire in order to brew some tea and make some pita bread. This fella showed up, probably hoping we’d leave something behind. We had a bit of a stare down before he scampered off the other side of this ridge.

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Eilat, desert, ram, sunset, mountain top, Israel, travel photography, silhouette