Hanging with the Stars

The Perseid Meteor shower is happening right now. It happens every year around this time and this year I headed out with a friend to photograph it and the Milky Way from a dark sky preserve.

Milky Way

Milky Way

The dark sky preserve we visited was Torrance Barrens, which is located northwest of Gravenhurst. About a 2.5 hour drive from home.

Otherwordly

Otherwordly

It was wonderful to be able to see so many stars. I love coming north to the darker skies.

Persids Meteor Shower

Persids Meteor Shower

Meteor showers are always so spectacular to watch. How can you not get excited by streaks of light across the sky?

Milky Way Rising

Milky Way Rising

My favourite part about stargazing or astrophotography is the Milky Way. It’s amazing to me that we are a part of this bunch of stars and that it is only a fraction of it that we can see.

Cold Nights in Killbear

It’s been a week since the heat wave and the camping trip to Tobermory, Ontario and this time I’m camping with my friend Nigel in Killbear Provincial Park. The weather this time around is not as friendly as last week. Temps are back to the regular cool temps of late September here in the middle of Ontario.

White Tailed Deer

White Tailed Deer

When we arrived it was raining so we timed getting our tent up in-between spurts of rain. Once the tent was up we decided to drive around the park and see which trails we would do the next day. On our way through the campground we found some deer grazing in the grasses.

Since the light rain wasn’t looking like it would let up we decided that instead of making dinner in the rain we would head to town and get warmed up at a local place.

It was a chilly night’s sleep and I was glad to be up and around the next day. The rain had cleared and we had beautiful blue skies great us for our morning hike and some infrared shooting.

Lone Pine Killbear PP

Lone Pine Killbear PP

And of course you can’t miss photographing the small things:

From Darkness

From Darkness

Our last evening was going to be another cold one but we had some plans to hang by the fire before heading out to the photograph the windswept tree at night. 

Killbear Tree at Night

Killbear Tree at Night

As we photographed different angles of the tree we started to notice something happening on the water. A beautiful mist started rising up and moving along the top of the water. Added to that the moon’s glow made it seem eerie as you watched this mist move this way and that. 

Enveloping Mist

Enveloping Mist

I could have watched it all night but we had to get some sleep as we were heading home the next day. How quickly the weekends end when there is so much to photograph.

 

A Partial Solar Eclipse

It was a last minute idea but I knew I had to get out to see the partial solar eclipse today. One photo is all I really wanted but once I got over to my chosen spot I felt I had to get a sequence of shots that I could stitch together. And it worked out!!

Solar Eclipse at St Elias

Solar Eclipse at St Elias

I specifically choose St. Elias church because of its beautiful design. I also knew that no one would be around so I wouldn’t have had to contend with crowds. 

For the photo above I took six different photographs and then in post production I added each phase of the sun into one photo to create the look you see here. Turned out pretty good considering the last minute planning.

Family Camping Weekend – Awenda PP

It’s that time of year again – Family & Friends Camping Weekend. Our annual trek to a nearby provincial park to catch up with family and friends as we get silly, take photos, hit the beach, play games and pig out by the nightly fire. This year we are back at Awenda Provincial Park, a scant 1.5 hours from the city. We’ve been here quite a few times and always seem to get at least one of our regular campsites. 

Path to the Swimming Hole

Path to the Swimming Hole

The only quibble we have about this park is how far the beaches are from the campsites in general. Although its not that uncommon to have them away from the campsites this one is quite the trek. Only a couple of us actually hike the path down to the beach but most drive so they can bring food and drinks (and also drive those of us back who walked). The hike to the beach is about 2 kilometres plus a staircase down from the escarpment that the campsites are on.

Water Lily

Water Lily

This year I think I walked that trail three times not too mention walking back one time up the long staircase and back to the campsite. My good friend Deanna  and I got away for a couple of hours to do some night photography on the main beach (we drove this time, you know, because of the gear). 

Stars over Georgian Bay

Stars over Georgian Bay

It was beautiful night and the moon was out lighting most of our way.  

On the Sunday night I suggested that we do a group photo before people started disbanding for another year. 

Family & Friends

Family & Friends

A couple individuals are missing from the shot but I hope we can get a shot of everyone the next time we meet up. 

Journey to Tobermory

Today starts the annual Orchid Festival in Tobermory, Ontario. A few friends and I love coming up for the weekend and to me it signifies the start of the summer season up north. As per the norm for us we take the weavy, wobbly way up to see what the backroads have to offer us. One of the first places we stopped at was Jones Falls. A side trail of the Bruce Trail that runs along the river upstream from Jones Falls. One can get some great views from above but its just not the same as getting down to the base to shoot from below.

Jones From Above

Jones From Above

We scouted around and eventually found a safe way to get down. Once down we picked our way upriver to the base of the falls. It is pretty spectacular once we got up to it. Below is my favourite view of the falls.

Jones Falls From Below

Jones Falls From Below

There were a few more stops along the way before we settled in at the hotel and after grabbing some dinner we raced down to the shore to catch the last light of the day. We were a little late to the party so we decided with the mostly clear skies we would head over to Dave’s Bay to catch some stars.

Starry Night on Dave's Bay

Starry Night on Dave’s Bay

It was a great evening on the beach and surprisingly not as cold as I thought it would be. Nights can be chilly here in the spring so we were happy be able to stick around as the last light of the day vanished.

Mysterious Ship

Roy Ramsay of Outdoor Photography Canada and I planned a late evening of astrophotography tonight but we were to be thwarted by the weather. It was clear skies at my place but as I headed into Brampton to pick up Roy a light fog seemed to have settled in. In the car we discussed whether this fog would roll out or if we could find a spot that wasn’t affected by it. We were headed towards the Niagara region and it looked as though the fog was not going to let go. Rather it just got thicker and thicker as we headed south. Deciding that this would be a bust for star photography we decided that we would work with the fog instead.

Off the highway down by Jordan, Ontario there is a ship that is scuttled very close to shore so we thought that would be a fun place to stop and get some shots. Here is the full view of ship surrounded by thick fog in the background. The orange/brown glow is from the city lights and the breaker wall.

Jordan Harbour Ship 2

Jordan Harbour Ship 2

We tried out many different angles, along with playing with some light painting techniques. Below is a close up and processed in black and white.

Jordan Harbour Ship

Jordan Harbour Ship

We had a great time playing with the challenges of the fog. Hopefully next time we’ll get out and see the stars.