Nigel and I headed northeast of the city today to explore a little waterfall called Fourth Chute. We had many stops along the way but I wanted to share a couple of the photos of the waterfall itself.
Fourth Side view
When we arrived here Nigel and I realized that lighting would be a challenge with only part of Fourth Chute lit by the sun. When shooting waterfalls its best to get them under overcast conditions or even in shade. The bright sun can cause highlights to be excessively bright and can ultimately give you a disappointing result. I shot this intending to capture a few different exposures to create the HDR image above. Not the best photo but we were limited in time and since we only had a few more hours left before we had to head out it was time to think of other ways to shoot this.
Fourth Chute detail
Looking for detail shots of the falls already in shadow is one way to recover from a disappointing shoot. The detail shot above is one of my favourite captures of the day. After shooting as much as we could here we had to pack up and head home. We did decide to stop quickly at Presqu’ile Provincial Park to see the sunset.
The park was completely empty except for the two of us as we got to work quickly photographing the sun before it disappeared.
Waves of Presqu’ile
It was very windy and cold on beach and I was just back from the opening in the tall reeds trying to escape most of it – no luck on that by the way 😉 After capturing a few shots we hustled it back to the car and home.
After a great morning hitting some photo spots our afternoon was just as full with our next stop being Spirit Rock. The historical “Corran” was the home of Alexander McNeill, a Federal member of Parliament from 1881-1901. The Corran was once a lavish 17 room mansion and now stands an empty shell of its former self.
The Corran at Spirit Rock Conservation Area
As we further explored the area we found the ruins of an old barn.
Nigel at the Barn Ruins
Nigel decided to pose for one of my shots.
Our last stop before heading for the hotel was St. Margaret’s Chapel named after Margaret, the Queen of Scotland in the 11th century.
St Margarets Chapel
The interior is just as beautiful as the outside but I’ll let you experience that one yourself.
Today another adventure with Nigel was scheduled. First stop was not originally planned but then I remembered that Sheave tower was pretty close to where we were heading so we made an unplanned stop before continuing on.
Sheave tower is considered one of the oldest hyrdo generating plants in Ontario. Restored in 1999 to its original colour it no longer has any working parts but stands tall in its forested surroundings begging passerbys, who catch a glance of the oxblood red colour, to stop and stay awhile. Across the road sits the Blair Mill which Sheave helped supply extra power to in its hay day.
Nigel and I continued on from here to our original destination – a marsh located off a road I can’t even remember the name of. Sandhill cranes could be seen in the distance but unfortunately even my long lens could not get a worthwhile shot. With Canada Geese and Red-winged Blackbirds in abundance they all seemed to be out of the reach of my lens.
I did get a shot of a female Red-winged Blackbird but I’m feeling that I need to revisit this spot again in the future. Of course, I’ll have to ask Nigel where the heck we were before that happens.
Female Red-winged Blackbird
Our final spot for the day was Luther Marsh.
Ice is still on the lakes and ponds here and the reflections in some of the open areas caught my attention.
Just outside the park the melting snow has left behind puddles creating a shallow marsh area where many birds seem to like hanging out. Two pairs of sandhill cranes wander this area. I’ve decided that if I continue pursuing these birds I need a much longer lens. Until that day they will live in my photographs as small brown birds in a see of brown grass. Luckily more days and chances await in the future.
Two mornings and two evenings per year the stars align along Toronto’s east – west street grid. This year I joined a meet up group as they attempted to capture this on camera. Location is important as buildings can get in the way and you may have to shoot in the middle of the street to capture it. It also helps to find a more scenic street or even elements that enhance like a streetcar for example.
We choose to situate ourselves on Wellington Street. Not a lot of traffic so we could shoot periodically in the street without being run over. It was a lot of fun albeit chilly. We did sprint up to Queen street to catch a different viewpoint but the street was busier and I didn’t come away with anything worthwhile.
The other great thing about being in the city is there is a lot of interesting architecture to photograph. The one I’ve been meaning to shoot for quite awhile is the flatiron building that sits between Front Street and Wellington Street.
It’s such a beautiful and photogenic piece of architecture you have to stop and appreciate especially when the sun starts to go down.
Finally!! A day out of the house! With my friends Nigel and Dave I headed north to play in freshly fallen snow. With Nigel about half an hour behind us, Dave and I decided to check out an abandoned house close to the Traverston Mill – our destination for the day.
This pale yellow house stood silently amidst the snow. It was different from ones I’d recently come across. I really loved this one as you could see right to the trees in the back through what was once the front door. After some minutes here we jumped back into the car to meet Nigel at the Traverston Mill.
The mill stands along the Saugeen River and was built in 1856 as a saw and gristmill. Running until 1955 it was eventually sold and turned into a private residence. Standing three stories tall above the river it is one of the nicest I’ve seen to date. Too soon I had to head out to another kind of photo shoot, so I left Nigel and Dave to have some more picture-taking fun without me.
My friend Dave and I headed over to Smokey Hollow Falls this morning. Having been here numerous times before I wanted to work on more detail shots of the river rather than focusing on the waterfall itself. That said of course I had to get at least one shot of the waterfall.
Smokey Hollow Falls
With a great flow and all the rocks along the river the twists and turns of the water made it easy to find unique shots. On the photo below I used selective colour to allow the leaf to stand out from the rocks and water.
With many leaves to be found in the river I decided to focus on three yellow ones that had gotten stuck on some rocks in the middle of the flow.
Leaves of Three
We didn’t get too much time here as I had to head home early but we did a little more exploring in the hopes of finding a smaller waterfall that we were told existed further downstream. We found the spot but there was no water flowing so we will have to come back in spring once the melt occurred. We hiked back tot the car along the train tracks to make our trek back a little easier.