So I called up my friend Nigel and asked him if he was interested in a road trip to Algonquin Park. Now, Algonquin is over 3 hours away from our homes and its usual for us to get ideas like this, We’ve gone up to Tobermory for the day (3.5 hours one way) for a day. We’ve gone for drives that take us out to Bon Echo only to find it closed (it’s about 3 hours away). We feel that it’s always worth a drive and plus there are lots of places to stop along the way so it’s never a wasted trip. And today was pretty epic because – Autumn.
I mean, look at these gorgeous colours. How can you not take the opportunity to drive up? We had a pit stop in Huntsville were we got the idea to drive a little further north to Screaming Heads. Not sure what I’m talking about? Well, Screaming Heads is an art installation that is absolutely spectacular to see in person. Or course, we should have done some checking on whether it was open before we drove 30 minutes out of our way. Because of Covid-19 the place was closed to the public. Luckily we had our long lenses and caught a few photos from the road.
This photo doesn’t do the installation justice. It is a tiny portion of a massive area filled with all sorts of statues. I am putting this back on my bucket list for next year. Form here we headed back down towards Algonquin Park, We stopped for some lunch and decided that rather than going into the park we would head over to Oxtongue River.
It was definitely the better choice considering our limited time. I photographed these 3 paper birch trees across the rushing river.
Oxtongue River 2
But when I saw this twisted tree I knew I had to figure out a way to get a shot of it. I tried all sorts of angles. I ended up going back to the car to get my wide angle lens just so I could get enough of this twisted tree in with the river and the autumn colours. This photo is definitely one of my favourites from the trip.
Want to learn more about Screaming Heads? Check out them out here.
For a change of pace, I went out with my friend Nigel for another night shoot. It’s been a little while since I enjoyed some night photography. We decided to head over to Luther Marsh – somewhere close by, but still a little ways out of the city.
There was a haze along the horizon. It looks like these hazy skies we were seeing could possibly be from the fires out west. As time went by the haze became worse and much more prominent in our photos.
Stars over Luther Lake
It got to the point where it was getting harder to see the stars.
Trail at Luther Lake
We decided it was time to pack up and head home. Hopefully, we will find another night to head out again soon. One preferably less hazy.
I’m back in Claireville again. This time it’s a quick walk by myself for some fresh air and hopefully something interesting to photograph. After trying to find some inspiration I came across some ice in the river that had loads of potential.
It took some time after photographing these to decide how to portray them.I thought monotone colour would be best to showcase the details of how the ice has formed on these rocks in the middle of the river. In the first photograph I choose a more traditional black and white photo.
After playing around with the second image I decided to not do the black and white but to choose a blue cast to give it a cooler feel. Would you have processed these differently?
After spending a couple of hours at the monastery (see the previous post) I had to move on as they were closing for the day. My next stop was to Belém Tower to catch the sunset. On my way over I noticed this little lighthouse that perfectly aligned with the sun.
Not much further from the lighthouse was the Tower (you can see it in the distance in the photo above). A couple of nights before they had quite the celebration here and the scaffolding was still up so I didn’t have a lot of great angles to play with as I took my photos of Belém Tower.
I was lucky enough to catch the sun off the side tower as it was setting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a vantage point that worked for what I had in my mind. After checking out all the angles I decided to move on and make my way over to the MAAT. The MAAT is the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology located on the other side of Belém close to the train station. Since the sun was going down I wanted to get some fun night shots of the museum and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge before heading back to the apartment.
Ponte 25 de Abril
As I walked the long road toward the MAAT I was greeted by this modern art piece lit up on dock just in front of the bridge. I”m not sure who the creator is or why it’s there but it’s definitely a conversation piece for those walking along the river.
Maat and Ponte 25 Abril
I waited patiently to get the photo above as there were quite a number of the people on the steps in front of me when I arrived. Surprisingly they all left quickly once the sun disappeared. I think they missed the most beautiful part of the day but it was a bonus for me. The MAAT is a uniquely shaped building, as you can see from the photo above, and what I loved most was the fact that you could walk a ramp up its roof to get some great views.
MAAT Roof and View
I had a great evening out here in Belém. I’m also a little sad as there is only one day left before I leave this beautiful city behind for home. But there are a couple more places I have to visit in central Lisbon not too far away from the apartment before that happens.
It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve gone out to photograph and today with the sky overcast I thought it would be a good time to head back to 50 Point Pier for some moody photos. I brought along my 10x ND filter to get my experiment on.
ND or neutral density filters are like sunglasses for your camera. The filter can be either screwed on to the front of your lens or it can slide in front of your lens with the help of a filter holder (sold separate from the filter, lens or camera). When placed on the lens it reduces the amount of light getting in to your camera’s sensor.
Pier without the ND filter. Shutter speed 1/6th of a second
There are different densities of filters. Some are only slightly tinted while others are more tinted. The different levels of tints allow you to shoot slower shutter speeds or open your aperture depending on what you are looking to accomplish with your photos.
Why would you want a longer shutter speed? When allowing your shutter to be open longer anything moving in your scene will essentially smooth out as shown in the photograph below.
50 point pier with 10x ND Filter. Shutter speed 87 seconds
You’ll notice in the photo above that the colours are very different from the photo at the very beginning of this post. ND filters are supposed to be a neutral grey colour, however, they usually tend to have a little colour in them. This colour becomes more prominent when shooting a long exposure. You will notice the one I use shifts the colour toward a more purple shade. This is because there is a little purple in the grey tone of my filter.
One way to get rid of this colour shift is to create beautiful black and white images. Of course, if you are shooting in RAW you will be able to adjust the colour in your post processing to create the look you want.
Photography is all about experimenting and having a little fun. Most people don’t usually have a 10x ND filter but have one of the more common ones like a 3x or 6x. You are the artist so you decide which one works best for you.
We decided to stay in Lion’s Head rather than in Tobermory this year, just for a change in pace. The decision ended up being a good one since our B&B was so close to a harbour with a picturesque view of sailboats in view of the morning sunrise. We knew we had to get up early to take advantage of this.
The sunrise did not disappoint and neither did the view.
After the sun rose over the marina we headed back to our B&B and dug in to a well deserved breakfast. With our bellies full we were ready to conquer a hike on the Bruce Trail.
It turned out to be a great day with clear sunny skies and a bit of breeze as we hiked along with shoreline of Georgian Bay. I made sure to get really low on the shot above to make the driftwood seem much larger than it really was. Changing your point of view can dramatically change your photo results. Give it a try next time you’re out.
As we were driving back to the B&B we noticed an area filled with Lakeside daisies, so you know we had to stop and get some photos. Again I decided to get very low for this shot. The daisies are very short at only a couple inches so shooting down on them would not have given me the photo I was looking for.
Back at the B&B we got in a short nap before dinner and then it was time to prepare for a late night shoot. My main goal for this trip was to focus on improving my skills in astrophotography. One of the things I wanted to try was a panoramic to capture the full Milky Way across Little Cove.
It looks to me as though I may have captured some northern lights. It was a beautiful Way to end a great day on the shores of Georgian Bay.