Winter Walk in Claireville

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.

Icicles

Icicles

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.

Icy Rocks

Icy Rocks

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?

The Melt

All that beautiful snow is gone again as temps go up. This means that well-travelled paths are now more on the icy side with muddy patches. It doesn’t make for the best hiking conditions.

Slip and Side

Slip and Side

But that didn’t stop me from heading over to Claireville for a quick hike and for some reason I decided to take the forest trail. This trail was a path of ice with a layer of water on top. Now, I do own a pair of Yaktrax which give some grip on the ice, which although helpful at times, didn’t always give me the traction I hoped for. I tended to choose the muddy terrain over the ice if it was possible. Otherwise it was a slow slip and slide type of situation down the path.

Trail only ice

Trail only ice

I arrived at the park later in the day and the light was amazing. The glow coming through the trees was a beautiful golden colour. I think I stopped way too many times and photographed similar shots as the one above. This always makes for problems in post processing as I can’t always decided which one to edit.

Safer ground

Safer ground

Some areas didn’t have much ice at all. Which was surprising as usually on forest trails the snow and ice are the last to melt.

Winter on Toronto Islands

Since doing some work on the islands over the winter I realized how beautiful the islands and the city are at this time of year. So my friend Nigel and I decided to take a trip to the Toronto Islands to explore and photograph the area.

Toronto Harbour

Toronto Harbour

The Toronto ice breaker ferry only travels to Ward’s Island, which is located on the eastern point of the islands. From here you can walk along the boardwalk on the south shore or the main road down the middle of the islands. We decided to walk the boardwalk to Centre Island and then take the main road back to catch the ferry.

Ward's Island path - Colour

Ward’s Island path – Colour

Instead of heading directly to the boardwalk we explored some of the homes and parks on Ward’s Island first. Near a beach we found this path surrounded by birches. I played around with a fog filter to get the effect you see in the photos.

Ward's Island path - B&W

Ward’s Island path – B&W

I can’t decide if I like colour version or the black and white version. Which do you prefer?

Skating on the harbour

Skating on the harbour

Heading back toward the ferry on the main road we came upon some ice skaters enjoying the sunny winter day. The inner harbours around the island are shallow and freeze quickly and they also make a nice ice rink with a spectacular view.

The Ice Broke

Another day out and about with my friend Nigel as we explore the Rockwood Conservation Area. This park is located along Hwy 7, west of the Georgetown area. Our mission today was to check out the park and find some caves that are somewhere on the property.

Rockwood Perch
Rockwood Perch

This is not the first time we’ve been here. Typically when we visit this park we’ve concentrated on the ruins of an old mill on the property but we won’t be visiting this section today. You can see those posts here and here. Today we explored the rest of the park to see what we’ve been missing out on during past visits.

Ice and Sun
Ice and Sun

Along our hike we found a small waterfall and some interesting tree stumps. No caves. Nigel had to be back home early and we still had some kilometres in front of us before we reached the caves. At this point we decided to call the hike and focus on photographing the southern section before heading to the car.

Whoops
Whoops

We noticed a couple of geese slipping and sliding along the frozen lake. One found a not so solid spot as the ice broke under him/her as it attempted to get closer to its mate. It didn’t seem too perturbed about it as it continued on its way looking for some nibbles. The life of geese.

And then we saw it….

…the lone cave.

The Cave
The Cave

Our last few minutes we scrambled to get some shots of the cave and then headed back to the car. Short days suck when you really want to explore. Soon Rockwood..we will be back to explore more of your caves.

Blue Ice

I received a text from a photographer friend of mine who had recently done a photo shoot up in Meaford. He told me that a rare phenomenon was happening in the harbour – Blue Ice. So you know I had to get my butt up there stat.

Grounded

I found this shipwreck in the parking lot of the lunch place. Okay, it’s not really a shipwreck – just a boat someone put there cause it looked cool. Anyhoo, after some grub, I headed to the waterfront.

Blue Ice Phenomenon

So here is what happens according to science: Blue ice is formed when there is a lack of bubbles inside the ice and the ice is dense and thick. It also absorbs blue wavelengths which means when the light is reflected from the ice it appears to be blue. Regular white ice has bubbles inside and absorbs all the colour wavelengths which give it an appearance of white or clear. Intersting, no?

Okay here’s an interesting side note: When scuba diving the last colour wavelength to disappear before total darkness descends upon you is blue. Red is the first to go.

Moving on:

The light was a little harsh for photos and every time the sun hid behind some clouds all the blue went away and things looked dreary. I did meet some nice people out on the beach photographing the ice but eventually the cold and lack of ideas on how to shoot this called me back to the car. I mean really? All this great ice and nothing was inspiring for me? I really wanted this to work but I got nada.

Ye Ole Door

So instead I give you Ye Ole Door instead. Talk about inspiration dying a slow death. Argh – some days just suck.