Our annual trip to Algonquin was changed a bit this year. With no organizer for the trip this year I changed the itinerary to a new venue and smaller group. Nigel, Paul and myself booked a cabin in Bobcaygeon for two nights.
Autumn at the Marsh
This morning we pack up and made our way to the cabin with the occasional pit stop as we explored the Algonquin highlands and surrounding areas. Our first day there we decided to drive up to the east gate of Algonquin Provincial Park and hike up to the lookout to catch the sunset.
It turned out that sunset was a bust and the valley below was more green than in previous years. So we had a little fun with some self portraits as we waited and hoped for something more spectacular to happen.
I decided that macro was my only option to capture some of the glory of autumn at this lookout. As the sun slowly sank from the cloudless sky it was time to grab some local eats before settling in for the evening.
Prince Edward County is a headland found just south of Belleville on the waters of Lake Ontario. Within this small headland lies three provincial parks: Lake on the Mountain, Sandbanks and North Beach. I decided to take a drive around the edge of the headland ensuring that I would be able to get to all three parks. My first stop was Lake on the Mountain located on the east side.
View from Lake on the Mountain
Unfortunately I did not like any of the photos of the lake itself but the view back down to Lake Ontario was beautiful. On the southeastern tip of the headland in Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area was a lighthouse I wanted to take a peek at. Here I found many photographic opportunities and I may have spent a little more time here than anticipated.
A Place to Rest
The next stop was Sandbanks Provincial Park where beautiful white sand dunes are predominant. It is one to the most popular provincial parks in this area and one can see why when they step out onto the dunes.
Dunes at Sandbanks PP’
Even in late September there are more people than expected lounging on the shores the dunes, soaking up the last of the summer sun. The final stop of the day was North Beach Provincial Park, found just north of Sandbanks, it is a day use park whose long, narrow beach faces the west. A perfect spot to watch the setting sun before heading home.
Three Against One
These three large rocks became my photo models for a lovely pale orange backdrop the setting sun left behind. Prince Edward County is a lovely place to visit no matter which park you go to and since it’s a short 2 hour drive from Toronto its a great day trip but I recommend through a weekend.
In my previous post I mentioned that I went to watch (and of course photograph) the sunrise at Halfway Log Dump. Getting up about 45 minutes before the sun was to appear on the horizon I drove to the trail head located in the park not too far from my campsite. After parking I still needed to walk about one kilometre to the water. I can tell you it was a creepy walk through the forest where thoughts of bears kept going through my head. Silly I know but it felt like forever before I finally got to the shoreline.
I found I was not alone this early morning as a workshop was in progress so some of the shots I had hoped to get were going to full of other photographers. I had to change my game plan so I decided to work on some long exposure photography as there was a nice wind that would streak the clouds in the sky.
In the above shot a gull decided to walk around the front of the camera and I hoped it would blur out completely during the long exposure. As you can see it stopped a couple times to make sure it would show up in the shot. Little bugger…lol
Dragging my butt out of bed at some ungodly hour was not my idea of fun on a Friday morning. One of the problems of being a landscape photographer is that those ungodly hours are part of the job. And the fact that they are always worth it help me get out of bed at 4:30am today. My friend is a huge waterfall fanatic and has photographed most of the falls that lie in the golden horseshoe except for the one – Niagara Falls. So here we are heading down to the falls to capture what we hoped to be a spectacular sunrise. But sometimes mother nature has her own ideas. As we drive into the town the clouds and pre-dawn light looked very promising. All my pre-dawn shots were absolutely fabulous in colour.
As the sun came up there was no chance of anything really spectacular happening. A little light peeked through some clouds for all of 5 seconds to give us some God rays and then it was gone.
Niagara Falls from Above
Soon after this everything just started going grey. So we packed up and headed to our second destination of the day, Balls Conservation Area. At this conservation area two waterfalls can be found with about a 15 minute walk of each other. They have also set up a pioneer farm to give people an idea how they lived. We had to keep reminding ourselves that today was Friday and that’s why all the buildings were locked. So no fun interior shots of these. We first headed up to Upper Balls Falls which was a windy uphill hike and made me think I should have brought less gear. Once at the upper falls we scrambled out onto the ledge and started shooting.
Upper Balls Falls
Once we had shot this one to death – I have way too many shots of this, we headed downhill towards the lower falls. Lower Balls Falls is a very easy to get to as the conservation area has made a viewing platform. The only problem is the angle for photography is awful so my friend and I decided to find a way to the bottom of the gorge to get a better shot. After making our way down the Bruce Trail path and onto a side trail we soon found ourselves at the bottom and downriver from our goal. Picking our way along the edge of the river we turned and there was the waterfall plunging into the river. Quickly we set ourselves up and took some shots.
Lower Balls Falls
After spending some time here we made our way back up the valley and homeward. An early day but one filled with some wonderful photographs.