Monthly Archives: May 2015

“Spring Catkins”

“Spring Catkins”

Today’s post is just a little abstraction of a photo I made last week.

With the ever warming days, many of the willows have put out ‘catkins’. This is the flower of the willow tree. Many would recognize ‘Pussy Willows’. These are the same but not as densely packed as the Pussy Willow variety and have already matured into full flower. They are still beautiful to look at. These are the catkins of the Sand willow. The photo was made along the banks of Duffins Creek, near Whitevale, Ontario.

I wanted to do a bit of a special effect on this since it did not ‘grab’ me when I first looked at the image. This is not my usual style but a bit of a learning exercise. Have had several comments that it would make a nice wall hanging.


Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 185 mm
1/100 sec;   f/5.0;   ISO 250


“Cherry Blossoms” – Cherry Street, Toronto Portlands

“Cherry Blossoms” - Cherry Street, Toronto Portlands

It’s spring in Toronto and cherry blossom season. While multitudes of people went to High Park for the annual display, I happened upon a small cluster of trees in the Toronto port lands, on Cherry Street, of all places.

I had originally set out to photograph some industrial scenes and was disappointed by the lack of parking and very limited access to the docks, where I was hoping to make some images of ships and heavy equipment. But, I was pleasantly surprised to find this grove of trees in full blossoms and I didn’t have to fight my way though crowds to get to them. Overall, I’d call it a successful day.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 155 mm
1/320 sec @ f/9.0, ISO 250

“Marble Lake Spring Time” – Marble Lake, Bancroft

“Marble Lake Spring Time” - Marble Lake, Bancroft

Today, a change-up from the recent posts of flower heads. Last week I spent a few days in the Bancroft area, visiting my art friends and opening up our trailer for the season. It was a gorgeous, warm spring weekend. The air was fresh and clear with a very light breeze, all weekend long. Betty and I decided to head down to the waterfront on Marble Lake to see how my sister’s trailer fared through the winter. We were greeted by the scene above. The lake was almost mirror-like, producing stunning reflections of the clouds and shore-line. It was around 5;20 and the sun was just starting to soften. Creating the right combination of conditions to produce this stunning scene.

I had intended to make a few photos of the lake and shoreline but only had my zoom lens with me. Fortunately, I had my iPhone with me to make this image and am pleased with how well this image conveyed just what I saw. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

My friends on Facebook will already have seen the image, but not the story behind it. If you like this image, please check out my Facebook page for more:

iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2
1/800 sec @ f/2.2, ISO 32

“Bathed in Gold” – Stouffville

“Bathed in Gold” - Stouffville

Similar to yesterday’s post, this photo was also made at Wendat Pond in the “Golden Hour”. This image took a bit more effort to set up, as I was deliberately trying to get the golden glow of the trees on the far shore as a backdrop and I was not very happy with my first few attempts. The bright glow I saw with my eyes was not being captured by the camera. So, a few more attempts later and this is the result. My goal is to represent not just what I see, but how I see it, through my photography.

It almost looks  like a fall image, but it is really mid-spring and the air is warming nicely and the tree in the background is a poplar, just coming into new leaf. The pale green leaves are catching the sun just right to reflect just the yellow tones and warming up the background.

Nikon D3000
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 95 mm
1/800 sec @ f/4.5, -0.33, ISO 250

“What Remains” – Stouffville

“What Remains” - Stouffville

One of the things I also enjoy about spring is the fact that some plants seem to weather the winter quite well. Despite heavy snow and ice, these flowers heads have managed to make it through the winter intact.

I often walk around Wendat Pond in Stouffville because the early evening light is so nice and offers some great composition opportunities. Yesterday was no exception. The sun was just starting to set and lit up the far shore of the pond in a mix of browns and golds, with splashes of green. Using a wide aperture softens these background tones nicely and makes a beautiful backdrop for photographing the plants on the near side of the pond.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec @ f/5.3, -0.33, ISO 125

“Orange Dragonfly” – Stouffville Reservoir

“Orange Dragonfly” - Stouffville Reservoir

You know it’s going to be an awesome summer when full-grown dragonflies are out and about in May to eat those pesky mosquitoes and blackflies.

This year’s super warm May (so far) certainly has changed or accelerated some of the usual patterns around here, As I walk around, I see fresh leaves emerging from trees and shrub, birds in their nests, and a wonderful growth of wildflowers. I’ve seen a few dragonflies in the past day and realized it’s quite early to see this many.

Well, here’s hoping this is a good sign.

I have not seen an orange one like this around. Most are blue or black, so I’ll have to look this species up. That aside, I was very pleased at how the orange background just enhances this photo.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm
1/125 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 250

“Snapping Turtle” – Stouffville Reservoir

“Ancient Eyes” - Snapping Turtle at Stouffville Reservoir“Snapping Turtle” - Stouffville Reservoir

You never know what you might come across when you enter a natural setting. Today I took a lunchtime stroll to one of my regular haunts, the Stouffville Reservoir. Near the start of the trail there is a swampy area, where a small brook runs across the trail. This time of year it is particularly mucky and tricky to navigate.

Generally, the water flows through at barely a meander and you might see some water-striders or the occasional frog. As I was jumping from log to log, crossing the muddy path, I looked up to see this magnificent creature. A snapping turtle about two feet long, lying in a small pool, sunning itself. The tiny water hole seemed barely large enough to sustain a creature of this size, and I can’t believe this would be its full-time habitat, but I sure was nice to see. The turtle did not seem to be bothered with me and I had the opportunity to make several photos before it slowly buried itself in the mud, leaving not a trace that it had ever been the. It was an amazing thing to watch.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 86 mm
1/100 sec @ f/5.0, ISO 250