Monthly Archives: December 2016



“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.”
― Mary Oliver

This will be my final post for 2016. My year ends much as it began, on the local trails, camera in hand. Today, I hiked about 6 km on snow packed trails, not meeting another hiker. The trek began bright but hazy and mild and ended two hours later, somewhat cooler with a fairly consistent snowfall, which inspired this final post.

It’s good to have some tools at your disposal. In this case, the ‘concept’ of an image capturing a December snow squall in the pine wood lot behind my house did not quite render my vision as a photo.

That’s where the ‘tools’ come in and running the image through the Topaz Impression plug-in yielded the desired results. It brought out the warm colours of the trees that I saw initially and enhances the nice blur of the heavy snow, a slightly washed-out effect, which is what I was after.

This has become a go-to for me if a photo does not convey the ‘feel’ I was after. My ‘impression’ of the scene. So, since I’m not a painter, I can be a photo-impressionist, and I like that. Wishing you a Happy 2017.

Till then,


“Maple, with a Twist”

“Maple, with a Twist”

“And just because you turn out differently than everyone’s imagined you would doesn’t mean that you’ve failed in some way. A person who goes to med school because his entire family is full of doctors might find out that what he really wants to be is an artist instead.”
― Jodi Picoult

Here’s another image from yesterday’s hike. I’m always impressed at how some plants hang on to their leaves when neighbouring plants, of the same species, have dropped theirs. They are somehow  marvelously different, unexpected. Despite rains, heavy winds, and snowfall, this small maple hung onto a singular leaf. It almost appears as if the snow is trying to push the leaf off. yet it endures, at least long enough to fall into my sight. On even the dullest day, I come across these ‘exceptions’ and they brighten my day, because they are unexpected.

The twisty vine in this image is from an invasive species called Dog Strangling Vine, which grows in abundance here and is, despite being invasive, a delicate and interesting plant to photograph. I wrote about it earlier this year.

The combination of the leaf and the vine lead to the image title, yet another image of orange and white, much like yesterday’s post and a few prior to that. At some point, even the bright orange will fade into memory, the way yellow did a month ago.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)



“What if you were wrong? What if everything you ever believed was a lie? What if you missed your opportunity because you didn’t know your worth? What if you settled on familiar, but God was trying to give you something better? What if you decided not to go backwards, but forward? What if doing what you have never done before was the answer to everything that didn’t make sense? What if the answer wasn’t to be found in words, but in action? What if you found the courage to do what you really wanted to do and doing it changed your whole life?”
― Shannon L. Alder

What will the New Year bring? I look at it a lot like this image and associated quote, there is a trail, a general direction, though the exact steps I will take are imprecise, at this point. I have liberty to deviate from the path of others and create my own path. That option has often lead me to new and interesting places. What’s over the horizon? I have a good idea, having travelled the path before, but it’s never the same twice, there is always something new, if I have the vision and intent to see it. Will I have to backtrack at some point? I don’t know right now. The one thing I do know is that this is my path and nobody else’s and I have to choose my steps.

At the end of this year I will have achieved a significant goal: that of publishing a photo and accompanying text every single day. I will have published over 450 photos, viewed by over twenty-one thousand people around the world. I realized that the world is active 24/7 and that there are more people with common interests than I could have imagined. Friendships have formed as conversations grow. The post a day goal has not always been easy but has forced me to go beyond my comfort zone. It has not just been the photos but the act of writing something significant about the images.

The exercise has also allowed me to look back on the year, day by day and see precisely what inspired a change in style, subject matter, and composition. It’s been very enjoyable and encouraging. I have to thank the many of you who engage with me on a regular basis as we share our images, words, and thoughts. There were tough times when I felt discouraged, that I was producing material that was of no significance and I’ve found, in this community of bloggers, there is no such thing as insignificance, even the most mundane image can bring encouragement and inspiration to someone else.

That said, I will continue into the New Year with the momentum I have gained, continue to try to produce quality images and text, to deviate from the path, on occasion, and travel into untrodden territory and see what awaits me.

A very Happy New Year to everyone. May 2017 bring growth, creativity, and fulfilment to all of you.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 75 mm
1/40 sec, f/3.2, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)

“Orange and White”

“Orange and White”

Time spent alone, not lonely;
Untrodden trails, my footsteps, singular;
Unspoiled, for my eyes alone;
Newness, freshness;
Never seen before, yet fleeting;

Nature surrounds me, and astounds me;
I am renewed.
– Ed Lehming

A surprising splash of colour in a predominantly white landscape.

I finally had the opportunity to get back on the trails today. We had a few days of unsettled weather, including some freezing rain, a particularly unwelcome visitor for hikers. The recent storm system had produced rain and freezing rain, which essentially turned the trails into a treacherous ice-covered skating rink. Last night another small system rolled through producing wet snow, which nicely covered the ice and provided a wonderful base of sticky snow, proving much-needed traction.

The wet snow also created yet another winter wonderland filled with pine trees covered in thick layers of white icing. The new fallen snow also brightened up the forest and reflecting wonderful soft light throughout the forest.

Among all this brightness, a small maple tree, which had refused to shed its leaves, stood out against the white and green background. I suppose the maple is trying to compete with neighbouring beeches for leaf retention. It was a most welcome splash of colour as the year winds down and we approach 2017.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)

Thursday Doors – December 29, 2016

“Alternate Entrance”

This week’s submission to Norm 2.0‘s Thursday Doors.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world.

A simple final submission for 2016, made today as I enjoyed the outdoors and much freshly fallen snow on the trail system near my home. This door is the side entrance to an old barn that sits near the trailhead at Secord Forest. The property was at one time an active farm but has been absorbed into the conservation area.

I’ve walked past this door many times, surprised that it has not been more significantly vandalized.

Happy New Year Door lovers, see you in 2017!

“December Trails”

“December Trails” - Durham Forest

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
― Edith Sitwell

This image, made on the same day as yesterday’s post, this view of the beech lined trails of one of the East Duffins Headwaters trail system, near Uxbridge, Ontario, is a testament to the beauty that can still be experienced in the winter months. Cross country skiers, hikers, and dog walkers have all enjoyed this trail before me. The snow squalls from the previous week deposited about a foot of soft snow which stuck to everything and stayed there for several days, still the winds began to blow some of it off.

It really was a winter wonderland, hiking below the canopy of snow-covered branches, the temperatures just cool enough to remind me winter had arrived. But, what really dominated the scene for me was the warm glow of the beach trees, holding on to their leaves when all others have long since dropped.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 85 mm
1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)

“Gold Among the Pines”

“Gold Among the Pines”

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
― Jack Kerouac

I was looking for a non-typical photo for this Christmas Day and decided on this image I made last week. A beautifully lit beach tree, surrounded by a blanket of fresh fallen snow and framed by pine trees. It’s a simple composition that brings a feeling of peace and wonder to me when I look at it. The leaves fairly shimmered when the scant sunlight hit them, making the tree glow against the darker background. I’m enjoying a calm and relaxed Christmas Day with my family. My children are all home for a few days, a simple gift that I’m truly enjoying.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/40 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)