Tag Archives: Bancroft

“Paudash Reflections”

“Paudash Reflections”

“As winter takes hold, autumn lashes out in fiery shows of golds and orange as if shouting, “My splendour is not yet spent”, her voice fading in the chill of November, another day closer to winter.”
– Ed Lehming

Such was the scene today as I drove home from a visit to Bancroft, Ontario. I had driven up for the day to drop of recent prints at the Artists Co-op I belong to there, A Place for the Arts. As is my habit, I always have my camera gear with me when I travel.

Today was no exception, as I left the snow-covered countryside close to home, the snowy blanket covering the ground actually thinned as we headed further north. Our recent snowfalls stayed mainly to southern Ontario, so far.

I noticed a lot of open water and some very thin sheets of ice on the smaller lakes. It has been cold enough to freeze but even a bit of movement in the water will soon break up an evening’s freeze up. We had a pleasant drive up but nothing really caught my attention.

After dropping off my work and visiting with some fellow artists, I headed a bit further north, to my brother-in-law’s woodlot, in hopes of a few winter images for Christmas cards, managing to get a few that may realize into what I was after.

Leaving the woodlot, we proceeded home and on looking at the low clouds, I said to my wife, “It looks like we may have a nice sunset today, if the trees don’t block the view.” That was certainly the case, for a portion of the drive, till I rounded a corner and was greeted with this beautiful view of the eastern arm of Paudash Lake. It was just cold enough to start making a fine film of clear smooth ice and the sun hung just above the treeline, shining through the dark wisps of fall clouds.

I stopped along the roadside and composed a few shots. Of the four that I made, this one appealed to me the most in terms of composition and feel. You can just discern where the ice ends and open water begins, including a pair of ducks taking advantage of a brief opening before the lake fully freezes over, which I expect will be very soon.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 110 mm
1/640 sec, f/13.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Farm Chute – York River”

“Farm Chute - York River”

“There is peace in the sound of the river’s voice. From low gurgle to roar, the sound of water moving resonates within me.”
– Ed Lehming

I’ve been quite remiss in my posting frequency. Summer has been filled with activities not necessarily conducive to photography, but I’ve been able to carve out some times to get back to my passion. Sometimes, I’m able to combine them, in the form of hiking and making photos.

On the Labour Day weekend I spent time with my family in the Bancroft area, visiting local events and enjoying the outdoors. One of my favourite spots is the York River, which flows through the town of Bancroft and into the rugged terrain east of the town.

The river begins its journey with a roar at High Falls at the southern end of Baptiste Lake. The lake was dammed to control flooding downriver and the resulting dam created a wonderful waterfall. From there the river meanders slowly through the countryside north of Bancroft in a series of beds, twists and oxbows. On exiting the town, the river forms a few small rapids and continues generally south east till it turns north once more as it enters the region known as Egan Chutes, as series of chutes and cataracts that compress the waters into raging torrents as the wide river is compressed through narrow passageways.

The first of these chutes is Egan Chute, where the water plummets some 10 meters between steep rocks. By late summer, it still rages, but some gentler side cascades form with the reduced water flow. A few kilometers past Egan Chute is the narrow but gentler Middle Chute and finally, Farm Chute.

I really enjoy Farm Chute, primarily because it’s a bit more unspoiled and the river flows rapidly through a narrow and angled defile in the rock before spilling out into a large basin, where it continues on in a peaceful flow to join the Madawaska River many kilometers to the east. Pictured her is Farm Chute looking over across the basin. The image really reflects the overall environment of the river as it flows through the chute region and highlights the narrow passage that the chute flows through. From this angle, it almost looks like a cave, but it’s really just a very narrow and steep passage.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 130 mm
1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“On the Edge”

“On the Edge”

“I liked watching more than I liked being part of it and for the first time I realized that it was OK to just be an observer. Some of us were actors and some of us were the audience. Both were important roles.” 
― Peter Monn

This photograph caused me a lot of conflict. As a photographer, ‘selfies’ really irk me. I’ve stood overlooking beautiful vistas only to be roughly shoved by crowds of tourists, each bearing a ‘selfie-stick’. There does not seem to be any appreciation for the beautiful views, rather, a desire to show that they were there, with no regard for the place itself.

In this case, I had returned to a beautiful waterfall near my camper. I went to enjoy the raw beauty of the place and capture some of this through photos.

When I arrived, a group of women pull up behind me and we greeted each other. I hiked in, hoping to get ahead of them to enjoy the place privately for a few minutes and then to make some photos.

Shortly after my arrival, the women and their daughters arrived and proceeded to spend the next hour taking pictures of each other, in various poses, with the beautiful waterfall in the background. They then proceeded down the steep slope and edged closer to the water, clambering over the sharp and slippery rocks to get Instagram worthy images. They even went so far as to get into various yoga poses among the raging waters. It was quite nerve-racking to witness this risky behaviour.

Despite this, I was able to make some quite interesting images from my vantage point. That’s where I’m conflicted. Despite the danger present before me, the opportunity for some very beautiful images also presented itself. To the point where I was not sure if I would post the photo at all. In the end I have decided to post the image, with my observations, since it is quite a lovely image.

It should be noted that this is a single, time exposed, image. Because the girl was sitting relatively still, she appears fairly sharp, the water is blurred by its rapid movement.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 100mm
1/3 sec, f/32.0 ISO 64

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Marble Lake Columbine”

“Marble Lake Columbine”

“Even the tiniest of flowers can have the toughest roots.” 
― Shannon Mullen

Wildflowers constantly amaze me, in their endless forms and the environments they thrive it.

The columbine above, is a native to Ontario and this particular plant was growing from a thin crack in the bedrock. I suppose there was just enough organic mater accumulated in that crack to create the rich soil the columbine prefers and a seed from nearby pants happened to land in just the right place. It’s surprising that such a seemingly delicate plant can thrive in the northern wilderness, in a region where there was still frost in the forest when I made this image.

My biggest challenge in creating this image, as with most macro images, is trying to get a shot between the breezes that kept moving the flower back and forth. Even slight movement makes the shot blurry.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/40sec, f/7.1, ISO 400 

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Trillium Trio”

“With brightness and purity like the snow which so recently trapped it, the trillium remembers winter while signalling spring”
– Ed Lehming

Though I posted a photo of a newly blossomed trillium a few weeks ago, the trilliums in Eastern Ontario, Bancroft, to be more specific, are a bit delayed. Warm air did not arrive here until recently, and with the warm air, new life and growth.

Though there is still frost in the ground in the deeper recesses of the forest, the plant life is starting to take hold here as well. As I made this image, I was considering the wonderful whiteness of the trillium blossoms and the recent snow. The connection inspired the short quote I made for the image.

I can’t think of another flower that is so brilliantly white. They seem so delicate, yet a blossom trapped by a fallen leaf, will tear the leaf apart to open. So, they may seem delicate but as with much in nature, there is a hidden strength in persistence.

It’s beauty is made more special by its brevity, as soon as it warms up enough, their flowers will fade into the memory of the forest and leave room for other plants, though the leaves remain bright and strong all summer long.

iPhone 7 @ 3.99mm
1/90 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20

“High Water”

“Gentle spring waves wash high upon the shore, drenching the land with moisture and restoring life, winter is at an end.”
– Ed Lehming

A few short weeks ago, Marble Lake was still ice covered and winter ruled, refusing to relinquish its hold on the land. A deep freeze and late snowfall meant frost remained locked into the ground, blocking the flow of melt water, channeling it on new courses.

The ice is gone, yet the water is bone-chillingly cold. Swimming will have to wait a few more weeks.

As I travelled north to our camper this long weekend, I noticed that some lakes were seemingly lower than others, appearing as if water had been quite high at sometime and found a release, leaving its mark on the shore.

It’s been a very different spring and was particularly noticeable as I went for a hike in the forest behind our camper. Unlike the forests near home, where wildflowers have burst forth almost overnight, growth I delayed here in the Bancroft region. Trilliums have just started to bloom, sorrel is ready to bloom today, if it warms up enough. It’s a mixed bag of plants and their ability to adapt to this chilly spring.

Even the black flies, the scourge of the Boreal forest are slow to emerge, but they have, just not feeding yet. I’m sure that will change soon enough.

Today, I am hoping to get a hike in to Egan Chute, one of my favourite local cascades, to get some updated photos.

iPhone 7
1/4000 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20

“Line Up”

“Line Up”

“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.” 
― Aldo Leopold

This part of the world looks like nothingness on a map. While there is a town close by, it really is a wilderness area. A land of steep, nearly unnavigable hillsides, dense forest, and swampy wetlands. To me, it’s paradise, a place to unwind and just enjoy an unblemished space in this world.

It’s also a place to look around and let the imagination run. I see beauty everywhere, in the curve of the path, the marvelous variety and diversity of life, and endless patterns.

In this image I saw lines. I saw the way the trees, maple, yellow birch, and hemlock lined up. I also noticed the one darker, narrow tree that runs vertically up the photo. It is literally, a line upwards, yet I could not get the composition and lighting right without including it, so here it is, as I saw it.

This ‘place’, is one of an endless series of ‘places’, each slightly different, which make up the Boreal forest in this area. I see the entire forest before me, but my eye breaks it up into components. Each part, though an element of the whole, is a so unique. I could go back to this expanse of forest and go back to this exact spot with little effort. Even now, as I write, I can place myself along the trail, to this exact spot and the moment in which the photo was made. Except now, my fingers are warmer than on that chilly November day, enjoying the “Boreal Trails”.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@75mm

1/4 sec, f/10.0, ISO 400

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