Tag Archives: Burleigh Falls

“April Sunset at Burleigh Falls”

“April Sunset at Burleigh Falls”

“As the soft spring sun begins to set, an ethereal light strikes the trees and boulders on the far shore, setting them ablaze in gold. The dark, cold, meltwater rushes by in a mad dash through ancient rocks. Intent on the calm of the lake below, where they foam and swirl, momentarily, then merge with the now still waters that preceded them. The day ends, in peace, and light, and water.”
– Ed Lehming

To stand on the shore and bear witness to these kinds of fleeting events fills me with joy. It’s the primary reason I spend so much time outdoors. To be able to capture a moment like this, to reflect back on it, and recall that experience once more is a blessing.

I knew that the spring rush this year at Ontario’s Burleigh Falls was going to be extraordinary. This was prompted by a Facebook post by a fellow photographer, where he rendered a wonderful black and white image that made me determined to see for myself. The light in the morning was wonderful but I was not fully prepared for the effect of the setting sun in late afternoon. Generally, I stop here in the summer, on my way home from camping, and the sun tends to be quite bright.

The position of the sun at this time of year bathes the shores in gold and lights up the whitecaps with soft tones of gold. The effect lasts only moments and is gone. I was overjoyed to have witnessed this and to be able to photograph it to share.

Nikon D200
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm
1/10 sec, f/32.0, ISO 160

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

“Morning Light at Burleigh Falls”

“Morning Light at Burleigh Falls”

“Water that never moves.” I say to him. “It’s fine for a little while. You can drink from it and it’ll sustain you. But if it sits too long it goes bad. It grows stale. It becomes toxic.” I shake my head. “I need waves. I need waterfalls. I want rushing currents.”
— Tahereh Mafi

I’ve always enjoyed moving water and photographing it. I gain energy from it, as the quote above says so well, still water is fine for a while, but eventually it stagnates. Like the water, though it’s tempting to live in the calm, life is about movement and change, wheather by choice or circumstance.

Earlier this week I saw a Facebook post from a fellow photographer who had visited this beautiful chute mid week. I was astounded, looking at the posted photo, by the sheer volume of water rushing through the channel between Stoney Lake and Lower Buckhorn Lake in central Ontario’s Kawartha Region. We did not have much snow this past winter but despite this, the waters of the feeder lakes had overwhelmed the control dam above the Falls.

Needless to say, I had to check it out myself, on my way to Bancroft, where I show my photographs at a artist co-op called A Place for the Arts.

I arrived at the falls around 9:15 am and the light for the east was stunning, lighting up the water and the opposite shore. I took some time and made a few photos, with the intention of returning late afternoon, on my way back home. The image above is from my morning visit and I’ll post a few more at a later date from my afternoon stop, which was equally impressive.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/10 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

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


“Granite and Water” – Burleigh Falls

"Granite & Water' Burleigh Falls

On a cold, dull November afternoon in 2014, I stopped for a few minutes at Burliegh Falls, a set of fairly intense rapids just off Highway#28 in the Kawartha Lakes region of Central Ontario, between Lower Buckhorn Lake, above and Stoney Lake, below.

It’s a very scenic location, easily accessible from the road, and therefore, very busy in the summer and early autumn. The rapids, adjacent shoreline, and calm pools below, are a destination for tourists, photographers, painters, swimmers, and fishermen.

The intensity of the rapids is dependant on the flow of water through a dam above them, designed to regulate water levels on the Trent-Severn canal system, parallel to the rapids. That November the flow was quite intense. This particular day was cold, windy, and overcast. Not ideal sightseeing conditions but, with the exception of the cold and wind, very nice for photography. The dull skies allowed me to make several long exposure images of the falls/rapids, including the one above, which I manipulated in Photoshop to look like a painting to get the effect I wanted to show. Again, for me it’s about how I see and experience things, rather than being simply an image in time. Don’t get me wrong, the original image is very nice as a photo, but did not communicate ‘how’ this scene unfolded for me at the time.

I’ve mentioned several times in the past that I can’t paint, but would love too. I like to look of the long brush strokes, the intense whites with hints of green and purple, and how it imparts so well the power of the water as it rushes by the far shore. The ‘painterly’ style, also intensifies the texture of the granite in the background. In my mind, this image captures the raw beauty of the province I live in and have the opportunity to enjoy and share.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm, f/4.5-5.6 @ 75 mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website

“Cold November at Burleigh Falls”

"Cold November at Burleigh Falls"

During my drive back from Bancroft this past Thursday, I commented to my wife that it looked like and felt like February, rather than April. Spring has been slow to arrive in southern Ontario this year and my thoughts wandered back to November, when I stopped at Burleigh Falls to make a few long exposure photos of the falls there.

At this particular time of year I basically have the place to myself. No tourists taking snapshots, no fishermen trying their best to land the big one, and no kids running madly around the rocks. Long exposure is an apt term for this. It was very cold and blustery and though I love this location, it was experiencing long exposure myself. However, the light was buried and beautiful and made it possible for the image above to be made. I particularly like the colours of the water in contrast with the pink granite in the background and the purplish sky. For me, it captures this moment beautifully, without the bone biting chill.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm
1/8 sec @ f/25, ISO 200