Tag Archives: Colour

“Pebbles in Melting Ice” – Duffins Creek

“Pebbles in Melting Ice” - Duffins Creek

“Ice contains no future,  just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way- cleanly, clearly. That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.”
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

A temporary reprieve from the cold of winter, hinting at a more prolonged thaw and the promise of spring ahead. Ice can preserve but the inevitable cycles of nature will eventually free those things locked away for winter.

In the image above, thawing ice reveals its treasures, slowly and wonderfully. The pebble tops emerge and just enough of the structure below is visible, yet the presence of the surrounding ice is undeniable. More could be revealed by breaking the ice, but that would affect the underlying order below. So, it’s best to leave it to emerge in time. Surely, this scene will re-freeze before spring comes to last but the glimpse into the promised warmth is welcomed.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 250

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“Autumn Delight” – Durham Forest

“Autumn Delight”  -Durham Forest

A final (possibly) view to the autumn of 2015, though there are so many more memories to share. The image above was made on one of the many wide trails that criss-cross through the Durham Forest. I like the feel of this scene. The wide trail meanders through the forest, following the general contours of the land. There is something about a meandering trail that I like. Perhaps it’s that there is a destination, but the straight line may deprive you of some deeper experience. I enjoy ‘wandering’ through the forest and taking in all it has to offer. It’s a deliberate wandering though. I always have a destination in mind and am generally in no hurry, other than when sunset nears. As J.R.R.Tolkien said, “Not all who wander are lost.”

There certainly was no hurry on this particular day. The trails were uncrowded, at least not where I was, and it was absolutely beautiful and mild, the late day sun glowing between the branches and warming the ground. This past fall will be well remembered as one of the nicest I have experienced.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm

1/100 sec, f/5.0 -0.33, ISO 250

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“Uphill Journey” – Durham Forest

“Durham Forest Uphill Climb”

This photo is a slight flashback to mid-November, when I went on a long hike through the Durham Forest, south of Uxbridge, Ontario.

At the time, we were in the midst of a wonderful, extended fall and many of the maple and beech leaves were still on the trees, but enough had fallen to let ample light into the forest. I had been hiking for a few hours and decided to take a lesser path, as a shortcut, back to my car. The shortcoming of this decision was that the trail went up a steep incline, but saved be about half an hour of additional walking. By this point, I’d already walked about 20km. But, I’m not complaining, because the trail also went through a wonderfully diverse hardwood forest, filled with poplar, birch, maple, beech, and oak.

The photo above shows the incline with the trail gradually fading away behind the canopy. It also reveals many of the bright colours of the remaining leaves, as the branches reach across the trail to form a bit of a tunnel above me. What a wonderful day that was to be out on the trails.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/4.0 -0.33, ISO 250

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“Crimson Bramble Leaves”

“Crimson Bramble Leaves”

Every now and then, a splash of colour catches you, unexpectedly. That was the case a few days back when I was hiking the Seaton Trail, near Whitevale.

Let’s keep in mind that was the first week of December. Last year we had already experienced a few substantial snowfalls and cold temperatures, well below freezing. This year, we are still well above freezing but everything has had a good frosting. So, with the exception of evergreens and  a few frost resistant shrubs and grasses, almost everything had turned a mottled tone of late-fall brown-gray. The sun was shining this day, but the forest and fields were generally quite muted. Across a rise, I spotted this patch of intense red and had no idea what plant could still be in fall colours. As I drew nearer, I found it was a small patch of brambles, or blackberry bushes (bramble is a general term for the blackberry family of thorny fruit-bearing shrubs).

Not only were the leaves still colourful, if you look carefully, you will see they have started to bud into leaf again. A strange year indeed. I imagine this will be the last we see of bright reds for some time, with the exception of some winter-hearty berries that the birds don’t like. The forecast is for cooler temperatures for next week, but still not typical for December. Part of me likes it, but another part wants some snow, simply for a change from brown and to brighten the days that start off dark and turn dark far too soon.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/40 sec, @ f/3.2 -0.33, ISO 250

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“Another Bend in the Path”

“Another Bend in the Path”

This photo is pretty much a summary of how autumn has played out for me. We have had an extended season, with mild weather, sunny skies, and leaves that seemed to cling to the trees for weeks, despite frosty nights, rain, and wind.

Unlike a typical fall, where I’m looking out the window, anxious to get out and make photos before the conditions fade, this year yielded day after glorious day of great light, incredible colour, and beautiful weather to just ‘be’ in nature.

The photo above was made on one of our abundant local trails at the Secord Conservation area. This trail system is incredibly variable and switches from cedar swamp, to meadow, to hardwood forest in the span of a few kilometers. There are a few patches of large birch trees, which is the case above. Here the bright white of the bark of the birches contrasts nicely against the oranges of the beech and oak trees againsts the dark backdrop of pine forest.

I titled it “Another Bend in the Path” because that is exactly what it is. Every bend, every rise in the path, yields wonderful new view.

There have been some interesting conversations lately about my subject matter. People seem shocked when I tell them these photos are local and not in some far off, remote, location. I hold to the notion that great images are everywhere, but you have to get out and move around to find them and be there when the light is right. Those who spend time in nature frequently will know what I mean. A frequently viewed grove of trees will suddenly glow with light, for a brief moment, the light will hit a patch of forest floor and reveal details you never noticed before, and then, the moment is gone, other than the memory . This awareness of the beauty, variability, and complexity of nature is my sanctuary. It’s a place and time where I can recharge, renew, and just ‘be’. The added bonus is that I can capture some of these moments and be able to share them with others, who may not be able to get out and experience it for themselves.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/125 sec @ f/5.6 -.33, ISO 250

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“The Unexpected” – Poplar Leaf on Log

I’ll admit to it.  I’m often looking for images to use as wallpapers for my desktop.  I guess I have a bit of desktop ADD.  I don’t like looking at the same images over and over and am always looking for something new and close to me.  There are many times where I see a suitable subject and photograph it, with the sole intention of creating a desktop wallpaper for myself.

This past week I went for a walk along my favourite local hiking trail and the poplars were just dropping their leaves after a hard frost.  There were a few ‘interesting’ leaves laying on the trail and a few stuck to logs along the way.  I stopped to make photos of a many of them.

I liked the composition of this particular image and began to process it, only to be totally surprised at all the colours present in the fallen leaf.  Really, there is purple and fuschia in this? I was seeing only the greens and yellows when I made the image. Nature is truly amazing, especially when you take the time to look closer.

I consider myself as an observer, but every now and then, the unexpected shows itself, as in this photo. I challenge all of you to get out there and observe. New perspective are in store and your assumptions of what is considered obvious, may be challenged.

Enjoy.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @185mm
1/50 sec @ f.\3.5 -0.33. ISO 250

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“Walk Among the Birches”

“Walk Among the Birches”

It’s fall. Time for me to get out into the woods and just enjoy being there. It’s been a late fall here and the temperature is still mild, considering the time of year. We’ve been visited by a few flurries and light frosts till last night. The colours are spectacular and trees slow to shed their leaves. Essentially, ideal fall conditions for photography and just enjoying nature, in all its glory.

I took a lunchtime stroll today and was surprised at how much colour was still present, despite our first real hard frost last night. I noticed a lot of leaves coming down and figured this might be my last chance to capture and share this beauty.

One of my go-to places is the local Secord Conservation area, just south of Uxbridge, Ontario. The trail winds its way through variable southern Ontario forest. Through groves of oak, maple, poplar, maple, cedar and spruce. There are meadows and swamps, high ridges and rolling hills. The Oak Ridges Trail Association does an amazing job at maintaining these trails, which I enjoy in all seasons.

I could not resist photographing this stand of birch trees next to the golden leaf-covered trail. The sun was bright with interspersed clouds, which made for great lighting conditions. I hope you enjoy my view of this walk as much as I do. More to come.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @ 75mm
1/160 sec @ f/6.3 -0.33, ISO 250

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Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market

Mayan Ceremony - Kensington MarketYou never know what you might see in Kensington Market. During a recent trip to the popular Toronto Market, streets were closed to vehicles (one Sunday every month in the summer) and the market was packed with people. Street performers, musicians, vendors, and artists filled the street with sights, sounds, the smell of ethnic cooking, and colour. At one corner, a group of performers were re-enacting a Mayan ceremony. I was captivated by their bright costumes and snapped a few photos to capture the moment.