“The river moved so swiftly and yet it had no purpose other than to flow, just flow.” ― Gioconda Belli
During a recent backcountry drive, I tried to retrace my route to a little gem of a park I found a few years back. There is no road sign identifying the park, just an unmarked road that leads to a beautiful groomed park on the shores of Papineau Creek, near Maynooth, Ontario.
Just before the creek enters the park area, it flows through a short set of rapids. On a hot summer day this was a nice spot to stop and cool down by the water, make some photos, and just enjoy the refreshing sound of the water as it gurgles over the rocks.
It was quite a bright day and without a neutral density filter, it look a bit of effort to get my shutter speed down enough to soften the flow of the water. I used strategic timing of passing clouds to finally get the results I was after, keeping the rocks nice and sharp and highlighting the movement of the water.
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 110 mm 1 sec, f/32.0, ISO 125
There is an interesting stretch of highway in eastern Ontario, where the road follows the unusual topography, consisting of many long ponds between low strips of granite. When viewed from above, it’s like a large series of wrinkles in the earth’s crust. The bare rock and water filled valleys are so different from anything else along that road that it made me pay attention to it. Among those rocks and ponds are numerous ‘solitaires’, as I have begun to call them. That is, trees that stand apart from others for any number of reasons.
This maple looks to have had a companion at one time, but that one, lying along the shore, has not faired as well. It’s amazing this tree has reached the size and age it has, given the scant soil it has grown in. There were a few of these solitaires visible from the road but this one was in a location where I could safely pull over and compose a photo as the highway snakes along the edge of the pond.
The photo nicely captures the cool mid-December feeling. It will be winter in a few days, yet there is no snow and the water remains unfrozen. It was a bit dull and the sky was filled with variable clouds, yet the diffused light still lit up the pale yellow grasses along the shore. I’m hoping that the mood is conveyed adequately without making it depressing, which it was not.
Nikon D300 Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 250
I find interesting pattern everywhere. It’s something I can’t turn off, nor would I want to. Last week, during a trip to Montreal, I looked out my hotel window which faced an office tower cross the street.It would seem that different companies have varied tastes in lighting and this building went from bright warm lighting, to a cooler ‘sunlight’ style light, to dimmed lights.
The unfortunate thing was that the hotel windows were quite dirty and I was not able to sharpen the image beyond this. I had my Nikon DSLR with me but those shots were not much better than the iPhone. So, here it is. From a distance, people think this is a contact sheet and then they look closer. Every window seems like its own little world and no two are exactly alike. I hope you enjoy it.
I have reflected on this photo many times. It was made one foggy morning in late September 2014. It was a cool morning and the air hung thick with fog and the feeling of change that comes at this time of year. I decided to go for a walk down to the lake shore. Through the fog, you could see the blue sky emerging, revealing shreds of clouds not typical of this time of year. On the lake, the swimming raft seemed to float in mid-air, the fog obscuring the line between water and air and a faint outline of the distant shore was barely discernible in the distance. The photo feels dream-like; somewhat haunting, yet peaceful. It represents transition, between the water and the sky, as well as the transition from summer to fall. It’s one of those photos that draws me in and causes me to see that there is more to it than first impressions would reveal.
Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @17 mm 1/500 @ f/9.0, ISO 800