Tag Archives: falls

“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

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“Whitevale Winter Falls” – Whitevale, Ontario

“Whitevale Winter Falls”

I have to admit that I have been to these falls many times over the past few years, but never in winter. The falls are the result of a dam being build to keep and introduced species of trout from migrating too far upstream and eating the eggs of the native brown trout. I’ve posted a few photos of this dam in the past.

The winter scene is beautiful, especially in the right light, which I was blessed with on this visit. It has been particularly cold over the past few weeks, which created a substantial buildup of ice to almost the height of the dam, which is about 5 meters. If you look carefully at the top of the photo you can also see the water coming from under the ice covered pond above the dam

The light plays nicely through the columns of ice and I decided to challenge myself with a long exposure. The results are very satisfying.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @82mm
1/8 sec, f/32, ISO 250

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

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“High Falls Dam”, York River, Bancroft

“High Falls Dam” - York River, Bancroft

Another visit to High Falls, the outlet of Baptiste Lake and the beginning of the York River. I keep trying to imagine the waterfall as it would have been before the dam was built above it. That would have been a sight to behold. As I noted in an earlier post, the dam was built to protect the town of Bancroft, some 5 miles down river, from being flooded in the spring (it still happens, but to a lesser extent).

This was simply an opportunity to do a hand-held time exposure of the water spraying out between the logs. My maximum shake free exposure with my Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 is 1/8 of a second. It still amazes me just how good the Vibration Reduction technology is these days. I closed the aperture a bit on this to keep everything in focus.

I liked the way the spillway naturally framed the image, the texture and colour of the wood, and how the spray stood out against the dark background. I may have to try this as a black and white at some time as well. There is something calming in images with soft flowing water that I really enjoy in this busy world.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm @ 90 mm
1/10 sec @ f/14, ISO 250

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“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