“A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.” ― John Steinbeck
A sleepy, gentle start to the day, now two weeks ago. This day started a bit less foggy than others, yet the water was still as late migrating waterfowl lazed about in the chilly lake and the sky shifted from gray, to shades of pink, gold, and blue. There’s also still a hint of colour on the distant shore, dispersed among the conifers.
As I sit writing this post, soft jazz sooths me further, recalling this beautiful morning. We need to savour this serenity in our busy world whenever it offers its gifts to us. Though I was only on Fraser Lake for four days this fall, each morning dawned slightly differently. The first morning being quite raw and choppy progressing to the glass-like appearance above and remaining so the rest of my stay, offering many photo opportunities.
I’ve spent many summers, falls, and winters on the lake and its shores. One summer was spent paddling the entire shoreline enjoying the diversity of plants and wildlife and that same winter enjoying cross-country skiing on the ice covered lake.
Then I consider that this is a single lake among thousands that dot the Ontario and recognise that there are more memories to come as I explore the province in live in.
“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.” ― Oscar Wilde
This is the same view I posted yesterday but fourteen hours later. I have now returned home from a four day escape to the wilds of northeastern Ontario. I spent the time walking the trails, sitting on moss covered boulders, enjoying sunrises and sunsets, and simply drinking in my surroundings.
It’s been a spectacular November, with temperatures in the mid teens (fifties for my American friends). Each day was bright and sunny with shifting breezes. Each day ended with a lovely sunset and this particular day dawned a mix of lazy pinks and blues amid a high cloud deck, which soon dissipated.
Needless to say, I will be posting more photos of my ‘retreat’ and some thoughts about teh thing I experienced during this time.
iPhone 5s back camera @ 4.2mm 1/60 sec; f/2.2; ISO 32
“I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy” – Anais Nin
It is a joy to experience, at the deeper level, some of the scenes I come across in my journey through life. Places my feet have travelled many times, at once become magical with the addition of the elements of light. It’s that particular moment when the sun shines between the trees in a winter afternoon can makes a simple forest into a wonderland of light and texture, and then, it’s gone, never to look quite the same again, except in that brief moment, as an image captured and remembered.
Above is an image of the forest along the shores of Fraser Lake, near Bancroft, Ontario. I’d spent most of the day snowshoeing through the forest trails and along the frozen lakeshores. Overnight, a wet snow had fallen and stuck to trees and grasses. A rapid daytime cooling preserved the effect well into the day. I was fortunate to be returning to camp by way of the Lone Pine trail when the scene presented itself to me.
This photo seems appropriate for today. The weather here is dull and overcast, once more. It reminded me of this time last November, as I walked through a farm field at Fraser Lake Camp. It was also a gloomy day, and much cooler than this mild December. This was around 10:00am and the clouds, which had been just a flat sheet of gray, transformed themselves into this wonderful wave pattern, for about five minutes and then settled back to their previous state.
I wonder what atmospheric forces were at play to create this temporary ripple in the sky. I’ve seen it before, but not as wide or pronounced. It’s also important to note that it was a bit windy that day, so maybe there was some resonance in the gsts that set up this pattern. I’m open to opinions.
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70 mm
1/160 sec, @ f/6.3, ISO 200
This photo was made last November at Fraser Lake Camp, near Fort Stewart, Ontario. It is a wonderful children’s camp, established some 60 years ago. The Old Barn is the only original building still standing on the property. It’s all log construction and sits at the edge of a field, surrounded by planted pine forest. I found this to be a wonderfully serene image, full of transitions. The lines of dark clouds are harbingers of the winter to come, yet grass still shows through. There is snw on the ground, but it would stay for long, as the meager sun warms the ground. There is also a shift from agriculture to native forest.
I have found several other buildings like this is the area, which was hoped to provide farming opportunity at one time, but the soil is just too shallow to support any sustainable farming. There are still a few operating farms, mostly livestock and hay.
It is interesting also to see gradual transition to native hardwoods, as can be seen to the left and right, with encroaching birch trees and poplars. The world is full of change, some rapid and some that can only be observed over years and decades.
The final installment of my raindrops in fall series, for this year.
This photo was made a few seconds before my “Unexpected Beauty” image. The difference is really the background. This one is a bit darker and lacking the blue background of the forest.
It does show more of the raindrops, which is what initially drew my attention. I did not want to open close the aperture too much because I wanted to retain some of the soft bokeh in the subsequent layers. This one highlights more of the droplets on the branches, which really look like tiny glowing jewels against the greens and oranges of autumn.
Of the three images, this one is my favourite, because of the layers and how it really captured my viewpoint effectively. It is important for me, creatively, to portray things, as I see them, and I’m learning daily just how to do that, though the lense and through my words.
Nikon D300 Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/13 sec @ f/2.8 -.33, ISO 250
Another one of my “Trees” series of photo abstractions. This photo was made four years ago, at Fraser Lake Camp, near Bancroft, Ontario when I was just starting to play with this technique. I re-edited it last year because I was not happy with the ‘feel’ of the image. Again, it comes down to the strong vertical elements and good light. In this case, I was following a game trail and looked up to see the beautiful glow of sunshine on a single tree standing in the middle of the path. The surrounding trees were quite dark because it had just rained. The rain also made all the undergrowth nice and saturated with colour. For me the image is like the end of a journey through darkness into the brilliant warmth of daylight.