Tag Archives: Water

“Across the Bay”

“Water craft of all sizes float on the bay on a hazy summer afternoon” – Ed Lehming

The photo above was made while travelling across Picton Bay on the Glenora Ferry. The ferry transports vehicles and people from a dock at the eastern end of Prince Edward County to the mainland to the north.

It’s a very short trip of about five minutes but saves a long trip around the bay itself. For modern travellers, it’s a bit of a novelty and I always enjoy seeing the expressions on children’s faces when the ferry departs the dock and the cars are now transported across open water. It’s something not many would have experienced.

I also like the feeling for floating across the water in my vehicle and the trip offers a different perspective of the bay. In this case, there is a sailboat a few hundred meters away from the ferry and just behind it a large ‘laker’ transport ship heading to the local cement plant for a load. These ‘lakers’ are massive ships that transport goods from port to port in Ontario’s Great Lakes, thus the name. Many are also ocean going and make the long trek east on the St. Lawrence River, eventually entering the Atlantic Ocean.

For this image, I just liked the calm mood it invokes for me.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/6000 sec; f/1.8; ISO 2

“The One That Got Away”

“The One That Got Away”

“As I stepped over the slippery rock, making sure of my footing, the Heron launched itself into the sky from it’s shoreline perch, fading quickly across the lake.”
– Ed Lehming

This is why a chose landscape and botanical photography as my go-to. I have, on the rare occasion made a good wildlife photo. Those photos are more the result of being in the right place at the right time when an opportunity presents itself. Most often, the wildlife is fleeing or gone already.

I have a special respect for the work that goes into being a successful and consistent wildlife photographer. It involves days of preparation, scouting, and immeasurable patience and practice to get the shot that presents the wildlife correctly in its natural environment.

As my past few posts have indicated, I was actually on my way to photograph Burleigh Falls. On my way I encountered wonderful plants, a chipmunk, and almost two herons. Both herons surprised me, as I was not expecting them along the edge of this fast flowing waterfall. I’m used to herons along the calm shores of lakes and ponds. I actually startled them both, because the rush of the water masked the sound and movement of my approach. In fact, they started me as they launched themselves into the air to escape.

This is the better shot of the two, as I was able to quickly focus on the heron as it faded away. The other shot was out of focus. The other factor here was I has only carrying  my 90mm macro lens, which is great for flowers but a bit more challenging for wildlife o the move.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

Iceland Journal – “Waterfall and Barn”

“Waterfall and Barn” - Þjóðvegur, South Shore, Iceland

“Waterfall and Barn” – Þjóðvegur, South Shore, Iceland

“The icy waters flow and drop in silver streams from high cliff tops; they nourish the land and flow among the ancient bedrock and volcanic debris; sculpting, cleansing, and nourishing this rugged landscape with their cool purity and gentle persistence”
– Ed Lehming

It seemed like this stretch of highway between Vik and Höfn was lined with some form of waterfall for much of the early part of the drive. This high and ancient plateau oozed water from every crack and crevice, creating waterfalls in so many forms it is hard to describe them all.

There were slow meandering ribbons of water that followed the slope of the land and high thundering falls that plunged through the void to thunder upon on rocks far below, and some flowed in wide ribbons across exposed rock, like a vast white curtain in the wind.

The source of all this water, kilometers from our sight, is the ancient ice fields and glaciers of Vatnajökull, covering some 14,000 square kilometers of Iceland’s interior in snow and ice.

With the number of waterfalls and the flow of the water, I can only imagine what spring and early summer must be like, as even in late October, it was simply magnificent to behold.

I read somewhere that Iceland has over 10,000 waterfalls. From my experiences during my ten-day trip, I think that number falls far short from reality. There are waterfalls everywhere. In fact, it was tough, being a ‘flatlander’ not to stop every few minutes along the highway to make yet another photo.

It should also be noted, for those new to Iceland, that many of these smaller waterfalls, while clearly visible from the highway are on private property and can only be viewed from a distance.

Along this coast, one side of the highway is the high plateau, while the other side is an endless lava field that stretches for kilometers south before meeting the shore of the North Atlantic.

I’ve embedded the Google Maps view for your reference:

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

Iceland – Day 3

“Berufjörður” - Djúpavogshreppur, East Iceland

“Berufjörður” – Djúpavogshreppur, East Iceland

“Welcome to driving Iceland, where every turn in the road opens up a brand new and astounding vista. Just when you think you have found the most beautiful sight in the world, another competes with it in an endless play of wonders.”
– Ed Lehming

Today’s theme is mountains, fjords, and glacial streams. First, the mountains are really a continuation of yesterdays mountains, though in line with my quote, the mountains today, as we departed Höfn, had a slightly different character than the glacial mountains we travelled through yesterday. Today’s mountains were ancient and terraced, made deep in under the oceans and heaved up by tectonic forces. They remind me of the Rocky Mountains of North America, with their angular peaks and banded appearance.

Between these rows of mountains, deep fjords cut into the coast of East Iceland, stretching for many kilometers inland and forcing roads to cling tenaciously to the edges of the mountains.

The fjords certainly added to our travel, but what a sight to see; enormous mountains to one side and fingers of the Atlantic Ocean reaching far into the valleys between. It was astounding to look back across and see the fine thread that represented the road we had just traveled, along the edge of the water.

Within the valleys of the snow-covered mountains, nearly every crack and crevasse flowed with clear, ice-cold, melt water. I can imagine this place in late spring. The hills must be completely awash with water.

I could not resist filling my water bottle at the base of a 1,085 meter high mountain. It was an amazing experience to drink this ice-cold elixir while looking high up to the peak that created it, the cool mountain breezes blowing on my face and refreshing my very soul. This, is glacier water, not the stuff marketed with pictures of mountains! This is the real deal.

We neared our day with a 6 km. drive though a tunnel carved below Kollufell Mountain, shortening our drive by some 35 km. Before settling in our room in Egilsstaðir, we decided to take drive around the long lake that if formed within the Lagarfljót River, Lagarfljót Lake.

At the south end of the lake is a trailhead that leads to Hengifoss, a VERY steep, 2.5 km hike up the side of one of the river valley’s bounding mountains. We made it to just past the 1 km mark, beaten by high winds, cold, and exhaustion, being the end of the day. At this point in the ascent, we were greeted by Litlanesfoss, a smaller falls below Hengifoss. I took the time to make a few photos and began our decent.

At the end of the day, a nice bowl of Icelandic lamb stew in Egilsstaðir made up for the cold and the memory of the experience with stay with me for a long time.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/2179 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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Iceland – Day 2

“Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður - Glacial Pool” - East Icel

“Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður – Glacial Pool” – East Iceland

“ If one looks at the glacier for long enough, words cease to have any meaning on God’s earth.” 
― Halldór Laxness

Today was a day of volcanoes, mountains, and ice (and rough roads), as I continue my journey around Iceland’s Ring Road.

We entered the south-east of Iceland, having departed from Vik this morning, travelling along Highway 1. Shortly after Vik, the landscape changed dramatically into a jagged landscape of tortured rock and cinder. Just north of us, loomed the massive ice fields which cover the now dormant Katla volcano. There is a real problem when a volcano erupts under a glacier; it has nowhere to go but out, through the base of the glacier, creating catastrophic flooding  and ash falls. The most recent eruption of Katla, was in 1918, but the area to the south-east of the volcano looks like it erupted a few days ago, with twisted shards of black stone and ash as far as the eye can see.

As we continued east, the landscape changed again, into a surreal world of mounds of rounded stone covered in thick green moss. This continued for quite some time until we entered yet another vast field of black sand and gravel, the runoff of the Vatnajökull glacier fields.  The black sand is crisscrossed by an endless network of glacial rivers.

Beyond this black plain rise the sheer cliffs, mountains, and glaciers which dominated my day. The best of all is pictured above. At the base of one of the many Svínafellsjökull glacial ‘tongues’ below Hvannadalshnúkur, the highest glaciated mountain in Iceland. We hiked along the edge of the glacier but were most fascinated by the small glacial pool at the base, filled with icebergs of many sizes, some a spectacular blue. Some smaller pieces lay by the shore, crystal clear and beckoning me to have a taste, which I did. Oh, so cool and fresh! I’ve now eaten a piece of glacier.

We spend quite a bit of time on the shores of this pond, away from the crowds who did not seem to be able to find the trail that led us here, making photos and enjoying the vast glacier which stood before us.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/556 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“High Water”

“Gentle spring waves wash high upon the shore, drenching the land with moisture and restoring life, winter is at an end.”
– Ed Lehming

A few short weeks ago, Marble Lake was still ice covered and winter ruled, refusing to relinquish its hold on the land. A deep freeze and late snowfall meant frost remained locked into the ground, blocking the flow of melt water, channeling it on new courses.

The ice is gone, yet the water is bone-chillingly cold. Swimming will have to wait a few more weeks.

As I travelled north to our camper this long weekend, I noticed that some lakes were seemingly lower than others, appearing as if water had been quite high at sometime and found a release, leaving its mark on the shore.

It’s been a very different spring and was particularly noticeable as I went for a hike in the forest behind our camper. Unlike the forests near home, where wildflowers have burst forth almost overnight, growth I delayed here in the Bancroft region. Trilliums have just started to bloom, sorrel is ready to bloom today, if it warms up enough. It’s a mixed bag of plants and their ability to adapt to this chilly spring.

Even the black flies, the scourge of the Boreal forest are slow to emerge, but they have, just not feeding yet. I’m sure that will change soon enough.

Today, I am hoping to get a hike in to Egan Chute, one of my favourite local cascades, to get some updated photos.

iPhone 7
1/4000 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20

“Early Colours on Papineau Creek”

“Early Colours on Papineau Creek”

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 
― Lauren DeStefano

I’m considering starting another series based on this past weekend, enjoying the Bancroft Area Studio tour and the natural beauty of the North Hasting Highlands area, which we drove through as part of the tour.

This has been a very strange year indeed. As we drove from studio to studio, I noticed many of the leaves had already begun to change colour. For those who follow my blog regularly, you will know that we have had an excessively wet summer, and a bit cooler than usual. Well, that all changed a few weeks ago and we are now experiencing a dry spell and temperatures more appropriate for July. So, it’s really strange to have it feel like mid-summer yet see fall colours starting. The trend is supposed to continue for at least another week.

The image above was made at one of my favorite rest stops in the area. A small, unmarked park along the shores of Papineau Creek. I stopped here for lunch with my family and decided to make a few images before cooling off in the creek.

Adding the element of water had a nice effect on the image, but it’s the only one like it, the rest are images of the forest. Like I said, I may make a short series of them and wanted to start out with this one as I consider the other images.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 100 

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“Downward Plunge”

“Downward Plunge”

“Life moves very fast. It rushes from Heaven to Hell in a matter of seconds.” 
― Paulo Coelho

This past weekend, I took a little side drive to High Falls, which is really a former chute, turned to a waterfall by the installation of a dam nearly one hundred years ago. The dam closes off the end of Baptiste Lake, just north of the town of Bancroft, Ontario.

Because of the dam, the lake itself is a lot larger than it was originally, by about fifteen feet. As I stood along the side of the falls, I tried to picture this area before the dam was built. It must have been quite a sight, watching the massive flow of water surging through this narrow chute.

The dam was built to regulate the flow of the water from Baptiste Lake into the York River, which begins here and flows through the town of Bancroft several miles below. Spring floodwaters used to cause a lot of damage to the town. Even with the dam, the York River catchment basin is big enough to cause flooding in the town in the spring, as snow and ice melt. It must have been crazy before the dam was built.

I made several long exposures of various section of the falls, till a sudden cloudburst ended my day and I had to scramble back to the car, satisfied with only a few images. Of the five images I made, this one resonated with me the most. It shows the water spreading beyond the narrow rift and flowing over the surrounding rocks. The water was a bit higher than usual, in part because of our excessively rainy summer.

There is something about water that calms me, even rushing water. As I edited the image, I found myself zooming in on sections, taking in the complex movement and textures of the water as it rushes over teh rocks and downward to the rapids below.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200 

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“We’re always attracted to the edges of what we are, out by the edges where it’s a little raw and nervy. “
– E. L. Doctorow

Similar to my photo from a few days ago “Transitions and Sunsets“, this is another transition photo, made on the same shoreline, at a different time. The elements remain the same, but the light and weather conditions are different.

In this image, made mid afternoon, the water is beginning to recede, having been pushed ashore by high winds and waves. The small ripples in the water are the only indication of this wind, all else would seem calm, the timeless ebb and flow of waves on the shore. The effect the water has on the tone of the sand, making it slightly darker, is what first caught my eye, as well as the sorting of sand grains between light and dark, which is so common on beaches around here, creating the streaks of tan and gray.

It’s yet another image that I simply enjoy looking at and drawing meaning from.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/270 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20