Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hazardous Road - sign graffiti & Skinner's Bluff photo shoot

I'm always on the watch for funny signs or interesting graffiti to shoot a quick photo of (it's one of the reasons I carry a point & shoot). I found this one the other day near the parking lot for the very scenic Skinner's Bluff overlook near Wiarton, Ontario. Read the message written on the bottom with marker. And for what it's worth, the sign is correct... the road past here is bad!

Photographed with a Canon G11.

And here's a behind-the-scenes photo of the actual photo shoot I was doing for a tourism client that morning at Skinner's Bluff... a great lookout on the Niagara Escarpment.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Great video shot with Canon's new 8-15mm f/4L fisheye

Check out this aweseome video shot with the new Canon EF8-15mm f/4L fisheye, a 5D mark II and a 7D. I want one of those remote control helicpoters!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Great sunset over Lake Huron tonight!

The skies were shaping up nicely so I raced down to the beach for an hour of magical light. The location is Dorcas Bay in Bruce Peninsula National Park on the Lake Huron shoreline. Both photos were taken with an EOS 1Ds mark III, 24-70mm f/2,8 lens, Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo polarizer and 3 stop hard edge ND grad. ISO 200, f/22, 0.8 and 1.3 seconds respectively.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Backyard bird photography setup & surprise

Photo 1 (above): Swainson's Thrush in my backyard, Tobermory, Ontario. EOS 1Ds mark III, Sigma 300/2.8 lens & Canon 2x teleconverter; ISO 800, 1/80s @ f/5.6

I was sitting out in my blind the other day photographing White-crowned Sparrows, when I was pleasantly surprised to have a Swainson's Thrush drop in on my perch settup for a few moments.

Photo 2 (above): Here's the view of my blind (with me in it) from the old stump that I have scattered seed  around to attract sparrows. I triggered this photo remotely from inside the blind using Pocket Wizard radio remotes. I wanted to get a photo with a bird on the perch, but they wouldn't come in with the remote camera setup so close to the stump.

Photo 3 (above): White-crowned Sparrow (immature) in my backyard, Tobermory, Ontario. EOS 1Ds mark III, Sigma 300/2.8 lens & Canon 2x teleconverter; ISO 640, 1/80s @ f/5.6

White-crowned Sparrows have been migration through the Bruce Peninsula by the thousands over the past two weeks!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall colors, Sigma Canada, chipmunks and dropping lenses into rivers....

Photo 1 (above): Algonquin Park fall colors detail. Canon EOS 5D mark II, Sigma 300/2.8 lens & drop-in polarizer, ISO 200, 1/80s @ f/8; mirror lock-up and cable release.

Sorry for the delay in posting, I've been on the road visiting family for Canadian Thanksgiving and had some internet issues... the server would not let me upload photos to blogger. All better now that I am back home and I can share more photos from my recent shoot in Algonquin Park.

Sigma Canada (distributed by Gentec International) has recently added me as one of their pro shooters and hooked me up with some great lenses. Check out their brand new website http://www.sigmacanada.ca/ and be sure to click on the Pro Gallery to see me along with fellow Canadian photographers Darwin Wiggett and Crombie McNeil.

So far, I've got two Sigma lenses in my bag: the 12-24mm wide-angle zoom and the 300mm f/2.8 telephoto. Actually, let me clarify that.... I accidentally dropped the 12-24mm into Oxtongue River Rapids during my recent fall colors shoot. It completedly submerged for a few minutes before I perilously fished it out and sent it back to see if it can be salvaged... cross your fingers for me! In case you're counting (I am), that's two lenses I've dropped this summer/fall..... damn!

A 300/2.8 lens has been on my must-get list for some time, so this is a welcome addition to my system (in good time for my upcoming Africa trip). The Sigma 300/2.8 is razor sharp and has very fast autofocus. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it comes standard with a drop-in polarizer (and the design is better than Canon's drop in filter system). I'll be calling Singh-Ray soon to see if they have an LB warming polarizer that will fit!

And now to some photos.....

Photo 2 (above): Algonquin Park fall colors forest edge. Canon EOS 5D mark II, Sigma 300/2.8 lens & drop-in polarizer, ISO 200, 1/15s @ f/11; mirror lock-up and cable release. I like compressed landscapes with telephoto lenses. This is a classic situation to use a polarizer... to help improve contrast and saturation in the misty conditions. 

Photo 3: Algonquin Park fall colors. Canon EOS 5D mark II, Sigma 300/2.8 lens & drop-in polarizer, ISO 400, 1/640s @ f/7.1; mirror lock-up and cable release. Even in very dull, overcast light I was pleased with the rich contrast of this lens.

While I was in the Algonquin area, I dropped in to visit my friend Gary Schultz, owner of the Algonquin Lakeside Inn (just west of the park). The feeders at the Inn were busy with activity so Gary and I caught up while shooting. I highly recommend a trip to stay at the Inn and enjoy the great shooting at the blind/feeders!

Photo 4 (above): The photo blind at Algonquin Lakeside Inn, with ower Gary Schultz on the right.

Photo 5 (above): Rusty Blackbird. Canon EOS 1Ds mark III, EF 500mm f/4 lens & 1.4x teleconvertor. ISO 640, 1/125s @ f/5.6. Rusty Blackbird is an elusive and rarely photographed species... this was only my second time photographing them.

Photo 6 (above): Eastern Chipmunk with cheeks full of seeds.Canon EOS 1Ds mark III, EF 500mm f/4 lens & 1.4x teleconvertor. ISO 640, 1/400s @ f/5.6.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Algonquin Park fall colors

I'm way behind in editing photos at the moment but couldn't resist processing a few from last week in the Algonquin Provincial Park area. I've been given some Sigma lenses to test out from Gentec International (Canadian distributor for Sigma) and I'm having a blast with them... especially the 300/2.8, which I took the bottom photo with. This is my first 300/2.8 and it is so amazingly sharp... expect to see me shooting a ton more photos with it!

Photo 1 (above): Maple leaves along Oxtongue River Rapids. Canon EOS 5D mark II, 17-40mm lens, Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer. ISO 100, 0.6s at f/22. [By the way, the leaves were placed there by an oreo-eating mammal.]

Photo 2 (above): Autumn colors in mist along Opeongo Lake Road, Algonquin Provincial Park. EOS 1Ds mark III, Canon EF 500mm f/4 lens. ISO 400, 1/50s at f/8.

Photo 3 (above): Autumn colors along Highway 60 in Algonquin Provincial Park. EOS 1Ds mark III, Sigma 300/2.8 lens. ISO 200, 1/160s at f/8.