Phyllis (Faigie) Springer,
September 27, 1921 – November 30, 2016
September 27, 1921 – November 30, 2016
Rest in Peace
There's a whole checklist of things that had to happen to get ready, and I'm done. Today, my neighbour Jack came over to help (wrong word: he did the work!) by sweeping the chimney and removing some trees that had grown too close to the house. The other day I got my ATV back from the mechanic, it now sports a dedicated 4WD switch (electrical problems. It was intermittent) and the battery from my boat is now mounted on the back of the ATV to help power the winch that controls the snowplow. The car's been serviced, the furnace people were here three times to iron out issues with the heat, I've split and stacked all the firewood, snow shovels are by the doors. The boat's parked in the garage, the gazebo and lawn furniture are in storage. I'm done.
Let it snow!
I didn't record exactly where this was. It was somewhere south of the Montreal River Harbour, maybe Alona Bay?
Another shot in the same location
Commercial fishing boat at Mamainse Harbour.
Yearling male. You can see the nubs of his antlers coming in.
My favourites are the last two; they're "environmental portraits" which tell of the animal in its surroundings. Closeups are fine, but I prefer to tell a story
They were – or at least one was – but the backlighting was horrendous and it was really dark where he was. Still, I got a shot or two!
Check out the gorgeous colours of this male bird!
The spruce and ruffed grouse share a defense mechanism: they freeze and they're very hard to spot in the bush — are you kidding me? Maybe for the Ruffed grouse and the female Spruces... I think they were handed a short supply of brains. It's a wonder any of them are still around! Dig the bright colours and contrasty feathers!
This is "Papa" fox. He's been around for a while and he's really good at posing for a shot!
While we were waiting for the foxes to show up, this blue jay entertained us.
I think the Blue Jay should have been named Canada's National Bird instead of the Grey Jay or WhiskeyJack. This name is a variation on Wisakedjak, a benevolent trickster and cultural hero in Cree, Algonquin and Menominee mythologies
Right on schedule, our furry friends showed up. This is either Mama or one of last year's kits.
A fearless red-breasted Nuthatch comes down for a treat!
Hard to see, as I said earlier. Here's a Ruffed Grouse hanging out in a pine tree. Dr. Ron spotted this guy.
And our friendly neighbourhood Pine Marten came for a visit. There was a bit more light than the previous visit, so I managed a decent picture.
Super Moon Rising over Horseshoe Lake. This is a composite image, the foreground is from a shot at the Shuyler's Island Causeway, looking for Northern Lights last summer.
Please forgive my long hiatus. I've been dealing with some serious family medical issues that have kept me away for the last month. Frankly, I wasn't motivated to pick up the camera even once in that time, except for my trip up to Wawa but I did keep up with my Facebook friends and enjoyed the pictures and stories, especially those in Algonquin Park. I'm so jealous of all those great moose pictures!
While chasing fall colours, I ended up at Bob Lake just West of Minden around sunset. I saw this and HAD to stop to take this picture.
Group photo courtesy of Jim Camelford. I just did a tiny amount of LR tweaking.Shot with his Olympus E-M1 mirrorless camera. Very tempting...
Spectacular Fall colours! I took this shot with my iPhone on the way up. Just off Highway 69, south of the French River. Although it lack some of the quality of a similar shot I took with the D800, I think I like it better! Picture postcard perfect!
I took this shot a few minutes later with the D800. It's rendered using Topaz Impression with my favourite "Impasto" preset.
Next day, en route between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa. Although the colours aren't as eye-searingly brilliant as those further South, the scenery on the shores of Lake Superior is incredible. I was thinking of renting a cabin up there for the month of October next year, just to explore and photograph this 200 km stretch of highway. Who's with me?
One of the spots I scouted for the group was this blueberry field on the way to High Falls. I was really taken by the textures in the vegetation.
We went to the beach on the Michipicoten First Nations Reserve where I did this impression looking out over the Michipicoten Bay. Because it was so calm, I felt the need to add these textures to make it match my vision. I used pre-visualization techniques to compose and render this shot.
This was shot on the last morning as I drove to the Lodge. It's one of my favourite pictures of the trip. I knew it the moment I saw it. This one will be printed for sure!
I think it was Jim's idea to drag these Muskoka chairs down to the beach but it was someone ELSE's idea to provide this awesome lighting just after sunrise! Textures added in Impression.
Shoreline rocks worn smooth by millions of years of Lake Superior wave action. Pastel colours and textures enhanced in Topaz Impression. It reminds me of a Microsoft screensaver, only better!
Obviously I used Topaz Impression 2 (my favourite preset is "Impasto") on this image, but there's more to it than that! I did a lot of extra technical work to make this picture look like what I had in mind when I shot it. For one thing, it's an HDR merge of 5 bracketed shots so that I could work with the full dynamic range. And I used some secret sauce (see below) to bring out the colours of the foliage which were not anywhere near that intense so early in the season. I actually muted and blurred the background just a bit to enhance the foreground subject.
Remember you can click on any image to blow it up full size
- convert your image from RGB to LAB colour
- Apply the image
- Change the blend mode to "Overlay" (you can experiment with other modes, like "Soft Light" for more and less intense effect); and select the "b" channel. This menu pops up when you click "apply image" in the previous step.
- Now simply switch back to RGB so you can continue editing, or output a normal Jpeg. If you did this on a fresh layer copy, you can now change the opacity or blend mode, or you can mask areas as you wish.
Here's the resulting image after those four steps.
This was carefully cropped and straightened up using the perspective cropping tool in Photoshop (People don't seem to know about this tool. It's simple to use and so effective!) . The original image was an amazing 266 Mp in size; this crop is almost 60 Mp! Again I used Impression/Impasto, and I added some texture using Topaz Texture Effects.
Gales of November: less than a month away and I'm excited because (a) there are some outstanding people attending and (b) we have some fantastic venues to shoot and some great programs planned!
Despite several last-minute inquiries, we still have two spaces available in the first weekend (October 20-23) AND a lodge room has opened up. Also there are still 4 spaces on the second weekend. Jump on it, folks! YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO BE THERE.
Visit www.photography.to/gales for details and if you want the first weekend, email me directly. The October 27-30 session can be booked directly online.
A picture is worth 1000 words.I don't need any words for these pictures, do I?
Here's a fall sunflower on the side of the road that called out to me to have its picture made.
By the way, where did the expression "sleep like a baby" come from? I sleep like a baby. I wake up at 2 and again at 4am. I get up because I have to go to the bathroom or something hurts. My father used to say, "everything hurts. Except the stuff that doesn't work any more". I know how he felt.
Gales of November: we had a cancellation from the first weekend (October 20-23) so there are two spaces available AND a lodge room has opened up. Also there are still 4 spaces on the second weekend. Jump on it, folks! This is going to fill up.
Visit www.photography.to/gales for details and if you want the first weekend, email me directly. The October 27-30 session can be booked online.
Photo credit: Jack March. It's a 16' Starcraft with an 85hp Evinrude outboard.
Update: I've moved it to the Marina down the road. Makes more sense, although I have to drive to the boat instead of walking (well I could walk...). Very reasonable price and friendly folks.
Here's me in my Tilley hat. It's the only one that will stay on my head when I'm running in the wind...
...and here's me fishing my Tilley hat out of the water. Guess I was wrong!
This is a merge of a few shots to get a little extra detail
I was struck by the warm glow of the lit-up cottage and by the splendour of the starry sky.
This looks like an ordinary picture of a house under construction. If you look closely you can see some distortion, especially in the lower right corner. But what makes it remarkable is that it's a composite of 25 separate pictures and it took me 2 minutes to assemble it.
This is detail from the same composite image. Cropped really, really tight.
Fall's not far away!
This was a 5-shot HDR which I then painted with Impression. This one might get me back to my brushes and oil paints. I've been taking a sabbatical from painting for a while because I find it a lot easier to capture my vision with a Wacom stylus in my hand than with a paint brush.