Bala is known for its cranberries. It's also significant for me because one of the best motorcycling roads in Ontario ends there, Muskoka Road 13. I haven't been there in about 5 years, though. I was there yesterday to visit a yellow lab that was rescued from the Sudbury pound a few days before her scheduled demise and I'm considering adopting her. I probably will.
The Bala River runs through the town and is criss-crossed by bridges. I'm not sure what this building is, but I'll find out next time I'm there. Winter is the only time, I think, that you can get this shot because of the trees. It's fast water, and judging by the lawn signs that abound, Hydro is looking at building a power station, something many residents don't seem to favour.
The Ontario Historical Society has put a few plaques in Bala. One describes the Pre-Cambrian Rock geology of the area. There's also the Lucy Maud Montgomery museum in Bala. Apparently she visited the town in 1922 and wrote a book called "The Blue Castle" based on that visit. It's a bit of a stretch, it seems to me, to have a museum for LMM there, since she's best known for her book "Anne of Green Gables" and is PEI born and bred. She did live in Ontario, but nowhere near Bala: in Leaksdale which is some 200km away over in Uxbridge township.
Enough history lesson? I think I'm going to do more of this background research, telling the story behind some of my pictures.
A couple of technical notes (I know, I'm running on at the keyboard!): 5-shot HDR processed in Photomatix with saturation turned completely off and the shadow saturation turned up. Interesting effect. I wanted to emphasize the building so I used lens distortion (horizontal) in LR to change the perspective and I cropped and straightened it a bit before syncing the 5 images and exporting to Photomatix. I used Nik Sharpener on the building and grounds and Dfine to reduce noise in the sky. I turned off de-ghosting in Photomatix to retain the detail of the river. I used the Vignette preset in Nik Color Efex Pro to focus the scene a bit more. I think this would make a good watercolor subject if I ever get around to picking up a paintbrush.
PS: here's a shot of Miss Dixie, the dog I'm considering adopting:
Her name is "Dixie" and the foster parents have dubbed her "Miss Dixie". She's a "she" despite the blue collar (that's all the foster home had). Apparently she was picked up wandering in Sudbury and they traced some history. She's about 6 years old and she was used for breeding in a puppy mill. The number tattooed in her ear implies she's a pure lab. She has a great disposition and really needs a new "forever home".
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