Monthly Archives: March 2013

Winter in Lanark County

Tomorrow is the Spring Equinox – the official first day of spring. Yay! But it sure doesn’t look very spring-like outside right now! Overnight and through today we’ve had about 10 cm of snow dumped at our front doors and apparently more is on the way. Most people I talk to have had enough of winter now and find this pretty discouraging. True – I’d be happy for some warmth, sunshine and birds singing.

This is probably our last blast of winter for this season. So to celebrate the end of winter, I thought I’d post some images from winter around Lanark County, Ontario. Enjoy!

Beaver ponds are plentiful around Lanark County.

Beaver ponds are plentiful around Lanark County.

Cattail marshes with old dead trees can be picturesque, especially on days with moody skies.

Cattail marshes with old dead trees can be picturesque, especially on days with moody skies.

I love isolating just a few cattails and some snow.

I love isolating just a few cattails and some snow.

The Tay River from the Christie Lake Road bridge.

The Tay River from the Christie Lake Road bridge.

Trees reflecting in the Tay River.

Trees reflecting in the Tay River.

A few rustic highlights along the Tay.

A few rustic highlights along the Tay.

Along Althorpe Road after a blizzard.

Along Althorpe Road after a blizzard.

Dead milkweed pods in the snow. The late day sun casts lovely shadows.

Dead milkweed pods in the snow. The late day sun casts lovely shadows.

I love the blue shadows the late day sun creates on the white snow.

I love the blue shadows the late day sun creates on the white snow.

Tree branches casting a shadow on the snow.

Tree branches casting a shadow on the snow.

Mounds of snow sculpted by the wind.

Mounds of snow sculpted by the wind.

Beautiful snowscapes....

Beautiful snowscapes….

Sun shining through the forest trees.

Sun shining through the forest trees.

Late in the day on the far side of our pond.

Late in the day on the far side of our pond.

Fresh snow creates a winter wonderland.

Fresh snow creates a winter wonderland.

Tea coloured ice from the tannins leached from the fall leaves.

Tea coloured ice from the tannins leached from the fall leaves.

Some of winter's visitors to the area - a Common Redpoll.

Some of winter’s visitors to the area – a Common Redpoll.

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Filed under Birds, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Landscape, Nature, nature photography, photography, Wildlife Photography, Winter

Anticipating Spring – Photo of the Week

Photo of the Week is back. I’ve been fighting the flu for the past two weeks and haven’t had much energy to do except get myself through my work days. But I’m starting to feel a bit better and so finally, back to photography. Phew! I was going through withdrawal. 馃檪

This week’s Photo of the Week is a portrait of a tulip, taken last year during Ottawa’s world-famous Tulip Festival. The beds of tulips provide a sea of colour and are a photographer’s mecca. Most of us here in Ontario have had enough of winter and are eagerly awaiting spring. So I thought I’d post something to help keep our spirits high, knowing that the lush greens and colourful blooms of spring are not far away.

This year I’ll be teaching my fine art flower photography workshop on May 11th, during the tulip festival. We’ll take advantage of the colourful blooms to learn different creative techniques for producing beautiful fine art flower images.

Click on the thumbnail below to see and read about this week’s Photo of the Week from 44th Parallel Photography.

16 March 2013

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Filed under Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Flowers, Macro photography, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography, plants

Wildphotomag – a new database of nature & wildlife photographer around the world

Recently, Wildphoto magazine put out a call for nature and wildlife photographers around the world to submit their details for inclusion in a database of photographers around the world.

Why add your name to the list? As Wildphotomag says,聽

“路聽Advertise your services at no cost
路聽Network with other photographers in your region, and across the world
路聽Share your knowledge
路聽Showcase your photography
路聽Increase your SEO with external links
路聽Increase your exposure and reach a wider audience
路聽You will be supporting Wildphotomag”

All great reasons to add your name! And help support a fantastic online magazine.

Click on the thumbnail below to visit wildphotomag and add your name to the database

Wildphotomag_photos
And if you haven’t checked out Wildphoto magazine before, I highly recommend you do. Just click on the thumbnail below to visit their site and view this months issue.

Wildphotomag

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Filed under Conservation & Environment, Digital Photography, Nature, nature photography, Wildlife Photography

Midway – a documentary everyone should see

All of us have impacts on the earth’s environment. Simply by living our everyday lives, we leave our footprint on the earth. Some footprints are bigger than others. And even if you want your footprint to be small and take actions to reduce it, it’s still there. But 聽smaller is better and that’s the key.

Salvin's Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Salvin’s Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Each one of us should strive to reduce our environmental footprint. In our household, we do things to try to reduce it. 聽I’m not happy with the footprint of my commute to work 3 days a week. But it’s better than 5 days a week. And I drive the most economical car I can afford. It’s one step away from a go-cart and with my commute, I can’t really go any smaller. I wish I could afford a hybrid. One day. But I hope I help to make up for my commute, at least in part, by the other things I do to try to lessen my impact on our environment. I’m not criticizing anyone for their environmental footprint. We all have one. I just hope we can all do things to reduce ours individually because if each of us does, collectively, it had a big effect, in a good way.

I think聽many people, perhaps all of us, to some greater or lesser degree, don’t realize the impacts we have on our planet because we don’t see them in our daily lives. I think this is why changing our behaviour and habits to reduce our impacts on the environment is often difficult. As humans, we are visual creatures and we need to see what our impacts are, in order to believe they exist.

This is why documentaries that actually show us the impacts of the way we live and the daily choices we make, on the earth’s environment is so fundamentally important. I recently wrote about Jim Balog’s documentary, Chasing Ice, that shows how the world’s glaciers are crumbling at alarming rates due to global climate change. Balog’s extreme dedication to the project was because he wanted to show the world that climate change is real.

There’s another documentary coming out this year that shows us the consequences of our actions (and inactions) – 聽the consequences of our modern lifestyles in developed nations. I’ve seen the trailer for this one and I think it’s a great example of showing us environmental impacts that we didn’t even think we had. You know, the out of sight, out of mind thing we humans are so good at. 聽Chris Jordan’s film, Midway, brings an important issue into focus.

His documentary is about Midway Island in the Pacific. Yes, the Midway Island, where a famous WW II battle took place. But Jordan’s film has little to do with Midway’s historical significance. Instead, here’s what his film is about:

“The Journey

Midway Atoll, one of the most remote islands on earth, is a kaleidoscope of geography, culture, human history, and natural wonder. It also serves as a lens into one of the most profound and symbolic environmental tragedies of our time: the deaths by starvation of thousands of albatrosses who mistake floating plastic trash for food.

The images are iconic. The horror, absolute. Our goal, however, is to look beyond the grief and the tragedy. It is here, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that we have the opportunity to see our world in context. On Midway, we can not deny the impact we have on the planet. Yet at the same time, we are struck by beauty of the land and the soundscape of wildlife around us, and it is here that we can see the miracle that is life on this earth. So it is with the knowledge of our impact here that we must find a way forward.” (taken from Chris Jordan’s Midway website).

Midway

There’s a trailer for the film on Chris Jordan’s website. I strongly encourage you to watch it. Warning – it’ll probably leave a lump in your throat. But that’s a good thing. A lump in your throat can provide the motivation to change your behaviour, for all of us to change our behaviour, so that this awful situation is remedied.

SLB-0010_Salvin's Mollymawk

Salvin’s Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Photo taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

You don’t have to be an environmentalist, biologist, or nature-lover to understand the significance of this issue. It should affect us all, deeply enough that we change the situation. I’m not sure what the answer is. But I want to find out. I had read about the impacts of plastic and other materials on marine life. But seeing the Midway trailer really floored me. Actually, the word disgusting was what really came to mind.

Buller's Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Buller’s Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Click on the thumbnail below to view the trailer on the Midway website.

Midway trailer

I don’t know when the film is scheduled for release. Sometime in 2013. When I find out, I’ll post it here as well as any links to where it will be showing. I want to see it. I hope you want to see it too.

SLB-9756_Albatross

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Filed under Birds, conservation, Conservation & Environment, Digital Photography, Nature, nature photography, Opinion, Philosophy, photography, wildlife

Winter On The River – Photo of the Week

This week’s Photo of the Week is of some of the elegant landscape Mother Nature creates with a snowstorm. Last week she walloped us with another blizzard – more of the wet, sticky snow we had at Christmas time. This sticky snow coats the tree branches, creating beautiful nearly-monochrome landscapes.

Click on the thumbnail below to read more about 44th Parallel Photography’s Photo of the Week.

 

2 March 2013

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Filed under Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Landscape, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography, Winter