hiking

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What else could it be? Nature photography. I would hazard a guess that more people consider themselves nature photographers than would classify themselves as any other type of shooter. There’s an unending wealth of opportunities out there for those of us who love to take our cameras into nature in any of its many forms, flora, fauna, landscape vistas, skies, trees, ranges, etc etc. And it’s a constant learning opportunity for the photographer who needs to deal with ever-changing light sources as well as trying to capture that shot that will make people sit up and take notice. It’s extraordinarily difficult to produce something out of the camera that truly reflects the glory of what we’ve seen while out walking, or sailing or climbing, or even from inside our cars as we take yet another magnificent drive through whichever country we happen to be in.

I have to remember that this is a blog post and not an essay; I could ramble on for pages on where I’ve been , where I would love to have gone, where I still plan to go. I’ll keep it short and just add that yesterday I took a walk on the Hockley Valley Trail just north of Toronto. I hadn’t walked here previously, but set off at a reasonably early hour in order to try to get the best light I could. It’s a sacrifice that I was willing to make! At one point on the trail I came across a potential shot that I’ve had on my bucket list for ever – the sunbeam through the trees. As I shot and then moved around the light, more beams and angles came into play. I took a number of shots before I thought I had enough, and then took a few more just in case. When I walked back along the same part of the trail a couple of hours later the beams had completely disappeared. And that is why we go out in the early morning. And yes, I know, the sun is blown out. I said it was a bucket-list shot, not a perfect shot.

Hockley Sunbeam photography

Sunbeams photography

This shot is a more painterly photograph of the fall colours that are now beginning to appear in Southern Ontario. While Algonquin was at its peak this weekend, our neck of the woods is a little more sedate in its rate of change. I expect to head out over the next couple of weekends, weather permitting, but this one was taken at a pond on the Hockley Valley trail. The painterly style isn’t produced by camera movement or any Photoshop filter. It’s the photograph of the reflection of the trees in the water, flipped 180 and then cropped. Easy and real.

Reflections photography

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After 2012’s almost non-existent winter it was a shock to the system to be reminded what Canadian winters can actually be like. Long and cold, plenty of snow and this year, unfortunately, not too much sunshine. I can happily cope with winter when we get those beautiful cold but sunny days, a brilliant blue sky and bright sunshine making the snow positively glow. Not so much of that this year, winter 2012/13 reminded more of the cold and damp winters I went through in England. Combined with some personal stuff that kept me away from my camera since October, there’s been little opportunity to shoot before now.

But finally over Easter we got a break and it looks like Spring finally arrived. I managed to get in a couple of short hikes over the last week, one to Rattlesnake Point in Milton and another to the Albion Hills conservation area in Bolton. Both of them offered something in the way of photo opps and it was good to take some shots again.

Rattlesnake Point has some great views over the landscape, this one was taken from one of the lookout points on the Red trail (the easy one!).

View from Rattlesnake Point

Rattlesnake Point walk

And a couple from Albion Hills also. The trails were too slippery and muddy for much decent walking, especially with a couple of dogs along for the exercise, but later in the year they’ll be perfect.

Trail

Albion Hills

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