Thursday, July 14, 2011


Here we are on our last full day at Clear Lake. And it appears the serious shooting is at an end. I caught what is likely my last dusk trip last night with the expectation of lousy weather tonight. And what is definitely my last dawn shoot this morning as I can't imagine getting up early tomorrow with a long'ish drive home to consider.

So barring other surprises these shall be my bookends on this year's summer vacay.

Abstract Thought

This will seem somewhat out of place against the other posts as of late. A couple of abstract images that I quite like from here around the park. Nothing but shape and color that drew my eye.

The first is a wall and post from outside our restaurant. Fortunately dinner had not yet been served so wasn't too problematic to quickly run outside, shoot, and return to my beverage.

Secondly, one of the bridge stanchions that I noticed one day while walking to the pier. My original inclination was for it to be a fine art black and white style, but this color film emulation changed my perspective.

I'm going to need to keep my eyes open for other subjects and colors to add and make a series.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


While at the marsh with the kids the other day one of them stumbled across this horrific thing...

It was almost like a leech with legs. Fast, too. Either a mutation akin to Godzilla, or signs of life from another planet. Absolutely freaky and nasty.

More From the Marsh

Took another stroll through Ominnik Marsh yesterday morning, this time all the way around. Quite an interesting place that evokes a certain mood. Would love to see it with a low hanging mist in the early morning.

That said some more hard black and whites offer their own atmosphere.


Despite the great weather these past couple of weeks my output hasn't been as prolific as in past years. Part of that stems from the almost complete absence of clouds in the mornings and evenings. Part of the landscape lightshow involves how the sky explodes with the rising/falling sun, and with nothing to bounce off of things get pretty meh.

That said, I did manage to get a trio of more atmospheric keepers where conditions were good. Along with the usual quizzical looks and the odd question from passers by.

Cowboy Up!


Not much of a fan, but I can understand the appeal. Pretty magnificent beasts. And so we find ourselves at the local ranch where the 'fam embarks on a brief trail ride.

Me. Not so much. So I shoot.

Tennis, anyone?

A big part of the melange of local activities is the tennis court. Always fun to watch balls shoot over the fences with just mere swipes of the racket. My daughter loves it, though. Just abstracts but they still tell a story.

Run, Forest!

There is a beautiful path that runs the perimeter of the lake. Great for walking, running, and shooting. Took a bit of a different turn with these one morning. Starting with this backlit Whatever Flower. Don't know what it is, but it really popped with that sun streaming in from behind. Unfortunately I couldn't get the well-defined diffraction star in the background.

Just off the path was this fallen tree surrounded by dappled light. Thought it was a nice contrast against the lush green of the forest floor. Originally envisioned black and white but couldn't make it work so in color it stays.

A little bit up is the remnants of an old stone path, now fallen into disuse. The nature of the scene demanded a high-dynamic range series.

The path back down to the path...

...and back out along the lake. This last one was always intended as black and white.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


There seems to be a trend emerging here. Checking back on my Clear Lake posts from last year I realized it took me until our 5th day in to get up at the Crack of Ridiculous to capture the rising sun (see Good Morning, the first of which happened to be my winning shot for the 2010 Riding Mountain National Park photo contest). And so it was yesterday that my eyes popped open at around 4:45am and I set out to the shore.

The morning was shaping up to be beautful, photographically speaking. The mosquitoes, however, were the stuff of nightmares. Steeling my resolve I set forth as I had an idea in my head from the previous day. Vantage point: rocky stairs down to the beach. Reality didn't quite fit the vision, but I still find the end result interesting (if not a bit brooding).

While shooting this I noticed what proved to be a more interesting perspective looking across the shoreline from the steps. It didn't hurt that the clouds had thinned and the dawn sun set the sky ablaze. With the help of a neutral density grad off-kilter to hold back the sky and a 3-stop ND filter to slow down the exposure (note the smooth water and streaky clouds) this is what popped up on my display after about a minute.

In the words of Po from Kung-Fu Panda (which we enjoyed this week at what I believe is the only log-cabin theater on the continent)... "Skadoosh!". With only a bit of refinement in post what you see above is pretty much straight out of camera. Mosquitoes be damned, this is a killer sunrise.

And with that in the can, and a smile on my face, I hustled over to the pier to try and capture that light from a new perspective. Unfortunately it was changing quickly, and by the time I made it to my next locale, and navigated a mess of seagull "waste", it was gone.

That's not to say the final shot of the morning wasn't cool, though.

After about an hour and untold mosquitoe nibbles it was time to go back to bed. Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Printing a Retraction

Earlier this week I posted my first bridge shot of the trip. Wasn't entirely happy with it and set out to correct a couple of wrongs last night. I didn't like the composition with the horizon above the bridge - needed a lower perspective. Also wasn't pleased with the fidelity of the file as it was underexposed (and with an almost 10-minute combined exposure I wasn't game to take another crack at it with the rapidly falling light).

This is closer to what I had in mind and is a much better file to boot. I do believe this will be part of my Riding Mountain 2011 Photo Contest submissions.

Harsh Marsh

Change of approach. Away from the water and into the marsh. Ominnik Marsh, that is, at Clear Lake. It's a somewhat claustrophic pathway through high grass that is oddly comforting. And distinctly at odds with how I treated it in these photographs. I knew I wanted an intense black and white conversion, with an IR treatment as my goal. Hence these surreal beauties that render almost-black skies and glowing grass.

July 4th at the White House

The White House is an institution here. And while our friends south of the border celebrate July 4th, we celebrate the truly spectacular:

Clear Lake Peeps

A wander around the town offered a few souls who caught my interest. No underlying story here, just some people enjoying some R&R.

Getting ready to sail with practiced hands...

Capturing amazing light with brush and paint. I have to say, this dude has it a lot tougher than I do. Photography is an art of exclusion, and you're capturing what's already there. Painters have to create from nothing. Impressive.

And closing the day with a classic lake scene. I refuse to covertly photograph kids, but in this case the boy is completely in silhouette (by design) and can't be identified. He's really every kid here.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Back to the Lake

It's early July and that means Clear Lake, the annual family sojourn/vacay. And the usual arrangement of landscape shots to make. Last year I was fortunate enough to win the Riding Mountain National Park photo contest. Maybe I can make it a two-peat!

These are a start, but a ways to go.

Canada D'Eh

Happy Birthday Canada. Enjoyed Canada Day celebrations on our first day in Clear Lake. Saw a range of emotions, from the young and enthusiastic... the "been there, done that"...

The Spear

Better late than never. Finally getting around to posting some images taken at Cape Spear - the Edge of Canada - while in St. John's last month. The fog never lifted so I had to change my expectations and approach. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was very cool and interesting.

So here goes...
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