Jun 172012
 

Where in Iceland is Johnny (hopefully)?

Today should be my first full day in Iceland. We’ll be picking up our jeep and making our way through Reykjavik to the entrance of the Westfjords. If we have enough energy, and leave early enough we may be able to take a detour to look around the Snaefellsness Peninsula on the way. After checking in it will be time for a nap before a full night of shooting. My plan is to drive along the south side of the Westfjords all the way to the bird cliffs that mark the most Westerly point in Europe. On the way there I’ll be stopping at a really big beach that looks pretty interesting on Google maps. On the way back to the hostel I plan on stopping at the Dynjandi Waterfall.

Today’s Photo: Winter Vineyard

After visiting Niagara Falls I drove the road running alongside the river towards Niagara-on-the-Lake. As I drove along the golden glow of the sun on these barren vines caught my eyes and I decided to stop to try to capture it. In the process of taking this photo I discovered that my camera was unhappy with the amount of water it had contacted while under Niagara Falls. It started firing off at will, the only way to stop it was to turn it off. This made taking my bracketed photos a challenge, and sifting through the multiple unnecessary shots the camera decided to add even more difficult. It was this incident that made me decide to buy a backup camera body. My Canon 7d‘s first big outing will be to Iceland where I expect it will first come into its own while photographing the puffins in the Eastfjords.

Barren grape vines in vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario

Something Interesting: Road Between Small Norwegian Islands

As it’s going to be my first day of driving in Iceland it seems fitting that I’d post this video of a drive, in Norway, that I’ve recently added to my to do list. This road looks absolutely insane! Especially with the waves crashing over it later in the video. Click here to view this amazing road.

May 022012
 

I arrived at this waterfall shortly after sunset. After parking at the top of the falls I went about looking for a good view. I came across a path but a sign said it was closed. I came across this a lot as I traveled around Ontario in March. They were closed due to the danger of ice, but the conditions could only be described as summery. So, I quickly slipped around the sign and found this vantage point.

Inglis Falls waterfall cascading over rocks in Bruce Falls, Ontario

Apr 242012
 

Operation Horseshoe Bay Sunrise: Day 2

It was far less confusing when my alarm clock woke me up this morning. It was still a little startling, but I remembered why I’d set it. It was lighter this morning, making me think that maybe it wasn’t as cloudy. Upon setting off for horseshoe bay, I realized that it was still completely overcast. When I got to the top of the rock I realized that there was a clear band at the horizon for the sun to slip through briefly.Unfortunately, as it approached sunrise a band of rain blocked this gap. I spent a while trying out different vantage points and then noticed a break in the clouds moving across the sky. I waited for it to move into frame and caught the sun bursting through it. It may be quite interesting, but it’s not what I’m after.

I realized I didn’t mention what I was trying to capture yesterday. I’d like to manage two shots. For one, I want a spectacular sunrise forming a backdrop to the beach. For the other I want a blue sky with a few interesting clouds and the beach bathed in golden morning light. I think Thursday will probably be the best day for it.

Toronto Skyline

This is another view of the city from the shoreline near Ontario Place on the way out of Toronto. I wound up in this location after researching Toronto viewpoints on blogTO. It’s not quite where they recommended, which was actually a pedestrian overpass nearby. I got up there and couldn’t frame a shot I was happy with. I think it would be better at night, with light trails leading into the city. I’ve actually had a couple of my Toronto shots picked as blogTO’s photo of the day, which is pretty cool. If you poke around their site a bit you’ll find them.

View of Toronto from the shoreline near Ontario Place under blue sky with fluffy clouds.

 

 

Apr 142012
 

I was driving westward from the center of Nigara-on-the-Lake, chasing the sunset. The sky had lit up just above the horizon and I was trying to find somewhere to take a few photos of the last light. I came across a small park nestled in amongst a few houses and parked the car. I hurried across the park to find stairs down to the edge of the lake where there happened to be a beach. I fired off a few shots and then finished up with this one.

It was dark enough that setting a small aperture allowed me to smooth out the small waves on the lake and capture some of the underwater details. This is a composite of 7 photos bracketed from -3 to +3.

Last pink tinged light seen reflecting on calm Lake Ontario at Niagara-on-the-lake with rocky shoreline.

Apr 102012
 

I’d have liked to get out to Toronto Island during my time there. In fact, my plan was to head there immediately after checking into my hotel. Unfortunately, I missed my connection in New York and got in far too late. I walked by and decided the ticket booths would make for a good photo.

Bright colored ticket booths lit up at night for ferry to Toronto Island in Ontario

Apr 092012
 

Growing up in Bermuda has made me a bit of a water snob. It’s hard to imagine anywhere topping the beautiful turquoise waters cocooning the island. Now I’m not sure I’m allowed to say this, but, the waters of Lake Huron, just off of Tobermory, at the very end of the Bruce Peninsula, are definitely a contender. It was nothing like I expected, so blue and clear. Amazing. After taking a few photos I just sat and stared at it for a while before heading back up to the car.

The waters of Lake Huron, just off of Tobermory, at the very end of the Bruce Peninsula, are turquoise blue and clear.

Apr 052012
 

It’s possible that Eaton Centre was built with HDR photography in mind. There are so many lines and textures and bits hanging from the ceiling it can make for some very interesting images.

Eaton Center in Toronto before the shoppers arrive where it looks ultra modern.

Apr 032012
 

Before writing about today’s post I’d just like to state that the roads around Toronto are bloody terrifying for an island boy used to driving on the left. I haven’t got a clue how anybody from out of town ever could have navigated the corkscrewing web of highways prior to GPS. I was using a TomTom and even it got confused. Just as we were reaching our destination it instructed me to keep right. Somewhat unsurprisingly this lane split off, with no warning or recourse, before the off ramp that the TomTom thought it was directing me to. Fortunately, the little machine successfully assessed the situation and plotted a new route.

That was at the end of my trip, this photo was at the beginning but the traffic reminded me of my return journey. I’ve had a bit of a whinge in a previous post about some of the difficulties I encountered on the night I arrived. My flight to New York was delayed and resulted in me missing my connection. I got there far too late to hit all the points I had planned. I decided on my way into the city that I’d concentrate on taking some skyline shots with the last remaining light. Then, the fog, the all enveloping fog that obscured the city from view.

It seemed unlikely that the viewpoints I first had in mind would be possible in these conditions. I could only see a couple of blocks in all directions. I resigned myself to doing some research with the plan to have a really successful morning, if the fog had receded. Then, I realized I was near one of the viewpoints I’d researched and decided to check it out.

I arrived on top of the Queen’s Quay Parking Garage, with a view of the Gardiner Expressway, Rogers Centre and the CN Tower. On this night the CN Tower was just a stem, disappearing into the clouds, but, then the fog became my ally. The purple lights of Rogers Centre glowed in the fog and buildings faded in and out as traffic flowed into the city. Happily, I set up for my first successful photo in Toronto.

I keep mentioning my pre-planned view points of Toronto. I had discovered these points the day before I left for Toronto on the following site:

http://www.blogto.com/toronto/lists/the_top_views_of_toronto/

I processed this photo as usual but then brought back the shadows as I felt that the HDR process had actually pulled out features i couldn’t see (or didn’t notice) at the time. The photo felt more natural with darker shadows.

View of the Gardiner Expressway, Rogers Center and the CN Tower in Toronto from the top of the Queen’s Quay Parking Garage with the purple lights of Rogers Center glowing in the fog and traffic flowing into the city.

 

 

Mar 312012
 

I got up early to photograph two specific locations at sunrise. One involved setting up in the middle of a small road. A small road that was surprisingly busy so early in the morning! So, that wasn’t an option. My second location was obscured by fog. So, I started driving around trying to find some shots. I actually got quite a few so it all worked out.

I spotted this barn from the road and began taking photos. Suddenly I realized I was no longer on the roadside and probably trespassing. I set up for this last shot before scampering. I don’t think anyone saw me, fortunately.

Inside of dilapidated wooden barn with hole in roof where cat perches with sunshine pouring in through all the holes in Niagara, Ontario.

Mar 302012
 

Before going to Toronto I wondered how my experience at Niagara Falls would compare to visiting the Victoria Falls in Zambia. It’s definitely different. The falls are equally impressive, but there’s much more concrete around them… and safety rails. There were a few that I desperately wanted to climb over but decided I didn’t feel like getting arrested. The whole place is very cheesy with its tourist attractions, replica CN tower and casino. But I kind of liked it. It was so over the top it was interesting, and I probably would have liked to spend more time there.

There was a lot of luck involved in this shot. The limitations on access to the falls (that safety stuff) was frustrating me as I was searching out an angle on the falls that would allow for a shot a bit out of the ordinary. As part of this attempt I was taking a photo of a section of the falls through a vine-covered doorway. I’m not sure that photo will ever see the light of day as the concept may have been a bit better than the reality. But, as I fiddled with my tripod trying to find the right angle a man I later found out was named Jay started chatting with me. Then, he told me about a somewhat secret viewpoint on the balcony of the hotel restaurant behind me. At this point I realized Jay was wearing chef whites and asked if he worked there. Sure enough he did. 5 minutes later I was stood on a tiny balcony outside the restaurant with this view in front of me. Then, I saw these five puffy white clouds drifting across the sky into a perfect position.

View of Niagara Falls with the buildings of Niagara including the replica CN Tower under a blue sky with five fluffy clouds.