Tim Watts Photography

"Updated Gallery" - SmugMug

While I prepare for a completely updated and better organized web site, if you are interested in seeing my most recent work, please visit my SmugMug web site. I have set it up as a temporary solution while my new web site is being developed.

"City In Black" - Ottawa, ON

This is a panoramic shot taken this past March. I was out wandering around down in the city near the National Arts Centre in Ottawa when I captured this 6 shot panoramic image. I had seen another popular local photographer capture the backside of the NAC from the roof of the Westin Hotel. I didn't have access to the roof, so I wandered around for a while trying to find a good angle off of the bridge at street level. There were lots of people out and about on a Saturday night, wandering around as well. The nice thing about shooting long exposure shots, as long as they keep moving they will not appear in the photo. Traffic was light, but I did manage to capture some light trails from the head lights and tail lights of the passing cars and buses. Earlier in the evening I had dragged one of my good friends out shooting. Unfortunately I didn't make a good choice, but she humored me and went along as I went to try and shoot the Supreme Court of Canada. I had remembered it differently ... when we arrived at the location, it ended up being a bust. So, as we wandered back to the car we did take a few shots, but for this scene I ended up coming back downtown later on my own, not wanting to get skunked and not get a decent shot for the outing. This was taken late in the evening, well past sunset. I was getting funny colour casts from the lights and gave up trying to process in colour, so went for the black and white image you see instead.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: 0EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 30 seconds
Panoramic Image: Yes, 6 images
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom CC
Date Captured: March 5, 2016
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Happy New Year 2016" - Open the doors to success

I decided to take another crack at editing this scene from La Jolla in the fall of 2013. I wanted to create an artistic rendering of this, as it would be fitting to the start of a new year, a new adventure. Looking down under Scripps Pier, the light at the end of it looks like an open door at the end of a long hallway. I'm looking at this scene with a lot of self reflection and desire of where I want my life to go in 2016. I wanted to have the ability to start doing direct sales through an eCommerce enabled web site. Done! (www2.timwattsphotography.ca) I want to start working on getting more of my prints in the local galleries and work on getting some of my work into larger galleries in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. - To Do! I want to get out and do more travelling, at least one big adventure a year. Travel somewhere far away, and capture many amazing scenes. I will continue to explore and capture as much of the local beauty around me, but I really want to start travelling again with the focus being on travel photography. Happy New Year everyone!! May each and everyone of you follow and find whatever successes you desire.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 1/5 second
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/8
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: May 2, 2015
Location: La Jolla - San Diego, California, USA

"Touched by the Golden Glow of the Sun" - Thurso, Quebec, Canada

This is an area I went exploring with a good friend of mine in late spring this year. The water was low, but it wasn't because there was no runoff, but because there was a dam above up further upstream. It was a very interesting area to walk around in and explore, you could tell that they were regularly releasing water from above as the rocks held water pools far greater than what would be held after a good rainfall. Plus there were signs all over saying if you heard sirens, get out of there and to high ground. It certainly added a small element of excitement for me to think about the rush of hearing sirens, having to grab my gear and run for the high banks along the waterway. Unfortunately/fortunately, there were no sirens, only a nice calm breeze, the sounds of birds chirping and very uneven ground to wander around on. This is a panoramic image, stitched from 8 photos taken in portrait mode. I used LRCC2015 to stitch all of the images together in raw mode. Then as per my usual workflow, I dropped the highlights to -100, brought the shadows up to +100, and then adjusted the white and black points to my liking. After the basic adjustments, I adjusted the overall exposure, and adjusted the white balance, bringing out the warm tones from the reflection of the sun.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 1/5 second
Panoramic Image: Yes, 8 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: May 2, 2015
Location: Thurso, Quebec, Canada

"Feelin the Blues" - Mer Bleue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This is an 8 shot panoramic image taken before sunrise in mid April. When I was first stitching it together I noticed that the white balance was off because it was still a bit too dark outside. Well, I decided to go with the blue look and after stitching it together, I brought the image into Photoshop from Lightroom and converted it to black and white. Once converted, I added a layer with a blue tint overtop of the image using the same blue tone that was in the original image. I blended the layers together, saved it as a psd and brought it back into Lightroom. I like the look and feel of this scene, it has a bit of a frozen windswept feel to it. The ice was long gone already, but because of the longer exposure time required, it smoothed the water out to give it the look of ice.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 3 seconds
Panoramic Image: Yes, 8 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: April 19, 2015
Location: Mer Bleue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Calm Pastel Sunset" - Petrie Island, Ontario, Canada

Last night I was busy looking around through all of my images from this year trying to find something a little bit different to process and share with everyone today. I settled on this one. This was taken in mid-July, when the bugs and mosquitos were in full force! lol But regardless of the bugs swarming around me trying to get the "full meal deal", I really liked the way the clouds had formed. It was nearing sunset, but not quite there. The detail in the clouds was what caught my eye initially, enough to select the six images and merge them into a panoramic image to see how it looked once merged. Thankfully the images merged into a panoramic image seamlessly. No issues whatsoever. Once I had merged the photos into the panoramic, I added gradient filters to the top and bottom of the image. In the top half, I dropped the exposure a full half stop. I then adjusted the white balance to add +25 of magenta. In the lower half gradient filter, I increased the shadows to +100 and increased the exposure a full third stop and added the same +25 of magenta. Rather than go over the top in vibrance or saturation, I left them completely natural. I think the vast majority of people following my photography tend to "like" the strong saturation photos more, but I know there are also many people that really enjoy the more natural images. So, here's one for those of you that prefer the natural looking scenes.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, 6 stop B+W
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 30 seconds
Panoramic Image: Yes, 6 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: July 12, 2015
Location: Petrie Island, Ontario, Canada

"Soft and Dreamy Sunrise" - Kanata, Ontario, Canada

I have been chasing this location for about a week now. Looking for and waiting for an amazing foggy sunrise, or sunset. So far no luck. This particular location is very nice, with all of the red/deep orange leaves on the ground and the bog in the distance. But most striking to me is the way the tree bases are curved and looking somewhat spooky! In order to make this scene unique and give it my "touch", I decided to give it a very soft and dreamy/sensual look to it. In order to give it this type of look, I took the clarity in Lightroom and set it to -100. This really softened the sharpness and gave it a nice dreamy look to the overall image. This is a panoramic image. Seven images make up this image. It's obvious to me, but might not be obvious to the average viewer.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: 0EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 1/6 second
Panoramic Image: Yes, 7 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: November 8, 2015
Location: Kanata, Ontario, Canada

"Sailboats in the Sunset" - Aylmer, Quebec, Canada

This is a scene that I have edited specifically for Clara, a very dear friend of mine. She is a very talented artist and was looking for something like this to paint. This scene has everything that a lovely sunset at a marina should have in my mind. Wonderful colours, soft tones, calm waters and moored sailboats. I stitched this panoramic image together from 6 portrait mode images. After I stitched everything together in Lightroom CC2015, I adjusted the white balance, then lowered the highlights (-100), brought up the shadows (+50), then set the white (+20) and black (+15) points. Next was the detail panel, set the sharpness to 85, Masking to (40), Luminance to (15). Using a masking gradient, I darkened (lowered the exposure -50) at the top and bottom of the image to help frame the shot. At this point, I'm finished in Lightroom, and bring the image into Photoshop. I had a specific area of the image at the bottom that I needed to clone out. There was a section of the pier that I was standing on that showed up in one small section of the image that I wanted to remove. It didn't add anything to the image, and really took away from what I wanted to create for Clara. Using the masking tools in Photoshop, I selected the area at the bottom of the image, and then using the content-aware fill tool, I removed the pier from the image. Final step, export and sharpen for the web.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 30 seconds
Panoramic Image: Yes, 6 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: June 6, 2015
Location: Aylmer Marina, Aylmer, Quebec, Canada

"Vimy Memorial Bridge Blue Hour" - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I captured this scene a few weeks ago on my second night/attempt to capture the bridge. That night I spent a bit more time wandering around, exploring the lines, trying to find the best perspective. I finally settled on this scene to try for my really long exposure. To capture this I had my tripod set as low as it could go. I wanted to be able to use the lines of the walkway to draw the eye in, slowly arcing towards the far end of the bridge. The unfortunate part about this scene, is that I am too low to get much in the way of light streaks from the passing cars. This is a single exposure, single shot. I set the shutter speed to bulb, opened the shutter and waited .... and waited, ... this is a 20 minute shot. Because I had the shutter open for so long, it was important to also perform the long exposure noise reduction in camera. It's the most effective way to remove the noise, without softening the image from post-processing techniques. So, that meant that the camera would take a second twenty minute exposure shot, find the noise and then subtract it from the first image.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 6 stop
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: 0EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 20 minutes
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/14
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: September 23, 2015
Location: Vimy Memorial Bridge, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Fire in the Sky" - Killarney, Ontario

This scene was captured during my "Follow The Light Tour 2015". It was taken at the start of the golden hour at sunset, which is why the sky is so bright high up above the trees yet. But of course when the sun is this close to the horizon, it moves very quickly. The clouds and the weather when I was taking this series of shots was fantastic, nice late summer breeze, warm, not many bugs, and no bears! As seen by the reflection of the sky in the standing water on the rocks, it was a really amazing scene unfolding before my eyes.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: Yes, B+W Circular Polarizer
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 1/2 second
Panoramic Image: Yes, 9 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: September 2, 2015
Location: Killarney, Ontario, Canada

"High Dynamic Setting Sun" - Mer Bleue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ok, so the sun isn't actually setting in this scene, it's already set. But with the intensity of the orange glow from where the sun had set, it looks like the sun is still setting. This is actually a 5 minute long exposure shot well after sunset as this was my third and final attempt to shoot this scene. The first two attempts were cut short from people walking along the boardwalk past me, causing the boardwalk to vibrate pretty substantially. I was actually wanting to shoot a ten to twenty minute exposure for this one to get a really nice blend of the colours in the sky, but at the five minute mark, someone was walking towards me on the boardwalk and I had to end it early. I'm still happy with the shot, but I was hoping for bigger streaks in the sky that a longer exposure would have given. This was taken using a 3 stop ND filter to keep things nice and dark to allow for the longer exposure times I was wanting to use. When shooting after sunset, and it has gotten dark, if you are using live view but it's just black, try opening your aperture up as much as the lens will allow so that you can see what the composition will look like, then set the aperture back to what you plan to take the shot with. Otherwise live view provides me with nothing other than ensuring it is level. In post processing, I turned the highlights down to -100, set the shadows to +100, added another gradient mask across the bottom half of the image and cranked the shadows to +50 to finally bring them back to this. Like I mentioned earlier, I had originally planned to at least double or triple the exposure time. So, the overall image was much darker than I had expected it to be. Thankfully I was still able to recover what I wanted out of the scene.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: 0EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 300 seconds
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/11
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: October 12, 2015
Location: Mer Bleue Conservation Area, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Sailing into the Setting Sun" - Aylmer, Quebec, Canada

OK, so maybe none of the sailboats are sailing ... no sails out, and they are moored fro the night ... But "Sailing into the Setting Sun" is a much better title ... Than Moored for the night, or ...? LOL This was taken about a week ago. It had been quite a while since I was last out at Aylmer to catch a beautiful sunset. This one was no exception. The soft amber tones in the evening sky were just amazing, it seemed like the glowing ambers in a fire, they just kept glowing. It was a wonderful evening, quiet with just a slight breeze coming off of the river. I tried a few different views while working the sunset, but this is the one that I like the most. This exposure was about 3 minutes, as I had a 3 stop ND filter on, and still had the aperture set to f/13. While taking this particular shot, I had a very nice couple approach me to take their photo. When they handed me their iPhone to take the photo of them, I wasn't able to take the shot as the phone didn't have any free space left. So, I pulled out my phone and took a couple of photos of them, and then emailed the photos to them. It's moments like that, meeting such kind and wonderful people while out shooting, that really makes the evenings enjoyable. Sina and Parisa, thank you for the lovely chat we had. In post, I did two things, changed the white balance to "shade" from auto to enhance the lovely amber tones and removed a few little spots of sensor dust. That was it. This has got to be the quickest edit ever!

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 3 Stop
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: 0EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 180 seconds
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Manual, Bulb Mode, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: October 10, 2015
Location: Aylmer Marina, Aylmer, Quebec, Canada

"Gatineau River Fall Reflections" - Wakefield, Quebec, Canada

This is a panoramic shot taken on the Gatineau River, about 15 minutes south of Wakefield. This is eight shots stitched together to form this perfect mirror scene. This was taken at sunset, facing away from sunset. You can see that there are areas where the setting golden hues of the sun are casting their lovely tones on the top of the mountain. The colours in person on all of the maple trees is just amazing! Fall in the east of Canada, such a wonderful area! I really enjoy exploring the region and trying to find more wonderful colours to capture and share.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: Yes
Exposure level used: 0EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 1/5 second
Panoramic Image: Yes, 8 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: October 10, 2015
Location: South of Wakefield on the Gatineau River, Quebec, Canada

"Fiery Sunset" - Shirley's Bay Ontario, Canada

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking to shoot a blue hour scene. I figured that if I went out to Shirley's Bay I would be there early enough, if the sunset was interesting, I would shoot it as well. But the intent was to catch the blue hour and capture it. Well, as you can see, shooting the blue hour was secondary on that night! The colours were simply amazing and soooo vibrant! This is an 8 shot panoramic image, stitched together in LR6. I don't recall doing much of anything in post-processing. I processed it the night I got home, so can't recall at this point. Looking at the original raw images though, they pretty much look the same.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: Yes
Exposure level used: 0EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 8 seconds
Panoramic Image: Yes, 8 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: September 9, 2015
Location: Shirley's Bay, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Rollin, Rollin, Rollin ... The Water Keeps On Rollin" - Sauble Falls Provincial Park, Ontario

This scene was captured at Sauble Falls Provincial Park. I really enjoyed my time there during my "Follow The Light Tour 2015". It was a wonderful location to stop and relax as I made my way up the Bruce Peninsula. In the afternoon and evening the falls are full of families playing and walking around in the water, exploring. In the morning at sunrise, I thought I had the place to myself, until I turned around to find a Heron standing on a rock about 30 feet from me. I was lucky enough to have been able to slowly turn my camera around on the tripod and catch the scene looking the other way with the Heron in the shot. This is an eight shot panoramic image, shot in portrait mode. With this being a shot with water, and wanting to capture the movement just right. Shutter speed is the most important factor. From my experience this summer, it seems the best range for shutter speed is around one second, .8, .5, 1.3, 1". Around these timing, I am able to capture nice movement and streaks in the water. In post on this scene, I did almost nothing. A little dust cleanup, darked the sky a touch and adjusted the white and black points. I did a little bit of shadow adjustment to bring back the areas near the trees, and brought the highlights down a touch.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: Yes
Exposure level used: 0EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 5 seconds
Panoramic Image: Yes, 8 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: August 30, 2015
Location: Sauble Falls Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

"Incoming Waves" - Rock Point Park, Ontario

Here is another one of my captures from day one of the "Follow The Light Tour 2015". This scene was captured early evening before the sun was getting down low at the horizon. You can see the lightness in the clouds in the distance. It was a very stormy night, lots of wind and waves crashing. I really enjoyed it. Being such a large lake, Lake Erie, it's more like an ocean. The shoreline just disappears and all you see is the water all of the way to the horizon. Love it! The beach there is very interesting. There are millions of small shells all over the shore. It's made up more of shells than sand in many places along the edge. I was very happy to have found this nice "driftwood" log that had washed up on the shore to use for foreground interest. Mid frame, the rocks were perfect. top frame, the clouds added a lot of drama and colour to the scene. Perfect! All I could ask for in a single shot. In post-processing, all I did was add a gradient filter and brought up the shadows in the foreground. White balance was left at "as shot", sharpening, noise reduction, dust removal and export for the web. Gotta love these really quick edits!

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: 0EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 1.6 seconds
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: August 25, 2015
Location: Rock Point Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

"Foggy Fall Sunrise" - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

With the fall colours just around the corner, I've been paying extra special attention to the leaves on the trees around me. The last two years I have missed the colours and been unable to get any good shots of the amazing colours nature provides us with at this time of year. In an effort to make it easier for all of you to see all of my posts, I'm going to try to be much more consistent on the days and times I post new images. I've just recently realized I can schedule my posts. So, with this new found knowledge, I will be scheduling my posts for Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:00am EST. That seems to be a good time for more people to have it show up in their news feed. Please let me know in the comments below what you think of this approach. Thank you everyone! This year I am determined to not miss the colours! All it takes is one storm to come along at the wrong time, and whoosh, the leaves are all off of the trees and one the ground. So far so good, the forecast looks promising for little wind and no rain for the next few days. If the leaves do stay on the trees and the weather cooperates, I'll be taking some time off of my regular work to get out day and night to make sure I get some great shots this year. This scene is from my favourite location that is closest to my home, Mer Bleue. It's only about a 20 minute drive, and a 20 minute walk in when the park gate is closed. So, this way, I don't have to get up out of bed super early! This is a small panoramic image consisting of 4 portait oriented shots stitched together. In post, I adjusted the overall exposure down a little bit, brought up the saturation on the reds, greens, yellows and blues. Dropped the highlights, brought up the shadows, correctly adjusted the white and black points, and after trying a few different white-balance settings, I left it "as shot" as it as the closest to what I remember the scene as looking.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Polarizing Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: 0EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 1/13 second
Panoramic Image: Yes, 5 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: September 26, 2015
Location: Mer Bleue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Just Go With The Flow" - Blakeney Rapids, Ontario, Canada

After arriving home from my vacation a couple weeks ago I've been very busy out shooting landscapes nearly every night. After doing nothing but photography for two weeks straight, morning, afternoon and night. I am over the top engaged in my photography again. One thing you would quickly learn about me if you knew me in well in person, is that if I am passionate about something I am over the top obsessive about learning, exploring, pushing boundaries and working very hard to take my skills to the next level. I'm not sure if it is noticeable to anyone else, but when I look back over the past two years I have been passionate about my photography, I can clearly see a difference in the quality of my craft. I think my style is still pretty much the same, but my ability to capture it and process it has become better. I know for sure I am becoming much quicker at my post processing. In this scene I was really playing a lot with the shutter speed. When capturing a moving object such as moving water, changing the shutter speed, even slightly, will really change the look of the movement in the water. In this version of the shot, I really like the way the lines are forming in the water. I'm capturing nice long flowing lines leading down the rapids. This is a single shot, with the leading lines formed in the water taking the viewers eye through the scene, from the right to the left. In post-processing I added a few gradient filters in LR6. Diagonally along the shoreline nearest me, I warmed up the white balance to bring back the warm tones in the rocks. I added a radial filter that was turned to cover the main water pathway through the scene, and adjusted the white balance back to a cooler blue tone to ensure white tones as they were in the scene. Then finally a gradient across the top of the image to bring a warmer white balance in the foliage on the far side of the rapids. Finally, I sharpened the image to 85, removed noise to 15 and masked the sharpening to 25. My final step is to export to Photoshop to add my logo watermark in the bottom right and resize it for sharing on the web. If anyone has any questions on post-processing, or composition, etc. Please don't hesitate to ask in the comments below. I love answering questions and trying to help others. I'm considering doing some landscape photography workshops in the area, so if you are interested, please use my web form on the contact page to message me directly.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 3 stop
Polarizing Filter Used: Yes, B+W Circular
Exposure level used: 0EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 1.3 seconds
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Manual, f/8
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: September 9, 2015
Location: Blakeney, Ontario, Canada

"Follow the Bridge to the Glow of the Sunset" - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

It's not often I stay in the city and shoot cityscape scenes. Last night was an exception. I was out driving around, I could see that the clouds were forming nicely, it was going to be another lovely sunset. Problem was I was too far away from any of my usual locations to be able to make it in time to shoot it. I recalled seeing a bridge south of the city of Ottawa that had been recently built. (I used to live in a house about a block north of this a few years ago before the building even started). I knew it would be facing towards the sunset, so I thought I would give it a try and also try to incorporate some long exposure shots to incorporate light trails from the traffic flow going over the bridge. As soon as I saw the first shot I took show up on the screen on the back of my Nikon D800E, I knew this was going to be a GREAT night! I was not disappointed. I was surprised at the quality of the lighting once nightfall hit. I really like how clean and bright the lighting is on the bridge. It's a beautiful sharp and start contrast to the warm colours of the sky and the sunset. This scene was captured about 30 minutes after sunset, getting me nicely into the blue hour. (Yes, I know, ... I'm still a little bit fixated on the blue hour after my vacation! lol) As the traffic was flowing back and forth around me, I made sure to leave the shutter open long enough to capture good traffic flow going in both directions across the bridge. I had the camera set in full manual mode, I had focused the camera on a section of the bridge before the sun had set when I first arrived, and I never moved the tripod while I was there. Once the light drops it's hard to have a pin sharp focus, so I set it to manual and never moved it. Once I got home, I didn't really need to do much to this scene at all in post processing. I brought down the highlights, brought the shadows up ever so slightly and added a slight vignette to the over all image. I adjusted the lighting by using three horizontal gradients. First across the very bottom to darken the section closest to me, as it was not very visually interesting. Second I added another gradient to increase the exposure in the sky just above the bridge. Finally, I added a gradient at the very top to drop the exposure, yet bring out the highlights. White-balance was set to daytime for the image. It helped a little bit with the blues, and warmed up the bridge lighting slightly.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 3 stop
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 300 seconds
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Manual, f/14
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: September 21, 2015
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Sunset Reflections" - Andrew Hayden Park - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

In an effort to keep things fresh and interesting and not be posting just shots from my recent "Follow The Light Tour 2015", I did a little digging around in Lightroom and was quite surprised to find that I had forgotten to post this scene from the end of June. This is a six shot panoramic scene, stitched together using Adobe Lightroom 6. It's not often that I will shoot directly into the sun like this as sunset when the sun is still above the horizon, but it provided such a nice intense glow, that I couldn't resist. I also lucked out in that as I pivoted my camera to capture the scene from different angles to be able to later stitch together, I had some very nice sun rays shining across the water. I really love how they were almost making it all of the way across the water to touch my feet. I really haven't done a lot of work with this scene in my post-processing, mainly I was darkening the foreground as it was a little bit too "noisy" and didn't add any interest to the scene. And by noisy, I'm referring to the busy-ness you can see through the water to the lake bottom. It would have been much nicer if the lake bottom was covered in rocks or something, not mud, sticks and weeds ... LOL

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 3 stop
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 3 seconds
Panoramic Image: Yes, 6 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: June 25, 2015
Location: Andrew Hayden Park - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Crashing Waves at Sunset" - Kincardine, Ontario, Canada

After spending a few days tenting along the northern shores of Lake Erie, I next made my way north to visit with my good friend Anne and her husband Gary. I had a great time visiting, charging all of my camera batteries and taking a shower! Not sure who was happier I was taking the shower after having been tenting for a few days, me or them! This scene is looking to the north west at sunset on the boardwalk in Kincardine, Ontario. In advance of my arrival Anne had been very good keeping an eye out for potential locations for me to capture. This was the first spot we went to check out, and I was loving it. The waves were crashing really nicely along the shore right in front of me. Shooting a scene like this, the most important element is the shutter speed to correctly capture the water movement at the shore as the waves were hitting the log. For this scene to capture the water movement the way I wanted I was trying shutter speeds of .3, .5 & .8 of a second. This particular shot was at .8 of a second allowing me to capture the white foam as the waves broke on the shore. The cloud cover in the distance was a bit thick, as the sun continued to set unfortunately the colours disappeared.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: .8 second
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: August 28, 2015
Location: Kincardine, Ontario, Canada

"Foggy Morning Glow" - Sauble Falls, Ontario, Canada

OK, one of the great things about sunrise in the fall is that it is at "normal" hours! ;) I also love that almost every morning at sunrise you have a pretty good chance of catching rays of light like in this scene. All it takes is a clear sky, some morning dew being hit by the rising sun and some trees. All were available on a fairly regular basis during my vacation. yay for me! :) This scene was captured about five days into my vacation. I had been up late in the night shooting falls nearby, and when I got up before sunrise I had immediately gone back to the falls to shoot them again. It wasn't until after the sun had been up for a while that the fog developed and was visible as it took the sun warming up the dew on the ground before the fog became visible. This is a single landscape shot. I took portrait shots as well with the intention of merging them into panoramic shots. If you are working on panoramic images, one of the things that really does not work well with doing a great job with stitching is when there is movement. Tree's are notorious for leaves moving. I don't know how much time I've spent standing in one spot not moving, almost holding my breath to try to convince the trees and all of the leaves to do the same! lol Following my normal post-processing, I brought the image into Lightroom, at import I applied the preset that applies all of my standard changes that I will want to apply to ALL images. Lens corrections, chromatic aberration correction, applying my copyright information and applying the keywords.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: .8 second
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: August 31, 2015
Location: Sauble Falls, Ontario, Canada

"Rock Point on Lake Erie - Blue Hour"

Shooting the "Blue Hour" is not something that I typically do. Usually once the sun has set, I'm packed up and heading home. The nice thing about being on vacation and tenting, I already was "home". So, I continued to sit on the beach and enjoy the view and sound of the crashing waves. I kept shooting into the "Blue Hour" (This is basically the hour or so after the sun has dropped below the horizon, and during this time, the sky turns a wonderful deep blue). Thankfully, I decided to flip my camera from portrait mode, to landscape mode to capture this scene. I had been shooting in portrait mode, with the intention of creating a nice wide panoramic view during the blue hour. Unfortunately I have already spent about 10 hours attempting to stitch 8 images together to make a panoramic from the shoreline looking out over the water. I'm not sure I will ever be able to stitch it. I might have to instead plan on it being a Triptych as the scene was truly breathtaking and serene. In the meantime, this single shot is still one that I am very happy with. I love the tones, I love the strong movement in the sky. I have cropped this shot down slightly, but not much. The black objects in the water, are large rocks. I love doing long exposure shots with the water smoothed out and all silky with a solid object that has not moved. It looks very calming and serene to me. This is a 5 minute exposure, taken at f/13, ISO 200. I think I need to spend a few more nights out capturing the blue hour. This just might be the next scene I print to hang in my own home. Enjoy.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: 0EV, 200 iso
Exposure Length: 300 seconds
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: August 25, 2015
Location: Rock Point Park - Lake Erie, Ontario, Canada

"Follow The Light Tour 2015 - Day 1, Scene 1 at Rock Point on Lake Erie - Nearing Sunset"

This scene is the very first scene, and the very first six shots I took while on my vacation this past two weeks. I affectionately called my vacation this year the "Follow the Light Tour, 2015" as my intent was to get out and explore and try to capture as many new and unique shots as possible while I was on vacation. Since photography is all about capturing light, I thought it was aptly named, and it made it that much more fun than simply calling it a vacation. I started by driving down past the Niagara region in Ontario to the northern portion of Lake Erie so I could set up my tent at the Rock Point Provincial park just south of Dunnville, Ontario. It's about a 6 1/2 hour drive from Ottawa accounting for rush hour traffic going through Toronto. As soon as I arrived, I set up my tent and then pulled out my camera gear and made my way to the waters edge. As I was walking along the water, I noticed that the rocky shore I was walking along seemed quite different. My first impression was that they had poured a thin layer of concrete over the area to keep it from eroding. As I explored and learnt more about the area, I later learned that what I thought was concrete was petrified sand and rock. Then it made sense, all of the funny markings in the ground were fossilized remains from about 15,000 years earlier. Too cool! When I was setting up to take this scene, I set the camera on aperture priority at f/13 & ISO 100 to get a sense of what the shutter speed would be like. It was too fast, then I adjusted my ISO down to 50, and increased the aperture to f/14. Good stuff, now my shutter speed was down to about 6/10 tenths of a second. I thought this would be a good starting point to capture the movement of the water and not completely stop it. It was really important for me to not freeze the wave action, but to allow it to show movement. I wanted to soften the waves, and yet catch enough of the whitecaps to show the rough, stormy waters. Bringing this scene into Lightroom, I merged the six photos into a single panoramic image. For the first step in my post-processing, I adjusted the overall white-balance to bring out the blue and magenta tones that were already in the scene. Then I used a gradient filter across the bottom half (water) to add a very slight amount of clarity (+10) and then bumped the shadow recovery up quite a bit (+50) and brought the highlights up a touch (+15) to bring out the white froth in the water. I added another gradient filter, this time on just the clouds and brought the highlights out a bit more (+15) to bring a little bit of pop to the whites in the clouds. With my camera and lens being fresh and super clean, I didn't find any dust to remove. My final step was to adjust the sharpening (+85) and noise reduction (+15). VIOLA! I wanted to let everyone see my very first photos taken while on the "Follow The Light Tour - 2015". Not all of my shots turned out, but I definitely have a lot that did. It was a great time, and I managed to take over 3000 images in two weeks. As they say, practice makes perfect!

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 6/10 second
Panoramic Image: Yes, 6 shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Manual, f/14
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: August 25, 2015
Location: Rock Point Park - Lake Erie, Ontario, Canada

"The Last Colours Of Sunset" - Bark Lake, Ontario

This will be my last processed scene I will be sharing until I am back from my summer "Camping/Hiking/Mountain Biking/Photography" road trip vacation. Phew, ... what a mouthful! My good friend and fellow amazing photographer Mary Brown and her husband Paul invited me out to visit with them this past Sunday. Mary is always catching such amazing sunsets out at their cottage, so when they invited me out for a visit and to have a chance at a wonderful sunset, I couldn't refuse! It was a wonderful evening, very calm with no wind. The water was smooth, and there wasn't even much of any bugs out at all. It was the perfect temperature to be sitting out enjoying the view on the lakeshore, clicking away trying to capture all of the beautiful colours and movements of the clouds. This time I came well prepared and had a bucket with me to make wetting the dock an easy chore. Again, I'm sure Mary's neighbors were thinking I was a little bit nuts splashing water all over the dock. Why did I do that? The warm tones in the wood are so much nicer, plus as you can see it also then reflects some of the sunset off of the dock as well which makes for an interesting scene. This particular shot, is a single image from a five minute exposure. It really allows fro a stark contrast between the smooth, soft flows of the clouds, against the rigid strong leading lines from the dock. Have a great couple of weeks everyone! I'll try to post here and there while I am exploring, but I am not too sure how good the cell coverage will be while I am on vacation.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: 0EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 300 seconds
Panoramic Image: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Manual, f/11
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: August 23, 2015
Location: Bark Lake, Ontario, Canada

"The Water Is Aglow In Shirley's Bay" - Ottawa, ON

Wow, what an amazing sunset on Saturday night in a new location for me. I captured this shot in Shirley's Bay, located a short drive west of Ottawa on the Ottawa River. The evening started out with what were nice looking clouds. Some nice blue tones in the formations, and they were moving enough that I thought I would be able to capture some nice long exposure shots with the cloud movement and the water. To capture the scene I was looking for, I waded into the water in my sandals (I have since learned they were not meant to be used in water ... lol, oh well) up to knee depth. The water was a bit rough, so had to make sure I left enough height from the top of the tripod to the highest waves to make sure that a large wave didn't come along and either knock over the camera, or get it wet. The rocks I wanted in the foreground did not stick out of the water very far, so I did need to keep the camera and tripod as low as I could comfortable get it without risk of it getting submerged by a large wave. It's a good thing I was playing with really long exposures (5 minutes) that I ended up still being in this location at sunset. The colours just suddenly started to appear, and when they did start to appear, boy did they EVER come to life! Because I was so concerned about the colours disappearing before I would be able to capture the number of shots I would need to create a panoramic image, I did what I almost never do. Pulled the camera off of the tripod and set it up in Landscape mode instead of leaving it in portrait mode. Once I had the image I was happy with in landscape mode, I pulled the camera and put it back on the tripod in portrait mode. I then proceeded to try to catch the colours in portrait mode so that I would be able to create a panoramic image. This is the Panoramic version of the image. I previously shared the single image on Facebook. Believe it or not, there is very little editing that has been performed on this image. Once I merged the six shots in Lightroom into the panoramic raw image, I then used a gradient filter from the bottom to the middle I lightened the foreground 1 stop in exposure, lightened the shadows by 50, and increased the saturation by 15. Using another gradient filter from the top to the middle, I lightened the exposure by 1/2 a stop, brightened the highlights by 15, increased the contrast by 10, and increased the saturation by 5. Overall I increased the sharpness by 85, masked the sharpness by 25, and applied a noise filter of 15.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 3 stop
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 30 seconds
Panoramic Image: Yes, six shots
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: June 27, 2015
Location: Shirley's Bay - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Summer Colours" Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa, ON

While this isn't one of the shots that I typically "see" while I am wandering around, I quite like it. I was walking along to another section I had in mind, when I glanced down and noticed the way the flowers were being backlit by the setting sun. The backlighting really brought out the colours and gave the petals a beautiful depth to them. In order to capture this without having the bright sun blow out the brightness in the full frame, I got my tripod and camera setup as low and close to the ground as I could, then I had to time the shot just right. I wanted the sun to be just peeking out from between the leaves on the tree in the distance behind, while not having the flowers in any kind of shadow. I wanted the full strength of the sun to backlight them. It took a bit of patience, but I did manage to catch it in one of the shots. I sat there on the ground for probably five minutes taking shot after shot, until I had the lighting just right. Once I had the one shot that really mattered, I spun the camera to the left and started shooting the additional shots I would need to be able to merge the final image into a panoramic. This is a three shot panoramic, with the camera in portrait mode. The crop ratio of this shot is basically the same as if I had shot the scene in landscape mode with a single image. To me it is worth it to always shoot in portrait mode, even though it adds complexity, additional space requirements and additional post-processing skills and effort. The reason why? If someone wants it printed large, really large, I will have the quality and size of image to do so. Without enlargement, my images are meant to print at " tall. Width is dependent on how many images I have stitched together. Printing my larger panoramic images at 4ft x 8ft will have an unbelievable clarity and depth of field.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 3 stop
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 3 seconds
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Adobe Lightroom 6
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Back in the Groove Again - Andrew Haydon Park" at Ottawa, ON

I'm really feeling alive tonight! I had a great evening out shooting at Andrew Haydon park with my good friend Lori, as we managed to capture some really nice shots. I'm going to have a hard time picking which ones to work on. It started out that the park was really busy, but you know what, I like that. It allows me to chat with people as they pass by, in general people wonder what you are doing, looking at some of your photos and in general are just curious. I really like that Ottawa, and Canada in general has people from all over the world that call it home. It allows me to meet and get to know people from all different lifestyles and cultures. I really love the interaction with people. Maybe I should think about putting on a workshop. lol wink emoticon I love to see other photographers learn some new trick, or setting they were not aware of with their gear and see them become completely immersed within their photography again. It's so exciting to step up over a plateau. We all have them. The feeling of not improving, the feeling of being stuck at a particular level, be it within our careers, or hobbies that we are passionate about.

I have two passions in life. || Technology & Photography ||

Technology in healthcare pays my bills and allows me to help people when they are sick or need healthcare help. This really makes me feel good about what it is I do in life, it's all about making a difference. Photography brings me to life and expands my inner soul. I've never been someone who was able to pick up a pencil and sketch or draw anything, but through my photography I am able to explore my artistic side through the beauty of nature. I'm so happy to be back out shooting regularly again. I know I have lost a few followers recently because of my lack of regular posts. I hope people will continue to enjoy my work and enjoy the beauty of nature with me.
Namaste my Friends Tim

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 6 stop
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 30 seconds
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Adobe Lightroom 6
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Setting Sun At Andrew Haydon Park" at Ottawa, ON

Monday night I was out at Aylmer Marina and ended up chatting with a very nice couple. They suggested a few other spots around town that I would want to check out as they thought they were very scenic and would make for nice photographs.One of the locations they suggested was Andrew Haydon Park, in Ottawa. They were right, there are a number of beautiful spots within the park for great sunset shots, and right now there are also just so many little baby ducks and geese wandering around that are just so cute! This panoramic shot I took last night in Andrew Haydon park. It's been created from eight shots, taken with the camera in portrait mode (vertical orientation). I exclusively shoot in portrait mode so that I will end up with the highest resolution image in the end when I have stitched the individual shots together. The reason for doing this, since it is definitely much more work, and adds layers of complexity and time... When I go to print the images for clients, the images are extremely sharp and clear and can be printed at very large sizes easily and in their native resolution. When I print my images, I typically print from 4 ft to 8 ft wide, and 2 ft to 4 ft tall. When processing this image, I used the new Lightroom 6 "Merge to Panorama" feature. I love this feature as it leaves all of the images in a raw format, so that I can do all of my post processing AFTER stitching the shots into one panoramic image. This improves the quality of the image tenfold. The only thing I don't like about this, is that the stitching engine is not as flexible as I have become used to with the Kolor APG product suite. The ability to do all of my post-processing after merging into the panoramic image is so important that for now, I choose to live with the shortcomings of the LR6 pano engine compared to the Kolor suite.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 6 stop
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 8 seconds
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Post Processing: Adobe Lightroom 6
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Aylmer Marina at Sunset - Revisited"

Saturday was a bit of a cool and windy day. I ended up having to go to work for the day, but once I was home I wanted to get out and get some more photography in. Short on time before sunset, I decided to make a quick trip out to Aylmer Marina. There was a live band playing some oldies in the Marina Pub/Restaurant, which made it quite enjoyable as I sat and took in another wonderful sunset on the water overlooking the sailboats. I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised by the lack of mosquitos this year. Must be that I haven't been out in the backcountry yet ... Soon, hopefully this weekend I'll manage to get out somewhere remote. I'm really eager to get out and start some backcountry camping this year. I had so much fun doing it last year. This scene is a five shot panoramic, fully edited within LR6. I had a 3 stop and a 6 stop ND filter in place to slow things down for capture. I didn't need to bring the shadows much, or take down the highlights. Pretty much all I ended up doing was a little bit of darkening of the oranges with the HSL panel and some dust cleanup.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Post Processing: Adobe Lightroom 6
Location: Aylmer, Quebec, Canada

"John G. Diefenbaker Building - Revisited - LE Night Scene" at Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Spring 2015

While I was down in the area of the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial, I decided to wander back to the Old City Hall and give it another try from a different angle and long after the sun had set. What's interesting about doing long exposure shots (LE) is that what I am seeing and experiencing disappears from the shot, and the captured scene can be completely different than what anyone would see with their own eye. So, while I was taking the photos to stitch into the resulting panoramic shot, there was a flurry of seagulls skimming and circling over the water in front of me. Every now and then they would drop to the water and attempt to catch something on or just below the surface of the water. Thinking about it now, it would have made for an interesting shot if I had taken some fast shots (1/500 of a sec) to be able to capture the seagull activity to blend back into the final image afterwards. Next time ... I ended up doing some small post-processing adjustments to the scene. All of the work was completed within LR6. I started by removing dust from the scene, then adding a gradient filter to the bottom of the shot, I brought the exposure levels in the bottom 1/3 up 1 stop. I then darkened the top third one stop using the same approach. Using a radial filter and the adjustment brush filter, I brought the shadows up in the middle section, warmed up the tones by adjusting the white balance and then added a bit of clarity. Finally, I adjusted the sharpening and noise levels, then exported into Photoshop to add my watermark and perform final re-sizing and sharpening for sharing on the web. I love the combination of strong blue and orange tones in a scene, so this was why I was drawn to taking another go at this location.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Post Processing: Adobe Lightroom 6
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"No Drama, No Wild Adventure, Just Natures Beauty" at San Diego, California, USA Fall 2013

While I'm waiting for spring to arrive and get out and start taking some photos again, I have been going through photos from the last couple of years. This particular scene is Scripps Pier in La Jolla. La Jolla is about 20 minutes north of San Diego, California right on the Pacific coast. It's a really beautiful location. I was in San Diego for an IT conference in September 2013. While there I was able to explore at night and early in the morning on foot as the hotel I was staying at was right on the beach. Simply amazing. This shot was taken just after sunset, with a strong glow still in the sky from the setting sun. It's too bad it was so clear, otherwise I'm sure the colours in the sky would have been much stronger. This was taken with my Nikon D7000, while it just doesn't have the dynamic range of my Nikon D800E, it still was able to capture the range you see in the image from a single shot. This is not a blended image. It's almost impossible to blend images with moving water in the scene. All of the post-processing was done in Lightroom, and then exported as a 16bit .tif I would really like to make it back to La Jolla with my current Camera. I've got some new ideas I would like to try. Hopefully one day I will be back again

Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
Exposure level used: -1EV
Camera Mode: Full Manual, f/9
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Location: Scripps Pier, La Jolla / San Diego California, USA

"Sunset at Zion National Park" at Springdale, Utah, USA Spring 2014

It's funny how I have been so busy and so focused on always capturing new images that I often forget to take a look at the shots I have taken if I don't look at them immediately afterwards. This is one series of photos that I had completely forgotten about and came across them last night while I was looking for something to share this morning. This past May I was in Las Vegas for the IBM Edge conference and had decided to take a few extra days of vacation and add them to the trip so that I could explore the area around Las Vegas. I had heard great things about Zion, so I wanted to go and check it out. I ended up dragging my work colleague along with me, while I trotted around and took lots and lots of photos! Thankfully he was quite happy to explore the area as well while I was busy taking photos. It was nearing the end of day and we had just driven up over a ridge from down in the valley along the west side of the park. I noticed some interesting scrub brush along with some interesting rock formations and decided to pull over and check it out. In this particular scene, I like the sagebrush roots in the lower left hand side of the image. It had really interesting texture and colours that really contrasted against the rustic red of the clay rich soil. I really didn't have to do much of anything in post-processing on these images. With the new technique I'm using in Lightroom, I am able to really bring all of the dynamic range from the original raw images back to life. These shots were taken with a B+W ten stop Neutral Density filter in place. It was dead calm at ground level but quite windy up above as the clouds were moving along well, as can be seen in the shot.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: Yes, 5 (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2)
Exposure level used: -2EV
15 shots wide @ 100ISO
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/11
Camera Orientation: Portrait (vertical)
Location: Zion National Park, Utah, USA

"Cool Blue Afternoon" at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Winter 2014

Taken on the peak of Mont Tremblant, this location is about an hour and a half of snowshoeing from the peak, going to the north on one of the snowshoeing trails. It's an amazing view of Lac Tremblant about another five minutes from this location. In this scene, I like the way that the sky is very much a steel gray, while the snow covered trees look so stunning. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, not a day I would usually want to be capturing shots in the harsh light of the mid day, but in this shot it actually works with the steel gray blue sky. I like the contrast of the colours of the sky vs. the snow covered trees.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: Yes, 5 (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2)
Exposure level used: -2EV
11 shots wide @ 100ISO
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/8
Camera Orientation: Portrait (vertical)
Location: Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada

"Blakeney Rapids Revisited " Ontario, Fall 2014

I've been to Blakeney rapids a couple of times. This was taken late this past fall (2014) early one morning. I had been there for sunrise and captured a few nice shots a little further up the river. At this point the river really narrows and the water is moving very rapidly. It doesn't look all that deep in this section, but judging by how wide it is earlier up stream, there is a ton of water moving through here. Definitely would not want to slip and fall in this. As you can see the rocks are pretty sharp and large, so would not be good to be bouncing off of them as you move along. Further up the stream, to the right, you can see the morning mist/fog rising up from the water. While capturing this shot there was a nice mix of clouds. The sunrise down at this point was blocked by the rock and the trees. It was only later in the morning, about an hour after sunrise that the sun and the glow became apparent within the scene. I used a B+W 10 stop ND filter to slow down the water movement in these shots. I had the camera in full manual mode and while I was still taking bracketed shots (3), the differences were minimal enough that doing exposure or luminosity blending was not worth the effort. The dynamic range captured with the camera was enough in a single exposure. I did find that I ended up using the shots that +1EV, rather than the shots that were considered correctly exposed. While the sky isn't "blown out", it's very close to being overexposed. With the amount of detail in the trees and the branches, it would be too difficult to do any kind of content aware patching or healing to replace the almost blown out areas with some clouds from an area that wasn't so close to being overexposed.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/9
Camera Orientation: Portrait (vertical)
9 shots wide @ 100ISO
Location: Blakeney Rapids, Ontario, Canada

"Breaking Trail North of Mer Bleue" at Ottawa, ON

This past weekend, I decided to go and explore to the north of the Mer Bleue Conservation Area. There were markers for a trail that heads to the north, but it had not been explored in a long time and was knee to mid-thigh deep in loose powder snow. Wow, what a workout it turned out to be. The temperature wasn't bad, -20 or so, and with all of the energy I was expending moving forward I was really toasty warm. In spots I found it really tough to keep my balance and not fall over though, as deep under the snow were bushes that my snowshoes were getting tangled in now and then. Oh ya, and when you have a heavy backpack full of camera gear on your back with a tripod and snowshoes on in loose deep powder snow, ... don't fall over. You would be amazed at how difficult it can be to get back up and get going again! LOL The weather was supposed to be sunny with cloudy periods, well, it was pretty much completely covered in clouds with no detail or drama. Only for a few brief minutes did the clouds get thin enough that the sun was starting to burn through them. Shooting towards the sun on days like this is difficult as the sun backlights the clouds and you end up with nothing but a big white spot in your image. No detail left to recover. I sat there and waited for the sun to be just deep enough behind clouds that I would have less chance of that, as I liked the scene and I liked the way that different spots in the foreground were being lit up as the clouds passed over the sun, allowing bright spots to appear and then disappear in the foreground. All of the image processing was done in Lightroom on this panoramic image. This pano is seven shots wide, with the camera in portrait (vertical) orientation. I took bracketed shots (5), but in the end was able to recover almost all of the detail using the series of shots taken one step under exposed. (You will find in the winter that most camera's tend to think it is brighter out than it actually is because of all of the snow. So watch for that in your photos. as most will be underexposed)

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Camera Orientation: Portrait (vertical)
7 shots wide @ 100ISO
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Sunset at the old Cattle Corral" at Ottawa, ON

This particular location was my absolute favourite spot to go to after work last winter if I saw the formation of a nice sunset as I was leaving work. It is only about fifteen minutes south of where I live in Ottawa, so it made it the closest location I would be able to make it to if the sun and clouds were looking good. I really like the way the wind has swept the snow and given it such nice shadow effects. Nice leading lines into the beautiful orange glow of the setting sun. At this point, the sun has already set, it's just slipped a bit past the horizon and the colours are their strongest without a large exposure difference as I pan around taking the numerous shots to stitch together into a panoramic shot. Anyone shooting panoramic images will understand the difficulty in dealing with photos that have a large difference in exposure levels due to shooting into the sun. All post processing was done in Lightroom, then exported as tif images and stitched together in Kolor APG. Once stitched, I did some minor colour adjustments and dust cleanup in Photoshop.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/8
Camera Orientation: Portrait (vertical)
11 shots wide @ 100ISO
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Ball of Fire in the Sky" at Ottawa, ON

I really wish it had been much, much warmer when I was out early one morning to take this shot. It was quite windy that morning, and I was on my way to another location to shoot, but I had been too slow to get out of the house early enough to be on location well before sunrise. If my memory serves me correctly, I think with the wind chill that morning it was about -42 Celsius. Brrr! So, the beauty of this shot is that with all of the blowing snow in the air, it had created a bit of a low level filter for the sun. So, even though it had completely risen above the horizon when I was taking these shots, the sun is not overly bright and it giving off a really nice amber glow instead. This location is just south of Ottawa, across the road from the Carlton Raceway. I like that it is a very open field and flat for a great sunrise shot, but unfortunately there are powerlines in the distance which in my mind takes away from the beauty of the openness of the scene.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/8
Camera Orientation: Portrait (vertical)
11 shots wide @ 100ISO
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"Abandoned Barn" at Dwyer Hill Road, ON

I took this shot at sunset a week ago. While there is no sign of the sun, in this shot it was providing a bit of a backlight/glow behind the barn. I also like in this shot that the clouds were naturally splitting and traveling to the left or the right in the sky, seemingly parting at the barn. As with my other recent shots, I'm working on a new technique for my post-processing. I still shoot a number of bracketed shots, but only pick one of the shots from each of the brackets to combine to form the panoramic shots. I find that doing some of my post-processing in Lightroom prior to anything else allows me to recover almost as much details and dynamic range as what I accomplish from doing multiple shot blends. This allows for the resulting images to be much cleaner, and sharper. The less processing I need to do the cleaner and more accurate the images are.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/13
Camera Orientation: Portrait (vertical)
5 shots wide @ 100ISO
Location: Marlboro Forest, Ontario, Canada

"Playing With Light In The Forest" at Killarney Provincial Park, ON

This shot was taken in Killarney late summer in 2014. It was just after sunrise, the golden rays had lost their strength, replaced by a less golden sun trying to burn through the morning fog. I love shooting water with a strong reflection of the nature behind it. I like the foreground interest provided by the dead tree in the centre of the shot, with the sun slow poking through here and there throughout the scene. This is a blended shot from 5 bracketed shots, and 7 shots wide. I merged all of the blended shots and created the panoramic shot using Kolor Autopano Giga. I then loaded it into Adobe Lightroom to do a little bit more work. Finally I loaded it up in Photoshop to do some final cleanup of dust etc using the Camera Raw Filter, and then output for the web with the correct amount of sharpening to post on Facebook.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/8
5 Bracketed photos (-2, -1, 0EV, +1, +2) 7 shots wide @ 100ISO
Location: Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Setting Sun at Awenda Provincial Park, ON

It's funny how I was sooo busy taking so many photos this past summer that I forgot about so many really nice shots I had managed to capture ... This is one of them. It was taken mid summer, just after I had picked up my new car and I was very eager to do some nice long road trips to continue to explore Ontario and find new locations to travel to and take photos of. This photo was taken at sunset at the Awenda Provincial Park in early August. The park is located on the south eastern shore of Lake Huron in the area of Georgian Bay. The area is very spectacular and rugged. Common in the Georgian Bay area, is rugged rock, along with wind swept pine trees. In Awenda park, the rock is not as rugged, but it is still beautiful. This summer I was really trying to work on not only new and challenging techniques for post processing my photos, but also really trying to pay attention to the composition of the photos. In particular I was trying to bring new and interesting foreground interest into my photos as well as trying to line up the foreground interest and use it as a leading line into the main subject to draw the eye into whatever it is I thought was particularly interesting. In this shot, I want to draw the eye into the spectacular sunset. I use the rocks at my feet to create the foreground interest, and then the line of the rocks as they lead into the setting sun. Other points of interest in the middle of the shot are the seagulls sitting on the rocks. Because of the seagulls I did not want to do long exposures as they were moving around too much. So I had to keep my shutter speed short.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority, f/8
5 Bracketed photos (-2, -1, 0EV, +1, +2) 8 shots wide @ 100ISO
Location: Awenda Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Here is a link to my most popular photo to date, over 1,400 likes in a 48 hour period on Facebook. I was completely surprised and of course very happy with all of the the comments and attention it has received.  Thank you everyone! It is available as a Limited Edition Print in 24" x 72". It is printed onto metallic paper and then face mounted onto museum grade 1/8" acrylic. It is available for purchase through www.framed.ca

For everyone that is wanting to keep an eye on my latest work, for the time being I would suggest visiting my timeline photos on my Facebook page and following my work from there. I am finding it much easier to focus on my photography, by posting some of my recent work to Facebook. I have not found the time to modify my web site to be able to easily post and update my web site. It's just a case of the level of effort required to update it quickly and efficiently. I currently find it easier to keep updating my Facebook page instead.