Life Near the Lake - Redux
I'm very excited to share that my second photography exhibit of 2019 is now running at Elmhirst's Resort. Show coordinator, Caroline Elmhirst was so pleased with the results of my winter show that she asked me to come back for the summer. I gladly accepted the invitation. Below are the images currently hanging at the Elmhirst Gallery on the the lower level of the main building. If you want to learn more about the making of the show, or see the Winter show, check out the following links:
My “meditation stones” are a regular subject for me. Let’s face it; they’re not going anywhere. I enjoy the challenge of capturing theses rocks in varying compositions and times of day, but the most magical time is early morning, just before the sun crests the hills in the background. The two stones in a purple dawn light, framed by the cloud reflection, contrasts nicely with the hint of a golden sunrise in the background.
I don’t know how these rocks got placed on the edge of the Bellmere Winds beach on the north shore of Rice Lake but they’re an integral part of my “zen experience” at the cottage, symbolizing what being at the “Fortress of Moderate Solitude” means to me. I’ve photographed this small chain of boulders many times. And while the rocks are that visual anchor, the overall environment plays a huge roll in the images I capture, and my mindset while photographing. The sounds of birds, frogs, water lapping against the rocks and the beach, the wind in the trees, all have an impact.
Bellmere Winds is nestled on the north shore of Rice Lake (a short drive from Elmhirst, in fact). Just walking around the cottage resort presents many opportunities for great images, both early in the morning and at dusk. We love our little place at Bellmere, and having this cottage is what really opened up the Kawarthas to me.
I’m not a morning person, but the gifts I’ve been given when I drag myself out of bed in the early a.m. make the struggle worthwhile. Our little beach at Bellmere Winds has treated me to some visual wonders of Rice Lake, but the most magical for me are those mornings when mist has formed on the lake, and the sun is not yet high enough to burn it off. I chose this image for canvas in part because of the colors, but mostly because of the painterly feel created by the mist in the reeds.
I can spend hours at Burleigh Falls, photographing the water, the rocks, composing abstracts and landscapes. The time flies by. The sound of the rushing water is relaxing, creating a white noise that drowns out all other noise and focuses my concentration.
Since getting the cottage, I’ve taken more than a passing interest in night photography. The fact that the cottage resort backs onto its own golf course makes it even easier to get out and shoot the night, with minimal light contamination. Getting the final image to appear as seen takes a lot of time and experimentation during post processing, but it’s worth the effort.
Elmhirst resort has a great staff in both the two-legged and four-legged varieties. Their Clydesdale horses are a dependable staple through out the seasons, pulling hay wagons in the warmer weather and sleighs in the winter. They are beautiful, strong animals who always appreciate a visit - and the odd apple or two.
Agriculture is a huge facet of life in the Kawarthas and Otonabee-South Monaghan. That’s why it's important to me to shoot, and share the landscapes of the farm. I had driven past this soybean field on Heritage Line many times, knowing at some point I had to capture it, when the light was right. Mid-afternoon in the fall brought out the magic of the scene to me, with strong shadows, lots of texture, gorgeous clouds and the leading lines of the tractor path.
I photographed this old barn interior while spending the day at a Kawartha Regional Appaloosa Horse Club event. There was just enough light filtering in to open up the shadows. This barn, while old, continues to serve a purpose on the farm. To me, that is also symbolic of farmers in the area. Nothing is ever wasted, and if it can be repurposed for practical reasons, it will be. Interestingly, this image is also quite popular as a stock photo, too.
One of the gems in the region is the Lang Pioneer Village Museum. A short drive from Elmhirst and situated on the shore of the Indian River, this “outdoor museum” features more than 30 restored and furnished buildings, many of which were donated from the surrounding townships. The buildings, constructed between 1820 and 1899, are interpreted by costumed villagers portraying authentic 19th-century pioneer life. The still functioning grist mill shown here at two different times of year and times of day, welcomes you to the museum.
The Canadian outdoors is often represented by a mode of transportation that - truly - made this country into what it is. If you have any doubts about the importance of the canoe in Canadian history, do yourself a favour and take a trip to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough. Whether you live in Canada or elsewhere, you’ll be amazed at what you learn.
Note: Look closely at this image; I took some artistic license and worked in a painterly look to the print.
A fall drive along the River Road towards Hastings presents so many photographic opportunities. It’s often hard not to stop every 500 metres! It’s a rolling, winding road with many hills and valleys. At the top of one rise, I was immediately struck by the rich colors of the foliage. It reminded me of a weaved pattern, or coloured brush strokes. So, I decided to put the focus on the fence in the foreground, letting the trees in the distance soften and blend together, washing over the senses.
I’m not a morning person. Getting up before the crack of dawn is challenging for me (probably because I tend to stay up too late), but the rewards are often profound. I am regularly treated to vistas like this scene of a farm off County Road 2, blanketed in the mist, illuminated by the sunrise.
The Indian River, which feeds into Rice Lake, offers up catfish, pan fish and bass to the dedicated fisherman. It also offers up some stunning views to the patient photographer! I was fortunate enough to have everything come together in this photo (shot on the bridge in Keene) from the rich colours in the sky and water to the perfectly timed appearance of the boat. This was a longer exposure to help smooth out the water, but still fast enough to keep the moving boat sharp in the frame.