Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tallow Trail - Charleston Lake Provincial Park

As part of my training for the upcoming Rockies expedition, I'm hiking several times per week.  The Tallow Trail at Charleston Lake is an amazing 10 Km hike with a mixture of cliffs, swamps, steep inclines and beautiful canopied forests.  The trail starts at Charleston Lake Provincial Park.  The first 1 Km or so is pretty easy going but then you're past the intro trail and into the real stuff.  The trail is narrow and at times quite aggressive with steep rocky inclines. The trail winds around and over huge rock formations that resemble blue whales coming out of the ground.  At times, you get an amazing view from high up, and at times you're walking under a lush canopied forest.  It's quite a hike taking about 3 to 4 hours; an amazingly beautiful trail and quite rewarding.  I've lived in the general area for most of my life and I can say that this trail is one of the nicest that I have ever hiked.

The trail

A few photos from the day

Directions to get there:

From Lansdowne, Ontario, head North until you see signs for the park.  The park is located on Woodvale Rd, but the signs will take you there.  Park admission is $14 for a day pass and well worth it.  For those wanting to spend a night, there are many campsites, some accessible by car, some only by trail.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Something Simple

This time of year, tulips are everywhere, and if there's thousands of tulips, there are most certainly thousands of tulip pictures!  It's hard to resist taking pictures of the vibrant colours after a winter of nothing but white and grey, but the net result is a lot of pretty similar looking photos of tulips.

The other day, I happened to notice the light hitting these tulips with a slightly blue cast.  I stopped and studied the flowers for a few minutes and knew that the unique lighting and arrangement would offer me a chance to capture these flowers with a strong emotional element -- if I got it right.  So off I went to grab my tripod and set up for the shot.  I shot off about 10 frames with slightly different compositions, some with just a bit of supplementary light.

The following image was the result.  To me, it's just a very simple shot, nothing special really ... but I like the feeling of this image and so I've decided to share it, titled "Something Simple."  I hope you like it!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Training Continues

Mountain climbers say that the best way to train for climbing mountains is to climb mountains.  The same holds true for mountain hiking!  The beauty of this is that I'm also getting out with my camera in hand and covering some gorgeous scenery.  Since I'm pretty much restricted to hiking at the end of my workday, I tend to have my camera in hand during the best light of the day.  So as I continue my training, I'll share a few images along the way.  All of the images in this post were taken using the Leica M9 with the 50mm Summicron lens.

Yesterday's hike was at Luskville Falls in Quebec.  A very steep, rocky ascent to the mountain top.  This was quite a challenge and I was pretty wiped out by the time I got to the top.  My legs and lungs were actively reminding me that I am no longer 20 years old.  This image was shot near the top, while sitting for a breather.  The sun was already below the horizon and total darkness arrived by the time the descent was completed.

Tonight's training hike was at Foley Mountain in Westport.  This is a much easier trail than Luskville Falls and luckily so, as my body was still recovering from Luskville the previous day.  I felt great all day but found that my energy levels were down from the previous day. This time of year, the black flies are terrible and Mount Foley didn't disappoint. The entire two hour hike was kept at a fast pace in order to avoid being eaten by the swarming pests.

Next target: Blue Mountain in Charleston this weekend.