Sunflowers are just coming into their prime around the City of Winnipeg. Under a somewhat bright overcast morning, I set out this morning to photograph sunflowers. This particular photo was made from the top of my van where I made a variation of an 'orton image' (triple exposure at various apertures and shutter speeds) to create a sense of impressionism. This technique was developed by Canadian photographer Michael Orton. Check out his web site as his motion work is truly unbelievable.
I have photographed Rainbow Falls in Whiteshell Provincial Park for decades. While I had noticed some swirling of the waters beneath the falls, I was not aware of just how much there was. Of course, the amount of swirling changes depending on how much water flows at any one time. I decided to make the effect more pronounced by using a Singh-Ray Variable Neutral Density Filter with built-in polariser in front of the lens. This reduced the amount of light reaching the sensor considerably, permitting me to select a longer exposure (3 seconds in this case) to allow the motion of the swirling water to show up distinctly. This type of motion could not be achived otherwise in broad daylight. Motion that existed but was not apparent before is now revealed. This particular filter reduces the incoming light by up to 8 stops.
The hour before sunrise is particularly sweet and one has to be constantly on the alert as conditions can change quickly. I had tried to make this image on two previous mornings but clouds had foiled my attempt both times. On this third occasion, a few minutes before sunrise, I released the shutter knowing that I had finally succeeded. I framed the wooden pier in such a way as to create a series of triangles counter balanced by a large horizontal shape above the horizon. The converging lines of the pier made of aspen trees lead into the bright space above Lake Winnipeg. The centered horizon line implies tranquility while the lone pier adds a sense of solitude. A perfect morning!
I'm always amazed at the little jewels one can find even in mostly built-up areas. The Torrance Barrens, situated on ancient rock outcrops interspersed by wetlands, is recognized as Canada's first Dark Sky Reserve. This 1990 hectare area of provincial crown land is situated southeast of Bala in Muskoka, Ontario's cottage country. The area is protected space free from intrusion by urban light pollution. Views of the night sky are said to be spectacular here although I have yet to experience them here. I did however witness a spectacular sunrise filled with fog and beauty.