Note from April 21, 2023

My activity on up-keeping this web site has been on hold for medical reasons. I have some ongoing cancer issues to deal with. That said, I am still active although within the framework of the state of my present health.

Spring bird migration will soon pick up in SW Ontario and I shall be out and about as much as possible, so I’ll post some new images and write a couple of short blogs.

I start this birding season with my Nikon Z9 and the Nikkor 800mm f6.3 S PF lens. The lens have arrived a couple of weeks ago, it was a long wait even though it was ordered very early the first day of its availability. I’ll post my opinion about the lens once it will have been used for a few weeks during spring migration. I know that several good reviews are on the net, however, I like to add my unbiased voice to the list.

I have built a new little bird observatory on my property with a good vantage point of my garden brook that I created last spring. The brook attracted a number of nice migratory birds both in the spring and autumn seasons in 2022. I photographed those from a makeshift blind. This year it will be from the comfort of my new hut, aptly named The Hobbit-House Observatory.

I enclose a few images here from the 2022 migration season.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Nashville Warbler
White-throated Sparrow
American Redstart, female

Presentation ideas

You may have a nice image, let’s say a lovely flower close-up or a songbird, but somehow it is only a nicely photographed specimen. You feel that something is missing. That is the time when experimenting with various presentation ideas may become a fun project. One of my favourite alteration is introducing a white vignette or a key line or both together, that directs more emphasis onto the main subject.

Our digital tool chest provides a huge number of possibilities to change the look and feel of our photographs. A word of caution though, be very conservative. Do not go overboard with effects, a good photograph can be easily ruined by too much digital trickery. Less is often more effective and will add an extra dimension to your display image.

I enclose three images here just as basic ideas.

This photo of a Cape May Warbler is a nice static image of the bird, it probably would look nice in a bird book. However, as a large print on the wall it may not be too interesting.

Cape May warbler in fall colours.

Adding a fade away white vignette and a dark key-line to the image brings the viewer’s focus more to the bird. A large print nicely framed can decorate one’s office or living room.

Cape May photo prepared for display print.

The image of this female American Redstart is similarly presented as the Cape May Warbler above. However, due to the different background that had a natural fading away at the edges I didn’t use a white vignette. This background called for a light key-line.

Female American Redstart presented in light key-line.


Due to a recent rebuilding my site major disaster struck. I lost all my data, my wisdom fell short from making a backup before rebuilding. My archives are gone, my gallery is gone. Well, the bright side is that I have had a clean slate to start again. So I rebuilt my site from the scratch. The basic look and structure of the new site is similar to the old one. However, I simplified a few things and changed the colour scheme to a similar but still different one.

So here is the first story on this newly rebuilt site.

The latest outdoor trip I had this fall was in mid October, right after Canadian Thanksgiving. I took one person with me into the Algonquin interior for six days. We went to photograph the fall scenery and hoped to see loons and possibly a few moose. Well, I the plans didn’t quite work out this time. Mother Nature intervened with some nasty weather. High winds that made crossing the lakes somewhat hair raising, lots of rain and rapidly falling temperatures made life a bit difficult.

Safety is always my number one concern when I am off grid. Especially when I have others relying on my experience. So we altered our goals and chose a camping site in a safer location, this way we only had to cross one wide body of water. My decision to halve our planned distance was a wise one. We barely set camp when the wind really picked up and soon heavy rain came down. Fortunately I set up a large tarp before hanging our hammocks and we were able to make campfire despite of the rain. We enjoyed the warmth of the fire and a cup of tea and snacks before retiring for the night.

The rain kept pounding the whole night but our hammocks from Helsdon Outdoors kept us dry and warm. I highly recommend their hammock, it is very comfortable and withstands heavy rain perfectly. The rain stopped in the morning but strong winds and heavy cloud cover remained. Regardless, after a good warm breakfast we explored the woods and took some photographs. Overcast wet weather often calls for taking close up images. So that is what we did and photographed a loon too.

The sun has made some fleeting appearances here and there during our stay but rain and high winds were the norm. My satellite weather forecast indicated that conditions would soon further deteriorate and very high winds were expected. I called a “war council” and suggested that we cut our trip two days short and head out before crossing Tim Lake would become treacherous. So that is what we did, packed up and headed home two days earlier than planned. Well, we had enough rain, we had enough wind and cold anyway……. However, we had a very good time.

I enclose a few images from this rainy and stormy trip. The image of the otters is by Roberto Haveroth. My workshops are over for the year. I still plan to do some winter camping on my own. Winter landscape photography can be very enjoyable if one is prepared to deal with the weather.