Labor Day Weekend – Bruce Trail, Lions Head

Getting out of the city wasn’t as bad as all that. The most difficult thing about it was trying to find the Tim Horton’s where we were meeting Jeniffer and Amanda. Google said the Tim Horton’s was after the ESSO on Don Mills. But no, it was down the road a bit in a plaza without a Tim Horton’s sign. Sheesh! What’s a Tim Horton’s without a telltale sign? Back to Superstore to get groceries and finally we hit the road.

The entire weekend was absolutely beautiful. Nothing but sunshine everyday with heat, heat heat! The heat didn’t stop us when we arrived at the Peninsula Motel in Wiarton. After cooling down with a beer we hit the sand court equipped with a net that was midway between volleyball and badminton height. With the cooler close by, we kicked off our shoes, and started with badminton, one of my favorite court games (I’m not a sports person at all. Never played on a team in high school). We didn’t do too bad. All of us played well with the final score of 20/19. We tried (operative word “tried”) to play volleyball, but being so out of practice we made a hash of it, thus making it a very short lived game. Any part of the Bruce Trail was out this day. Meh, it was time to BBQ anyways.

Although we talked about doing more than one hike on this trip, Lion’s head to the Lion’s head look off turned out to be a 6ish (give or take) km hike. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who just wanted to go on a casual hike. The distance truly was deceiving as much as the landscape was breathtaking. Jen and Amanda were the first back to the parking lot. When we met up with them they commented on how many people were ill prepared, wearing sandals, didn’t have water and brought along infants in Baby Bjorns. The terrain being so unstable in most areas I can’t imagine bringing along a baby incase I stumbled.

We took a break after that hike, each to our respective rooms to nap or whatever. I watched Shirley Temple’s, “Heidi” on Youtube. I’ve been re-watching all her movies lately, and man do they ever date themselves. Watching them as an adult is much more interesting than as a child. I don’t think I ever saw “Around the Corner” because I don’t remember Shirley at the head of a firing squad with a Tommy Gun at a gang of street boys. Even though they were just playing a game, it was bazaar to watch. She always played the nice girl.

The plan was to BBQ again that night, so we went to Foodland, picked up more supplies, drop them off, hitting the road again to the Singing Sands Beach for sunset. It was so gorgeous! The water at that beach was low showing little islands of sands with tufts of grass on top. Seeing this, I knew exactly how I wanted to shoot sunset. Not the ol’ set up the tripod; ready, aim… shoot (talking of firing squads). No, I was down on all fours getting soaked and sandy. But who the hell cares after looking at the images. I captured exactly what I wanted which was the colours broken up over the rivets of glossy sand, catching the reflecting sun instead of the sun itself, to catch the colours in the focused waves with the sand in the background.
Amanda + Costumes + Off Camera Flash Photography = Really Cool Photos. The tulle dress you see, I made a few years ago for exactly this vision, and it fit Amanda perfectly! Over the white sundress the end product looked quite whimsical. This impromptu ensemble was the first inspiration for Amanda’s wedding dress. I told her she could have it, as long as I get it back.

Before the sun went completely down, we had some lovely colours in the background even with the speed-light lighting Amanda up. Though it was just as interesting when the background was completely black, the tulle floating in the water as she posed was exquisite. Being a beautiful confident young woman, it wasn’t hard to direct her into a graceful pose. The only pose I wish I had got was impossible without a wide-angle lens and a ladder. I didn’t want to leave the beach, though it was getting way too late considering we haven’t had supper yet! Amanda wouldn’t have minded either it being a balmy evening and the shallow water still warm. We didn’t eat until 10:30pm as it was. We had a dinner and a show in my motel room looking at the photos we took from the Bruce trail and the beach.

I am so glad I had that rush at the beach. That something that was more than energy and inspiration, a passion that exuded from the body like sweat from an athlete doing what they love. Do you know what I mean? It came at such an opportune time when for a month or more, I’ve been studying for my TICO exam, updating my WordPress blog and website, getting my outings section of the Beach Photo Club together, and sewing. I didn’t pick up my camera in those weeks, so needless to say I was very excited about this trip to get out of the rut I was in.

To end the trip, we stopped at a dock at the end of Dryers Rd., hoping there would be some boats in the water to photograph. There were none. But that didn’t stop Amanda and I from jumping off the dock into the clear water of Georgian Bay. It’s the type of water were you can’t give yourself the chance to get use to the coldness. You have to dive right in. Once you’re in it’s like silk.

The last stop we made before bee-lining it home was Suable Beach. It wasn’t as packed as we would have thought. The wind was high, it was humid with a cool wind, but people were already heading home. Like I said, we bee-lined it home after that, not even a stoping at Tim Horton’s. Only gas. Norm had to be home by 4pm to watch Tiff movies and write about them in his blog.

When I post a weekend outing next time, I’ll clearly state – if you have to be home at a certain time, please let me know so I can make arrangements. Like rent a car separately then those of us in the “slow car” can meander. There are so many side roads that are beckoning when I go on a trip. I feel I’m forsaking them taking the main routs. Clearly, I’m a road less traveled gal.

Thanks everyone for coming on this trip. Had lots of fun!

50mm Prime Challange Continues!

Submitted to the Beach Photo Club newsletter for February 2014 – “Bruce Trail Part 5”

“….I’ve lately been given a challenge. As some of you know, my 18-200 Sigma lens is on the fritz.  When I set the focus to manual it still wants to focus automatically, even though it doesn’t. It has  a sick grinding sound when I turn the focus ring, yet doesn’t focus this way either. When on auto,  the lens will focus where ever it damn well pleases weather you want it or not. SO; for one year, I’m going to use my 50 prime. Saturday was the first day and I have to admit that it wasn’t so  much of a challenge (yet), more of a revelation[,] I have a love affair with [its] nice depth of field [especially when I put the teleconverter on it].

When I was taking shots of the boys, or a close up snowy branch I was pleased with the results. The Challenge will be if I can stick it out or not…….”

June 2015

So it looks as though I’ve outlasted the challenge and the lens didn’t. Good on me. But did it have to happen before we go to Newfoundland?

How did I find out? When I got back to Tobermory, I attended Photographers Anonymous on our usual Tuesdays. I had actually edited these through Lightroom, having never used it before. But the light bulb is slowly coming on as to how processing RAW files can be so much easier. More of that in another post I think. When looking at some of my images, we noticed they are out of focus when they shouldn’t have been. It was especially visible on an image I had taken of Amanda which we lovingly called “Babe in the Woods”. Drat, a nice photo that’s not at it’s full potential. At first I thought it was because it was a cold and rainy weekend and my hands were unsteady. But when I brought my camera into Rob’s studio, we did a test and sure enough, my 50 was out of whack. “You’re rough on your equipment.” Ron said. I laughed because I’m rough on anything. In sewing, I’ve stretched more material on the bias that I can shake a stick at. So the comment was, to me, quite an obvious  observation. “No, you are! You go on outings and you knock your camera about…” he said. ” I had this camera for 4 years.” I said. But, really, when I think of it, it’s only been knocked about for 16 months. According to the above excerpt form the newsletter.

So What to do but to get a new 50mm lens to bang about for another 4 years. My ideal would be to get the $400 50mm which has infinity on it. Why? I want to take photos of Star trails. I can’t see how one can do it successfully without having infinity on their focus ring. If you can explain to me how I might be able to achieve this, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! For now, I’ll stick with the 50mm, 1.8 without infinity focus for $120. Save my money for the trip which is coming up in less than a week.

When does the challenge end? Well, let’s jus say, Christmas Bonus = 20mm prime.

Below are some photos from Tobermory, I’ve edited on in Lightroom and will be printing soon.

PS: Thanks to those 46 individuals who looked at my blog yesterday because of the changes I’ve made. They may not have been apparent, so I’ll explain. I re-ordered how my newsletters were listed. Newest first, instead of having to scroll down and down to get to it.