Prince Edward County and the Quinte Region, Ontario, Canada

County Photographer

Photography outings & workshops

Photographers, artists and nature-lovers are invited to join County Photographer Phil Norton for walks with cameras. Get outside for regular exercise and learn how to capture the season's beauty. Led by the passion to take great pictures, you will reconnect with nature and discover the rich heritage of Prince Edward County and surrounding regions.

phil@philnorton.com or (613) 476-1167.

The Wednesday and Saturday walks average 2 hours each. The cost is $10 per outing for regular participants, $15 for visitors. The format is informal and interactive.

You can view the participants' photos by clicking here.

heron moon
"Heron Moon" was taken on one of our outings along the Trent River.

photographer

Phil Norton has been seeing life through a lens for 40 years and working professionally as a writer and photojournalist. He freelanced for Harrowsmith and Canadian Geographic Magazines on environmental and outdoor adventure topics, and served as the editor of a bilingual weekly newspaper, The Huntingdon Gleaner in Quebec, and ran the stock photo department for The Montreal Gazette. Later, in Quebec, he shared his experience in high schools leading students on community photo shoots for publication.

Since moving to Prince Edward County, Ontario in 2007, he has explored the Quinte Region by bicycle, kayak and on foot and has captured its many moods in photos which appear in local publications, websites and on his postcards.

The Photography and Fitness series is guaranteed to increase your fitness level while adding amazing images to your County portfolio!

None of the walks are extremely difficult. The pace will not be fast and certain steep side trails are optional at Little Bluff and Macaulay. Unless it is a heavy downpour of rain, the outing will go on as planned.

Remember: inclement weather often provides the best images!

Featured in the local media:

* CountyLive
* The Trentonian newspaper
* County Weekly News
* Loyalist College video
* EMC newspaper
* The Community Press

Phil Norton photo

Spring 2014 outings

Wed. April 9 - Witness the arrival of spring along the back roads of Tyendinaga Township. A corner of Quinte rarely seen....it's never on the way to anywhere. Park at the Recreational Park at the corner of Melrose Road and McFarlane Road and walk along the untraveled road through the forested marsh, then drive east to the "town centre" and south for a lookout over the Salmon River. Leaving Picton at 10 a.m. or meet at the Rec. Park at 10:45. Click to see photos. Finish up with homemade pies and donuts with coffee and tea at Ruby's Fish & Chips (The Coffee Shop) 656 Norway's Side Road along York Road, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

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Friday, April 11 - Choose your best 25 - 30 shots of our winter excursions for the quarterly potluck get-together with food, drink and slide shows...at St. Andrew's church in Picton starting at 5:30 till late. Please let me know what you will be bringing....wine is permitted of course. Everyone is welcome--past participants, regular participants and future participants--bring a non-photographer friend if you want. We survived a really tough winter so let's show the beauty and the hardship we encountered all over the Quinte region as well as the weekend retreat in Quebec. After dinner we will view an amazing portfolio slide show by Liz Bourgeois of her images of a derelict motel with the soundtrack of "Psycho".

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Saturday, April 12 - A very special invitation by our friend Natalie to take pictures of her father at work....Bob Comeau of Montreal is a renowned wood carver of wild birds. Click to see photos. First we will take a quick walk along the thawing Great Lake shores at Point Petre then back to Milford where she says, "Please let people know that we’ll have coffee/tea at my place. They can photograph the dogs and chickens while they’re here if they like! No need to bring anything – I’ll put a little snack together." They offer guest lodging here too, a special place to visit. Leave Picton 11:30 or meet at the lighthouse at Point Petre at noon.

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Wednesday, April 16 - See a meteor crater in our own backyard....2 and a half kilometers across! A long trip to Yarker to see the rushing Napanee River waterfalls in town and stroll the Cataraqui Trail. Then north to the crater. See the photos of this area by clicking the link below, but we won't have time to go to Gould Lake Conservation on this trip. Feel free to continue in your own vehicle. There is a $5.00 per person charge at the gate if you go. Leave Picton at 10 a.m. or meet us at the Flying J in Napanee at 10:30; back by 3:00. Please RSVP if you can come along. Click to see photos.

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Saturday, April 19 - Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny annual boat and raft and bathtub race and festival in Port Hope. If we get enough people we will make this day trip to see the crazy people having fun in the rapids, and we will visit the picturesque Loyalist town too. Let me know as soon as possible if you would like to go. Option 2 is a visit half-way in that direction to Colborne and the Big Apple. A special post-shooting invitation from our friend, ace photographer Allan Short of Grafton, he writes: "I could get cookies, coffee or tea for ya'll...if you guys stopped in for some cookies and hot drinks...I will get Michelle to bake cookies on Friday or muffins."

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Wed. April 23 - Geocaching treasure hunt or walkabout in Cherry Valley and Dodd's Falls....to be determined.

Please RSVP for all events if you are coming.

Saturday, April 5 - A special "Photography & Fitness" outing .... heavy on the fitness part ....one more chance to shoot maple syrup-making in action....the sap is still running and steam rising in an authentic woodland sugar shanty way back off the main road, a kilometer and a half walk along Kellar's Side Road in Waupoos. If you're up for this adventure, we'll see you in Picton at 9:00 a.m. or at the corner of County Road 8 and Keller's X-Road in Waupoos (Prince Edward County) at 9:30 a.m. Wear boots that you don't mind getting muddy....and bring some $ to purchase fresh pure maple syrup from the Koopmans. The family's dairy farm next door has draft horses and a picturesque setting overlooking the bay. You never know what you'll discover walking along the untravelled side road... spawning fish at the stream crossing or a dead coyote among other lovely scenes : ) and great habitat for any early birds arriving from the south. Koopmans Maple Mountain Chris & Carrie Koopmans 2275 Cty Rd 8. Click to see photos.

dead coyote

Friday, April 11 - Celebrate the end of winter....free-of-charge....our seasonal potluck get-together with food, drink and slide shows from our winter treks....at St. Andrew's church in Picton starting at 5:30 till late. Please let me know if this date works for you and what you will be bringing....wine is permitted of course. Everyone is welcome--past participants, regular participants and future participants--bring a non-photographer friend if you want. We survived a really tough winter so let's pull out 25 slides each showing the beauty and the hardship we encountered all over the Quinte region as well as the weekend retreat in Quebec.

Albert College

Saturday, April 26 - Since eating and drinking seem to have become an integral part of our photo outing experience, here's a unique invitation to be sure you sign up for right away at 10:00 a.m....it's inside Albert College with Head of School Keith Stansfield....the remarkable stained glass and architecture....then serving us a free brunch in the cafeteria along with the resident students from all over the world. Afterward, we will stroll the Bay of Quinte shoreline at Zwick's Park (to work off the eggs and bacon) and spot some migrating waterfowl or even an early-bird dragon boat team? The cost is $20, half of which will be donated to our local nature conservation organizations. Limited to 20 participants.

Click here for upcoming weekend workshops such as the waterfalls retreat on the Niagara Escarpment, May 2 - 4, 2014.

Anyone interested in a July weekend in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York? Let me know and we'll work out the details. Must have a fitness ability for walking for an hour to a mountain summit...but no ropes or danger involved.

woodland

Looking ahead to mid-May there will be a series of outings for Prince Edward County's annual bird migration festival. A group of 6 birders and photographers from the GTA is joining us for a Thursday evening 5 to 9:00 - Friday morning 8 to noon expedition and it is open to 6 more participants. The cost is $30 for the 2 days. Click here to view some photos from our birding and photography tour last spring. Click here for the 2012 pics.

twin lens reflex camera

We are also organizing a special day-long journey in June (tentatively on the first day of summer 21st) to our friend Heather's place (of twin lens reflex film camera fame!) in Spencerville (half way to Montreal) where her family farm will be clucking and gobbling with newly-born and/or hatched livestock as well as a photogenic local grist mill and some pull-offs along the way such as on the Thousand Islands Parkway and sunset over the St. Lawrence coming home. She offers us soup and sandwiches. Please RSVP if this interests you. $10 each plus share gas costs.

At the start of our Spring season there are Snowy owls still in the area so if you missed seeing one this winter, get out in April for a possible sighting. This one sighted along Highway 62 in Prince Edward County.

snowy owl

 

Click here to get on the twice-a-week email list to receive updates.

Winter 2014 schedule of outings

Wednesday, January 8 -- If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. If it's going to be an icy winter, let's shoot ice. Wednesday is forecast to be warmer than today (minus 9 C) but this severe cold snap should have created an interesting shoreline scene at Point Petre. Although I have not scouted out the area this winter, it is a unique rocky shore and I have heard that water spouts can form some years where the waves shoot up through funnels of ice. No guarantees...but for the intrepid among you, join us for a country drive and wintry stroll to the southernmost tip of Prince Edward County along Lake Ontario. Please let me know if you will meet us in PIcton at 1:30 or Cherry Valley at 1:45 or Point Petre at 2:00.

Sunset shore ice

Saturday, January 18 -- Town of Brighton and Presqu'ile Park. Stroll around the old train station and Memory Junction Museum. Although it is closed we have permission to drop the chain at the gate and go on in. The steam locomotive is 1906 and came from Belleville and it weighs 110 tons. The wooden Caboose is original 1929. There are two other metal cabooses, a boarding car and 2 flatbeds. Then we will need provincial park passes to drive down to Owen's Point Trail where snowy owls were recently spotted. No guarantee of course and we can drive further to the Lake Ontario shore to see the ice formations along the bluffs. The loop road to the lighthouse may be closed since the ice storm. Leaving Picton 8:30 a.m. Meet at Memory Junction at 9:30. Two great coffee / latté shops on main street for afterward. Please let me know where you will meet us. Share gas costs and park entry fee.

steam locomotive

Saturday, Feb. 1 -- Long Point aka Prince Edward Point, meet at the bird observatory and walk to the lighthouse. Cliff overlooks and hopefully old squaws aka long tail ducks visible at the edge of ice. Meet at Black River Cheese factory at 9 a.m. Please let me know if you are coming. phil@philnorton.com. You can view the "arctic" scenes from last year's Long Point trip by clicking here.

Long Point snowshoes

Some late winter and early spring trips to look forward to:

* Driving tour to the remote shores at Prinyers Cove and Cressy Lakeside

* Waupoos wineries and Cannery Row at the marina

* Sugaring off at local maple bushes

* Walk about Cherry Valley and Dodd's Falls

* Newburgh waterfalls and old limestone houses and cafe

snowman

Cressy Lakeside Road

Wednesday, March 5 -- Deseronto walk-about town and down to the Bay of Quinte and then to the famous coffee shop. This is a surprisingly picturesque town with interesting buildings and true characters along Main Street. And fine dining in the O'Connor House with adjacent antique shop. Click here to see the photos.

Deseronto

Wednesday, March 12 -- A privileged invitation to see Wesley Acres Camp on the Lake Ontario shore in Bloomfield. Hopefully the weather will turn spring-like and the sugar maples will be tapped with hanging buckets. Either way, we will meet at the main office for a stroll on their beautiful grounds then stop into the village for tea. Get a lift from Picton at 1:00 or meet at the camp at 1:30. Please RSVP if you are coming.

This wraps up our winter season, a month off for Spring Break, reconvening April 9th.

 

 

Macaulay Mountain

Sunday, January 5 -- A long walk at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area, meeting in the lower parking lot in Picton at 9 a.m. This is directly beside the Macaulay House Museum at 35 Church Street. If the snow remains, wear tall boots and prepare for a steep climb or a steep descent depending on which direction we go to the ridge-top.

Saturday, January 11 -- To keep with the icy winter theme, this Saturday's County expedition will begin at the Wellington Rotary Beach for a short stroll and shots of the harbour light. Afterward, we will drive over to North Beach Provincial Park and trudge over dunes and beach facing the open water of Lake Ontario. Weather prediction is for warming trend, hopefully not rain. However, the dramatic shots usually happen on the "dirty days". Please let me know if you will meet in Picton at 8:30 a.m. or at the Wellington Beach 9:00. Click to view photos.

Wednesday, January 15 -- We liked the coffeeshop-bookstore-clothing boutique in Stirling so much that we're heading that way again. Destinations include King's Mill and Crowe Bridge Conservation Areas where the midwinter thaw should have dams and rapids running strong. Gentle walking. Watch for owls and coyotes. Leaving Picton 1:00 and Belleville 1:30. RSVP.

January 24 - 26 -- Weekend retreat to Ile St-Bernard Island and Montreal, Quebec. See details on Photography Retreats website.

Click to view photos from the 2014 Montreal weekend retreat.

King's Mill Conservation Area

 

Marmoraton Mine quarry

Thursday, Feb. 6 -- An afternoon tour of the North Country, including a spectacular lookout over the Marmoraton Mine iron quarry and walk along the rushing Crowe River at Callaghan’s Rapids Conservation Area. All within a short drive from the village of Marmora on the Trans-Canada Highway, Route 7. $10 for regular participants plus gas sharing. Meet in Picton at 1:00 and Belleville at 1:30. Click to see the photos.

Saturday, Feb. 8 -- Kingston and Wolfe Island. Febfest winter carnival, ferry, snowy owls and wind turbines. 8 are signed up to take the 10:30 ferry to the island and return on the 2:30 ferry to Kingston. Back in Picton by 5:00. Click to see photos of the trip.

Wednesday, February 12 -- Ghost town and waterfalls tour. A driving excursion along the backcountry north of Napanee. Wikipedia: "Marlbank is the home of the hardest underwater cement in the world that built the Panama Canal. (ref. Tweed Historical Society). We will see the remains of the cement plant and the Marlbank Phoenix Tavern that rose from the flames twice in its more-than-a-century life. Leave Picton 12:00. Meet at Park N Ride corner of 401 and 49 at 12:30. Click to see photos from Lonsdale to Marlbank.

Wednesday, February 19 -- Tour of the Bata Shoe village by special invitation by the Batawa Development Corporation. Take photos of the Batawa Ski hill, walk the trails and dine informally at the ski lodge. Leaving Picton at 1:00. Please Email if you are interested. See the Batawa community website.

Wednesday, February 26 -- A return to the rural and wild north country in the Salmon River Valley north of Napanee. Leaving Picton at 11:00 or meet at the Devon Café at noon in Tamworth. After a spot of tea at the tea room and a visit to the ajacent gift and antiques shop, we will walk about this isolated town filled with old brick buildings and a rushing river and mill. Then we will drive further north along Highway 41 to park in the Dark Sky Area beside Sheffield Conservation Area. This is a very wild park and the walk will require snowshoes. Let me know if you need to borrow a pair. We won't be too ambitious, just trudge in far enough to an overlook across the lake and boulder country. Click to see the photo gallery from this trip.

ruins

Saturday, March 1 -- Drive out of Picton at 9 a.m. to the overlook of the Glenora Ferry at Lake On The Mountain Provincial Park then follow along Adolphus Reach to the Cressy peninsula. We will walk along the tiny Cressy Lakeside Road where there are usually interesting birds, including annual sightings of bald eagles. A wooden drive shed along that road is said to have been built by the original Loyalist settlers. Time and weather permitting we will drive out to either Prinyer's Cove or Land's End along the Cressy Bayside Road, interesting landscapes, old buildings and boats. A stop at the Waupoos Marina and Cannery Row en route back to Picton. Click to view the photos.

Cressy ice

Saturday, March 8 -- Trillium Ridge Sugarworks, Shannonville....but DO NOT use this address in your GPS to guide you there!!! Farm owner Terry Gervais says you will end up 30 kilometers north. See their website for details. Here's what they wrote to us: Most tapping is completed, about 2,200 to go as of now. Some buckets are hung. Breakfast is homemade beans, pancakes and sausages and coffee for $9.00 per person. An old log barn on the property, lots of great pictures available. We even have a resident herd of elk. Not appreciated, but hard to see. Terry and Vickie. See photos from the outing.

Wesley Acres camp

Past outings 2013

Wednesday, December 11 -- Walk on Bata Island (Frankford) and a visit to the nearby Stockdale Mill. Click here to see some photos of the mill in winter and other seasons. Peter Sutton, owner of The Old Stockdale Mill Restaurant, says they open at 5:00 and that we can show up earlier to take photos before dark. They serve hot drinks, wine and a full meal menu or just get an appetizer or a salad. Ride-share from Picton at 1:00 to arrive at Frankford by 2:15. Meet at the trailhead located 1.2 km north of Frankford on North Trent Street. The entrance to Bata Island is opposite Huffman Road. Please contact phil@philnorton.com for directions and let me know if you will be needing a lift.

The city of Quinte West (Trenton) is sponsoring a photography contest you may wish to enter before the end of the year. First prize is $300, second prize $200, third prize $100 with 3 honorable mentions $50 each. You have to allow them to use your high resolution photos for promotional purposes, even if you don't win. The theme is "Natural Attraction" so our Hanna Park and Bata Island winter outings as well as our past Mount Pelion and moonrise-over-the-bay outings could provide some good entries. Click for details.

Saturday, December 14 -- To Campbellford and do the daring walk across the see-through steel suspension bridge over the rapid Trent River. This bridge can be accessed from Ferris Provincial Park but we will enter from the town on the west shore of the river. It is part of the Trans-Canada Trail and their motto is "Get Over It, Eh." With caution I believe we can get down into Ranney Gorge for some waterfall pictures but the shore is steep and rocky. Click here to see photos of the bridge....don't be frightened! We will leave Picton at 12:30 to arrive in Campbellford by 2:15. Park along Highway 30 just before the main interesection in town (Bridge Street) and meet at the Old Mill Park along the river. Sunset is around 4:30 as we approach the shortest day of the year. Please contact phil@philnorton.com for directions and let me know if you will be needing a lift.

Holiday outing

Wednesday, December 18 -- For the final Photography & Fitness outing of 2013 we will meet at 11 a.m. at the corner of Lakeshore Lodge and County Road 12 to hike the provincial park road to Sandbanks Beach then along the Lake Ontario shore from dunes to the rocky cliffs the return via Lakeshore Lodge Road. A total of about 3 kms....working up an appetite for the evening feast.

Both roads are closed to traffic in the winter so we will pull the cars off at the intersection, maybe have to shovel out a spot to park. Don't block the gates. Carpool leaves Picton at 10:30 a.m. Map below. Please let me know if you are meeting in PIcton or at the park.

At 5:30 Photography & Fitness participants will reconvene at the home of Janice Ruggles-Bolton near the Glenora Ferry at 11323 Loyalist Parkway. Driving from Picton she lives 5 houses past the Lake of the Mountain turn on your right. Potluck dinner at 6:00. Bring up to 25 or 30 new photos too which we will project after supper. RSVP phil@philnorton.com.

No cost to attend the potluck event but please consider supporting the local nature and history organizations that preserve great photography subjects for us such as Adopt-An-Acre from Quinte Conservation, Friends of Sandbanks Provincial Park, Friends of the Frink Centre, the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, The Prince Edward Historical Society.

Click here to see photos from our snowless outing to Lakeshore Lodge last winter.

 

To kick off our December schedule of outings we will have two full afternoons combining a walk in the woods with twilight shoots of holiday lights. Both days will be dog-friendly trails if your canine companion wants to come along. Be advised that we may have a brief warm-up stop at Tim Horton's prior to nightfall.

ski  Belleville train

Wednesday, December 4 -- Quinte Conservation's headquarters just west of Loyalist-Wallbridge Road in Belleville. The conservation area stretches from the Bay of Quinte shore with a pedestrian tunnel under the highway and north along Potter Creek to another tunnel under the railroad tracks. The QC office has free literature on its nature programs as well as maps for sale. Share a ride from Picton at 2:30 or meet in the parking lot by the office at 3:00. Sunset is around 4:30 p.m. Then we will drive downtown to Meyer's Pier to see the Christmas lights display.

Saturday, December 7 -- Hanna Park in Trenton (Quinte West). This trail through huge white pines and hardwood forest is generally full of dog-walkers. Carpool from Picton at 2:00 or meet at Hanna Park at 3:00. Visit the Christmas Fantasy of Lights in Fraser Park at 5:00. Contact me for directions

.Christmas lights

Wednesday, December 18 -- Our quarterly season-end potluck supper get-together at St. Andrew's Picton with slideshow of your photos....combining it with one of our regular Wednesday afternoon walks, the week before the holiday rush. No charge, donations accepted to our favourite chairities that we contributed to last year -- Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, Friends of Sandbanks, Friends of the Frink, Quinte Conservation's Adopt-An-Acre, Reaching For Rainbows, etc....the wine will be flowing and bring your best images for the slideshow of our autumn outings....or other seasons if you are just catching up on your editing! The walk will begin at 3:00 and supper at 6:00 till late. More details to follow.

Belleville lights

Group workshops and one-on-one tutoring

Several individuals have requested private lessons to fast-track their familiarity with their cameras and computer editing programs. A special rate of $25 per hour is being offered to regular Photography & Fitness participants. The regular rate is $35. Click to reserve a private tutoring session.

Instructor Phil Norton will work at your level of expertise, beginner to advanced, to learn important technical functions on cameras and computers and give you customized advice on improving your technique. A portfolio critique of your high resolution images will suggest improvements and identify your individual style of shooting. Personalized coaching for your photography whether it is a hobby, for competitions or a possible source of revenue. Guaranteed to improve your results.

Norton has had his portfolio reviewed over the years by top National Geographic editors and photographers including legendary NG Photo Editor Bob Gilka and long-time staffers Sam Abell and Dennis Dimmick. He assisted NG journalists on assignment in 1989 and 1990--Priit Vesilind, Sisse Brimberg and Doug Lee for stories on Montreal and the USA-Canada Border.

Picton Harbour fog

Photo editing

Friday, November 15 -- Returning due to popular demand, an evening session on Photoshop Basics...or whatever photo editing software you use. There are some free downloads online. Starts at 6:00 p.m. till late at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Picton.

Even if you heard it before, post-processing is half of making good photos so let's take your raw camera files and make them even better.....even GREAT.

This is where you can refine your exposure and composition, enhance contrast and colours, even sharpness to some extent. Lasso and lighten the shadow areas, darken your over-exposed skies. Zoom in to magnify the key subject. And learn a few of the many many tools available--crop, cloning tool, magic wand, text tool, gradient, curves and levels, etc.

We will review how to resize image files for web and email, and what resolution is needed for prints and publication. If you are new to digital photography I highly recommend signing up for this evening or a personal coaching session.

Bring along the bad pictures you want to see corrected and your specific how-to questions. Here are the questions from one participant that we can address: "...changing the backgrounds...I also always wanted to know how to make a pic into a black and white pic, but bring up one colour within the pic."

Hanna Park trail arrow

Sunday, September 15 -- Waterfalls tour just north of Highway 401. A driving tour with three main stops, including cascades on the Napanee and Salmon Rivers and villages with 19th century limestone buildings and an old mill. Leave Picton at 3:00 p.m. and return by 7:00. Or meet at the Marysville exit of 401 at 3:30. RSVP if you can make it no matter the weather. This photo of Buttermilk Falls was taken in a light rain.

Wednesday, September 18 -- Trenton Greenbelt Conservation Area. A return to this lovely riverside nature trail and canal, a good walk with an interesting mix of wildlife and historic structures to photograph. The Jack Lange Memorial Walkway runs along the west shore of the Trent River just north of downtown Trenton along Front Street. In June we were treated to an osprey just overhead being attacked by 3 small birds, a beaver swimming right under the footbridge, a woodchuck standing by its hole and frequent passing trains over the steel trestle. Meet at the Conservation Area parking lot at 5:30 or carpool from Picton leaving at 4:30 p.m. No pictures available; let's hope the instructor does not forget to bring his camera again this time!

Fall photography outings 2013

For the fall season, regular participants purchase outings at $10 each and one-time participants $15 each. Please register for each outing by email or call (613) 476-1167. For custom guided tours, group outings and private lessons, please see the Photography Outings website.

Recently I led half-day tours for the Entrepreneurs Organization and the Young Presidents Organization, both of Ottawa, as well as a French Canadian youth exchange group and a bachelorette group; also an Ontario camera club with an indoor slide review after the shooting tour.

Picton Harbour, Prince Edward County, Ontario

Wednesday, September 11 -- We are going to hoof it around Picton Harbour and discover some marvelous less-known vantage points and scenery that works in any kind of weather. Foggy morning or crescent moon at dusk. We have special permission to walk onto a property beside the Claramount Inn with a lovely view across from the yacht club. Meet at the public boat launch at 1 Head Street at 6:00 p.m. for a stroll on the boardwalk and up the shoreline hill. Then we will drive to the other end of town where we may spot a green heron and kingfisher, ducks and geese. RSVP or ask for directions.

One year anniversary September 20, 2013

Friday, September 20 evening for a free-of-charge celebration of our one-year anniversary of "Photography & Fitness" outings. Potluck dinner, bring whatever you like--drinks, dessert or a dish, and, as usual, bring some of your favourite photos from our outings (and from your personal travels this summer) on a USB thumb drive for a slideshow of our Year In Review. At St. Andrew's Church in Picton..... Early birds can show up at 5:30 and we'll plan to eat around 6:00.

Saturday, September 21 -- RAIN DELAY, change of plans....a night shoot of Picton on the wet streets...See photos.

Leaving Picton for all points coastal at 12:30 after noon. Drive time is about 1/2 hour to the trail at Little Bluff Conservation Area but we will stop en route at a pioneer cemetery with historic headstones just past the South Bay church and the lighthouse. The cliffs with a view out to the Great Lake is formidable, national park caliber. Also the stone remnants of a 19th century granary by the shore and a pebble beach that may have mini inukshuk standing. We will have 2 visiting participants from Brockville and Niagara. RSVP to carpool or get directions.

Potluck dinner

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

Karlo Estates winery and bicycle

Wednesday, September 25 -- Wine country with the vineyards at their peak just before harvest. Karlo Estates near Wellington has unique traditional farm structures including the stone fence by the roadside and a dry stone bridge said to be North America's largest! We will roam the property and taste their award-winning products. We will carpool (designated driver) from Picton at 3:30 to meet up at the winery from 4:00 to 6:00 (closing time). Please let me know if you will join us. In addition to the usual photo workshop fee, there is a minimum $5.00 fee for 5 tastings or buy 2 bottles and get the tasting free. Other options with food pairings. Click to view photos.

Rock Dunder lookout

Saturday, September 28 -- Rock Dunder! At last, we will explore this spectacular natural area with a grand view over the Rideau River. Last spring I attempted to reach the summit (without success due to a rainout)....so this will be our group ascent to the bald rocky lookout.

See photos from the trip. This is an easy trail through forest to the lake but a strenuous one after that. We will be going 6 km round-trip to the summit so if you think you are unable, you may have to wait for us back at the car or inside the half-way cabin. Time permitting we can stop at the nearby Rideau Canal historic lock and hydro electric plant. Carpool from Picton 8:00 a.m. and Napanee 8:30....or meet at the trail at 9:30 a.m.

Ameliasburgh Fair

On assignment!

Sunday, September 29 -- A special invitation to our photography group to cover the Ameliasburgh Fair for CountyLive. Participants will document the Sunday events at the fairgrounds and have our photos published in this popular online news media. There will be the usual photo workshop fee plus admission to the Fair $5.00 (for both days) which includes the visit to the Ameliasburgh historical museum and re-enactment. Click here to view our coverage of the Fair on CountyLive. Please RSVP to work out details about arrival time and how to submit images. "Come dressed in farmers attire." See more photos.

Wednesday, October 2 -- The perfect time of year to stroll the boardwalk at Presq'ile Provincial Park. Peak migration season for certain species of northern birds and of course peak autumn colours. Beat the weekend tourist and city birder crowds on this mid-week afternoon guided hike through the marsh and then along the Lake Ontario shore and out to the lighthouse point. Click to see a list of migration dates for southern Ontario. Please let me know if you will hitch a ride from Picton at 2:00 or meet at the park gate at 3:00.

Presqu'ile Park birding boardwalk

PPPBB: Presqu'ile Provincial Park Birding Boardwalk

Old miliary base barracks

Friday - Sunday, October 4 - 6 -- weekend retreat up north. See www.philnorton.net/photography_retreats

Saturday, October 19 -- A return visit to the old military base atop Macaulay Mountain, Camp Picton with a guided tour inside the barracks and hangars. This is a unique opportunity to photograph an historic site that is only open on special occasions. A photography group from Newmarket, Ontario is joining us and will visit Sandbanks Park if time allows. Then after lunch we will gather indoors for a slide show of everyone's best photos from the day. Meet at Camp Picton at 9 a.m. and at St. Andrew's Church at 2:00. Cost of the historical tour and possibly Sandbanks is $20. Plus $20 for the indoor session. RSVP to phil@philnorton.com. Click to see photos from last winter.

 

Wednesday, October 23 -- Fall colours, trees and flowers, along the picturesque lanes at Glenwood Cemetery in Picton. Meet at the chapel parking at 2:00. Although the peak week of autumn coloured leaves has passed, late October is a colourful season as the leaves fall and carpet everything in reds and yellows and browns, hoping to spot the resident red fox and the domestic geese in the pond too. We will concentrate on refining our camera settings and some basic one-on-one assistance where needed. Please let me know if you are coming: phil@philnorton.com .

Glenwood Cemetery in the fall

Saturday, October 26 -- Driving tour of the Moira River north of Belleville....with an early start in hopes of catching some sunrise-through-the-mist shots....which is always hit or miss but you have to push yourself out of bed and try! The old mill along the rapids is a sure and favourite subject in any season. Carpooling from Picton at sunrise 7:30 a.m. and from Belleville at 8:00. Meet at the mouth of the Moira. Return by noon. Please RSVP for more details.

Chisholm Mill Moira River

Sager Conservation Area lookout

Wednesday, October 30 -- Our third attempt to climb Sager Mountain on a clear day for a view from the lookout tower. So far we have been foiled, first by a giant snowstorm and then socked in by dense fog. The hill at Sager Conservation Area is a glacial drumlin and with the steel deck it is the highest point around affording a great panorama (most of the time).

We will also visit Grills Orchard, just north of Highway 401 and pick up some goodies, although apple picking season is pretty much finished. And nearby, if we're lucky, we could see draft horses at work along Wallbridge-Loyalist Road at the Merryville Farm. However, the owner tells me that is really hit or miss which day he will be ploughing. Please let me know if you are coming along, leaving Picton at 2:00 p.m.

Landon Bay Thousand Islands

Saturday, November 9 -- Day trip to the 1000 Islands....along the rocky trails just east of Gananoque with a lookout over Landon Bay. Please let me know if you will carpool from Picton, leaving 7:30 a.m. $10 plus $5 to share the gas expenses and a trail fee approx $2.

Wednesday morning, November 13 - Our focus is on the southwest corner of Prince Edward County this week. We will take over the town of Consecon and stroll to the shore of Weller's Bay. Access to the national wildlife preserve and former bombing range is prohibited so we will follow the creek that runs through town to its mouth within the Sunset Lagoon Campground (we have permission). Meet at the bridge in the village centre around 9:45 a.m. Click to view the photos.

Saturday, November 16 we will meet at the Pleasant Bay Minis farm along the Loyalist Parkway (Highway 33) just west of Hillier. The owners invite us to meet their famous miniature horses as well as a donkey. The farm overlooks Pleasant Bay. Click to see article and photos. After the farm we will explore the Bay on a trail that leads in to a wild point opposite North Beach Provincial Park. Click to view the photos.

Pleasant Bay donkey

Wednesday, November 20 -- A special invitation to photograph Mohawk culture in Tyendinaga. Curtis Maracle who is running for election in December is also a traditional moccasin maker at his home, Eagle Hill, the place where the Peacemaker was said to be born (there is also the old Air Force here too). He will introduce us to others in the community and our walk will venture along the Bay of Quinte to where the Mohawk Landing took place. We can loop around to Lil Crow Café which will open by special request if we have enough people sign up. Carpooling from Picton at 1:30 or meet at Eagle Hill at 2:00. Click to view photos.

Saturday, November 23 -- An alpaca farm near Stirling with an Amish-made barn and a woodlot with trails. Leaving Picton at 8:30 a.m. and meeting at 9:30 at the Oak Hills Alpaca Ranch, 533 Gallivan Road, Stirling, ON K0K 3E0 for your GPS. We will see how much time is left after the farm visit for a possible stop at the King's Mill Conservation Area, just north of Stirling on King's Mill Rd, 5km west of County Rd #14. Your leader has never been there so we shall prepare for the unexpected! Mike and Heather Candler are our hosts.

FIELD NATURALISTS

Tuesday, November 26 -- Phil Norton will be the guest speaker at the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists meeting, Bloomfield Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. The 40-minute program will highlight our photography group adventures over the past year as well as Phil's personal documentary work, particularly relating to nature and environmental issues here and abroad. There is no charge but donations to support the bird banding station at Long Point are appreciated as well as purchases from a mini-craft show the same evening.

Hanna Park dog trail

Consecon sign

BASIC PHOTOSHOP GROUP LESSON

Friday, November 15 -- Due to several requests, another Basic Photoshop Boot Camp will be held at St. Andrew's Church in Picton. Please contact instructor Phil Norton if you would be interested in attending from 6:00 till late.

Post-processing is half of making good photos so let's take your raw camera files and make them even better.....even GREAT. This is where you can refine your exposure and composition, enhance contrast and colours, even sharpness to some extent. Lasso and lighten the shadow areas, darken your over-exposed skies. Zoom in to magnify the key subject. And learn a few of the many many tools available--crop, cloning tool, magic wand, text tool, gradient, curves and levels, etc. We will also review how to resize image files for web and email, and what resolution is needed for prints and publication.

If you are new to digital photography I highly recommend signing up for this or a personal tutoring session.

alpaca

WEEKEND TRIPS

Our second weekend on Ile St-Bernard Island and tour of rural and urban Quebec has drawn a lot of interest from PEC and the Chateauguay Valley. January 24 to 26. I will reserve the rooms as soon as I have 6 confirmations and send out details immediately to you about the itinerary.

A very special demonstration and presentation will take place first thing upon our arrival with Scott Linstead who will fly his drone with a video camera around the island then show us the results as well as a slideshow of his amazing wildlife photography featured in his new book.

I am working on plans for a waterfalls tour to the Hamilton region for springtime...including other spots I have scouted out, maybe also Toronto-by-night. Click here for Photography Retreats page.

Summer-time photography outings 2013

June - July - August schedule of outings. For the summer season, regular participants purchase outings at $10 each and one-time participants $15 each.

Please register for each outing by email or call (613) 476-1167.

Saturday, June 1 -- Quinte's Isle Bluegrass Festival on the beach on Salmon Point Road. Bring a lawn chair or blanket if you want to sit for a spell. Maybe swim suit? Umbrella for sun or rain. Sunscreen. Carpool from Picton at 9:00 or meet outside the gate at 9:40. Click to view photos.

Wednesday, June 5 -- "The Sandbanks Challenge". We will meet at 6:00 p.m. and walk as far as we can from the Sandbanks Park Dunes Beach to reach the spit of land where West Lake is on one side and Lake Ontario on the other. It will be a long walk, plus the optional detour of climbing any of the high sand "mountains" along the way. Hopefully see some turtles. The dunes are always great for abstract shots and the low evening sun should provide interesting shadows. Drivers will need a park pass if you park at the Dunes Beach area. Click to view photos.

Sandbanks photographers

Wednesday, June 12 -- Jack Lange Memorial Walkway along the west shore of the Trent River just north on Front Street in Trenton. We will explore the tiny Trenton Greenbelt Conservation Area with both natural and urban views along the way....perhaps a passing train over the steel trestle and a passing blue heron over the marsh. There is an interesting footbridge, several kilometers of easy trails and a view of the dam....many new scenes to shoot. Hopefully butterflies and possibly dragonflies along the water. Meet at the Conservation Area parking lot or carpool from Picton.

Wednesday, June 26 -- A return to the beautiful Glenwood Cemetery in Picton where we will stroll the hills and valleys beneath huge pines and old sugar maples. Then, by special invitation, the stone chapel will be open for us to shoot inside and outside with the stained glass windows lit as the evening grows dark. Possible red fox sightings. Fireflies may be out and you are free to try night exposures among the tombstones and monuments. Meet at 6:00 p.m. at the chapel.

Friday, June 28 -- End of the season potluck and slideshows. To celebrate our third season of "Photography & Fitness" outings. Bring a drink or a dish along with some of your best pics, either from our outings together or from your own portfolio. We will view slideshows on the big multimedia screen at St. Andrew's in Picton and, for those who bring along their laptops, I will provide one-on-one computer tutoring late into the night. Also a brief demonstration on how to edit a photo shoot....cropping, colour, brightness and contrast adjustments, and how to choose the best 20 shots from the hundreds you took! $10 as usual.

Driftwood at Sandbanks Park Lakeshore Lodge beach

Thursday, July 4 -- Since everyone is busy on July 1st, we will celebrate Canada Day on the Fourth of July....to photograph the giant flag made out of 28,000 red and white begonias along the 401 highway in Belleville. At 6:00 p.m. our walk will begin at the parking area across the highway (37) from the Yardmen Arena, aka Cannifton Road. This is the east side of the Moira River which is scenic and we can cross to the other side along Bell Blvd. to access Riverside and Memorial Parks. Then we can park at the dog walking area at Zwick's Park and hike up the bay bridge at sunset. Click to view the photos.

Wednesday, July 10 -- "Colours of the Rainbow" photography of Prince Edward County by Phil Norton on the big screen at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Picton to the live music of Sara Barrett Harris on the grand piano. Part of the Summer at St. Andrew's cultural series 7:00 p.m. $5.00.

County Cider tasting room and vineyard and orchard in Waupoos, Ontario

Thursday, July 11 -- Destination Milford. Meet at 6 p.m. at the dam of the Milford Mill Pond Conservation Area and prepare to scramble down to a brushy creek and then climb out of the valley to see Minaker's Auto Body where old trucks and buses have sat for decades. Lots to see in the bustling hamlet -- kids jumping off the bridge, a rope swing into the pond, maybe sucker fishermen downstream. Pose beside the statue and get a pop at the country store. A side trip to Scott's Mill and the cascading waterfalls. Carpool from Picton at 5:30. Please RSVP if you can make it. We will walk around town. There's a library, a post office and a bistro!

Wednesday, July 24 -- Into the high dunes again at Sandbanks Provincial Park. A group of 8 exchange students from Quebec will join us, carpooling from Picton at 6:30. Or meet at the Dunes Beach at 7:00. Never get tired of this unique natural area that changes each season and time of day. Hoping for a dramatic sunset sky after tramping over the sand hills. Pack a flashlight for our return walk. A Sandbanks park pass will be required if you drive your own vehicle. Contact Phil Norton if you are interested, for more details. Please RSVP to phil@philnorton.com.

Dragonflies along the Outlet River in Sandbanks Provincial Park, Ontario

July 25 - August 10 -- the CLIC Photo Show in Picton, Ontario, 289 Main Street, 2nd Floor at Books and Co. Admission: $2, children 12 and under are free. 10 am to 6 pm everyday except closing at 5 pm on Sundays, including the holiday Monday. County Photographer Phil Norton is a Sponsor of CLIC in 2013.

mushroom in forest

Wednesday, July 31 -- Destination Odessa. A double-whammy. Two stops, starting with a brief 5:00 - 5:30 stop at Babcock Mill Park along Millhaven Creek, then a 6:00 start at the trailhead along Taylor Kidd Boulevard for Parrott's Bay Conservation Area. Hopefully the labyrinth in the forest made out of sticks will still be there. Let me know if you need a lift leaving Picton at 4:15 or directions to the 2 destinations.

Babcock Mill Park

Haliburton Santa on guitar

For the last week of the CLIC Photo Show in Picton and the tourism season in August, we hope to attract some of the photographers who are visiting Prince Edward County to tour the special places nearby.

Photographing Sandbanks Park

Wednesday, August 7 -- to kick it off.....Sandbanks of course! Meet at Lakeshore Lodge with a provincial park pass at 6 p.m. or carpool and share a park pass from Picton at 5:30. We will shoot the rocky cliffs and sand beach on Lake Ontario and venture up into the dunes for a unique vantage point around sundown. Click here to view pictures.

Picton Courthouse

Friday, August 9 -- Shoot John A. Macdonald's life in Picton and other pre-Confederation local history. A guided tour of the courthouse and the graveyard at the Macaulay museum (additional fee $10). The dimly-lit gallows with hanging rope. Please reserve immediately. With a large enough number of photographers, we get our own custom tour. Optional walk downtown to see the sculpture bust of Canada's first prime minister. Click to see photos.

Rose House Museum in Waupoos

Saturday, August 10 -- Morning excursion to a historic destination, the homestead museum east of Waupoos, Rose House. Leave Picton at 9:00 a.m. or meet there (3333 County Road 8) at 9:30 when the museum opens. Suggested donation $4.00. We will walk down Cemetery Lane to the old cemetery across the road. On the way back we can stop at County Cider for a lookout from vineyards and orchards over the Great Lake and taste test their apple products inside for free. Click to see photos.

Macaulay Mountain hemlock trail forest

Sunday, August 11 -- to the ridge-top at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area. Sheer drop-offs and interesting flora and fauna along the trail through the rich green woodlands. And Birdhouse City too!. RSVP and meet at the lower parking lot beside the Macaulay House museum at 9:00 a.m.

dark sky area

Monday, August 12 -- the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower up to 60 shooting stars per hour. If there is ample interest we will venture out to Sheffield Conservation Area for an evening walk then set up tripods at the Dark Sky Area park north of Napanee. Please let me know if you are interested.

Fredericksburg Conservation Area

Wednesday, August 14 -- North Fredericksburg Conservation Area, an unusual flat rock area, forest and stream. Bring boots or roll up your pant legs for wading through marshy ground and water depending on the recent rainfall. First we will visit the falls beneath the train bridge in Napanee. RSVP for carpooling from Picton at 5:30 p.m. or meeting at the falls at 6:00.

Cedar Sands hiking trail at Sandbanks Provincial Park

Wednesday, August 21 -- Mid-week morning escape the crowds of tourists on the quiet Cedar Sands Trail at Sandbanks Park. Click to view photos from last fall's outing. Requires a park pass. RSVP contact me for directions or to carpool and share a pass. Leaving from Picton at 9 a.m.

 

Click to see more photos of past outings.

Algonquin Park in August anyone?

squirrel

Wild iris

birches in Algonquin Park

August 24-25, 2013 -- An up-and-back trip to the wild and relatively unknown northeastern sector of Algonquin Provincial Park, leaving from Picton-Belleville around 4:30 - 5:00 p.m. and returning next day before 11:00 p.m., an excursion for photographers and naturalists. See photos from our group outing, click here.

Cost: $49 plus tax per person plus gas, accommodations ($30), park admission and meals.

I explored this area recently, mostly on foot and then some kayaking, but all of the points of interest are accessible on foot, such as the rocky point where Tom Thomson of the Group of Seven painted "The Jack Pine", and the canyon overlook.

The drive is 3 hours+ via Route 41 north of Napanee. We can share rides or meet up there if you want to spend another day on your own or pick you up en route at Bon Echo Park.

For accommodations, we have booked a rustic lodge or Pembroke is nearby on the Ottawa River. We will meet at 7:30 a.m. and enter the park by 8 a.m.

An Ontario Parks pass is valid if you have one for Sandbanks / Presqu'ile Parks. You can view some photos from last spring, click here.

canyon in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

For a gift idea, consider offering your favourite "Kid Kodak" a gift certificate for one-on-one photography tutoring. Adults and youth are welcome. Pricing comparable to taking music lessons. Special rates for couples, family or office staff. Contact Phil Norton.

2012-2013 business association memberships

chamber of commerce NPPA taste the county
picton BIA NPPA CP
Photos in Prince Edward County publications
County Magazine Picton BIA guide
County & Quinte Living Magazine Taste the County guide

CountyLive

 

See more of Phil Norton's work:
www.philnorton.net

Chamber of Commerce map

Olympic Torch Relay in Picton, Ontario poster for sale.

To commemorate the historic Olympic Torch event in Picton, this colour glossy poster is available in 11"x17" and 16"x24" for $13 and $32. View slideshows and photo galleries and order reprints from the event at:

Olympic Torch Canada

* Ecommerce stock photo website

* County photo blog

* Purchase photo greeting cards

* Swamp kayaking

* Zeke Aid concert

* County baseball

* Highway of Heroes slideshow

* Climate change

* St. Andrew's Picton

*Community gardening

* Cello and slides

* County singers

 

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Fiddler Zeke David Mazurek benefit concert at the Regent Theatre in Picton, Ontario.

Pictorial tour of "The County", Ontario, Canada:
These random snapshots since 2005 show the diversity of Prince Edward County through the seasons.
Entering this site works best with a high-speed connection because the photos are slow to load on dial-up. The images were made with Nikon digital cameras, pocket-size Coolpix 8400 and P6000, and DSLR's, the D100, 200 and 700.
Click on a specific title, or browse the archive by clicking on the page numbers at the bottom. For prints and greeting cards, website design, or to purchase editorial or commercial photo use rights, please email the County Photographer.


Picton Cross-country skier
Picton by night XC ski trails

* Blessing of the pets

*Hockey Night in Wellington

*Beaver Meadows nature

*Robbie Burns Supper

*County photos 2008

*Seasons slideshow

* Geocaching Macaulay Mt.

* Consecon swans

* Opening 10,000 Villages

*Duck hunt Point Petre

*Sophiasburgh corn harvest

*Loyalist Humane Society


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