Spring 2013 schedule of outings and workshops
Our intrepid walking group survived the winter so, to celebrate the arrival of spring, we will keep the age-old Canadian tradition of "sugaring-off". Bookmark this page to see the list of upcoming outings and indoor photography workshops planned for April and May....to be posted soon! See the photos from past outings below.
$10 per person per outing or purchased ahead as a $50 gift certificate. Purchase 10 outings a year and you get your own online gallery to display the images you take on our trips. Please email or call to register for all outings and workshops.
First Day of Spring, Wed. March 20 -- Honey Wagon Farms welcomes us before the weekend crowds for Maple In The County. A special opportunity to tour the Taylors' sugar bush and mini sugar house operation at the headwaters of Waring Creek near Picton (265 Sandy Hook Road) from 1 to 3:00. Click to view photos.
To register: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat. March 23 -- Bleasdell Boulder and Trent River. An easy trail to an unusual geologic attraction, one of the largest known glacial erratics in North America, estimated to be 2.3 billion years old. The Boulder is 13.4 metres long, 7.3 metres wide and 6.7 metres high (44’ x 24’ x22’). This Conservation Area connects to the Lower Trent Trail. 9:00 to 11:00, register for directions. Carpool from Picton at 8 a.m. Click to view photos.
Wed. March 27 -- Spring melt and run-off at the old mill pond in Bloomfield and a walk along the old railroad grade where it crosses two streams on the Millennium Trail. Meet at the Bloomfield Mill Pond park on Mill Street at 1:00. This outing is dog-friendly, feel free to bring along your well-behaved canine friend/family. Click to view photos.
Sat. 30 (Easter weekend) -- Special access to a unique County landmark....the old air base on Macaulay Mountain, now the Loch Sloy business park. With a guided tour and history by Jacqui Burley we will walk the grounds and see inside some of the buildings. An extra $5 will be added to the usual fee for this outing. From 10 a.m. to noon. See the Sgts. Mess Hall, an H-hut (barracks), a hangar, drill hall, flying club and possibly the theatre and the original holding cells and learn the history of the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (BCATP). Click to view photos.
April 3 and 5 -- Camera to computer basics and photo editing workshops. $10 each or $15 for both. Small group hands-on instruction and demonstrations on the big screen at St. Andrew's church in Picton from 6 to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 6 -- Lambing season in full swing at the Fox Farm in Prince Edward County. Farmer and former Member of Provincial Parliament Gary Fox says many of them are being bottle-fed so they come easily to people. If you missed our trip to the JC Nyman farm, this is your chance to get cute and fuzzy pictures. Also, donkeys, horses, and the usual farm dogs and cats, maybe a llama, sometimes miniature horses. Then, we will drive to Roblin Lake and stroll down to the tiny Harry Smith Conservation Area. This area includes many interesting attractions...the Ameliasburgh historical village, Canadian poet Al Purdy's A-frame cottage, the unusual upland lake and an old cemetery with a tree-lined lane to the C.A. Carpool from Picton at 8:30 a.m. or meet at the farm at 9:00. Click to view photos.
Friday, April 12 -- Potluck and portfolio reviews AGAIN! Time to celebrate surviving a winter of outdoor hiking and shooting and show off our photographic results. Bring a snack or a drink to share and a USB thumb drive or CD with images to view on the big screen. Anything goes; select up to 30 of your best from The County and beyond. We will tear you apart, I mean, your audience and instructor will gently critique your work. Photoshop trickery welcome too. 6:00 to 10 p.m. Please RSVP if you are coming and let me know what food you are bringing. Half of the $10 fee donated to Reaching For Rainbows daycare for girls at St. Andrew's. $35 raised to donate to Reaching For Rainbows.
Saturday, April 13 -- Menzel Nature Reserve and Mud Lake. This outing was postponed in winter due to a snow storm, so let's head north on gravel roads to discover this little-known trail in spring before the bugs do. Carnivorous pitcher plants along the boardwalk in the marsh. Carpool from Picton at 8 a.m. or at the 401 at 8:30 (Marysville exit) or meet at the trailhead on Roblin Road at 9:00. Click to view photos.
Monday, April 15 -- Birdhouse City and Macaulay Mountain AGAIN! It's a gem of a park even if it is close to home. We will climb the steep trail to the ridge-top then a long, leisurely walk through the hardwood-cedar-hemlock forest. The snow is melting in the upper marshes and the mini waterfalls and stream should be flowing strong. Our loop walk will start at the picnic pavilion beside the dam at the upper parking lot beside the Air Cadets headquarters along County Road 8 just south of Picton at 2 p.m. Click to view pictures.
Wednesday, April 17 -- A springtime return to the Sandbanks Park Woodlands Trail and down to the beach along County Road 12. Find the trail sign and parking lot at Sandbank's main entrance 2 p.m. or carpool from Picton at 1:30. Click to view pictures.
Saturday, April 20 -- Our Earth Day outing. A double header, indoor-outdoor celebration. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the big screen at St. Andrew's church, Phil Norton will present images of the natural world and environmental issues with recorded music. Then, we will discuss our camera settings and prepare to shoot photos of the Firelight Lantern Festival and parade that we can walk to at Benson Park from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The sponsors invite donations and request the use of any photos taken at their event to be sent to them for publicity. Click to view pictures.
Wednesday, April 24 -- An evening to assist you in entering various photo contests, selecting the right images to enter, tweaking them in Photoshop, and preparing the proper file size and format to burn to CD or send by email. We will have representatives from local contests such as CLIC (deadline for entries May 10) and the Picton Fair. I obtained more info about the Conservation Ontario contest and told our local office that we WILL bring the prize home to Quinte....seeing that we have toured half of the parks in all seasons and in all weather......and another conservation group on the Bay of Quinte. Also the PEC bird photo contest deadline May 25th. Bring images on a USB thumb drive, DVD or on your own laptop. Phil Norton was a 2012 judge at the CLIC Eastern Ontario Photo Show and a 2013 Sponsor. He can share insight into what the judges may be looking for and suggestions for last minute shoots. We will make time to be creative and build some surreal montages with Photoshop. St. Andrew's church at 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 25 -- Sunset walk along the Bay of Quinte and full moonrise at Meyer's Pier and Jane Forrester Park in Belleville. This outing was cancelled last fall due to the hurricane warning. Hopefully the sky will be clear; either way it's a lovely, paved walking trail along the shore and the boats may be in the water by that time.Meet in Belleville at 6:45. Sunset and moonrise around 8:00 p.m. Click to view photos.
Saturday, April 27 -- Special open doors at the historic Glenora Fisheries building beside the Glenora Ferry dock. Meet there at 10 a.m. or carpool from Picton at 9:30. After shooting this maritime scenery, we will drive up to Lake On The Mountain Provincial Park and lookout over Prince Edward Bay. If time permits we will park along Bradley X-Road and walk through a forested area of this remote, secondary road finishing around noon or at your leisure. This is the realm of the rare Blanding's Turtle.
Saturday, May 4 -- Ostrander Point and the South Shore of Prince Edward County, a highly controversial coastal region where wind turbines are proposed in a designated "Important Bird Area" and where some citizens want to create a National Marine Conservation Area. Judge for yourself if this is a windswept wasteland for energy production or a wild and scenic place worthy of protection. Meet in Picton at 8:15 or at Black River Cheese at 8:45. Click to view photos.
Monday, May 6 -- A close-up look at Beaver Meadow Conservation Area and the ephemerals....those colourful wildflowers that pop up before the forest canopy blocks the sun...hopefully hepatica, trillium and jack-in-the-pulpit. Bring your macro lens or try out my close-up diopters. Mid-may expect bugs for photographing and swatting. See the sign on County Road 11 and drive all the way in at 2:00.
Wednesday, May 8 -- A special invitation to the Thompson farm in Sophiasburgh, a springtime walk through sprouting wheat fields, along the creek and into their mature maple sugar bush. John, a former County councilor has lived here all his life and has many interesting observations about the wildlife and landscape. Then, we will drive down the road to the Demorestville Dam Conservation Area in the village where we can view a waterfalls and a deep gorge. Register for directions.
May 10 - 12 -- Our second weekend photography getaway....Montreal and the Chateaugauy Valley....See details below.
Wednesday, May 15 -- Return to Sager Conservation Area lookout tower and hope it's not foggy again! Leave Picton at 5:15 p.m. and meet at the park at 6:00 p.m. Sorry, last minute postponement due to my Quinte Conservation meeting...double-booked.
May 17 - 18 -- Participate in the Baillie Birdathon, a 24-hour birdwatching adventure. Three back-to-back guided tours throughout the County....and photo contest....see below. Click to view photos.
Thursday, May 23 -- Quarter Moon Coffee House open stage music in the old town hall at Bloomfield. Host Steve Campbell, publisher of County Magazine, says we are welcome and there is no charge but I suggest a few dollars donation at the door from each of us. Coffee, tea and cookies available. Meet at Bloomfield Town Hall at 7:00 to go over settings before the show starts at 7:30. Click to view photos.
Saturday, May 25 -- Tyendinaga Cavern and Caves, guided tour at noon. There will be an additional charge for park entry. Please RSVP now so we know how many to reserve. Ticket prices are: children (5-12) $8, youth (13-17) $10, adults (18+) $12, seniors (65+) $8. I will Eblast directions to the park. Click to view photos.
Also May 25th, optional, before we drive to the caves, the Downtown Photo Walk from 8:00 to 10 a.m. in Belleville. Starts at Market Square. Meet fellow photographers as we tour the downtown streetscapes and Riverfront Trail. All levels of photographers welcome. Brought to you by The Friends of Downtown Belleville. Prizes are available for those who wish to submit their best photo. The photos will be posted on Facebook on the BDIA fan page and we will ask the public to vote for their favourites. Winners will be chosen by judges and Facebook voting. Prizes: $100 in Downtown Dollars for the winner chosen by PhotoWalk organizers; $50 in Downtown Dollars for the most Facebook votes. $25 in Downtown Dollars for runner-up Facebook votes. Select submissions will be printed and put on display at the BDIA office on Front Street. Click to view photos.
Wednesday, May 29 -- Massassauga Point Conservation Area close by and a wonderful bayside trail plus excellent bird habitat forest. Leave Picton at 5:15 meet at the trail parking at 6:00 and hope for a nice sunset over the Belleville skyline! Please RSVP. Click to view photos.
Spring Birding Festival in Prince Edward County May 11 to 20
Friday, May 17 - Saturday, May 18 -- Participate in the Baillie Birdathon, a 24-hour birdwatching adventure. We will take three 3-hour excursions into various wildlife habitats and record the birds we see and hear. Click here to view photos from last year. Cost is $10 per outing or $25 for all three, plus donation to the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. We will photograph the birds and record audio of their calls. Begins Friday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Then, Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 and, finally, 1:00 to 4:00. Contact me right away if you are interested in registering officially for the Birdathon. Also, details about the bird photo contest in PEC, deadline May 25th.
Quebec weekend getaway -- Montreal and the Chateauguay Valley
May 10 - 12 -- Our second weekend photography getaway....stay at Manoir d'Youville, a former Grey Nuns convent-turned-inn. It is situated on an historic island, first settled by the French in 1673, at the mouth of the Chateauguay River where it joins a wide point in the St. Lawrence known as Lake St. Louis. Our hosts will be French-speaking but very good in English too. I lived in Chateauguay for 10 years and was a photographer and writer for Le Soleil and L'Information Regional newspapers, a photography tutor at Vision Newspaper at the high school, and photojournalist for The Montreal Gazette...I am anxious to share a region I love, the city of Montreal, so scenic day and night and culturally diverse, and the political epicentre for Canada.....and the rural Chateauguay Valley where I lived and owned an apple-maple syrup farm from 1982 to 2008. Click to view the calendars I published with scenes of "Montreal" and the "Upper St. Lawrence".
A special treat is our Friday evening introduction to Ile St-Bernard by superb nature photographer Dominic Gendron, someone I have known for many years and watched him develop his awesome portfolio, primarily with wildlife subjects taken on Ile St-Bernard island. Local photographers will join us for this presentation and afterward for socializing at our hotel and a slide presentation by me and/or outdoor night sky shooting and along the river's edge.
Saturday will be our day in the big city and Sunday we will explore the Valley. Leisure time can be spent on the island. If we're lucky the nuns' apple orchard will be in blossom and mid-May is peak season for warbler migration...so we will likely meet some serious birdwatchers and see some big camera lenses along the trails.
All meals are included, buffet-style. Total cost varies depending on your choice of room and seniors discount. Single and double occupancy options as well as private or shared bathroom. For example, for 2 people in the same room with a private bath and all meals included for 2 nights, including photo workshop fee = $488 plus tax.....which comes out around $280 per person....taxes included. Another example....2 seniors in one room, shared bath....about $250 each. Click to see the rooms.
Photoshop basic training
In order to assist a few of our participants in the basic adjustments of your digital photo files, I have reserved St. Andrew's Church multimedia system for Wednesday and Friday, April 3 and 5 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
This will be hands-on BASIC digital workflow instruction. Boot camp in Picton, Ontario!
I will demonstrate how I edit my photos from my laptop projected on the big screen, then we will connect your laptop and everyone will watch me instruct you doing it. Or if you don't have a laptop or don't have any photo editing software, you can take your turn using mine.
Please let me know if you are coming and what system you have, e.g. Windows or Mac, Photoshop (full version or Elements), Adobe Lightroom or Apple's Aperture, Windows product, free downloads of GIMP or Picasa or other online editors like Pixlr. Bring your images so we can do an edit of good ones and bad ones. If you don't have them on your computer, bring them on a USB thumb drive or external hard drive which, hopefully, will be compatible with my Macbook or someone's Windows PC.
As I have mentioned on many occasions: I believe 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 at least one of these evenings $10 as usual, or $15 for both. email@example.com (613) 476-1167
Here is the list of dates and destinations for the 2013 Photography & Fitness winter outings and indoor portfolio reviews and digital workflow sessions for the Quinte / Prince Edward County region. Most of the events are on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.
Sunday, Jan. 6 -- Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area hemlocks creek valley. A lengthy forest walk to start the new year. Meet at the lower parking lot beside Macaulay House museum in Picton. 9 - 11 a.m. Click to see photos.
Wednesday, Jan. 9 -- Downtown Napanee and Napanee River at dusk and city lights, sunset 4:46 p.m. Carpool from Picton 3:00. Meet at the river rapids park at 3:30 p.m. East side of Dundas Street bridge. Click to see photos.
Saturday, Jan. 12 -- Owl woods on Amherst Island. Carpool from Picton at 7:00 a.m. and the ferry at 8:30 a.m. Share ferry fee. Return 4:00 ferry. Click to see photos.
Wed. Jan. 16 -- Sandbanks, Lakeshore Lodge bluffs. 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Carpool from Picton at 12:30. Click to see photos.
Saturday, Jan. 19 -- O’Hara Mill Pioneer Homestead & C. A. 9:00 - noon. Carpool from Picton at 7:45 a.m. to Madoc via Sidney Street, Belleville. $5 extra charge for park entrance. Click to see photos.
Wed. Jan. 30 -- Presqu’ile Provincial Park and lighthouse, sunset 5:13. Share park entrance fee. Carpool from Picton 2:00 p.m. Meet outside the park gates around 3:00. Register for more details. Click to see photos.
Groundhog Day weekend, Feb. 1 - 3 -- Retreat to Sumac Centre near Sharbot Lake, Ontario. Bon Echo Provincial Park. Indoor Photoshop tutoring. Slideshows. Portfolio reviews. Click to see photos.
Wed. Feb. 6 -- Sandbanks Provincial Park Cedar Sands Trail. A long walk, probably need snowshoes, from the Outlet Beach gate and Nature Shoppe parking, through the Cedars Campground and along the Outlet River, sheltered by the dunes, return via Outlet Beach or park road dependent upon wind chill. Carpool from Picton 12:30. From 1:00 to 3:00 or 4:00 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 9 -- Menzel Centennial Provincial Nature Reserve and boardwalk to Mud Lake. Carpool from Picton 8 a.m. or meet at the trailhead at 9:00. Register for directions. May need to help shovel out a parking spot. Postponed due to snow-covered back roads.
Wed. Feb. 13 -- A review of basic digital workflow from camera to computer, resizing images for web galleries and printing. Photoshop adjustments and tricks. Free online picture editing tools. St. Andrew's Church in Picton. 6 to 8:00 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 20 -- Sunset from Mount Pelion and Downtown Trenton by night. Carpool from Picton 3:00. Meet at the Trent Port Museum public parking area at 55 King Street. A lengthy walk to the hilltop lookout and back. 4:00 to approx. 7:00 p.m. Click to see photos.
Sat. Feb. 23 -- Sager Mountain Conservation Area lookout tower. More driving than walking but beautiful countryside and a good climb to a steel deck with a view. Carpool from Picton at 7:30 a.m. or meet at the park at 9:00 a.m. Bring a shovel in case the parking is snowed in. Click to see photos.
Wed. Feb. 27 -- Sorry, this one is postponed, family reasons. Indoor workshop at St. Andrew's Church in Picton. Hands-on basic studio portrait lighting and flash tips. Slideshow on the big screen and portfolio review of your pictures. 6:00 to 8 p.m.
Sun. March 3 -- Please note change of date from Saturday to Sunday. Long Point (Prince Edward Point), cliffs and the edge of ice where waterfowl find open water in the frozen bay. Carpool from Picton 8:15 a.m. Register to get directions. 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Click to see photos.
Wed. March 6 -- JC Nyman Farms maple syrup woodlot, sugar house and livestock barn. A preview of Prince Edward County's annual maple festival just over the mountain from Picton. Hopefully tapping or boiling will be going on; either way the lambs and farm animals will be good subjects. Meet there at 11 a.m. or carpool from Picton at 10:30. Register for directions. Click to see photos.
Coming up: Shooting and archiving stock photography, Little Bluff, Glenwood Cemetery and chapel, Point Petre, Heavy horses, Winery, Beaver Meadow, Massasauga Point, Frink Centre . . .
Get on the Eblast list and receive notices about upcoming outings and workshops: firstname.lastname@example.org
Group Of Seven winter retreat
Weekends photography and nature getaways to the Sumac Centre lodge in the wild "Land O' Lakes" region. Indoor camera/computer sessions and portfolio reviews on the screen along with outdoor shoots on the 600-acre property as well as a day trip along the Frontenac Arch back roads and in small towns, including North of 7 country which was made famous by the Group Of Seven painters. Private rooms with a view. Click to see photos.