2015 in Pictures

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Where did 2015 go?

I’ve heard it said that the older you get the quicker time goes. Now the older I get, the more I think it’s true. It was about seven months ago the last time I wrote but it doesn’t feel like it was that long. I had good intentions but a bit of writers block along with other commitments seemed to prevent me from sitting down and sharing my thoughts and images. So here I am at the end of December with some of my favorite photographs and memories from the year that came and went so quickly.

The winter of 2015 was record-breaking in terms of snow. The driving and shoveling were awful but the photography was spectacular and the best I’ve experienced in recent years other than perhaps the ice storm of 2014.

"Shadow of the Twilight" - Rothesay NB

“Shadow of the Twilight” – Kennebecasis River, Rothesay, NB

 

"Everwhites" - Saint John, NB

“Everwhites” – Saint John, NB

 

"Blowing Smoke" - Saint John, NB

“Blowing Smoke” – Bay of Fundy, Saint John, NB

 

"Fallen Snowmen" - Kingston Peninsula, NB

“Fallen Snowmen” – Kingston Peninsula, NB

 

Once the snow finally melted and spring arrived I began exploring the province and found some beautiful gardens, waterfalls and fun wildlife. If it wasn’t for my wife’s keen eye I wouldn’t have captured the painted turtles or had the opportunity to show my kids a beaver if I hadn’t taken a friend from India on a trip to a local park.

"Shell Game" - Painted Turtles, Hampstead, NB

“Shell Game” – Painted Turtles, Hampstead, NB –

How many turtles you see?

 

"Spring Fever" - King Square, Saint John NB“Spring Fever” – King Square, Saint John NB

 

"Forest For The Trees" - Cambridge-Narrows, NB

“Forest For The Trees” – Cambridge-Narrows, NB

 

 "Nature's Carpenter" - Little River Reservoir Park, Saint John, NB

“Nature’s Carpenter” – Little River Reservoir Park, Saint John, NB

 

"Utopia" - Welsford Falls, NB

“Utopia” – Welsford Falls, NB

 

"Simplicity" - Public Gardens, Saint John, NB

“Simplicity” – Public Gardens, Saint John, NB

 

The summer was likely the highlight of the year as I was able to take a whale watching tour off Brier Island, Nova Scotia where the Bay of Fundy meets the Gulf of Maine. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate as much as I’d hoped for, but seeing humpback whales within 50 feet of our boat was an absolutely amazing experience and brought a new appreciation for God’s creation.

"Waiting to Exhale" - Humpback, Bay of Fundy, N.S.

“Waiting to Exhale” – Humpback, Bay of Fundy, N.S.

 

"Leviathan" - Humpback Whale. Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia

“Leviathan” – Humpback Whale. Bay of Fundy, NS

 

"Peek-a-boo" - Humpback Whale. Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia

“Peek-a-boo” – Humpback Whale. Bay of Fundy, NS

 

Autumn was all about the color this year. In the sky, trees, on the water as the sun was setting and with the added bonus of the blood moon. Of course those who know me it is also always about spending time by the amazing Bay of Fundy.

"The Golden Hour" - Cold Stream Pond, Enfield, Maine

“The Golden Hour” – Cold Stream Pond, Enfield, Maine

 

"La Lune Rouge"

“La Lune Rouge”

 

"Season of Change" - Hampton, New Brunswick

“Season of Change” – Hampton, NB

 

"Rising Tide" - Bay of Fundy, Saint John, NB

“Rising Tide” – Bay of Fundy, Saint John, NB

 

Ansel Adams once said “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.”  – For me it definitely applies~ Most often I feel that God is the real artist not me, I just happen to be there to record it.  It’s a privilege.

So what did I learn? I can drive 5 minutes or 5 hours and always find something that is remarkable and I just need to slow down to see it. When I’m exploring I’m trying to find the extraordinary and create images that people haven’t seen before, but I truly believe it is also about finding the common uncommon again and looking at the things we see every day in a new way and appreciating them.

Here’s to 2016. I hope you are able to take some time this year to get out and experience some of God’s handiwork and appreciate it for yourself.

Wintertide

“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.

William Arthur Ward
For anyone who has followed my photography and blog for a while  you’ll know I love the beach, and in particular the Bay of Fundy. My family and I have spent many days during the summer at different beaches all around southern New Brunswick and parts of Nova Scotia. I especially enjoy visiting beaches at sunrise and sunset. The anticipation of the light, reflections, clouds and the potential image is an exciting moment for me that never seems to get old.

In recent years I’ve tried to make a more conscious effort to visit some of the local coastline in the winter to take advantage of the different light and perspective with the snow and ice. Last month I visited one of my favorite beaches in the morning and was fortunate that the tide was heading out. For years I have generally been drawn to one side of this beach more than the other.  This time I was intentional in my decision to visit the other side of the beach and inspect it closer than I have before.

As I walked the shoreline and photographed I was inspired by what I saw through the lens.  At the same time I was a bit disappointed, thinking about subjects I have potentially missed because I neglected to visit the other side of the beach so many times. I strolled along this part of the beach for about an hour. When I came home and edited my images I was really very happy to see that I was able to capture some new amazing images of God’s creation like the one below. Sometimes avoiding the easy or obvious subject can pay off.

The Bay of Fundy at Low Tide in Gardner Creek, New Brunswick

The Bay of Fundy at Low Tide in Gardner Creek, New Brunswick

 

Eternal Winter

The days are getting longer. The temperature is rising. The end of winter must be near. Right?

"Evening Shiver" - Lepreau River, NB

“Evening Shiver” – Lepreau River, NB

Winter has seemed extra long, snowy and cold this year, and yet, at the same time the scenery has been magnificent. This has been one of the best winters for photography. Frosty ice storms and the mountains of snow have created some beautiful subjects.

"Hay There"

“Hay There” – Central Bedeque, PEI

For the last month or so my friends and neighbours have been a chorus of voices asking for the warmer weather to arrive and an end to the snow and freezing temperatures. I admit, there have been weeks when winter has seemed long; especially when shovelling a foot of snow or trying to manoeuvre around the icy streets. I know the calendar says that winter is coming to a close, but it’s certainly not going quietly. This past week Eastern Canada experience what some are calling a winter hurricane and the worst driving conditions I have ever experienced. For good measure we received another ice storm today and a third consecutive snow day for the kids. The last four months have been intense, but there is still a little part of me that is sad to see the end of winter.

Smoke and Fire

Winter can be cruel. This year it seems even more-so. The bitter cold, day after day, a ridiculous ice storm followed by a few days of mild weather, and then back to the deep freeze. With January done and the short month of February here, I can feel spring just around the corner.

"Smoke and Fire" - Bay of Fundy, Saint John, NB

“Smoke and Fire” – Bay of Fundy, Saint John, NB

The photograph above was taken in January on an extremely cold morning. I dropped my daughter off at school and I noticed the sea fog was floating over the Bay of Fundy so I went back home to get my equipment. The cold air over the bay created a thick fog and with the sunrise shining through it made for a fabulous scene. I fired off a few shots for about 10 minutes and then headed back home because the wind chill burned through my jeans and made it just too uncomfortable to continue. Winter conditions can be challenging at times. Fortunately, photographic excursions don’t have to be to far away, or for a long time to be successful.

I created this image using a Canon 50D and a Canon EF-S 1755mm f/2.8 IS USM, set to aperture priority (AV) at f/8 with a shutter speed of 1/400 of a second at ISO 100 and with the focal length of the lens at 38mm. Post processing was done using Corel AfterShot Pro.

To view more of my work please visit www.duckcovephotography.ca or www.facebook.com/DuckCovePhotography

Eye Of The Beholder

Many in the Eastern parts of Canada and the United States have endured what I’d call a crystal Christmas this year. Typically we all look forward to a white Christmas but this year instead of snow many areas received freezing rain and ice pellets. For days since the storm the scenery has been amazing, unless you are one of the hundreds of thousands who have been without electricity. It’s been over a week without power for some areas and it may not be turned on for a few more days for hundreds. My family went without power on two occasions last Monday but those six hours were nothing compared to those who have waited for six plus days.

Below are a few images of the beautiful landscape I’ve made this week created by the “Ice Storm of 2013”. There is some irony in these images. For those with power we can appreciate the amazing beauty and for those without power it represents the incredible inconvenience. To my friends and neighbours around the country still without power I truly hope that life returns to normal soon.

Musquash Falls

Musquash Falls, NB

Lepreau Falls

Lepreau Falls, NB

The view from my lane

The view from my lane

Ice on veins

Icy Veins

Rosy and Red

Frozen Roses

White and Gold

Encased

Encased

Frozen in Time

Old and Grey

Silver Bells

Silver Woods

There Is No Such Thing As Bad Weather

“There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad gear”.

This was some of the best advice I have ever received with respect to being a photographer. I met BBC and National Geographic photographer Ian Kellett while assisting with Alexandra Cousteau’s Expedition Blue Planet in 2010 on their visit to New Brunswick. Ian wanted to visit Deer Island in October on a very cold and damp day and I don’t remember exactly what I said when he asked about going but obviously it had something to do with the weather conditions based on his response.

I was reminded again this week how good Ian’s advice was. The Maritimes have been experiencing a week-long cold snap. It’s been so cold that schools have kept kids in for lunch and some schools have cancelled classes all together. The temperatures have been near or below -20 Celsius (-30 with the wind chill) which has been a similar temperature to places like Iqaluit in Nunavut. It was actually warmer this week in Whitehorse in the Yukon than here in New Brunswick.

Fortunately the cold weather has brought an upside. The mornings on The Bay of Fundy have produced a week of some of the most spectacular sunrises I’ve ever seen. As the cold air moved across the normally colder water, it has created a lot of very heavy sea fog or sea smoke as it is sometimes called. I decided that I would venture out on a few mornings to see what I could record with my camera. Of the two days of shooting, the image below of Partridge Island is my favourite. To provide some scale, Partridge Island is approximately 24 acres in size and the lighthouse stands about four storeys tall. In some places the fog reached close the height of the base of the lighthouse.

The Cold And The Beautiful

“The Cold And The Beautiful”

It was likely one of the coldest weeks in recent years that I’ve gone shooting. The two days I went out to try and get a shot of Partridge Island it was so cold that even with a hat and two hoods it was only tolerable to be out of about ten to fifteen minutes at a time. I found that I was short of breath after climbing a couple of flights of stairs to shoot this image.

During my twenty years of photography winter has likely presented the most challenges and the temperatures have been some of the most difficult situations to shoot in. Ian was right; your gear and clothing can make all the difference between getting the shot or not.

Memories of 2012

Before I close out 2012 I thought I would share some of my favourite images from the past year. A couple of you might recognize some of them from previous post, but a few images might be new to you as well. It was fun reminiscing about road trips and the great times I had with my family while putting this post together. Hard to believe the year is over, but I guess as they say, time flies when you are having fun.

Hope you enjoy.

Evening Tide - Duck Cove, Brunswick

Evening Tide – Duck Cove, New Brunswick

Bladder Wrack - Saint John, New Brunswick

Bladder Wrack – Saint John, New Brunswick

East Quoddy Lighthouse on Campobello Island. Photograph taken from Deer Island.

East Quoddy Lighthouse on Campobello Island. Photograph taken from Deer Island, New Brunswick.

Sunset and Fishing Weirs - Campobello Island, New Brunswick

Sunset and Fishing Weirs – Campobello Island, New Brunswick

Weir and Seaweed - At high tide this shot wouldn't be possible. Knowing when to go made this image possible.

Weir and Seaweed – Mclaren’s Beach, New Brunswick

Sunset and Seagull - Campobello Island, New Brunswick

Sunset and Seagull – Campobello Island, New Brunswick

Passamaquoddy Bay and Sunset

Sunset, Seagulls and Sandstone – St. Andrews, New Brunswick

Seagull and Sunset

Seagull at Sunrise – St. Andrews, New Brunswick

Lookout - Passamaquoddy Bay, New Brunswick

The Lookout – Passamaquoddy Bay, New Brunswick

Piping Plover on The Passamaquoddy

Piping Plover on The Passamaquoddy – St. Andrews, New Brunswick

Harbour and Grey Seals on the rocks

Harbour and Grey Seals on the rocks – Passamaquoddy Bay, New Brunswick

Fall Breeze – Saint John, New Brunswick

Morning Flare – Red Head, New Brunswick

Angel on the Ocean – Red Head, New Brunswick

Cold and Turning Blue - Seaside Park, New Brunswick

Cold and Turning Blue – Seaside Park, New Brunswick

Seaside Park in the snow

Quaco Head Light House – St. Martins, New Brunswick

Seaside and snow - Seaside Park, Saint John, New Brunswick

Seaside and Snow – Seaside Park, New Brunswick

Haggertys Cove

Haggertys Cove – New River, New Brunswick

Radiance - Saint John, New Brunswick

Radiance – Black Beach, New Brunswick

Glen Falls - Saint John, New Brunswick

Glen Falls – Saint John, New Brunswick

Little Girls First Paddle - Long Reach, New Brunswick

Little Girls First Paddle – Long Reach, New Brunswick

The Bay of Fundy in Action - Saint John, New Brunswick

The Bay of Fundy in Action – Duck Cove, New Brunswick

Happy New Year! - Saint John, New Brunswick

Happy New Year! – Saint John Harbour, New Brunswick

Happy New Year

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best in 2013! I would also like to say thank you for all your kind words, comments and encouragement over the past 12 months.

I thought for my first blog in 2013 I would share a few images that I’ve taken over the past month and include some inspirational quotes to help get your year off to a good start.

Hope you enjoy.

"Surf and Snow" - Saints Rest Beach, Saint John, New Brunswick.

“The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.”
― Isak Dinesen

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”― Oscar Wilde

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.Charles R. Swindoll

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
Charles R. Swindoll

"Can you see God? You haven't seen him? I've never seen the wind. I see the effects of the wind, but I've never seen the wind. There's a mystery to it." Billy Graham
“Can you see God? You haven’t seen him? I’ve never seen the wind. I see the effects of the wind, but I’ve never seen the wind. There’s a mystery to it.” Billy Graham

Seasons Greetings

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“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Seaside and snow - Seaside Park, Saint John, New Brunswick

Seaside and Snow

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

A Snow Day

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.
George Washington Carver

Finally!  It has snowed.  This has been the brownest winter I think we have ever had.  Aside from a dusting at Christmas we really haven’t had much in the way of a major snowfall.   So when a storm hit the East Coast this past Friday, I knew how I was going to spend my Saturday morning.  The Kennebecasis Valley was going to be my destination. It is just east of Saint John, and offers so many opportunities with its winding rivers and rolling hills and of course the valleys as its name suggests.  My day started at 7:00 am with a quick stop for some fuel for both the car and me.   From there the journey began.

Ice Fishing @ Sunrise - Kennebecasis River, New Brunswick

I had some visions of what I was hoping to come home with as far as images from my day out.  There is a small town about 30 minutes past Saint John called Norton, and this would be my final destination.   Prior to getting there, I stopped to see my old stomping grounds in the Kennebecasis Valley where I spent most of my youth.  One of the areas I stopped to see in the town was a small ice fishing community.  The colors, shapes and sizes of the ice shacks made for a terrific panorama opportunity.

After I took a few shots from the wharf in front of the ice shacks that were lining the Kennebecasis River, I continued on to the town of Norton where I hoped to capture an image of the snow covered town. As much as I wanted, I couldn’t find the right lookout to capture the landscape of the town and the centerpiece, a church with its red roof. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.

Snow on Rocks - Kennebecasis River, New Brunswick

A little disappointed, but not dejected, I headed towards home.  I was about 15 minutes from home when I drove past the exit for Darlings Island and its covered bridge.  I decided to head into the village and see what I could find.  I’m so glad I did.  It was the highlight of the day.  The river was open and created a fantastic opportunity create a high contrast image with open water and the snow covered ice.  I also captured a wonderful shot of a snow covered lane lined by the leafless trees.

Leafless Lane - Darlings Island, New Brunswick

The day didn’t go as planned but the results were still very satisfying.   My kids love snow days and I couldn’t agree more; even if it is for different reasons.