Photo Tips from the Pros Series: Thom Morrissey

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Words & Image: Thom Morrissey

One thing I try to do when I'm cruising for photos is to have my camera settings ready to go for whatever I'm looking for: animals especially. Having the long lens on, camera settings to continuous shooting, proper aperture and a high enough shutter speed that I can hand-hold the camera are things I try to do.

Have I ever missed a shot because I haven't remembered to turn the self-timer off? You bet I have!

Facebook: Thom Morrissey Photography


Photo Tips from the Pros Series: Oleksandra Budna

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Words and Image: Oleksandra Budna

What story does your picture tell?

We all love a good picture, and with modern technology taking photos has never been easier.  But what makes for a good photo? Yes, there are some technical aspects to it and having decent equipment helps but it is in no way necessary. To me, a good picture is about capturing the feeling of the moment, inspiring imagination and most importantly, telling a story. And yet, time and again on our travels, I see people with their backs to the most breathtaking landscapes, wielding selfie sticks, trying to squeeze themselves into a frame; or neatly lined against gorgeous backdrops with posed smiles waiting for someone to photograph them. The only story those pictures tell: I’ve been there. They work well for your Facebook feed but are hardly the photos you will want to go back to weeks, months or even years later.

I have always been interested in capturing people interacting with nature rather than using it as a background. The memories I cherish the most are those of my son paddling a canoe, my husband enjoying the view after a strenuous hike, my kids holding hands on the trail, the joy of splashing in the water, the awe at the beauty of the setting sun. And those are the moments I try to document whenever we go outside. It makes for happier kids too. Instead of having to stand still and wear a forced smile, they can run around and be themselves.

It doesn’t mean that you should completely ban posed photos from your repertoire. They can tell some interesting stories if done with intention instead of serving as a mindless proof of visiting a place. We were once asked to photograph a large group of cyclists on Savannah Trail in Pinery Provincial Park. As they were arranging themselves in rows, they explained they had been taking the same picture every year for the past fourteen years. That must be a neat series of photos.


So how to best capture those special moments?

- Be patient, observant and always ready to spring into action. Special moments can’t be predicted and even if you try to recreate them later, the mood won’t be the same.

- Have a large memory card and take multiple shots. The more photos you take, the better is your chance of capturing that perfect moment.

- Try different vintage points: get up high, bend down low, get to your kids level, or try lying on the ground. In addition to capturing some interesting shots, you will get to experience the world in a new way.

- Use fast shutter speed and continuous shooting mode, if possible, when photographing quick action, like diving off the rock or jumping in the air. It will help freeze the moment and avoid a blur.

- Use a zoom lens. It will allow you to take photos from a distance without disrupting the moment. That being said, don’t use digital zoom on your phone. All you will get is a highly pixelated image.

- If you do decide to take posed photos, get creative. Make silly faces, jump in the air, show how happy, excited or even tired you are. Also remember your face doesn’t need to be in the frame for a memorable photo. Sometimes your feet, shadow or reflection is all you need.

- Finally, have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. After all, it is your story and it should be as unique as you are. 


Twitter: @LesyaBudna      


Photo Tips from the Pros Series: Stephen Elms

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Words & Image: Stephen Elms

1.  When shooting low light situations it is crucial to keep your camera from moving as much as possible.  Lower light levels means that your camera has to have a longer shutter speed in order to capture the appropriate amount of light.  Hand holding a camera in low light situations will usually lead to blurry images as your camera moves.  Even the slightest bit of movement will result in a blurry image.  A sturdy tripod is a good investment that will help ensure your camera does not move.  

In order to get tack-sharp images in low light it is also important not to touch your camera while the image is being taken.  This can be accomplished by using a remote trigger release or by switching your camera into timer mode.  You can set the timer for a few seconds, press the shutter release and then take your hands off the camera.  This will also help minimize the movement in your camera.

2.  When shooting at night or in cold/damp conditions, moisture can accumulate on your lens, ruining your photo.  This is especially frustrating when taking long exposures (like the star trail image below).  One trick that can help mitigate this moisture build-up is to use one or two disposable hand warmer packets and secure them to the outside of your lens with a rubber band.  

Keeping the warmers as close as possible to the glass portion of the lens will ensure your glass stays dry, and might save an image that would have otherwise been ruined by water droplets or moisture.

Instagram: Elms Nature

Photo Tips from the Pros Series: Ryan Adams

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Words and Image: Ryan Adams

Special moments happen....

I've always followed what I call the 2 Ps: Patience and Preparedness. You need to let nature and wildlife do its thing and get comfortable with your presence, once that happens they go about doing their thing and You can get really special images.

You also need to be prepared every second to shoot, camera on and settings dialed in so when those special moments happen you're not fumbling around and miss things.

Photo Tips from the Pros Series: Josie Dinsmore

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Words and Image by Josie Dinsmore

A great tip that I would like to share is something that I do all the time when I visit Ontario Provincial Parks and other outdoor areas. I especially did this a lot when I visited Killbear Provincial Park for the first time!

My tip is to explore...

When you visit an awesome place, such as Killbear Provincial Park, you could visit all of the most popular scenic spots and probably get some amazing photos. And that's great, but your photos could end up looking like the thousands of photos that other people have taken at that same spot. So take some photos of the famous landscapes and then explore a little. Walk around: a little further away from the popular spots. Walk behind rocks, around bushes, underneath trees, look all around and up and down; take your shoes off and walk into the water along the shoreline, and just explore.

You never know what amazing photos you could take of something or a landscape, just beyond the popular spots!

...And experiment!

Don't just walk up to something or a landscape that you want to take a photo of--try moving around a little. Try a close-up shot or a wide angle shot. Place the subject in the center of the photo or maybe off to one side, get down low and look up; go to higher ground and look down, move around for a different perspective.

Sometimes a great photo can become spectacular by just slightly changing the direction in which you are taking the photo! 


Facebook - Josie Dinsmore Photography

Twitter - @Josie_Dinsmore

 Instagram - @josiedinsmorephotography

The Beauty of Killbear

Lynn Johnstone

Lynn Johnstone

Thousands of visitors and campers have been coming to Killbear Provincial Park for decades. For many, it has become a tradition to come with friends and family. The beauty of Killbear lies with its distinct beaches, varied wildlife and breathtaking scenery. Killbear is renowned for its countless camping areas, great hiking trails and it is simply a dream for both professional and amateur photographers alike to capture stunning photos! 

Although camping season is coming to a close at the end of this month (October 29th to be exact) it has been a very busy and active 2017 season for Killbear. There have been many great events, concerts and talks throughout the spring and summer months. The Friends of Killbear will continue to help continue building programs with the Park to entertain, delight and educate our campers and visitors.

So if you haven't visited Killbear Provincial Park please take the time to check out our site as well as Killbear section at Parks Ontario. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And look for yourself all the awesome things that you can do and discover when you either visit or camp at Killbear. It will be an unforgettable experience that you will never forget.