Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fall 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. 

Our pre-holiday, end-of-fall-season potluck dinner and slide show will be right after our outing on Wednesday, December 18 starting at 5:30 till late. More details to follow (below)

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.


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. Click here for directions.

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!

1st year anniversary

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. See us featured on CountyLive.

Saturday, September 21 --  RAIN DELAY change of plans for 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.

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.

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) this will be our group ascent to the bald rocky lookout.

Click to see photos.

This is an easy trail through forest to the lake but a strenuous one after that. We will be going 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.......please RSVP if you can come along and we will work out the details.

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 (both days) which includes visit to the Ameliasburgh historical museum and re-enactment. Click here to view our coverage of the Milford Fair on CountyLive. Click to see a gallery of photos at Ameliasburgh Fair.

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. 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.

Friday - Sunday, October 4 - 6 -- weekend retreat up north. See

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 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: .

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. Click here to view pictures.

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.

Saturday, November 9 -- A day trip to the 1000 Islands, not that far away....along the rocky trails just east of Gananoque with a lookout over Landon Bay. Click to view photos. Leaving from Picton leaving 7:30 a.m. $10 plus $5 gas plus approx. $2 trail fee.

For the week of November 11th, our focus is on the southwest corner of Prince Edward County.

On Wednesday morning, November 13 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. See the photos.

Then on 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. Meet at the farm at 10 a.m. Click to view the photos.

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). 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 CafĂ© which will open by special request if we have enough people sign up and meet Kimberly Angela Maracle. 
Click to see 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:

Basic Photoshop

Due to several requests, we held another Basic Photoshop Boot Camp on Friday, November 15. Please contact instructor Phil Norton if you would be interested in attending another session at St. Andrew's Church in Picton 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.

Private lessons

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.

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.

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