Thursday, November 21, 2013

For the current list 
of upcoming outings and 
photo workshops 
please go to the
County Outings & Workshops  
website and 
Facebook page.

To view photos from past outings please see below.

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)....free-of-charge.

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.

GROUP PHOTOSHOP SESSIONS AND ONE-ON-ONE TUTORING SEE BELOW.

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)....so 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: http://onnaturemagazine.com/the-great-fall-migration.html . 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 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 .
 

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: http://ohalpacas.com/

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.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer-time photography outings 2013

See the August outings at the bottom of this section. 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. 

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.

Saturday, June 1 -- Quinte's Isle Bluegrass Festival on the beach at Salmon Point Road, Prince Edward County. 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.

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. Please RSVP to phil@philnorton.com.

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.

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. Click to see details.

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! Click here to view photos, one of our best trips yet!
 

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. Please contact Phil Norton if you are interested, for more details. See photos.

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.

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. Note the labyrinth in the forest that someone made out of sticks. Let me know if you need a lift leaving Picton at 4:15 or directions to the 2 destinations.

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. 

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 photos.

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. Meet at the parking lot beside the Macaulay House at 6:00 p.m. Click to view photos.


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 view photos.

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.

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.



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 5:30 or meeting at the falls 6:00.


Wednesday, August 21 -- Mid-week morning escape the crowds of tourists to 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 Picton 9 a.m.



Algonquin Park in August anyone?

August 24 - 25, 2013 -- To the wild and relatively unknown northeastern sector of Algonquin Provincial Park, leaving from Picton-Belleville 4:30 - 5:00 p.m. and returning next day before 11:00 p.m., a quick up-and-back excursion for photographers and naturalists. 
Cost: $49 plus tax per person plus gas, accommodations ($30), park admission (shared) and meals. See photos from this workshop, click here.



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  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 are booked into an outfitter's rustic lodge or Pembroke is nearby on the Ottawa River. We will meet 7:00 - 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 the spring trip, click here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April - May photo workshops and outings

All events, workshops, outings and potluck social evening cost $10 per person. Occasionally there is an additional fee of a museum, park, ferry or sharing gas expenses. Participants must sign a basic liability waiver. Please send email or call to register for each outing.

Watch for the schedule of summer outings coming soon. Sign up to receive the twice-a-week Eblast announcing trips and tips...phil@philnorton.com.

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.

Wednesday, April 10 -- Birdhouse City and Macaulay Mountain -- CANCELLED DUE TO DOWNPOUR--RESCHEDULED FOR MONDAY.

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. Raised donation of $35 for 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 photos.

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 photos.

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 photos.

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. Congratulations to Margaret Liddon whose barred owl photo taken on our outing to Honey Wagon Farms won Second Place in the Bird Photography Contest.

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. The rare Blanding's Turtle inhabits this area.

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, 2 species of 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. Carpool from Picton 1:40. Register for directions.


May 10 - 12 -- Our second weekend photography getaway....stay at Manoir d'Youville, a former Grey Nuns convent-turned-inn on an historic island, first settled by the French in 1673. A full day shooting Montreal and much more. See below for details. Register immediately.

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. We will take three 3-hour excursions into various wildlife habitats and record the birds we see and hear. And photo contest. See details 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. Please RSVP now so we know how many to reserve. There will be an additional charge for park entry. Ticket prices are: children (5-12) $8, youth (13-17) $10, adults (18+) $12, seniors (65+) $8. 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 friendsofdtbelleville@gmail.com. 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 see 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 see 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. 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

Click to see the photos.

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 Canad.....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.

Click to see the rooms.


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.


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Sunday, March 31, 2013

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.


phil@philnorton.com
(613) 476-1167

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Photography & Fitness outings for Spring 2013

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".


I have created a couple more galleries and updated the existing ones with participants' images from our outings. Click to view the galleries.

Some all-star images can be viewed including Margaret Liddon's super-close-up of a barred owl, Ramesh Pooran's cross-country skier landscape, and Ken Liddon's zoom-in on a church stained glass window, among others.

The Photography & Fitness participants have been learning all about their cameras and shooting techniques on our walks; now it's time to learn post-processing on your computers to really bring your images to life. There will be a mid-week series of indoor evening workshops to practice this hands-on. Half of the magic of photography occurs after you take the picture, whether adjusting it in the darkroom or on the computer.

We will also be having an evening to plan your entries into local photography contests, including the Picton Fair and CLIC...selecting images, thinking like a judge, and technical specifications for submitting your digital entries. I will be posting the April-May events soon so stay tuned to this page.

There will also be one weekend evening workshop to view each others' latest images, portfolio critiques and a demonstration on how to edit a shoot along with a potluck social time.

See the photos from past outings in the previous blog posts 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.
 

First Day of Spring, Wed. March 20 -- Honey Wagon Farms welcomes us before the weekend crowds for Maple In The County. Open to the public on March 23 and 24. Click to view photos.

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. 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. 

To register: phil@philnorton.com

Featured in the local media:

picturechangetrio
By PhotoSensitive

Monday, January 7, 2013

Winter outings 2013

As the new year begins, bundle up and hit the trail. The "Photography & Fitness" schedule for January - March outings includes snowshoeing and cross-country skiing if weather permits. 

Also some indoor workshops and portfolio reviews on the big screen. See the dates and destinations below and photos from past outings in the previous blog posts. $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.

Here is the tentative 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. An early and long day trip. 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, ice formations 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 - 11:00 a.m. 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 gate at 3:00. 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 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. Demonstration on the big screen and bring your own camera, manual and laptop for tutoring as time allows. 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 view 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 -- 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 view 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. Click to view photos.


Wed. March 20 (spring begins) -- 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.

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.
Click to view photos.

To come:

Shooting and archiving stock photography
Little Bluff
Glenwood Cemetery and chapel
Point Petre ice formations
Heavy horses
Winery
Beaver Meadow
Massasauga Point
Frink Centre
Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory


Get on the Eblast list and receive notices about upcoming outings and workshops: phil@philnorton.com