The new season for PACN has started! I’m noticing that the days are getting shorter since it’s much easier for me to get up at sunrise and nights are crisper when I’m out walking. I’ve even noticed some trees are blushing with fall colour. If you’re like me, you’ll want to take advantage of this golden time to grab your camera and head out for fall images. I’m making my list of new and favourite places where the season brings that added impact to the landscape or where amazing seasonal migrations for birds and butterflies.
The Torrance Barrens is a fantastic place I’m just starting to explore where I can take advantage of the crisp clear autumn nights to do some night sky photography. The Torrance Barrens are a dark sky preserve perfect for great images of the stars. I’m looking forward to the fun in creating images of fall colour, shimmering sunsets and twinkling stars silhouetting the treeline or lakes.
I recommend using your fastest wide-angle lens wide open to capture stunning Milky Way images. To reduce noise in an image photo stacking is a great technique (e.g. 5-10 images of about 10 seconds). The 500 Rule below is the exposure time that will give a sharp star image. For great Star Trail images you can use a zoom lens or wide angle lens (zoom lens=shorter exposure time for trails). I’ve included some helpful links below for night sky photography tips.
500 Rule: Exposure Time (s) = 500/lens focal length
York Regional Forest has 2,300 hectares of protected land located across 18 properties with more than 120 kilometres of trails. The site link provides trail maps so I can find my way easily although I’ve explored just a few of the sites so far. I love how they’re just minutes away I can head there anytime
Cheltenham Badlands are a fun spot to photograph just a short drive away. I just stopped by recently now that they’ve reopened with a boardwalk/lookout for viewing the formations (and parking close by). Be prepared with a wide angle and a longer lens to compress the ridges into the frame. Note: Parking is only allowed in the parking lot. There is no vehicle stopping, standing or parking permitted along the road.
Wilson’s Falls near Bracebridge, though farther from home, are well worth the drive and easy access. I had fun last year capturing fall colour reflections.
Point Pelee National Park becomes a layover for Monarch Butterflies a few days each fall during their migration crossing Lake Erie heading 3000 km further south to their winter ground in the mountains of central Mexico! The Park has a number of butterfly events September 13-20.
Author: Wendy Holden