A few weeks ago I was able to free up some time and figured I would plan a quick photography trip spanning a few nights. I had been exploring the Muskoka area all spring and figured it would be nice to maybe hop in the car, put on some miles and visit an area that I don’t get out to often. After a pretty busy winter I was looking forward to spending some quiet time by myself outside, it always allows me to rest my mind and reflect. Living in Southern Ontario I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by locations no matter which way you point on a map, and the great thing is that they all differ quite drastically from one another.
A few years ago I visited Tobermory which is a small town on the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula. It’s about a 4 hour drive from Muskoka following Georgian Bay basically the whole route. This area is a major tourist attraction because of it’s crystal clear turquoise water and dramatic coastlines. Last time I visited it was mid summer and you basically couldn’t move there were so many people around, not really the best conditions for photography. This year I decided I would head back in the early spring when it was a little less crowded. I spent a few days before my trip scouring Google Maps planning locations for morning and evening shoots. The great thing about the area is the whole peninsula on either side has endless unique features, you could literally shoot here for weeks.
Follow The Leader – Tobermory, Ontario
I departed early in the morning planning to explore the Owen Sound area before driving the last hour to Tobermory. Owen Sound and it’s surrounding area are home to a number of extremely impressive waterfalls all within close proximity to each other. I scouted the popular Inglis Falls and Jones Falls, both which were spectacular, but being early spring it was hard to compose an image that wasn’t littered with distracting elements. I moved on to the smaller but still beautiful Weavers Creek Falls located almost in the middle of Owen Sound off of 2nd Avenue East. This was also a hard location to compose for the same reasons as the others but I was able to frame the image using an old mature tree trunk and roots to balance the waterfall. I really liked the way the roots mimicked the individual streams of water in the falls. This “plunge” style of falls is one of my favorite types to shoot as the water takes on a very pleasing look when paired with the proper shutter speed.
Growing Old – Owen Sound, Ontario
I continued on my way to Tobermory and spent the next three days photographing the area. All I can say is visit in the spring or fall if you want the place to yourself. I barely saw another soul while out shooting and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Being able to hike the same trails as last time I visited and not see a single other person really allowed me to focus on my photography and take in everything nature provided me with. I would hike and scout throughout the days and shoot in the mornings and evenings.
Redemption – Tobermory, Ontario
The coast on either side of the Peninsula is stunning and extremely unique. The shapes and color of the rock blanketing the floor of Georgian Bay are only further complimented by the crystal clear turquoise waters that they call home. The rocky shores have been shaped by the pounding waves over time and always mesmerize me with their shape and texture.
The following image “Redemption” is my favorite from the trip. It’s an image that I had in mind ever since I first visited the area and I was lucky enough to have the right conditions on my last night. I composed the image using the sweeping curve of the shoreline to lead the eye into the evening sun just as it dipped below the horizon. The sun-star was achieved by using a small aperture setting and by careful blending in post production. I love the way that the warm evening light bathing the f/g rocks contrasts with the deep blues of the evening sky, truly a magical evening.
If you have some time and haven’t visited the Bruce Peninsula yet I recommend you make it your next destination, it really is a photographers paradise! A couple of areas worthy of visiting while up there are: The Grotto sea cave (really cool sea cave surrounded by amazing cliffs), Dyer’s Bay (great sunrise location, very unique coast), Halfway Log Dump (amazing coast line and cliffs), Little Cove (easy access, great pebble beach cove).
I'm a Canadian landscape photographer and workshop leader based out of Muskoka, Ontario who has a passion for all things outdoors. My blog is intended as a way to share images and stories from my travels as well as provide instructional articles, tips, tricks and reviews in hopes that it will help you further your craft. Landscape photography is a journey filled with excitement, passion, adventure and sometimes disappointment. I hope to help you steer clear of that last one the best I can!
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