Niagara Glen Nature Reserve

Autumn is often a favourite season for hikers. The foliage can be spectacular and the air is fresh and crisp making for invigorating hikes. Even though the leaves were well past their prime I spent a very enjoyable morning this week hiking at Niagara Glen Nature Reserve with one of our readers, Ray Miller. It’s always a great experience to go out with someone like Ray who is very familiar with the area.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD, 15mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/800, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 15mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/800, ISO-160

The Niagara Glen Nature Reserve runs at the foot of the Niagara Gorge, along the Niagara River. It is accessed by way of a tall metal staircase.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/800, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/800, ISO-160

This leads you to a pathway that runs right next to the face of the gorge.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD, 15mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/50, ISO-800
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 15mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/50, ISO-800

Then you’ll come to a series of stone steps winding through huge rocks that will eventually lead you to the forest floor.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD f/4.5-5.6, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/25, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/25, ISO-160

Often when we think about taking photographs in the autumn we try to pick the ideal time when the trees are at their peak in terms of colour. We often forget that even after many of the leaves have fallen we can still capture some interesting images.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD f/4.5-5.6, 23mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/25, ISO-800
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 23mm, f/5.6, -0.3 step, 1/25, ISO-800

Rocks, gnarled root systems, leaves on the ground and moss can all combine and attract our eye.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD f/4.5-5.6, 13mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/800, ISO-800
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 13mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/800, ISO-800

I enjoy finding fallen branches and trees and use them as composition elements, often to accentuate the visual flow of an image.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD f/4.5-5.6, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/80, ISO-800
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/80, ISO-800

Or, as an interesting corner element.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD f/4.5-5.6, 15mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/100, ISO-800
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 15mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/100, ISO-800

The rock formations on the forest floor created good opportunities to include reveals with some of my images which can help to add a feeling of depth.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD f/4.5-5.6, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/25, ISO-400
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/25, ISO-400

Or, simply as a corner anchor.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD f/4.5-5.6, 100mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/500, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm PD f/4.5-5.6, 100mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/500, ISO-160

Forest lighting usually presents opportunities to capture the detail on leaves.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/200, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD, 10mm, f/5.6, -0.7 step, 1/200, ISO-160

I often look for rock formations that help accentuate a bend in the path.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6, 7mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/160, ISO-400
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6, 7mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/160, ISO-400

Or a fallen log that can act as a leading line in the composition.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6, 10m, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/30, ISO-400
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6, 10m, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/30, ISO-400

The trunk of a tree is often handy to use as a corner anchor, and can also help to eliminate too much visual stimulus on one side of an image to lead viewers into the photo.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6, 7mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/25, ISO-400
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6, 7mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/25, ISO-400

Finding strong textures and blocks of colour to anchor opposing corners of an image can also create compositions I enjoy.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6, 13mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/80, ISO-400
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6, 13mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/80, ISO-400

I also like to crop rock formations and tree trucks to create borders on each side of a composition. I find this can help create a feeling of depth with an image as it tends to pull a viewer’s eye into the centre of the frame.

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Article and all images Copyright Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication of any kind, or adaptation is allowed without written consent.

8 thoughts on “Niagara Glen Nature Reserve”

  1. Hi,
    I found you from the “mirrorlesslessons” website
    I’m very amazed about the pictures you took from that 1″ sensor.
    It made me look again to the Nikon 1 system.
    And my favorite (feeling in the hand) is also the V2.
    But the price, in Europe is a big deal breaker – for me.

    From now on I’ll will follow your blog, because I really, really love the pictures.

    Carry on and all the best
    António

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