It has been many years since I visited Elora Gorge and I decided to make some time in my schedule to do so. So, I grabbed a Nikon 1 J5 and a couple of 1 Nikon lenses and headed off to see what kinds of images I could capture at the Elora Gorge Conservation Area.
This park is run by the Grand River Conservation Authority and is open from April 30 through to October 16. Daily admission varies from $3 for children to $6 for adults. Seniors are $5.25.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
There is ample parking at the facility, with many of the lots close by to the various hiking trails at the site.
The image above is representative of the forested trails that you’ll hike along to reach the gorge lookouts.
Hiking through forested trails has a sameness about it, so I tend to look for unusual rocks, roots and other details at my feet.
To reach one of the gorge lookouts one must navigate some stairs with a railing that snakes through a natural hole in the rock.
Once at the bottom of the stairs the ruggedness of the side of the gorge is evident.
There is a large formation of tree roots in the centre of the lookout that can yield some abstract images.
The actual view of the gorge and the Grand River is somewhat limited but there are a couple of decent views.
Returning to the main trail enables a completely different perspective of the steel staircase, along with some interesting lighting.
My J5’s small BSI sensor has better dynamic range and colour depth as compared to my V2’s. While not at the levels of a full frame or cropped sensor, there was noticeably more in the files with which to work compared to the Aptina sensors in other Nikon 1 models.
Based on my preferences, I found that the best image opportunities were at the ‘low bridge’ area which brings you down into the gorge at river level.
Parking is at the top of the other side of the gorge so a short hike is required to get back to the ‘low bridge’ area, but it is worth the effort.
When visiting this area of the Elora Gorge Conservation Area it’s not a bad idea to have a long telephoto zoom lens with you as there are often a number of bird species by the river.
On the afternoon of my visit I spotted a couple of ospreys, a few other raptors, and three or four Baltimore Orioles.
There are views of Elora Gorge from a roadway bridge as well. There is no parking in the area of the bridge so you’ll need to park closer to town and take a short walk back to the bridge. The image below was captured from the road bridge that overlooks the gorge.
There are a number of activities at the Elora Gorge Conservation Area and interested readers can use the link to get more information.
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held using a Nikon 1 J5 with 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 and 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lenses. The images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of OpticsPro 10 Elite, CS6 and Nik Suite.
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