Nova Scotia Gallery

This gallery is a bit of a departure from my recent obsession with bird photography. My wife and I took a vacation to Nova Scotia in early October (mostly in the Cape Breton area), trying to time it so that we'd hit the peak of the fall foliage. I knew the birds would mostly be gone, so I had to shift gears, and try my hand at some landscape photography. I have always respected those good at this craft, and this definitely hit home on this trip. It is amazing just how difficult it is to capture the incredible beauty that was all around us in a photograph. As I prepared the images for this gallery, I also realized that the fairly small size used for web viewing really limits the visual impact of landscape photography. But using high resolution just isn't practical here.

We spent a fair amount of time hiking around Cape Breton Highlands National Park, put 1200 miles on our rental car, and didn't even come close to seeing all that we wanted to see. The Kinesis Gear system that I use to carry my equipment with me proved itself invaluable again, and I had a great work-out carrying 20-30 pounds of gear on all our hikes. We did see a few beautiful bald eagles; unfortunately lighting and location didn't cooperate to allow me any decent photographic opportunities. But it was still quite exhilarating just seeing them.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a few of the images I brought back, realizing that they don't come close to doing justice to the beauty we experienced, and to at least try to give some feel for what this incredible area is like.

Click on each thumbnail to open up a larger image in its own window. Just close these windows after viewing them.

These images, along with all the others present in the various galleries, are available for purchase as prints up to 13"x19". For more details on buying prints, please click here.

 

Mackenzie Mountain Foliage

Image # 00704

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Near Pleasant Bay, NS

Canon 28-70L/f2.8 at 28 mm

ISO 200, f/8, 1/160 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Handheld

We arrived at the trail to Benjie's Lake at dawn, but the drizzle and rain were pretty bad. We did some driving around instead, and saw some beautiful scenes as the rain subsided and the and fog started to lift.


 

Corney Brook Trail Waterfalls

Image # 00675

Off the Cabot Trail

Western Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Canon 28-70L/f2.8 at 70 mm

ISO 100, f/22, 0.5 seconds

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329, 2 second timer

One of several waterfalls we got to see when hiking. It was still fairly bright, and I had to reduce ISO to 100 and really stop down to get slow enough shutter speeds for the effect I wanted.


 

Coastal Town with Lobster Pots

Image # 00722

Neil's Harbor

Cape Breton, NS

Canon 28-70L/f2.8 at 33 mm

ISO 200, f/8, 1/640 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Handheld

To me, this captures the charm of the many coastal towns in Nova Scotia. Lobster season was past, and the pots were piled on shore. Some gulls were around, and I waited for one to fly by and give a little accent to this shot. We ate our lunch overlooking this area and really enjoyed the view.


 

Benjie's Lake Trail at Dawn

Image # 00651

Cabot Trail

Western Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Canon 100-400L at 235 mm

ISO 200, f/5.0, 1/800 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Handheld

This was perhaps my favorite morning of the entire trip. We arrived at the beginning of the trail at dawn; it was cold, crisp and invigorating, with a nice layer of frost everywhere. We hiked in as the sun rose, and eventually saw four moose coming to the water's edge to drink. They were pretty far away, but still made for quite an exhilarating experience.


 

Bull Moose - Skyline Trail

Image # 00694

Cabot Trail

Western Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Canon 100-400L, 1.4x II Teleconverter, at 400 mm

ISO 800, f/8, 1/250 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Handheld


This was a unique experience. We spotted this bull about 150 yards away, and while we were watching, a naturalist/photographer came by who was leading a small group of photographers. He was kind enough to ask if we wanted to tag along. He had the permits and experience to approach the moose, so we were eventually able to get within about 20 feet of this, and one other bull. It was very difficult to get a shot of either of them in the clear, but this photo at least shows him in his natural habitat. The naturalist, Jean Timmons, leads "moose safaris" and other photo trips. His web site can be found here.
 

Gull and Fall Foliage 1

Image # 00724

Neil's Harbor

Cape Breton, NS

Canon 100-400L at 400 mm

ISO 200, f/8, 1/640 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Handheld

I had to navigate around a large outcropping of rocks to get this gull framed against the fall foliage in the background. My guess is that this is a Herring Gull, but didn't have my guide books with me, and haven't had much practice identifying gulls. Gary Axten emailed me, suggesting this i.d. vs my previous suggestion of it being a great black-backed gull. Please email me if you know the correct i.d.


 

Gull and Fall Foliage 2

Image # 00727

Neil's Harbor

Cape Breton, NS

Canon 100-400L at 400 m

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/1600 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Handheld

Another attempt to use the foliage as a background for a gull. This would have been a better shot if the head were showing, but my MicroDrive literally filled up as this one was taken!


 

Beulach Ban Waterfall

Image # 00734

Aspy Trail, Cabot Trail Northern Section

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Canon 28-70L/f2.8 at 70 mm

ISO 100, f/22, 0.3 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329, 2 second timer

It was a beautiful hike to get there. The day had been mostly cloudy, but I set up and waited for a while in order to get a brief glimpse of blue sky in the background.


 

Bay St. Lawrence 1

Image # 00713

Bay St. Lawrence

Cape Breton, NS

Canon 100-400L at 235 mm

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/1250 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Handheld

Here I waited for a wave to add a dynamic touch to this image. As with the other Bay St. Lawrence image, I'm not sure it works too well at this relatively small size, but hopefully gives a taste of this beautiful scene.


 

Warren Lake

Image # 00740

Cabot Trail East Section

near Ingonish, NS

Canon 28-70L/f2.8 at 58 mm

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/320 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Handheld

We took a fantastic hike around Warren Lake, and the foliage was just spectacular. This shot doesn't do it justice, but gives a little taste of what it was like. We did see (briefly) one moose, and kept our eyes out for the black bear that can be seen as well. We weren't particularly disappointed that we didn't see any bear...


 

Hills on the Bras d'Or Lake Shore

Image # 00781

Bras d'Or Lake

Iona, NS

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/8, 1/800 second

Evaluative Metering at +2/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

We were driving along one of the coasts of Bras d'Or Lake, looking for bald eagles and we found a small turn-off with a good view. I set up my equipment and did spot one or two bald eagles, but they were way too far off to photography. The view was pretty anyway, and I experimented taking a shot way off in the distance that looked interesting.


 

Bay St. Lawrence 2

Image # 00714

Bay St. Lawrence

Cape Breton, NS

Canon 28-70L/f2.8 at 57 mm

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/2500 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Handheld

A different view of Bay St. Lawrence, as clouds started rolling in.


 

Eglise Saint-Pierre

Image # 00648

Cheticamp

Cheticamp, NS

Canon 17-35L/f2.8 at 17 mm

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/400 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Handheld

This is the most distinguished architectural feature in this area of Nova Scotia, and the spire is reputed to be the largest in the Maritime provinces. I'm aware of the wide-angle distortion here, but feel that it reinforces the 'heaven-ward' symbolism of the spire itself. I hesitated including it in a nature and wildlife gallery, but its beauty and relevance to this area of Nova Scotia hopefully justifies it.