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Profile — Andrew McLachlan (exclusive interview)

The stories behind the pictures

Story by Stephanie Hounsell/Photography by Andrew McLachlan

Although it’s true a picture’s worth a thousand words, sometimes a few words of explanation can provide valuable insight. Barrie, ON-area photographer Andrew McLachlan recently opened up to OPC readers, explaining how he took three of his favourite photographs.

©Andrew McLachlan Sunrise on the Agawa River in Ontario's Lake Superior Provincial Park Settings: ƒ16@0.3 sec., ISO 100, Nikon D800, 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lens

©Andrew McLachlan
Sunrise on the Agawa River in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park
Settings: ƒ16@0.3 sec., ISO 100, Nikon D800, 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lens

Agawa River at sunrise

The above photo is a classic example of a photo anticipated and executed according to plan. “It’s probably one of the nicest sunrises I’ve seen and photographed,” McLachlan says of the photo of Agawa River, taken at Lake Superior Provincial Park last September.

McLachlan explains he was at the provincial park with his brother and thought the area would make for a great sunrise photo. So over the next few mornings, the photographer watched the clouds for telltale signs of a perfect sunrise. The last morning they were there, he knew chances were good the sky would light right up.

As the sun started to rise, he says, he shot a series of photos, with this being his favourite. It’s the way the water reflects the sky’s colours and the lower perspective — it was shot with a wide-angle lens and a graduated neutral density filter — that make this shot so appealing, McLachlan says. “The only thing that would have made it better would have been if a moose was standing in the river,” he says wistfully.

©Andrew McLachlan Over-under juvenile Bullfrog with Fractalius rendering Settings: ƒ16@1/125 sec., ISO 200, Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 lens.

©Andrew McLachlan
Over-under juvenile Bullfrog with Fractalius rendering
Settings: ƒ16@1/125 sec., ISO 200, Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 lens.

Bullfrog

Frogs are McLachlan’s subject of choice these days. McLachlan used the Redfield Fractalius filter, a favourite of his, to create a sort of sketched look. The shot itself and the tweaking afterward were part of an experiment, he explains.

He took an old fish tank, filled it five or six inches with water and placed inside a two-inch, juvenile bullfrog.

After about 10 minutes of shooting, McLachlan returned the frog to its natural habitat and started the real work: the post-production editing. The fish tank was old, which meant he needed to eliminate lots of scratches in Photoshop. He then applied the Fractalius filter.

“I sort of like (this version) better than the original. It was a lot of work, but I like the way it turned out,” he says.

The only other way to photograph the frog over and under the waterline would have been to use a camera with a special underwater housing — not a cheap prospect.

©Andrew McLachlan Approaching storm over winter wheat crop near Bradford, Ontario. Settings: ƒ16@1/160 sec., ISO 800, Nikon D800, 15mm f/2.8 lens

©Andrew McLachlan
Approaching storm over winter wheat crop near Bradford, Ontario.
Settings: ƒ16@1/160 sec., ISO 800, Nikon D800, 15mm f/2.8 lens

Storm clouds over farm

McLachlan keeps his camera in his car for opportunities just like this one. Coming home from work one late afternoon last summer, McLachlan noticed what seemed to be quite a storm brewing. Keeping his eyes on the sky, McLachlan decided to take the back roads home and then pulled over, waiting for the ominous clouds to reach their “peak position,” McLachlan recalls.

What he didn’t realize at the time was the havoc that now infamous storm of July 8 was about to wreak upon Toronto and the surrounding areas. “This was the storm on its way to Toronto,” McLachlan says.

He took this photo with a Sigma 15-mm fisheye lens, and kept distortion to a minimum. Sensing the photo was special, McLachlan says he processed it as soon as he got home.

To see more of Andrew McLachlan’s work, visit www.andrewmclachlan.ca.

To read more great how-to articles from Outdoor Photography Canada magazine pick up the January 2014 issue of OPC today, or subscribe!

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