Today's Guest Blogger Jim Hardiman Takes Us to Nova Scotia

 First, I want to thank Rick for inviting me to do a guest blog post.  I have taken several of Rick’s seminars and continue to learn from his teaching.  Recently, when talking with Rick I spoke about the photographic opportunities in Nova Scotia, Canada where I live.  So, Rick asked me to write a post about shooting in the beautiful province of Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia is known as Canada’s Ocean Playground.  As a result, there are lighthouses - lots of them!  With over 160 in the province there is plenty to shoot and many of them are very accessible.  This image was shot in Five Islands.  I like to shoot on stormy days with angry-looking clouds where these structures look right at home.

Often with these older buildings I like to bring out all of the detail.  I usually do some micro-contrast adjustments and some creative sharpening.  I do this selectively as I do not want it applied to the clouds and other elements where sharpening would ruin the mood.

Lighthouses are best known for the warning that they provide to seafarers.  With the large lights this works best at night.  They make great subjects for light painting, or in this case shooting after dark with available light.  I love the rich blues that are captured with today’s digital cameras after dark.  This lighthouse is found in Cape Forchu, Yarmouth.

For the image above, which was shot in complete darkness, I made sure that I had long exposure noise reduction on in my camera.  I shot at the lowest possible ISO that would allow me to capture the image to reduce noise.  I also took advantage of a car parked off to the left to provide some light to the left of the lighthouse.  With lighthouses at night and long exposures, it is important to keep an eye on your histogram (or highlight warning - blinkies) to make sure that you have not blown out the highlights created by the large light on the lighthouse.  Oh, make sure that you have a small flashlight to make it easier to operate your camera in the dark.

The coastline of Nova Scotia varies from sandy beaches with some of the warmest saltwater north of the Carolinas (in the summer), to breathtaking rocky shores that defy the power of the ocean.  This shot was made in a small community on the Bay of Fundy called Baxters Harbour, where you will find the highest tides in the world.  To get a shot like this you must arrive during low tide and get right out on the ocean floor.  Taking the shot during sunset is also important to get the warm light that bathes this outcropping.

From one end of Nova Scotia to the other you will find quaint fishing villages which burst with colour.  The homes and fishing buildings are often painted with vibrant and varied colours.  This makes for unlimited interesting photographs.  This shot was taken in Stonehurst, a small community near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.  The opportunities vary with both the light and the tides.  I took this shot at low tide which emphasized the structure supporting the building and created some interesting angles between the boat, the ramp and the red building.  It would look entirely different at high tide.

So there you have it, a quick idea of what there is to shoot in Nova Scotia.  It is a beautiful place with wonderful photographic opportunities. 

If you would like to learn more about me and my photography you can visit my web site where you will also find additional links to information about Nova Scotia.