Supermoon at Low Tide

Super Moon 3 - Ellie Kennard 2013
Super Moon 3 – Ellie Kennard 2013

“The Best Laid Plans” – Will Give You the Best Chance at Capturing That Special Moment

In 2013 I took part in a mentorship Entitled Storytelling Landscape Photography and this was one of the photographs that resulted from one of the final weeks of that experience. The full experience is below, as I really want to remember all of the wonderful things I learned, but feel free to just enjoy the image for its own sake!

Original Post: July 25, 2013

I am now deep into the Storytelling Landscape Photography mentorship.

One of the things that I have learned in week #8 of this wonderful program is how to give myself the best chance possible of getting exactly the scene I have in mind. For example, I started planning (believe it or not) a month ago, on June 22nd to get this. We had no super moon that night in June as it was raining with low cloud. So I used a special app I have (Sun Surveyor) to determine when the next one would be and found it was to be on July 23rd. 

Before the day I gave careful thought as to the type of scene I wanted to record as a setting for this moon and to what would be the story of my image. I had to check the time of the moon rise, of course and I used the same app to tell me what time and direction the sun would be setting.I knew from what I learned that if conditions were right, there was a chance that the sky might be tinged with pink from the sun which was about to set behind me. I needed to know if the tide would be high, low or exactly at what point it would be at that time of that day (Tides and Currents app) to plan for the foreground elements. I also needed to know what exact spot the moon would be rising at. I used the app in conjunction with Google maps to plot the course of the sun and moon and I used the weather apps to determine, as the day got nearer, what kind of a night it was likely to be. 

On the day before this, we did a ‘dummy run’ and I scratched my first choice of location off the list, as the foreground was likely to be filled with cars and the middle ground to look rather dull. We drove further up the coast using the apps and map and found what we knew would be the perfect location for what I had decided I wanted to feature – rock formations of the NS coast, sand and sea – and of course the super moon! I took a few hand held photos to get the feel of the place. We needed to ask the permission of the landowner of the cliffs we were to walk along, which we got.. and all was in place.

As we were eating supper, the sky clouded over. The weather app said ‘clear’. I trusted the app. We set off. Properly attired (covered head to toe against the mosquitoes) we parked the car and pointed the app (camera mode) at the horizon, plotting the exact point in the scene where the moon would rise. We walked along the cliffs on to the spot where it would all unfold in front of us, chose the position of the supporting elements and …. waited for that moment.

We watched the sun behind us go behind the hills (as predicted) the clouds before us become tinged with pink (check) and at the precise moment (8:34) when the moon was to rise….. It didn’t! Well, it did, of course, because such things are set in stone and can be utterly relied upon. But the mist above the water obscured it for several moments, which was a little frustrating. However before long it did appear in exactly the predicted spot and we started to photograph. 

Does this all sound rather clinical? Well don’t let it spoil the feeling you get from the image, but use that litany of preparation above to help you appreciate all the more the wonderful successful images that you see on G+ and know that most of them were not captured by serendipity. They involve careful and painstaking preparation in order to avoid as much of the frustration as possible. Yes, things can always be different from what you had planned. If the night had been overcast we might have simply not got the photographs. And had to try again. But we had a plan and knew what we wanted. And that was the best place to start!

#novascotia #novascotialandscape #novascotiaseascape #canada


Summer Set

Summer Set - Ellie Kennard 2015
Summer Set – Ellie Kennard 2015

So September is here and with it comes thoughts of ordering firewood against the winter cold (they are predicting a worse winter than last year – how is that possible?) and making sure that any summer and autumn chores are all done before the cold starts. It all looks (and feels with extremely hot days) like summer still, but with the days getting shorter so quickly now and school buses on the road again, the heat of the sun and drowsy afternoons we are still enjoying just have a different and more poignant feel about them.

It’s time to get out and enjoy what’s left of the last of the summer if you can, at a lakeside, like this one or on the beach. Winter will be here soon enough.


Late Afternoon Light, September, Annapolis Valley, NS


There are moments when the light is special in that 'Golden Hour' before sunset or after sunrise and it filters down between the clouds in a darkening, heavy sky. At times you see this light and you can't do anything about it. Perhaps you don't have your camera, or there is just no scenery to feature. Or maybe you are in heavy traffic and can't get out without creating a hazard.

On this day, I was coming home and saw these golden and darkening conditions developing in the distance. I drove past my favourite farm, but the light wasn't going to hit it. I kept driving and watching. As I came down towards Hillaton, I saw the clouds becoming heavier over the North Mountain and the mist settling on the hills beneath, all the time I was driving and watching for the scene that would be the one.

When I saw this, I pulled the car quickly around the corner onto the hard shoulder (light shifts rapidly in this situation, I didn't want to lose it) and, grabbing the camera I jumped out of the car, all the time clicking the shutter at the scene, just in case the light changed and I lost it.

Soon these trees will be turning wonderful colours of red and gold, but now the fields are gold with harvest, surrounded by the deep greens.

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Of course this has to be shared for #farmfriday +Farm Friday by myself and my co-curators +Steven Kennard, +Susanne Stelle and +Alessia De Bonis as well as these other great themes:

#hqsplandscape , +HQSP Landscape curated by +Nader El Assy +Luca Ferroglio +Craig Loxley +Dorothy Pugh +Jesse Martineau +David D

#landscapephotography +Landscape Photography +Landscape Photography Show +Margaret Tompkins +Jim Warthman +Kevin Rowe +Johan Peijnenburg +David Heath Williams +Tom Hierl +Carolyn Lim +Howard L. Smith +Kai Kosonen +Sheila B. DuBois +Toshi Nakamura +David Pilasky +Bill Wood

+Photo Mania Canada #PhotomaniaCanada +Giselle Savoie and +Mark HELM
#novascotia #novascotialandscape


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Because Everyone Needs a Little Peace and Tranquility


The coast of Nova Scotia is varied in its makeup, even along stretches of the same beach. You can be clambering over boulders, walking through mud with long bright green sea grasses underfoot or across pebbles and then suddenly come to an expanse of sand reminiscent of the most beautiful tropical beaches. The gentle lapping of the waves as the tide recedes has a calming effect on our minds that can get through to us and have a positive affect on the rest of our day in spite of the stressful lives we live.

This is Kingsport Beach in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia, looking at the cliffs of Blomidon in the distance.

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#Canada #canadaphotography #NovaScotia #NovaScotiaPhotography #BayofFundy

#coastalthursday +Coastal Thursday by +David Polzine +Jon Kahn

#hqsplandscape , +HQSP Landscape curated by +Nader El Assy +Luca Ferroglio +Craig Loxley +Dorothy Pugh +Jesse Martineau +David D

#bellesphotos +Belles photos by +Jean-Louis LAURENCE +Claudya Bonnet


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Sunset Seen From the Ocean Floor

With such low and high tides as we have here, I have found myself both scrambling to dry land up the cliffs on the rocks (as in the other day) and walking far out into the Bay of Fundy on land (not very dry) which is, twice a day buried deep under the waves.  I have even felt disturbed at the thought, wondering if I might end up sucked down into a sinkhole, never to be seen again. I was having just such thoughts the other evening as we were out walking Joni, when I turned around and saw the sky. The rivulets running down from streams that come from those cliffs reflected the clouds and evening light and colours, drawing my eye up to the land and then that dramatic sky.

#hqsplandscape , +HQSP Landscape curated by +Nader El Assy +Luca Ferroglio +Craig Loxley +Dorothy Pugh +Jesse Martineau +David D

#coastalthursday +Coastal Thursday by +David Polzine +Jon Kahn 

+Photo Mania Canada  #photomaniacanada  curated by +Giselle Savoie and +Mark HELM 

#Canada   #novascotia   #novascotialandscape   #canadianlandscape  

#landscapephotography +Landscape Photography +Landscape Photography Show +Margaret Tompkins +Jim Warthman +Kevin Rowe +Johan Peijnenburg +David Heath Williams +Tom Hierl +Carolyn Lim +Howard L. Smith +Kai Kosonen +Sheila B. DuBois +Toshi Nakamura +David Pilasky +Bill Wood 

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Spring Rain and Mist Over the Valley

Spring Rain and Mist Over the Valley- Ellie Kennard 2014
Spring Rain and Mist Over the Valley- Ellie Kennard 2014

Spring Rain and Mist Over the Valley-116/365 May 12, 2014

It was pouring with rain when I was driving up to the T junction looking towards one of my favourite views. The colours that show that Spring is really on the way were just beginning to show. The warm red of the earth in the freshly ploughed field in front, the darker red of the budding branches in the trees behind and the grey-greens in front of the mist at the foot of the North Mountain had patches of still yellow vegetation waiting to burst forth in renewed growth. If you zoom in you can see birds (eagles? seagulls? possibly both) soaring in the dark sky, as well as the rain slanting past the trees. I had to quickly take this photograph before I got rain spots on the lens. This is the fruitful Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia in the Spring. Before the blossoms spread across orchards. Before the green corn shoots seem to grow overnight taller than a man. A pause before it all bursts forth.


Valley Evening Drive – 81/365

On the Monday after the ice storm, the renovation work was in full swing and I had a lot to do and only renovation work to document. So I am harking back to the Saturday night before, on our lovely evening drive through the snowy Annapolis Valley, on our way to the concert in Margaretsville in the Evergreen Theatre (+Evergreen Theatre) . I intentionally blurred the images of the road and landscape as we drove through it, to just give an impression of this journey. The sun was setting in a haze behind the clouds.

#365project +G+ 365 Project by +Simon Davis-Oakley +Patricia dos Santos Paton

Late for #fromthecartuesday by +J. Rae Chip +shift

But right on time for #inmotionthursday +InMotion Thursday by +Scott Thomas 
#novascotia   #novascotialandscape  


Spring Thaw and Flood – 76/365

I have got very behind on posting my photographs due to various factors including illness and major renovations (with huge amounts of building dust everywhere), but I am making a start on catching up. Most days I was able to take photographs, so little by little I will be sharing them here. 

On this day, although it was bitter cold, the ice had begun to melt on previous warmer days and the scene was encouraging. Winter will come to an end! I parked on the side of the road and scrambled down icy banks and through dense woods full of thorny wild rose bushes which tore into my jeans to get this image. I have to say it was better seen from the bridge, but there are huge heavy cables strung in front of the scene, so this was a better photograph. 

#365project +G+ 365 Project with thanks to +Simon Davis-Oakley +Patricia dos Santos Paton
HQSP Landscape  with grateful thanks to  +Anja Wessels +Hallie Guilfoyle +Michael Garza +Nader El Assy +Vinod Krishnamoorthy +Luca Ferroglio +midori chan #hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape
#Canada   #canadianlandscapes   #novascotia  


It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over – 57/365

The sun was setting as we were coming home last evening and so this scene was a gift to me. I have been so busy this week that I have had little time to do everything I want. So when this image came into view, I jumped out of the car and took the photograph. It is looking across the dykes in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. The sun as it set almost looked like a red torch (or flashlight) beaming up from the horizon. By the time I stopped to get this, it had changed, but still was lovely.

#365project +G+ 365 Project by +Simon Davis-Oakley +Patricia dos Santos Paton

HQSP Landscape  curated by  +Anja Wessels +Hallie Guilfoyle +Michael Garza +Nader El Assy +Vinod Krishnamoorthy +Luca Ferroglio +midori chan #hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape

#landscapephotography +Landscape Photography +Landscape Photography Show +Margaret Tompkins +Jim Warthman +Kevin Rowe +Johan Peijnenburg +David Heath Williams +Tom Hierl +Carolyn Lim +Tom Sloan +Howard L. Smith +Kai Kosonen +Tony Heyward +Sheila B. DuBois +Sandra Brown +Vishal Kumar +Toshi Nakamura

#novascotia   #novascotialandscape   #winter   #canada   #canadianlandscape