Prince Edward County Ontario, Canada

January 13, 2009 ·

Michael Reichmann


In Southeastern Ontario, about 2 hours from Toronto, and just across Lake Ontario from upstate New York, lies Prince Edward County. This peninsula is mostly farming country but is also home toSandbanks Provincial Park, the largest freshwater sand dune system in the world. The dunes in this park are a highly unusual geological feature for this part of the world. 

I visitedSandbanksfor the first time in thewinter of 2000and promised myself that I would return. In October of 2001 I returned withChris Sanderson, the director of theVideo Journal, along with photographerJohn Brownlow. We spent two days exploring the area and doing photography. 

Dune Trees — October, 2001

Photographed with a Hasselblad ArcBody and 35mm Rodenstock lens on Provia 100F.

Though we hiked the dunes for several hours we found photography there to be difficult. Because there are trees throughout the dunes, both live ones and stumps, I found the scene to be inherently messy and thus difficult to photograph — completely different than the pristine dunes inDeath Valley. This was my most successful photograph of the day, and I’m very pleased with it.

Working The Dunes

Shooting in the Dunes — October, 2001

Shooting in these dunes presents all of the same problems that doing photography in sand always presents. Any wind at all will blow sand into places that you didn’t know you had places — especially camera bodies. This means constant diligence and lots of cleaning at the end of the day.

Working in sand is also physically tiring. Climbing sand dunes with a 30lb camera pack and tripod is hard work. Though we were there in October, unusually warm weather made our roughly 2 miles of up-and-down hiking a real workout.

The Marsh Lands

Marsh Sunrise — October, 2001

Photographed with the Hasselblad XPan and 45mm f/4 lens on Provia 100F
(The horizon
islevel. The orientation of the advancing shoreline makes it appear tilted).

Following an afternoon shooting at Sandbanks we sat over dinner pondering where we would shoot sunrise the next morning. A large scale map of the area showed a region of wetlands and mashes near theBay of Quinte.We identified a spot that consisted of a causeway across an open marsh and the next morning headed there before sunrise.

Double Sunrise — October, 2001

Photographed with the Hasselblad XPan and 45mm f/4 lens on Provia 100F

It turned out to be an unusually mild morning for October and consequently there was a lot of ground mist and fog. The photographs above were the most interesting from a group of exposures taken that dawn. Not great, but they captures something of the feel of the marshes.

To view photographs taken on this same trip by John Brownlow, clickhere.

This subject is featured in Issue #3 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal

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Michael Reichmann is the founder of the Luminous Landscape. Michael passed away in May 2016. Since its inception in 1999 LuLa has become the world's largest site devoted to the art, craft, and technology of photography. Each month more than one million people from every country on the globe visit LuLa.

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