Shooting at Old Baldy and The Swamp

My first climbing shoot was a success! I got the shots I was after, even sold a few and, most importantly, I didn’t fall over the edge. The only thing the images were lacking, from my standpoint, were some of the classic fall colours that were on the verge of peaking here in Ontario. I thought that the following weekend could be “the” weekend and decided to head back up to Old Baldy and The Swamp which better showed off the colours.

This shoot took place on October 2nd & 3rd but I have been sitting on these pics to let clients have a chance to earmark the shots they were interested in before posting them. It’s important to find the right balance between giving your commercial and editorial clients adequate time before posting and getting the images in circulation before they get dated. Most images have a very short shelf-life so it’s always a struggle as far as what that perfect time-frame is. Some guys don’t post their images at all but I don’t see the point in pictures sitting on a hard drive. Images should be seen, otherwise what’s the point?!

I made my way up on Friday with Neville and his awesome doberman, Vincent. Bringing up another dog on such a wicked doggy vacation made me feel like a bad doggy dad. I also have a wicked dog, Jessie (aka Snarfy) . She’s a Border Collie / German Shepard mix and loves nothing more than to run, ride and play in the forest with me. As much as I wanted to bring her, I knew her adventuresome spirit could have easily got her in more trouble than she knew. I promised her a long mountain bike ride and said my goodbyes. I also have a beautiful little 9 month old daughter and saying goodbye to her and my lovely wife makes any shooting trip tough to justify. They are my whole world and couldn’t do any of this without their love and support.

For the first day, we shot at Old-Baldy in Kimberley, Ontario. The weather wasn’t too dissimilar from the first shoot, gloomy and cold. I like overcast conditions so as long as the rain held off and everybody could climb I was content. It was an easy drive up and the hike in was a piece of cake. Damian and Paul were already on-site and Damian was just securing one of the routes as we reached the top. Neville helped me get tied-off and I got set up so that I could shoot from a few different vantage points. My choice location was plagued by a small cedar tree that I would have preferred be gone but I ended up using it to my advantage to frame the shots. While up top, two other climbers I was hoping would make it arrived, Sabrina and Ryan. They are both highly skilled climbers and I was very happy we’d get to work together. I was able to shoot a few routes from these locations and then made my way down to shoot the others. My angles from the bottom where limited but I was able to make the most of it and capture some nice frames. That night we pitched our tents along the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay for a chilly night’s sleep. The winds were too fierce for a fire so it was an early night. Here are some images from Old-Baldy.







The following morning we headed to a “secret” crag know by locals as The Swamp. I’ve known about this place for a few years now but it only became of interest to me as a result of these last few climbing shoots. Users have done a good job keeping the location off the radar and I certainly won’t be spilling the beans. My images are stripped of GPS data but I suppose any images or chatter draws unwanted attention. The approach is amazing and the work on the trail leading-in is almost as impressive as the location itself. Almost, but not quite! This place really is an Ontario climbing wonder. There are endless routes and the place has an epic vibe. Unfortunately, I had to get back in town and end my shoot prematurely. I didn’t really have enough time to get what I was after but like the idea that I didn’t and will be back to get it! I always like leaving something out there to call me back. On the hike out I passed Leslie Timms, a climber I have been in contact with about shooting. Everything happens for a reason right? Maybe when you get back from over the pond eh Les? Here are some images from The Swamp.








Big thanks to Neville, Damian, Paul, Sabrina and Ryan for the great time shooting. Hope you like your shots.