Haliburton Dog Sled Races 2016

March 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Two weeks ago while the city was still enjoying a relatively mild winter, I went north to see and photograph the Haliburton Highlands Dogsled Derby. Although my friends (fellow photographers) and I were trying our best to get there on time to catch all the morning races, we couldn't help but make several stops while driving along the way.

When you see the photos from that morning, you will understand why we stopped numerous times. We even considered skipping the dog sled races all together, just to stay by the fields to capture the beautiful winter scenes. Here is one of the morning shots, in the misty air. It reminds me of Turner's paintings, the way the light is filtered and falls across the canvas. 

MIsty Winter MorningMIsty Winter MorningIt was a foggy, frosty winter morning, creating a painting right in front of my eyes. Definitely worthwhile to get up early that morning and go out for photography.


Another photograph from that frosty morning by the side of the road. I used a high-key treatment to further accentuate the branches' lightness and delicacy. We really could have stayed there all day, or at least until the frost melted away, but we continued on to the dog sled races... 

Frosty BranchesFrosty BranchesThese trees looked ever so delicate with their frost-covered branches. What a wonderful winter scene!

We began near the starting line to catch the dogs and mushers as they ran off with an energetic start. Photographers were welcome at the event, though we had to be mindful to stay off the race track, and not to make sudden movements to spook the dogs. I crouched down by the side of the track while the dogs were still far away, being careful not to stand up until after they've passed my spot. However, the dogs of some teams were quite curious and almost ran towards me. Luckily, all race teams and photographers stayed safely away from each other!

Haliburton Dog Sled Race MusherHaliburton Dog Sled Race MusherDogs and musher are off to an energetic start to this dog sled race.

After all the teams started off, we waited patiently as they raced along the trails. We could move around the grounds to catch the race teams at different parts of the trails. Some popular spots were crowded with photographers, while some other areas were quite open. I caught the following moment as two teams dash towards the finishing line, the second team hot on the heels of the first one. I wonder which team was faster in the end? The pano crop chosen for the image emphasizes the linear shape of the subjects.

Hot on His HeelsHot on His HeelsTwo dog sled teams race towards the finish line, with the second team hot on the heels of the first team.

As you can see, one day of photography outing can yield vastly different results. From serene landscape photos to action-packed images, it's all for the taking!


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