Wallpaper March 2012

Wallpaper March 2012

Last month’s image was a shot of Raleigh Island, a spot I am privileged to call home for more than half of each year. Not apparent in the image is the backstory. Fog provides wonderful opportunities on the river, but the pictures don’t always come as easily as you might think.

Wallpaper February 2012

On this particular morning, when I saw the mist, I leapt out of bed, grabbed my camera, slid the canoe into the water and paddled into position. When I turned back, the scene was perfect, but the dissipating wake wasn’t. I sat perfectly still, but even the slightest movement caused more ripples to roll into the scene. They seemed to take forever to clear and by the time they did, a very gentle current had drifted me out of position, so it became a game of trying to find the right spot upstream so the ripples would dissipate by the time I (hopefully) drifted to the right position.

After a ridiculous number of tries, it finally worked, with the further reward of streamers of fog sliding into the scene at exactly that moment. The calm was such that it allows the image to be equally viewable upside down. Try it if you have a laptop or iPad.

This shot came several years ago with what is now considered a low resolution camera, limiting the ways I can use it. I’ve made every effort to replicate it with a state of the art camera since, but despite countless opportunities, no such luck. As my old friend Carl Hiebert once sagely advised; “The secret to photography is; ‘Just show up.’ ” Too true. Timing is everything.

Wow. That glassy river surface makes me want to dive in and swim across the channel. I don't waterski anymore, but the "glass" would've been perfect for that back in the day. I do return to the river and our island every summer (from Florida) and swim around our island daily. It's amazing how fast you can swim when the river is calm (and going with the current!) vs. on those windy, choppy days when you fight to keep your head above the waves to take a breath. Either way, I look forward to those swims and the meditative effect they have on me. I see a bit of fog in your photo, but I'm sure it won't be a factor during a swim on the water's surface. I agree with last month's comment re- fog, that you need to watch your boat wake to stay "straight." However, I recall a boat ride to the mainland in a dense fog as a kid with my family. We realized we were traveling in a big circle and going "nowhere" when we crossed our own boat wake! I finally spotted the little island that is in front of our island, and my father turned the boat so the little island was to our stern. We were then able to drive "straight" back to our island and wait until the fog lifted to try our return to the mainland. By the way, I just read Donna Walsh Inglehart's book, "Grindstone" and loved it!

 - Tammy Prebble, Apopka, FL


Many thanks Tammy. A set of 8 x 10 prints is headed your way.

Please note Tammy’s final words. I felt precisely the same way when I read Donna’s book. She has a genuine gift, able to vividly paint images with her words. It was a shocking realization to understand what life was really like on the river and in Clayton in 1865. My friend Paul Malo’s trilogy of books illustrate the 1000 Islands most of us imagine from that era, but his stories began with the Gilded Age, seven years later, a polar opposite to what Donna's story brings to life.

Recognizing her extraordinary talent was the genesis of our collaboration to produce something that we believe will eclipse all of our earlier books. The text for our new eBook is complete. Now, Toronto’s McLellan Group have their entire team of software geniuses hard at work, bringing it to life in ways that have never been seen before. To say we are excited is a vast understatement.

The book’s story revolves around the island in last month’s fog. For March, I’ll share a different view here:


Ian Coristine

P.S. If you’ve waited this long, your timing is perfect! Apple’s new iPad will debut this month and you’ll be needing one if you’d like to read our book. We’ll post ongoing progress reports on our Facebook page, One in a Thousand. You will also find a promo video created by McLellan Group here. If you approve, don't be shy to give it a thumbs up.

Wallpaper March 2012

Download wide-angle version


I have paddled here many times... this is the south side of Ian's island looking east down the St Lawrence. The little rock in the foreground is not much bigger that what is in the photo. There is also a small pitch pine growing out of the centre of this little rock. I have had my canoe in the same spot as the green one in the photo.

posted on: Thursday, March 01, 2012

Can't wait for the book Ian. McLellan Group's video says it all for many of us who adore this paradise. I have posted it to my facebook for all my personal friends to enjoy.

Michelle Caron posted on: Thursday, March 01, 2012

Long live Ian Coristine! Just because you are not standing here in front of me...I wanted to thank you anyway. See you at the Clipper Inn in about a month.

Dennis Honeywell posted on: Thursday, March 01, 2012

Once again you have captured the many moods of the River. I look forward to your post every month.

Warren Wilbur posted on: Thursday, March 01, 2012

Ian,Your beautiful picture of the southeastern shore of your island, for me, evokes thoughts of what makes a beautiful oil painting. No painting of the 1000 Islands can be represented in just true base colours - all colours are blends that repeat in the various subjects throughout the image. The russetts, oranges, browns caught in the light, appear similar in the inner areas of the pines, in the rock covered lichen, and in the turning foliage. The water can never be just blue, just green, or just gray. Rather, it is the colour of "what is above" is "what is below". There are no blacks; they are complimentary darks found in the exposed rocks at water level, the island's rock crevaces, and the shadowed depths within the trees. Once crafted in this manner, I believe the true test of great art of the 1000 Islands, whether it be your photograph of Raleigh Island or an oil painting of the same, is in capturing the mood of the river. This has been a compliment to you many times before and Ian, no artist does it better.

Bud Andress posted on: Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Notification List

One afternoon at a book signing, a lady shared with me a profound statement. "The River chooses some". Those of us who were chosen, spend winters longing to get back. To help my winter longings and yours too, each winter month I enjoy sharing a computer screensaver image to help infuse a little summer warmth into your day. I also outline the latest additions to ThousandIslandsLife.com online magazine. If you would like to receive these images and updates, please add your email address to the notification list using the form below. It will not be shared elsewhere.