Killarney as my muse

Blog-Killarney-lake Killarney has been part of my life years – one of the first canoe trips after moving from Montreal to Toronto in the late  eighties was to Killarney. The images I shot on those canoe trips long before becoming a professional photographer maybe amateurish in composition and lighting but still hold strong memories of a place that I have returned to time and time again. If someone  asked me the question – who or what is the biggest influence of your photography? Probably too many to mention here but a word that comes to blog-1428mind is muse or who is your muse?  Anticipating the question, what exactly is a muse? The word muse comes from Greek mythology and can be briefly defined as a goddess of artistic inspiration. That being said – then Killarney has to be a muse  – the influence of this majestic landscape on not just myself but all who visit her cannot be measured in the power she holds. Artists have been coming here for years. She casts a spell on all who visit her – you can’t help but to embrace this landscape. 

There is something about heading down Hwy 637 in any season – can’t explain it – that road takes us into a world that opens up many more worlds. The village, the Park, George Island, the lighthouse, Philip Edward Island and Georgian Bay all add up to a landscape that can only  inspire. There is also something else that is so unique here – the white quartzite hills called LaCloche. See them in the day and they dominate the landscape; see them in dawns early light or the fading days light and they seem to glow. Whether you are in a canoe, walking or just sitting,

these hBlog-ON_GBay_0286ills invite you to come and explore. Hike up to many of the vistas and you are awed by the views that unfold. The quartzite rock gives way to the blue green colour of the lakes below and in the distance, depending on where you are, Georgian Bay dominates the horizon.

This is not just a summer getaway – a fall canoe trip brings me an inspiration with nature’s colour palette that few places in our world can compete with. Oaks and maples let loose an explosion of colour coupled with the blue skies and the green of pine that unleash a plethora of compositions.  


blog-1428Winter, the least liked season is a chance to put on snowshoes or cross country skis, and head into a winter wonderland that few would even dare to venture out into. Many a time friends and I have headed into the backcountry for a few days in late February, when the lake ice is stable and the days are a little longer – this is a time that the Park reveals her quiet side. Looking to capture the  magic of the winter landscape – stripped away of its summer foliage, the landscape reveals stark graphical images that lend themselves more to a black and white photo essay. 
If I had to name a place that is my favourite part of the Park, inspires me more than any other Killarney landscape then that place would be Grace and Nellie – the portages are long but the rewards are even better. Franklin Carmichael, AY Jackson knew about it – they revealed it in their paintings and to this day it still has that wilderness feel because of its remoteness. The lakes and hills are like no other place in Ontario – you could be in the Cariboo Mountains of central British Columbia or the Yukon – it is that distinct a place.

Blog-OP-Killarney-6490The park is one of Ontario’s gems and Canada’s. It has inspired myself and the thousands who visited her in so many ways. From Silver Peak to Three Narrows and Nellie Lake, this is a place that is a muse to the many who meet her.

Rob Stimpson

Rob Stimpson Photography
Lake of Bays, ON Canada
P1H 2J3