A trip to The Grotto

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One summer evening, a friend of mine, Brent, suggested that I head to a place called The Grotto. I made a note of it and completely forgot about it until a few weeks ago. On a whim, I decided to head out and make a day trip up to the Tobermory area.

The Grotto is effectively a small cave with two entrances – one large opening accessible to hikers, as well as an underwater tunnel. As a hiker, you’ll need to scale a rather steep rock face to get down to the cave:

When I got down to the cave, a film crew was setting up to shoot a music video. They didn’t mind me shooting while they set of their lights, and I thought this behind-the-scenes shot turned out well:

I waited for the film crew to leave before I was able to have full access to the cave without any obstructions, and it took a while to find a great composition. A couple had come to visit, and I asked them if they wouldn’t mind posing on the edge to show a sense of scale. They agreed, and I was able to make this image:

The scale isn’t accurate, however. The above photos were all taken with my Fisheye lens which does a great job of showing more space than there actually is. The Grotto is a great place, and a fisheye lens gives a much more expansive view of it.

It was early evening and I noticed the sun starting to set. Deciding to play with silhouettes a little more, I made a silhouette panorama on the cave opening:

At this point, I began to worry a little bit. You see, it’s about a 40-minute hike to this location from the head of trails where I parked. The sun is setting at this point, and I don’t have 40 minutes of sunlight left. Scurrying back up to safety, I start heading my way back…. the shoreline was rocky and hard to navigate, but I couldn’t help but stop to make one more image, probably my favourite from the day:

That Inuksuk was taller than me, sitting right on the water’s edge. Careful of my angle to get water between the rocks forming the legs, the distant shoreline not coming in contact with the inuksuk, etc… it required a bit of playing around – with time I didn’t have but gave it to the photo anyhow.

Then, I sprinted. Nothing but twilight was left as I entered the forest trails back to my car. 20 minutes later, I arrive exhausted and happy that I can still – just barely – see my car in front of me. Next time, maybe a good idea to bring a flashlight! After I hit the road, I headed down to spend the night in Toronto with my lovely fiancée 🙂


  1. Desi
    October 6th, 2011 | 10:04 pm

    I love you so very much sweetheart. I am so inlove with you!!
    Also loving your beautiful images. You had quite the experience and view there <3
    miss you so much
    Desi <3 Donny

  2. October 15th, 2011 | 3:41 pm

    Great images Don! Nice work!

  3. December 3rd, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    Beautiful shot Don love the high contrast and the composition

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