Buttermilk Falls State Park, Robert H. Treman State Park
Tinker Falls Trail & Pratt’s Falls Park
Yesterday was probably my last Autumn colors weekend. I ended up with quite a few great images last weekend but this weekend I was determined to capture even more color. Although the weather was going to be a little chilly, i.e., 30-33F, the forecast was for sunny skies. I bundled up, packed the camera bag and headed to Ithaca to start my day with a few waterfalls and State Parks.
This is the entrance to the Lower Falls area of Robert H. Treman State Park. Generally I start at the Lower Falls and then hike the trails to the opposite end of the park. If I was going to make it to more than a few parks today I would have to “cheat” a little. I grabbed the images I wanted in this section of the park and then drove to the other entrance. Although the entire park is worth the effort, the images I wanted to capture are basically at the two ends.
I’ll be posting more images from this park in the near future. Due to the bright sun in some sections of the gorge I’ll be combining multiple exposures and working them with my HDR workflow. Don’t worry, I won’t let you off the hook that easily… 🙂
The third location in Ithaca I attempted to hike was Cascadilla Gorge but considering the length of the gorge my GPS brought to the wrong location (in the middle of Cornell University campus). At this point in the day it was easier to start my way back home and hit up a few other locations I haven’t been to in a few years.
It was a relatively short detour to get to Tinker Falls Trail. I had attempted to photograph this waterfall quite a few years ago but the water level in the creek was so low there was barely any waterfall. I expected with the amount of rain we have had the last few days I would get some interesting images. The hike was short and easy. I was a little disappointed at how far away I was at the apparent end of the trail. It wasn’t until I watched a couple cross the creek and continue up the side of the waterfall, behind the waterfall and then up the opposite side that I realized, I was going to get some amazing images!
For the Disney fan among you… I present the true backside of water!
From this waterfall I wasn’t very far from Pratt’s Falls Park. The day was still fairly young so I plugged the park into the GPS and headed out. I have visited this park a few times over the years but I have neglected stopping recently. I’m not sure why. I’m so happy I did this year. The waterfall had the perfect amount of water and the colors in the trees were stunning. I’ll get an image of the waterfall processed soon but I wanted to share this great image of autumn colors first. This is the water at the head of the falls. From here it basically goes under the entrance road to the park then makes the 137′ cascade down into the gorge.
I’m going to end this post with an image from the first park I visited. Probably my favorite park in Ithaca, Buttermilk Falls State Park. When I get the right amount of water flow and the lighting is perfect, it is hard not to come home with dozens of images. It always feels like every turn presents another view waiting to be photographed.
The colder temperatures kept most of the normal hikers away. I didn’t have to worry about people playing in the water near what I was trying to capture, nor did I have to wait for the trails to be clear. I was probably at this park a lot shorter than normal but I believe I came away with more great images. This last image alone made the whole trip worth it for me. Sometimes you get lucky with conditions and lighting…
I suppose it all will depend on the weather this coming week. The NY State foliage map had all of the North country at peak or past peak conditions. The Finger Lakes region was at mid-point or near peak so I might be able to squeeze in one more trip before it is over. We’ll have to wait and see net Wednesday when the foliage report is updated.
So far, this has been the best year for me to capture the colors of Autumn. Typically at this time I am exploring Walt Disney World but decided against it and now I want to utilize every opportunity I can for photographing different parts of the state. I’ll give Mother Nature a call a little later and see if I can put in a good word with her. Who knows, maybe she is a fan of my work… 🙂