Chittenango Falls State Park
In a previous post I mentioned my adventure at Chittenango Falls State Park earlier this week. The volume of water flowing over the falls was incredible. I generally like to photograph the falls when the amount of water allows me to highlight the cascades. The silky streams of water mesmerize me. I wasn’t sure how the pictures would turn out with this much water but I have to admit I am happy with the result.
Setting up for the image I was worried the highlights in the water would cause me issues, especially having to expose enough for the gorge walls still in shadow. I countered by using my polarizing filter which helped reduce the glare and allowed me to capture this image with one exposure. In the past, as I was beginning to learn, I relied on high dynamic range (HDR) techniques to create my images. When done correctly, the HDR technique can yield amazing results, but I used it as a crutch and at times I ended up washing out an image. I was creating images without a proper balance of light and shadow. You need good shadows to produce an interesting image (IMO).
Considering how bright the sun was shining I threw on my 4-stop ND filter as well to reduce my shutter speed and achieve the blur I wanted in the water. Due to the speed of the water flowing through the creek I did not have to get below 1 second to achieve the my look. This is another area that is subjective to the photographer but I like to be able to see the water flowing. I try not to reduce my shutter so far as to create only a blur of white to represent the water but I also do not want to freeze the water with to fast of a shutter.
This park and the beautiful cascading waterfall is one of my favorite places to go in Central NY…