Wells Falls, Ithaca, NY
The second stop on my Friday excursion in Ithaca was Wells Falls, or Businessman’s Lunch Falls, depending on which website you find. When I was in Ithaca in June the parking area at Mulholland Wildflower Preserve was full, returning during a normal workday almost guaranteed I would find a spot. A quick walk across the bridge spanning Six Mile Creek brings you to a fairly easy trail down into the gorge. Although there was plenty of water for the waterfall, the volume was not so great as to prevent me from getting into the middle of the creek for a direct view of the falls.
The abandoned building on the left of the waterfall is the Van Natta’s Pumping station. The pumping station was built on the site of the Van Natta & Jones mill by the Ithaca Light & Water Company in 1893 to provide water to the developing city. The building was abandoned in the 1940’s but it does provide a unique backdrop for the waterfall.
Although the day was quite overcast, the gorge itself has a lot of dark areas and I had to utilize four exposures to capture this scene. Blending the exposures with Skylum’s Aurora HDR is trivial and produced a perfect starting point for post-processing. It is important when working with HDR images to remember to keep the shadows. Your goal should not be to create an image without tonal range, it is to enhance the range, as a flat image is not interesting. After creating the combined image I applied my normal workflow to produce the image below…