Morning Escape

Pixley Falls State Park

I probably should not call it an escape since it did occur on the weekend but after my Friday afternoon escape it felt right. I did escape the dull routine of the weekend which is always a good thing. It definitely was a good Saturday morning.

Pixley Falls State Park is only a few minutes north of Rome. The challenge is arriving at the appropriate time to capture an image. The waterfall faces south which places it always in direct sunlight and the high hills will cast shadows the closer you arrive to sunrise or sunset. The other issue with this park is the ability of other visitors to get close to the falls and leave the photographer without a uninterrupted view.

Luckily for me, the temperature was still on the chilly side and sun was high enough for the shadows to be clear of the falls. I ran around the park for forty minutes grabbing my images and was on my why out when the people started to arrive. When I am close to the falls, I like capturing this one in the portrait orientation. This allows me to include the rocks in the foreground which are dappled with sunlight coming through the trees. It was a good morning to escape the couch…

Morning Escape
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.4s, 12mm, f/16, ISO 100

Afternoon Escape

Chittenango Falls State Park

It was a long week at work. Being on vacation the previous week didn’t help as most of my time was spent trying to catch up on everything that had accumulated in my absence. By early Friday afternoon I was done, mentally and physically, so I decided to cut out early. I didn’t have a plan other than I wanted to feel the sunshine on my face.

I ended up letting the car bring me to Chittenango Falls State Park to explore the gorge. My previous stops earlier this year were shortened due the gorge trail being closed. Although there was above average water flow in the creek the trail was open and I was able to get some images of the waterfall.

The afternoon sun does cast a shadow across the face of the waterfall but I do not believe it “ruins” the image. I was able to bring some light back into the shadows in post-processing. The key is not to destroy all of the shadows, only to enhance them. An image is only as good as the shadows, the light highlights but the shadows define…

Afternoon Escape
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.8s, 17mm, f/14, ISO 100

Harambe Morning

Africa, Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World

The morning of my Animal Kingdom day I decided to arrive early considering how Disney was letting guests into the parks before the official opening time. I knew I wouldn’t be able to experience any of the rides but I was hoping to get some nice images. My luck was further enhanced by most guest’s desire to run to the Pandora area of the park to get in line for the Avatar Flight of Passage attraction. This left entire sections of the park virtually people free.

One of my favorite areas to photograph is the Africa section of the park. The details Disney built into this section are amazing. Being early morning the sun was rising over the Harambe Market and bathing the buildings across the walkway in golden light. I decided to turn the camera to portrait orientation and grab a four image series to create a panoramic view. I think it turned out quite well…

Harambe Morning
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/60s, 16mm, f/11, ISO 200

Floating Boardwalk

Crescent Lake, Walt Disney World

If I was asked what my favorite part of my trip to Walt Disney World was this time I would say it was the area around Crescent Lake. This is the resort area behind Epcot when you exit through the International Gateway. It is where the Yacht & Beach Club and Boardwalk resorts are located.

Each morning I would start my day with a walk around the lake to capture the sunrise and the resort areas still lit up for the night. If you are lucky enough to have the wind be non-existent and you are early enough before any activity starts on the lake you will be rewarded with mirror-like reflections. I was this fortunate on the last morning of my vacation. Add to this enough clouds in the sky to for some drama and you come home with a few amazing images.

This is the view of the Boardwalk resort from across the lake. I was in a second floor room facing the lake, one room to the right of the building with the Boardwalk sign on its roof. It was a great location for sunrise and sunsets.

Floating Boardwalk
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1.3s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200

Toward the Light

Crescent Lake, Walt Disney World

Toward the Light
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 3.2s, 14mm, f/11, ISO 200

Wake Up Beach Club

Crescent Lake, Walt Disney World

Although I really wanted to sleep a little longer, I got moving early enough yesterday to walk around Crescent Lake for pictures. This is literally the first image I grabbed. As I was walking toward the Yacht Club, as soon as I crested on the bridge over the waterway I stopped and setup the tripod. I couldn’t resist that sky!

I spent the next 45 minutes before the sun showed itself photographing the area around the lake. It is generally a good time to be out. Only a few people are out and about this early. There is minimal activity on the lake and if the wind is low you can get great reflections. There will be more images coming…

Wake Up Beach Club
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 3.2s, 20MM, f/8, ISO 200