Glen of Pools

Watkins Glen State Park

After crossing the bridge over the Central Cascade you enter the Glen of Pools in Watkins Glen. I’ve photographed this area many times and depending of the level of water in the creek it takes on different appearances. Typically I would like more water but there is a subtle clarity with the lower level bringing out the individual pools in this section of the gorge.


MLCreations Photography: Watkins Glen &emdash; Glen of Pools

Glen of Pools
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 8s, 22mm, f/11, ISO 100

Out of the Dark

Watkins Glen State Park

Above the iconic Rainbow Falls, heading toward Mile Point Bridge is the Spiral Gorge section of the trail. It is a dark and narrow passage with dripping springs, sculptured pools, and thin Pluto Falls. This is the view of the gorge looking back toward Rainbow Falls from the vantage point of Pluto Falls. You can barely see three fellow hikers entering this section of the trail in the top, left third of the image.


MLCreations Photography: Watkins Glen &emdash; Out of the Dark

Out of the Dark
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.5s, 14mm, f/11, ISO 200

The Destination

Watkins Glen State Park

When you travel to Watkins Glen on the weekend, especially on a holiday weekend, you best be at the park early if you plan to do any photography. I arrived at 7:30am and the parking lot had a handful of vehicles so I figured my chances were pretty good I would be able to get the images wanted with minimal time waiting. I was helped by the new “rules” for exploring the gorge trail. The gorge is supposed to be walked in one direction and to return to the trailhead you use one of the rim trails. For the most part, people observed this rule.

The water level in the creek was a little low and it did hinder the impact of a few of the views within the gorge. I’ve said this before, timing is everything when you set out to photograph waterfalls. The low water didn’t necessarily reduce the impact of the iconic Watkins Glen view, Rainbow Falls. Although I was in the park before the sun would produce the reason for the name, it is still a beautiful sight. There were a few groups right behind me on the trail so I did need to wait about ten minutes but once they had passed this location I had another ten minutes to explore before the next group arrived.

I should not have been surprised when I eventually returned to the entrance of the park… there were a lot of people! The empty parking lot was completely full. As I returned along the northern rim trail, “Indian Trail”, I stopped at a few of the overlook locations and the amount of people walking in the gorge was the most I have ever seen. Granted I had never been in the park on a holiday weekend, but holy cow, it was definitely time to go.


MLCreations Photography: Watkins Glen &emdash; The Destination

The Destination
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 8s, 22mm, f/11, ISO 100


Chittenango Falls State Park

After a morning of weekend chores, laundry and groceries, along with a few hours of reading I needed to get out for a walk. The temperature was hovering around seventy degrees which was perfect to me. I checked the state park website and found the gorge trail at Chittenango Falls was open again, so off I headed for a little midday exploring.

The waterfalls at this state park can be tricky to photograph. The sun generally is casting shadows into the gorge as it makes its way across the sky because the creek is running south to north and the face of the waterfall is facing north. I checked the Photographer’s Ephemeris and thought my best shot was around 12:30pm. As you can see there is already a shadow dropping into the gorge. I should have been in the park about an hour earlier but I was still able to capture a good image. There was a storm approaching which provided some excellent clouds in the sky and helped to soften the midday sun.


MLCreations Photography: Chittenango Falls &emdash; Impetus

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/4s, 27mm, f/11, ISO 200

Starting Early

Buttermilk Falls State Park

As much as I love autumn, I was surprised to see leaves in the gorge in August. I don’t want to rush summer out the door. I still have more parks to visit before the changing leaves season…


MLCreations Photography: Buttermilk Falls &emdash; Starting Early

Starting early
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 8s, 17mm, f/11, ISO 100

Mighty Taughannock

Taughannock Falls State Park

I had a me day on Friday. Well, I suppose they are all me days, maybe it would be better to say I didn’t go to work on Friday. When I scheduled the day off earlier in the week I didn’t have any grand plan, I only knew I wanted to have an extra day for the weekend. By the time Thursday rolled around and friends at work asked if I was doing anything special, I was giving my standard answer; “Going out and finding some pictures.”

The forecast for Friday was overcast or mostly cloudy which could only make it a waterfall day! With the recent rains I figured the creeks would be running high and provide plenty of water for my images. The last time I went to Ithaca I didn’t go to a few of my favorite locations. Friday was the day to correct that. I started at Taughannock Falls State Park.

The rain definitely filled the creek with water, although it was a rich chocolate color, the volume was exactly what I was hoping for to give me the images I like to capture. The clouds in the sky did not obscure the sun totally, acting more like a softbox for a flash. Generally, when I’m walking the gorge trail I have to work at controlling the hot spots created by the sun. Yesterday, my only concern was getting the composition I wanted. The first image from my exploration is the featured waterfall itself… the Mighty Taughannock!


MLCreations Photography: Taughannock Falls &emdash; Mighty Taughannock Falls

Mighty Taughannock Falls
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 9s, 24mm, f/11, ISO 100

Years in Layers

Gorge Trail, Buttermilk Falls State Park


MLCreations Photography: Buttermilk Falls &emdash; Years in Layers

Years in Layers
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 5s, 18mm, f/11, ISO 200


Sunset Halo

Delta Lake State Park

It was an on again, off again kinda day… at least as far as the rain was concerned. It wasn’t very motivating for me, but then again, maybe it was the best excuse to do nothing. I suppose I was looking for those excuses too! I jumped in the car after dinner and headed up to Delta Lake, even if there were no images to be found, the sound of the water hitting the shore would do me good.

I went earlier than necessary for the sunset but it allowed me to sit on a rock in a quiet area along the shore and soak it all in. It was good. It was the recharge I needed. The beach was a little crowded so I walked along the trails searching for unique views. I found a few but I guess the walk was what I needed more than capturing a different image. As the sun slipped closer to the horizon I worked my way along the shore back to the beach area.

I was rewarded with a great sunset of the sun peeking out from behind some clouds near the horizon. I know I have a tendency to shoot into the sun and this one was not going to be any different. Rather than do a couple of captures, one were I block the sun with my finger to remove the flare I pointed the camera right into it. If you center the sun in the view the sunspots will disappear and depending on the lens, and the conditions, you can create a halo flare around the sun. I got the halo…


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Sunset Halo

Sunset Halo
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/60s, 44mm, f/11, ISO 200