Delta Lake State Park

The park is only minutes away from my apartment. I use it as my “go to” spot when I need to get outside after dinner. The simplicity of the area is misleading, but I rarely come without an image I want to share.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Sundown

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/100s, 14mm, f/11, ISO 200


Through the Stratum

Gorge Trail, Buttermilk Falls State Park


MLCreations Photography: Buttermilk Falls &emdash; Through the Stratum

Through the Stratum
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 5s, 16mm, f/11, ISO 200


Walk Up, Fall Down

Gorge Trail, Buttermilk Falls State Park


MLCreations Photography: Buttermilk Falls &emdash; Walk Up, Fall Down

Walk Up, Fall Down
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 4s, 21mm, f/11, ISO 200


Old Mill Summer

Robert H. Treman State Park

This is probably an often overlooked waterfall for visitors to Robert Treman park. It isn’t the iconic Lucifer Falls or the chute view at the start of the gorge trail. It is tucked behind the old mill next to the parking lot in the upper section of the park. I can see a lot of people intent on getting into the gorge never noticing this view. I’ll admit, my visit visit to the park, this waterfall was totally missed…


MLCreations Photography: Robert H. Treman &emdash; Old Mill Summer

Old Mill Summer
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.8s, 21mm, f/11, ISO 200


More Than a Trickle

Gorge Trail, Buttermilk Falls State Park


MLCreations Photography: Buttermilk Falls &emdash; More Than a Trickle

More Than a Trickle
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 3.2s, 16mm, f/11, ISO 200


At the Start

Robert H. Treman State Park

Although the lower section of Robert H. Treman park near the swimming area was closed due to repair the upper section of the park still provides wonderful opportunities for images. I’ve photographed the start of the gorge trail many times but have never been happy with the results. This visit I was able to get a look at the narrow chute into the gorge from both directions.


MLCreations Photography: Robert H. Treman &emdash; Enter the Gorge

Enter the Gorge
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/4s, 21mm, f/11, ISO 200


MLCreations Photography: Robert H. Treman &emdash; Looking Back

Looking Back
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1.3s, 16mm, f/11, ISO 200

Summer Pools

Gorge Trail, Buttermilk Falls State Park

I had not been back to the Ithaca gorges since my amazing trip last October. Once the leaves had started to bud on the trees this Spring I have been waiting for the right opportunity. Although the state parks have been open, most of the trails I hike for pictures have been closed. Not this weekend!

I actually have been planning to make this trip for a couple of weeks but circumstances had prevented me from being able to go. Not this weekend! I kept checking the weather app all week monitoring the conditions. Sunday appeared to be the day and as the weekend crept closing, the odds kept increasing in my favor. Everything was a go!

I planned on being at the first park by 7am so I was determined to leave the apartment on time. Alarm set, no snooze, get up and feed the boys (3 cats!). Pack everything I would need cause it was going to be a hot one. Extra clothes, extra socks, a second pair of hiking shoes, water, snacks, and anything else I would need to stay mobile and capturing pictures. I was going to make a day of it and visit as many of the gorges as possible.

Buttermilk Falls State Park was first on my list. It had to be. It is my favorite destination in Ithaca. I was the first car in the upper parking lot. The lower section of the park is the preferred destination for most families, but for me the upper gorge trail is where all the images are located. The trail was empty. I only saw one other person the hour and a half I was in the gorge.

This image is the first stopping point on the gorge trail. You can spot a small section of stairs along the ridge above the small waterfall in the back of the image. The trail loops around to the right of the image and there is a landing area before the stairs continue down deeper into the gorge. This is usually a tricky image to capture due to the high contrast of the dark gorge walls and the morning sun on the trees. I believe it rained a little the night before as the walls were still wet causing a lot of reflections. Even with the circular polarizer I could not remove all of the light reflections.


MLCreations Photography: Buttermilk Falls &emdash; Summer Pools

Summer Pools
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 6s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200


After Buttermilk Falls I drove to Robert H. Treman State Park. I should have checked the state park website better. The swimming area was undergoing repairs due to flooding and any photo opportunities of the lower falls were lost. I drove to the upper section of the park and hiked to Lucifer Falls. Again, very few people in the park early in the morning but by 9:30am the trails were starting to get crowded.

My next stop was to be Mulholland Wildflower Preserve which has Wells Falls across the road. The parking area was full! I was a little disappointed but there are plenty of opportunities in Ithaca. I tried Cascadilla Gorge but again, there was no parking near the start of the trail and when I drove by it appeared to be getting crowded as well. OK, still not an issue…

Maybe I stop at a few places as I work my way back home. I typed in Tinker’s Falls in the GPS and headed out. The parking area was not very crowded yet, that was a good sign. What I didn’t plan for was the volume of water. Tinker’s Falls doesn’t normally have a lot of water and yesterday it was almost non-existent. No worries. I used the opportunity to hike to the overlook area and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the Labrador Hollow area (picture to follow). I thought going up the 2 mile trail was tough, coming back down is actually harder.

OK, a lot of choices for my next stop but based on the water flow I was seeing in the parks I thought Chittenango Falls would be perfect. I had to stop at a friends house in Cazenovia to deliver a picture to him and it was already 1pm, this plan made sense. Except everyone was at the park! No big deal, I’ll have to wait for an opportunity to capture my photograph but it would be manageable. And then I read the sign when I stopped to get my ticket, the gorge trail was closed for renovations. Again, I should have read the park website better…

Maybe it was time to go back home. I had walked about 13,000 steps already and I knew I was going to feel this the next day. Plus, I could feel my frustration level rising and I didn’t want to ruin the good adventures I already experienced. There will be more weekends…

Slowing It Down

Pixley Falls State Park
Chittenango Falls State Park

I love photographing water. It presents many possibilities that I am unable to ignore. I am also entranced by the sounds of running water and could sit for hours listening to it. I even have a babbling brook soundtrack I play at night that puts me to sleep within minutes.

While I was at Pixley Falls State Park over the weekend I not only captured images of the waterfall, I searched the creeks feeding the falls for isolated mini falls. The morning had progressed enough and allowed the sun to find such a small section of the creek. I played for quite some time trying different angles and compositions. I really loved this almost macro view with the golden sun reflected in the water.


MLCreations Photography: Slow &emdash; Gold Flow

Gold Flow
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.6s, 34mm, f/8, ISO 200


Although I love the waterfalls at Chittenango Falls State Park there is a section of the creek above the falls that is an amazing playground for me. Depending on the time of year and the volume of water flowing through the creek I can lose time exploring every twist, turn and mini waterfall I can find. It also is a lesser explored area of the park and I encounter far fewer people… 😉

I’m lucky enough to have a spot where an outcropping of stone allows me to practically be in the creek to capture the water. The volume was heavy and the water was flowing fast over the weekend as evidenced by the early picture of the main waterfall. I almost converted this image to B&W, which is my go-to process for this type of image. I couldn’t bring myself to use that version, I really liked the changing colors in the turbulent areas of the creek.


MLCreations Photography: Slow &emdash; Hasten

Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/8s, 35mm, f/11, ISO 200