Crescent Lake, Walt Disney World

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/30s, 14mm, f/11, ISO 200

Flying Hinckley

Hinckley Reservoir and the West Canada Creek

Monday morning was a good time for a drive up to Hinckley Reservoir. I hadn’t been for a sunrise over the reservoir in over a year. I also wanted to get in a little early morning flight along the West Canada Creek. I wasn’t positive about the scenery but at least it was an open fly zone.

I started at my favorite spot next to the dam about a half hour before sunrise. The four concrete pillars in the water offer up a nice foreground subject and a bonus for me was the moon had risen about four hours earlier adding a little surprise to the morning sky. These first two images were captured with my trusty Olympus…

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 3.2s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 100
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 4s, 15mm, f/11, ISO 100

Next I broke out the drone. There is a parking area below the dam and I thought it would be good to attempt a few images and maybe a video. Still not happy with my video abilities. As much as I try the movements are very mechanical and I’m not happy with the results. I also have been struggling to find a good video editor that isn’t overly complicated but allows me to adjust the result similar to what I can do with the images.

This next set of images are actually backwards in time but show the approach to the dam along the West Canada Creek. I didn’t plan this excursion as much as I should have but I’m learning there is a different thought process needed when working with the drone. The sun only rises once a day and I can’t ask it to try again to correct my missteps.

DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/160s, f/2.8, ISO 100
Hinckley on the Rise
DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 100
The Dam
DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 100

I moved down to the boat launch area which is at least a half mile below the dam. I wanted to explore the area around a smaller dam which I assume was built to divert water toward the Trenton Falls Hydroelectric Station (more research required). You can see in the last image the nearly dried creek bed below the dam. I wonder if hiking is allowed (I doubt it). It is interesting to see the difference in the color of the sky in these next images. Looking west, away from the sunrise, the colors are more magenta.

Heading West
DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/50s, f/2.8, ISO 100

DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 100

Power Dam
DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 100


Union Station, Utica, NY

After my flying adventure on Saturday I had a plan to get a bird’s view of Utica at sunrise on Sunday morning. I thought I could get the drone up from Sherrill Brook Park off Route 12 and line up the taller buildings of the city with the sunrise. I should have checked the town park’s website, it doesn’t open until 7am. Now what do I do?

I opted to drive to Union Station and see what the morning light would bring me. There was a good layer of clouds in the sky to catch the light and I was able to get a few interesting compositions out on the platform. I also tried a panoramic view, which you probably shouldn’t do with building so close to the foreground, but I do like how it turned out.

This is a seven image panoramic shot with the camera in portrait orientation. I used Lightroom to merge the images and then tweaked it in Luminar. It almost has a fish-eye lens quality as I captured about a 100 degrees of view and the buildings have some distortion to them. Still an interesting view…

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mmm f/2.8, 1/13s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200

Tree of Life Morning

Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Tree of Life Morning
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, 1/60s, f/10, ISO 200

Standing Tall

Crescent Lake, Walt Disney World

Standing Tall
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 0.5s, 21mm, f/11, ISO 200

Flags of Honor

Griffiss Business and Technology Park, Rome, NY

I really goofed up my days. With yesterday being Flag Day I should have posted this image but my excitement over my new toy distracted me. This is the Flags of Honor display in front of the B-52G Mohawk Valley on the old Griffiss AFB. The sign indicates it is part of the NYS Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. It has definitely attracted a lot of visitors but grabbing this image before sunrise allowed me to not obstruct anyone’s view…

Mohawk Valley
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.4s, 24mm, f/11, ISO 200

Relaxin’ Blues

Crescent Lake, Walt Disney World

When I stay at one of the resorts around Crescent Lake as I visit Walt Disney World, my favorite way to start the day is to walk around the lake before sunrise. The loop around the lake is shy of a mile so I definitely get warmed up for the day’s exploring in one of the parks. It is also a great location for sunrise images and pretty much any direction you point the camera is an amazing view.

On the side of the lake with the Yacht & Beach Club resorts there are plenty of areas of white sand beaches and lounge chairs. I don’t normally partake in the chairs as they are generally still covered in morning dew when I am out and about, but I would definitely sit in one of these to enjoy the sunrise. The view of the lighthouse with the Boardwalk resort in the background is a favorite of mine. You can see the start of the sunrise as the sky is barely turning pink on the left above the buildings.

Relaxin’ Blues
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 0.6s, 21mm, f/8, ISO 200