Roaring Falls

Chittenango Falls State Park

In a previous post I mentioned my adventure at Chittenango Falls State Park earlier this week. The volume of water flowing over the falls was incredible. I generally like to photograph the falls when the amount of water allows me to highlight the cascades. The silky streams of water mesmerize me. I wasn’t sure how the pictures would turn out with this much water but I have to admit I am happy with the result.

Setting up for the image I was worried the highlights in the water would cause me issues, especially having to expose enough for the gorge walls still in shadow. I countered by using my polarizing filter which helped reduce the glare and allowed me to capture this image with one exposure. In the past, as I was beginning to learn, I relied on high dynamic range (HDR) techniques to create my images. When done correctly, the HDR technique can yield amazing results, but I used it as a crutch and at times I ended up washing out an image. I was creating images without a proper balance of light and shadow. You need good shadows to produce an interesting image (IMO).

Considering how bright the sun was shining I threw on my 4-stop ND filter as well to reduce my shutter speed and achieve the blur I wanted in the water. Due to the speed of the water flowing through the creek I did not have to get below 1 second to achieve the my look. This is another area that is subjective to the photographer but I like to be able to see the water flowing. I try not to reduce my shutter so far as to create only a blur of white to represent the water but I also do not want to freeze the water with to fast of a shutter.

This park and the beautiful cascading waterfall is one of my favorite places to go in Central NY…

  

MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Roaring Falls

Roaring Falls
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M.. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/5s, 21mm, f/11, ISO 200

 

The Other Falls

Chittenango Falls State Park

I had another waterfall adventure on Sunday morning. This time I took a leisurely day out to Chittenango Falls State Park. I mistakenly thought if I arrived fairly early on a Sunday morning I would not encounter too many people. Others had the same thought, or maybe, everyone needed some sunshine. It wasn’t so crowded that I was unable to get my images, but there were more people than I anticipated.

Chittenango Creek was flowing fairly heavy and the amount of water going over the falls was incredible. I’ll have a few images of the main falls later in the week. For today, my focus is on another. The extra water activated the other waterfall within the park. It is in an alcove below the main falls off the trail on the way to the bottom of the gorge.

It is early enough in the season that the trees have barely any leaves. Typically, the sun has a difficult time penetrating the cover to reach into the alcove. I was fortunate to have enough light I did not need to bracket this view nor create an HDR image. This image was worth the drive…

  

MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; The Other Falls

The Other Falls
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8, 0.8s, 22mm, f/11, ISO 200

 

Pixley Spring

Pixley Falls State Park

Saturday morning started off a little disappointing as a heavy fog hung over the city. I had been looking forward to venturing out into the pre-dawn morning in search of the sunrise. I dragged my butt out to the laundromat early enough and left myself plenty of time for an morning adventure… and then the fog.

Luckily, it didn’t last long. As I was sitting at the computer working on images the sun started to break through the fog. I didn’t wait for the complete transition to a sunny day, I grabbed the camera and headed North to Pixley Falls.

The twenty minute drive had me questioning my decision as the fog and cloud cover increased the further I drove. And then, boom, the sky opened up and I had nothing but blue above me. The change was dramatic but welcomed. My adventure was on…

  

MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Pixley Reflected

Pixley Reflected
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/3s, 19mm, f/11, ISO 100

  

MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Pixley Spring

Pixley Spring
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/5s, 26mm, f/11, ISO 100

Divide and Conquer – Revisited

What I Have Learned
Pixley Falls State Park

Two weeks ago I did a “What I Have Learned” post and I really enjoyed the process. I went back to 2012 again and found another of my early favorites. This image from Pixley Falls State Park is another example of how I had over worked images via the HDR process. I realize now I did not have an understanding of the importance of lights and shadows. It didn’t hurt that some of the photographers I was following used HDR to their benefit in creating the images I admired.

This is an extreme example, now that I look at it with a more critical eye. I captured a three exposure bracket but went to the very extremes +/-2 stops when in reality the original exposure had everything I needed.You can see in this image that there are very few shadows and highlights. The whole image is practically the same tone.

  

MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Divide and Conquer

Divide and Conquer – Original
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, {1/4, 1, 4s bracket}, 17mm, f/16, ISO 100

  

For the new version of this image I processed the 1 second exposure in Lightroom. I re-cropped the image slightly to bring a little more of the scene into the top. I wanted to keep the highlights in the water as well as the shadows under the rocks. This also allowed the differences in the tone of the leaves to stand out. My original HDR processing as well as the plugins I’m sure I used dulled the image slightly. I wanted to keep as much definition and sharpness as I could.

After completing my Lightroom process I did add a few more adjustments with Luminar 4. I didn’t go crazy though. Slight pop to the color, a little more texture in the shadows and mid-tones, and I avoided dulling the highlights in the water. This new version is brighter, more colorful and a truer representation of the scene. I really like/liked my original but I this reworked version has me enjoying this view even more… let me know what you think.

  

MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Divide and Conquer Revisited

Divide and Conquer – Revisited
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1s, 17mm, f/16, ISO 100

Autumn Light

Buttermilk Falls State Park

  

MLCreations Photography: Buttermilk Falls &emdash; Autumn Light

Autumn Light
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 2s, 17mm, f/11, ISO 100

 

Old Mill Falls

Robert H. Treman State Park

  

MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; Old Mill Falls

Old Mill Falls
Robert H. Treman State Park
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1s, 26mm, f/11, ISO 100