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

Autumn’s Last Call

Buttermilk Falls State Park, Robert H. Treman State Park
Tinker Falls Trail & Pratt’s Falls Park

Yesterday was probably my last Autumn colors weekend. I ended up with quite a few great images last weekend but this weekend I was determined to capture even more color. Although the weather was going to be a little chilly, i.e., 30-33F, the forecast was for sunny skies. I bundled up, packed the camera bag and headed to Ithaca to start my day with a few waterfalls and State Parks.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; This is Autumn

This is Autumn
Robert H. Treman State Park
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/8s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 100


This is the entrance to the Lower Falls area of Robert H. Treman State Park. Generally I start at the Lower Falls and then hike the trails to the opposite end of the park. If I was going to make it to more than a few parks today I would have to “cheat” a little. I grabbed the images I wanted in this section of the park and then drove to the other entrance. Although the entire park is worth the effort, the images I wanted to capture are basically at the two ends.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Catching Lunch

Catching Lunch
Robert H. Treman State Park
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.4s, 32mm, f/11, ISO 100


I’ll be posting more images from this park in the near future. Due to the bright sun in some sections of the gorge I’ll be combining multiple exposures and working them with my HDR workflow. Don’t worry, I won’t let you off the hook that easily… 🙂

The third location in Ithaca I attempted to hike was Cascadilla Gorge but considering the length of the gorge my GPS brought to the wrong location (in the middle of Cornell University campus). At this point in the day it was easier to start my way back home and hit up a few other locations I haven’t been to in a few years.

It was a relatively short detour to get to Tinker Falls Trail. I had attempted to photograph this waterfall quite a few years ago but the water level in the creek was so low there was barely any waterfall. I expected with the amount of rain we have had the last few days I would get some interesting images. The hike was short and easy. I was a little disappointed at how far away I was at the apparent end of the trail. It wasn’t until I watched a couple cross the creek and continue up the side of the waterfall, behind the waterfall and then up the opposite side that I realized, I was going to get some amazing images!

For the Disney fan among you… I present the true backside of water!


MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; True Backside of Water

True Backside of Water
Tinker Falls Trail
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.5s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 100


From this waterfall I wasn’t very far from Pratt’s Falls Park. The day was still fairly young so I plugged the park into the GPS and headed out. I have visited this park a few times over the years but I have neglected stopping recently. I’m not sure why. I’m so happy I did this year. The waterfall had the perfect amount of water and the colors in the trees were stunning. I’ll get an image of the waterfall processed soon but I wanted to share this great image of autumn colors first. This is the water at the head of the falls. From here it basically goes under the entrance road to the park then makes the 137′ cascade down into the gorge.


MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; Autumn Glass

Autumn Glass
Pratt’s Falls Park
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.5s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 100


I’m going to end this post with an image from the first park I visited. Probably my favorite park in Ithaca, Buttermilk Falls State Park. When I get the right amount of water flow and the lighting is perfect, it is hard not to come home with dozens of images. It always feels like every turn presents another view waiting to be photographed.

The colder temperatures kept most of the normal hikers away. I didn’t have to worry about people playing in the water near what I was trying to capture, nor did I have to wait for the trails to be clear. I was probably at this park a lot shorter than normal but I believe I came away with more great images. This last image alone made the whole trip worth it for me. Sometimes you get lucky with conditions and lighting…


MLCreations Photography: Buttermilk Falls &emdash; Buttermilk in Autumn

Buttermilk in Autumn
Buttermilk Falls State Park
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1.3s, 26mm, f/11, ISO 100


I suppose it all will depend on the weather this coming week. The NY State foliage map had all of the North country at peak or past peak conditions. The Finger Lakes region was at mid-point or near peak so I might be able to squeeze in one more trip before it is over. We’ll have to wait and see net Wednesday when the foliage report is updated.

So far, this has been the best year for me to capture the colors of Autumn. Typically at this time I am exploring Walt Disney World but decided against it and now I want to utilize every opportunity I can for photographing different parts of the state. I’ll give Mother Nature a call a little later and see if I can put in a good word with her. Who knows, maybe she is a fan of my work… 🙂

Through the Haze

Middle & Upper Falls from Inspiration Point
Letchworth State Park


MLCreations Photography: Letchworth &emdash; Through the Haze

Through the Haze
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 74mm, 1/40s, f/11, ISO 100