Canalfest 2017

Canalfest, Bellamy Harbor Park, Rome, NY

Canalfest 2017 start on August 3rd and will run through August 5th. I haven’t always been a supporter of the events of summer in Rome but I have to admit the city has been doing a lot good work sprucing up the place, especially down at Bellamy Harbor Park. I also found out that there is a photography contest during the Canalfest so I actually submitted five images.  I checked on some of the past winners and discovered your images do not all have to be about the Erie/Barge Canal but I only thought it appropriate to have a couple of mine showing off the canal as it has provided me quite a lot of photographic scenes over the years.

I selected what I thought was a good representation of my work (it was tough but I did refrain from picking any of my Disney images… LOL!). Here are the images I used:


MLCreations Photography: Floral &emdash; Tangled



MLCreations Photography: Grass &emdash; Dandie



MLCreations Photography: Monochrome &emdash; Erie Barge

Erie Barge


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Lock 20 Rising

Lock 20 Rising


MLCreations Photography: Chittenango Falls &emdash; Chittenango Falls

Chittenango Falls


I truly had no aspirations of winning anything. I honestly spent more money in buying the frames, getting the pictures printed and submitting then to the contest than I could have won. The thrill was having my pictures on display for everyone to see. Canalfest opened at 5pm yesterday, so after work I stopped by to see all the photos. I didn’t get a call during the day which is what the winners would have gotten so I was curious to see the everything. As I walked around looking at all the photos I was surprised to find this:


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash;

Chairman’s Choice


I can honestly say I am more impressed with this ribbon than if I won, placed or showed… I’m really happy it was one of the canal related images. Not going to lie, I walked around the park a little taller the rest of the evening.

I also managed to stop at the park on my way to work yesterday morning. The sun and clouds were conspiring to make it a beautiful sunrise. I pulled off a seven image pano of Bellamy Harbor Park. I thought it was nice to show off one of my favorite spots for pictures…


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Bellamy Sunrise Pano

Bellamy Sunrise Pano
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 7 image pano, 6s, 19mm, f/16, ISO 200


Living History

Lock E-13 Living History Rest Area

Traveling West along the NY State Thruway from Albany you can experience a new type of rest area.  There is a Living History Rest Area at Lock E-13 along the NY State Barge Canal. It is not your typical rest area.  There is no gas station or fast food  restaurant available.  It is a stop along a busy thruway where you can soak up some history of the growth of New York State.  Inside the rest area building you can also experience Taste NY to sample local history and food.

Anyone who has followed my blog knows I am a fan of the barge canal system (for the plethora of photo opportunities).  I have been watching this new area along the thruway being developed as I travel back and forth to the Albany area.  I noticed last week as I went to drop my car off at the airport that the rest area was open.  It was a little late at night for a stop but yesterday afternoon was the perfect opportunity.

I suppose it was a safe bet I would be stopping at this rest area with all my camera gear in the car as a made my way home from my latest excursion.  Being such a sunny day I grabbed the Olympus E-M10 with the 17mm lens and went for a walk.  There is plenty of open area to enjoy.  You can not get as close to canal as I can at the sections close to home but the views from the fence are beautiful.

The first image is the canal side of the rest area building.  Inside you can find the appropriate facilities for a rest stop along with a Taste NY marketplace full of local items.  I was very tempted to purchase some of the cheese curds for the rest of the drive home but I knew I would not stop at a sampling.  The whole container would have been gone by the time I arrived at home.

The second image is of the dam.  I included the information sign so I would not have to remember exactly all the details (I know, a little lazy of me or was it smart?).  The actual Lock E-13 is just to the right of the dam outside of this image.  Although it was a bright sunny day this image felt better to me in monochrome.  It probably was due to the sign, as it was also a monochrome image of the dam.

In the third image I wanted to capture both the lock and the dam structure.  The image does not do the view any justice.  The dam itself it quite large (well large for a canal).  I loved having the white buildings contrasting with the brilliant blue sky.  Maybe it is due to my Swedish background but there is also something about the blue and yellow paint scheme used for all the locks that also captures my eye.  Maybe I’m biased, who knows.  😉

Standing in a corner of the fence at the point closest to the lock gave me an idea.  The clear sky and calm day almost begged for me to due a panoramic view of this area.  Starting with a shot looking West I captured 9 images, ending 180 degrees looking East.  It was a simple process of combining all nine images using Photoshop.  The beauty of the new Photoshop is the content aware fill option.  This option allowed me to not have to crop out those blank areas of the pano after the program combined all nine images.  Photoshop filled in the blanks based on what was in the vicinity.  For this image this process worked really well as it was filling in sky and grass.

I think the next time I have to travel to Albany I will be making sure I have time to stop at this rest area again.  It will be to enjoy the scenery I swear.  It will have nothing to do with my desire to sample some of the food items in the Taste NY marketplace…  🙂


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Rest Area

Rest Area
Olympus OM-D E-M10, M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, 1/200, f/16, ISO 200


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Not a Bridge

Not a Bridge
Olympus OM-D E-M10, M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, 1/160, f/16, ISO 200


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Lock E-13

Lock E-13
Olympus OM-D E-M10, M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, 1/250, f/16, ISO 200


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Lock E-13 Pano

Lock E-13 Pano
Olympus OM-D E-M10, M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, 1/160, f/16, ISO 200


Lock 20, Barge Canal

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post my adventure for a sunrise began at Lock 20 on the Barge Canal. The morning light combined with the clouds was creating some beautiful colors. On the downstream side of the lock the canal was no longer frozen although there were ice floaties… yes, that is a technical term. LOL

Due to the ice layer further down the canal an upper level current was swirling the floating ice pieces. My trick was to get the right amount of time on the exposure to show this current (like a star trail in a night sky photograph) without blowing the highlights near the horizon.  The moments just prior to sunrise and the cloud cover allowed a 15 second exposure.  As you can see in the bottom of the image, there is a very cool dynamic with the current.


MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; Currents

Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 15s, 20mm, f/16, ISO 200

Cityglow Sunrise

Barge Canal looking toward Utica, NY

I got my butt out early Saturday! I made a plan and actually followed through with it. Too bad the approaching front didn’t know my plan… 😦

I wanted to catch the sunrise from the Barge Canal. The past few mornings have been wonderful for sunrises (at least as I looked through the shop windows at work). I noticed there was still a thin layer of ice on the barge canal and thought it would add some nice broken reflections for the sunrise.

At least the ice was still in the canal. As you can see from the picture the clouds were rolling in fast and there was very little of the rising sun that made it though to me. The color in the sky is a little sun but mostly the glow from the city lights of Utica.  I grabbed a few images while the time for sunrise approached but when the sun should have been visible there was nothing but clouds.  I did like the thin strip of white that moved through as I captured this thirty second exposure.

I’m listening to the wind race outside this morning as I write this post so I do not think I will have a chance for a sunrise this morning.  I was spoiled that week in Florida with all the sunrise opportunities.  I know there are pictures here for me I just need to find them!


MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; Cityglow Sunrise

Cityglow Sunrise
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 30s, 40mm, f/11, ISO 400