My original plan was to drive to Utica and walk from the trail parking off Genesee St. to the harbor lock on the Barge Canal to fly the drone at sunrise. The clouds had other plans. By 6am there were glimpses of the sun trying to poke through so rather than sit on my butt all morning I packed everything in the car and took a chance I would find an interesting view.
It was a longer walk back to the lock then I remembered and I met a few people on their way back to the parking area. The sun was still trying to make its presence known but I wasn’t worried the clouds were going to give me what I was looking to capture. My new “fear” was the abundance of power lines in the area. I estimated a safe height I could fly at and still get an image or two. This was going to be interesting.
The one video I captured is not that great. The movements are very mechanical and stilted. I still might post it later. The one image I wanted to capture was a view of the lock with the canal, the harbor and hopefully Utica in the background. When I attempt this again I will try for a higher perspective…
China Pavilion, World Showcase, Epcot
I typically spend extra time in the China Pavilion at Epcot. There are photographic opportunities throughout the area. I was fortunate to have the place to myself the first night at Walt Disney World. I’m sure it had nothing to do to the fact it was after the official closing hours and there were no fireworks.
I have attempted to capture this corner numerous times but have not been happy with previous results. Everything clicked this time. No wind to disturb the scene which allowed for an easy four image bracket to capture the dynamic range. Combining the images was simple in Aurora HDR and then processing in Luminar to help me tone down the colors. I think it turned out pretty good…
Wells Falls, Ithaca, NY
The second stop on my Friday excursion in Ithaca was Wells Falls, or Businessman’s Lunch Falls, depending on which website you find. When I was in Ithaca in June the parking area at Mulholland Wildflower Preserve was full, returning during a normal workday almost guaranteed I would find a spot. A quick walk across the bridge spanning Six Mile Creek brings you to a fairly easy trail down into the gorge. Although there was plenty of water for the waterfall, the volume was not so great as to prevent me from getting into the middle of the creek for a direct view of the falls.
The abandoned building on the left of the waterfall is the Van Natta’s Pumping station. The pumping station was built on the site of the Van Natta & Jones mill by the Ithaca Light & Water Company in 1893 to provide water to the developing city. The building was abandoned in the 1940’s but it does provide a unique backdrop for the waterfall.
Although the day was quite overcast, the gorge itself has a lot of dark areas and I had to utilize four exposures to capture this scene. Blending the exposures with Skylum’s Aurora HDR is trivial and produced a perfect starting point for post-processing. It is important when working with HDR images to remember to keep the shadows. Your goal should not be to create an image without tonal range, it is to enhance the range, as a flat image is not interesting. After creating the combined image I applied my normal workflow to produce the image below…
China Pavilion, Epcot, Walt Disney World
Bellamy Harbor Park
Saturday morning was another opportunity for a sunrise picture before the craziness of yard sale weekend was to begin. I jumped down to my ‘go to’ place in Rome about an hour before sunrise. I told myself I would explore more of Bellamy Harbor Park this morning rather than setup in my normal spot and capture one or two images.
I started with the safe image, the wide angle view of the harbor (actually, the spot along the barge canal where the Mohawk River enters) from the West bank near the flow control gates. There was an unusual calm on the water which really helped with the long exposure images. There was also a low fog across the water that I wanted to capture.
I walked along the trail heading East toward the Mill St. bridge. I didn’t really have a plan, but I knew an image would present itself. There is a section along the canal where you can get closer to the water. This allowed me to setup low and use the wooden boat bumpers to lead the eye toward the bridge. The low perspective also highlighted the fog on the surface of the water. I knew I had my morning image.
I walked further along the trail but the sun was approaching the horizon and the color was draining from the sky. It was time to head back and setup for the yard sale. At least the start of the day was fruitful… traffic past the yard sale would determine if the rest of the day was productive.
Buttermilk Falls State Park
Buttermilk Falls State Park