Exploring New York: The Second Part

 the mist was strong, giving off an interesting look to the images

the mist was strong, giving off an interesting look to the images

 

be sure to check out part one if you have not already, and don't miss out on parts three and four

 

At this point, you may have begun to realize the lack of new, portfolio-grade images taken on this trip. Instead, you have seen two images from 2017, one from 2018, and two or so behind-the-scene images taken on my phone.

I honestly have no good explanation for this.

My priorities have not been the straightest and this is truly the first time I have written anything for the blog in a long while. I haven’t had the motivation to do anything and have been working 45+ hours a week since getting back from this trip. But I digress…many new images will be released this summer, as I am working on them currently.

Onto the story…


 

Tuesday May 15 2018: Arrival at the Cabin

 

We decided to leave Tuesday night, the day after my last final exam and the last day I will ever attend Albright College in Reading, PA.

I went to pick up Mel later in the afternoon and, of course, just as I got there, the sky opened up. It poured; hailed; lightninged (is that a word? It actually is!?); thundered.

Roughly an hour later, it calmed down enough to pack up and head back to my house for dinner.

After we ate, we finished packing up my car and headed to the cabin. The night consisted of Jenga and Parcheesi with my grandparents before heading to bed.

 

Wednesday May 16 2018: Ricketts Glen

 

Roundabout eight days after our trek to the glen, we decided to go back. There were still a few more waterfalls to see and others that I wanted to re-photograph.

The last time we had gone, I began crafting large photographs by using the panorama stitching techniques, meaning I had to take around twenty to forty minutes for each photograph.

That alone killed a lot of time, requiring me to come back.

 working on a panorama of a waterfall i had missed on earlier trips

working on a panorama of a waterfall i had missed on earlier trips

Once again we hiked around the Falls Trail, heading down the trail we had climbed up the week prior. If you follow this trail straight down – rather than turning to go back up – you will eventually hit around three beautiful falls, all worthy of photographing. The rainy, misty climate allowed for what could end up being beautifully moody images.

The most difficult part, photographically?

Keeping my ND filter dry. Twas impossible.

After another strenuous hike back up to the car – very few photographs were taken on the way back up – we drove the hour or so back to the cabin for dinner and yet another night of Parcheesi.

 

Thursday May 17 2018: Watkins Glen | Montour Falls

 

As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a glen is “a secluded narrow valley.” While I don’t precisely see this at Ricketts Glen, it is very apparent when visiting Watkins Glen.

Although the falls are captivated within a gorgeous rock-walled valley, they are anything but secluded. Even on a Thursday in May, this place was rather busy.

To make matters worse, it is not as though you can wade in the water for a proper image. You must get creative and even then, not every waterfall can be photographed in my opinion.

 One of the only photographs I took at Watkins Glen

One of the only photographs I took at Watkins Glen

For a little while, we continued along the trail before deciding to eat our lunch. According to their website, Watkins Glen has 19 waterfalls but, unless I missed something rather major, I find that to be a bunch of hogwash. It truly is nothing compared to Ricketts, but was still worth the trip.

Montour Falls was not much better, the falls being in direct sunlight with a road sign and barrier, blocking much of the view. Yes, I could have gotten to the base by crossing the street, but I knew it would have been a very harsh, upward angle, making for an unpleasant image overall. Maybe I should have at least scoped it out, seen if it would have worked after all. But I can always find my way back.

What made this fall memorable was not it itself but rather the fact that we completely missed it not once, not twice, but three times. Just, like, completely drove past it without realizing it.

Stupid GPS.

 

Friday May 18 2018: Worlds End State Park | Adams Falls | Loyalsock Trailhead Dutchman Falls

 

Friday was more of a rest day. We slept in a bit later than we had on Thursday, planned for seeing a few Pennsylvania waterfalls, and coming home for more Parcheesi – another addiction, I fear. Plans for us with adventures often don’t go right.

You see, I enjoy seeing waterfalls not many people visit or know about. Only problem is that finding parking is a trip – often being illegal or dangerous, or both – and determining if it is private property is a whole other ordeal.

The original plan was to around three hidden falls, on top of the three we did end up seeing. As you have noticed, that did not happen.

From what we explored of Worlds End State Park, we found a single waterfall, a tiny beach, a river, multiple chipmunks, and a bathroom. I used the latter before leaving – thought that you should know.

The waterfall was a bit disappointing, albeit interesting, in a photographic sense. I don’t think that the shots I took of it will work out in the end. Too many issues with it from a technical standpoint.

 excuse my weird-looking arm - this shot definitely did not work out as planned

excuse my weird-looking arm - this shot definitely did not work out as planned

 tried using my ND filter for my 35mm lens on my 85mm

tried using my ND filter for my 35mm lens on my 85mm

We didn’t notice anything else worthy of photographing, so we decided to head out to Loyalsock, our next destination deemed a success.

A rather easy hike from the parking lot, Dutchman Falls is a very beautiful spot, especially if you get into the river and take it all in. That’s precisely what I did, spending close to an hour or more trying different compositions and preparing a number of potential panoramas.

Meanwhile, Mel did her own cute little thing closer to the falls.

 cuz she likes making weird faces (WIP)

cuz she likes making weird faces (WIP)

Just off Route 118 within Ricketts Glen, Adams Falls was for sure one of my favorite falls I have seen thus far. Located not too far from the parking lot, it is definitely the easiest to see in the park. And according to many visitors, by far the most rewarding.

The fall itself has two main tiers with the second, lower tier being formed by two strips of falling water. As I could get the entire image I wanted in the frame, it was not necessary to craft a panorama as I had with many other waterfalls throughout the trip.

 an almost finalized (?) photograph of Adams Falls

an almost finalized (?) photograph of Adams Falls

 

Saturday May 19 2018: Lazy Day at the Cabin

 

We had known Saturday was supposed to be full of rainy, dreary weather, and so we planned a day of rest and Parcheesi with my grandparents. As the weather cleared a bit, the four of us chose to go out on the fourwheelers. Of course, I could not help but bring my camera and tripod in case I stumbled upon a composition I felt was worthy of photographing. If memory serves me right, I captured two or three images that may be in my portfolio. Then again, who knows?

We crashed early that night, knowing we had a very long, three-plus hour-long drive ahead of us. It was going to be a long day.


Kaaterskill and Bastion Falls in New York are up next, so tune in next week for part three of the story!