fall

Taughannock Falls, Trumansburg, NY. Images 77 – 80.

Taughannock Falls 1     Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls 2     Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls 3     Taughannock Falls

Taughannock In Winter     Taughannock in Winter

As you have probably already surmised, I have a thing for Waterfalls.  It started as a youngster.  I would go to my older brothers and parents soccer games at the Densmore Soccer Fields in East Irondequoit and instead of watching the games, I would go down onto the woods just past the fields and find the creek, following it to the small, but impressive falls.  It was about 15 feet high and, depending on the season and recent snow melt or rainfall could be pretty full and loud or barely a trickle.  My brother and I would mostly just throw rocks at the falls, but there was something about it that I couldn’t resist.

Naturally, as I began to get into Photography, I began to shoot waterfalls anytime I came across them.  When I lived in Sonoma, CA, I used to take days off from my job as a Physical Therapist in the late winter and spring just to take hikes in the hills and shoot all the various waterfalls; ranging from tiny, trickling tributaries to colossal, cascading cataracts.  I found tons of them in Sonoma and Marin counties including my favorites, Mt. Tamalpais State Park in Marin County and Sugarloaf State Park in Sonoma County.  At that time, I was shooting film and i have all those shots still in film negatives and have not converted them to a digital format yet, so I cannot share them, but I have some of them on my walls at home.  Beautiful shots in Black and White as well as great color images with green, mossy rocks and fallen tree trunks.

When my wife and I took a trip to Hawaii, we drove the Road to Hana, on the island of Maui and stopped at every possible waterfall to take pictures.  W hiked through the rainforest to get to secluded waterfall, watching thrill seekers jump off the cliffs into the frigid pools below.  We hiked along the Seven Sacred Pools at the end of the Road to Hana.  People were lounging in the pools and diving into the water.  It was amazing, watching the water fall from pool to pool, eventually terminating in the crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean.

The long exposure shots are the best shots in my opinion.  The high speed shots that stop the motion are OK, but all the character of the falls are lost and get do not get the dimension that the motion conveys.  to take these shots you need 3 things; Low Light, a Timer or Remote, and a Tripod.  My shots are taken anywhere between 1/2 second to 2 second exposures.  This what gives the water a soft motion look.  To do this, you have to have a tripod and use a shutter remote or timer.  The low light helps because if you use long exposure times in bright light, you get an overexposed image.  I tend to go out either early in the morning or late in the evening and try to go on gray and overcast days.  If you cannot rely on the weather to cooperate, you can get Neutral Density Filters that will significantly decrease the amount of light through the lens so you can do long exposures in bright day light.  I recently used a ND Filter on my picture of Rochester High Falls in bright daylight.

Taughannock Falls is one of my favorite Falls to shoot.  It is located in the town of Trumansburg, NY, just outside Ithaca.  I have taken shots of this waterfall at all times of day and in all seasons.  It never loses it’s beauty or majesty.  It is 215 feet high.  That is 21 stories tall.  I love how in the winter, the spray freezes all over the walls of the gorge, covering the rock in a white blanket.  I have not explored it yet, but the the town of Trumansburg looks to be a cute, quaint little village with interesting shops and restaurants.  It is just outside of Ithaca, NY and I stop to take a shot (much to my wife and kid’s dismay) EVERY time we go to visit her family.  If you are in the area, i suggest you stop at the Scenic Overlook and take some pics, you won’t regret it.

To see more of Taughannock Falls, and all my other waterfall pics, visit the below sites!!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

Mt. Hope Cemetery PhotoWalk; Rochester History. Images 49-62

MausoleumMausoleum

textured tombstoneTextured Tombstone

Path to HeavenThe Path

Angel and CrossAngel and Cross

Fallen FatherFallen Father

Fallen Father 2BW Fallen Father

Celtic CrossCeltic Cross

Head(less) in the CloudsHead(less) In The Clouds

Headless in BWBW Head(less)

Fallen FenceFallen Fence

Sibley CrossSibley Cross

Sibley BWBW Sibley

BrokenBroken

Broken BWBW Broken

I recently joined a group called Western New York Photowalkers.  It is a group that occasionally gets together and does a walking tour, taking photographs, sharing ideas and techniques.  The first opportunity I had to join them was a PhotoWalk of Mt. Hope Cemetery in my hometown of Rochester, NY last month.   A Cemetery.   Great.   Sounds morbid, doesn’t it?  But, the wife and kids were out of town and I had free time, and I hadn’t been out to get any shots recently, so I thought, Eh, What the Hell!  Why not?

Little did I know, it was pretty cool!!  I knew that it was an old cemetery.  I remember going there as a child on a school field trip to see the graves of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.  I remember looking at it from across Mt. Hope Boulevard when I was a kid when I went to visit my uncle who used to live in an apartment in a house across the street.  I remember my father challenging my brothers and I to hold our breath while passing it in the car.  He would purposely slow down, even though he didn’t have to.  It is huge and there was no way anyone could survive holding their breath while they passed it unless they were driving a Ferrari at 150 MPH.  But, I had never looked at it through the lens of a camera.  It looked like it was going to be a wash earlier in the day, with gray skies and off and on showers all morning.  But, by the late afternoon, the skies cleared and the sun shone brightly, warming the air.

I  spent about 2 hours walking the grounds.  Of course, I had to stop and seen Sue and Freddy again!  I found all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies in the cemetery; little tucked away hidden areas with incredibly old and ornate tombstones.  I saw numerous old, worn grave markers and tombstones, raised words nearly worn off by wind and weather, nearly impossible to read.  I was particularly struck by a small white headstone, perched on a hill just above the path, leaning over to the left.  It looked like in another couple of years, as the hill eroded away, it would tumble down onto the path.  It had a name and 2 dates.  the dates were only 3 months apart.  A three month old child had died in the early 1800’s and this stone was all that remained.

As I traversed the grounds, I found myself drawn to all the Celtic Crosses that dotted the landscape; I have Irish in my heritage and have always been attracted to them.  There were tons of huge monuments and statues in various stages of decay.  Some were missing limbs, some had fallen over, some were cracked and broken, some even looked as if they had melted.  There was a strange beauty to it all.  Above are some of the shots I took.  I hope you enjoy them.

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

Downtown Rochester: New High Falls Pictures taken recently and Shots of the Bridge from Corn Hill Landing. Images 36-42.

High Falls and RainbowHigh Falls, Rochester, October 2014

Downtown RochesterDowntown Rochester from Corn Hill Landing

Rochester High FallsHigh Falls, Rochester, October 2014

Rochester, MonochromeDowntown Rochester, in Black and White

Rochester High Falls in AutumnHigh Falls, October 2014

Corn Hill View Corn Hill View

Genesee BreweryGenesee Brewery

I recently went into the city for a “Photowalk” with a bunch of other photographers (from which I will soon blog about and put up some interesting shots) and on the way home, had the chance to get a few shots of Downtown Rochester.  I have posted a recent blog about Rochester, NY with some shots from High Falls taken about 3 years ago.  I wanted to get some updated shots of the falls using some new “Neutral Density” filters that I just purchased.  Neutral Density filters allow you to take long exposure shots in bright light without getting any overexposure.  I also stopped at Corn Hill Landing and took some shots of Downtown Rochester from the opposite side.  And, of course, had to get some shots of the Genesee Brewery!!  Enjoy!!!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

Stony Brook Park; Difference Between Summer and Fall; Images 13-16

Stony Brook in Fall 1           Stony Brook in Summer 1

Stony Brook in Fall                                                                        Stony Brook in Summer

 

Stony Brook in Fall 2           Stony Brook in Summer 2

Stony Brook in Fall                                                                        Stony Brook in Summer

 

Stony Brook State Park is right of Route 390 in Dansville, NY.  From Rochester, NY it is only about 45 minutes; an easy drive.  It is a great park with very accessible waterfalls.  Many of the waterfalls in Ithaca are only to be seen, not touched.  You have to look at them from a path.  Don’t get me wrong; the Ithaca Waterfalls are amazing and so much fun to shoot, but nothing compares to being allowed to climb right down into the creek or stream or brook, walking along against the current, and getting some amazing shots.  You can get an amazing perspective from there.

 

I remember hiking at Stony Brook as a child and loving every minute of it.  Recently, I took my wife and my 2 sons there to reacquaint myself with the Park and it’s beautiful scenery.  We first went down in the fall, getting the above shots with the amazing colors and fallen leaves.  We enjoyed the hike, but it was a bit too cold to actually get down in the water!  There is a great playground right at the entrance to the park, which was much more of an attraction for the boys than hiking the gorge and waiting for Dad to take all the pictures he wants to take.  The swimming area was, of course, closed after labor day, so it was interesting to see the brook un dammed.  you could really see the different depths of the swimming area with the water running freely.  We decided that day that we had to come back during the summer months and take a dip!!

 

We returned the following summer and dove in!  Well, not really.  We slowly got into the water, little by little, because it was freaking freezing!!!   We played around in the swimming area for a bit and then decided to hike the trail, this time spending most of the time walking in the water or right at the water’s edge, instead of on the path.  This was much more enjoyable for the boys and offered a different view of the falls.  I was able to set up the tripod much lower for some of the shots I have not included in this blog (I will post some at another time).  I even got some shots from under the stone shelf of one of the smaller falls.  I enjoyed walking through the pools and getting up close and personal with the largest of the falls; getting my picture taken by my wife with by back against the stone face of the cliff with the falls crashing over my shoulders and back!

 

Take a look at the above pictures and let me know which you like better, the fall shots or the summer shots.  If you get a chance to check out Stony Brook, I highly recommend it!!!  I will try to post a few of my other Stony Brook images in the near future, but if you cannot wait, you can visit my sites below to see some more!!!

 

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

 

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

 

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

 

 

Images 9-12: The Same Location, Summer and Fall; Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, NY

Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, Autumn, 1Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, Summer, 1

Buttermilk Falls, Autumn                                          Buttermilk Falls, Summer

Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, Fall, 2Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, Summer, 2

Buttermilk Falls, Autumn                 Buttermilk Falls, Summer

Ithaca is one of my absolute favorite places to shoot.  I have family that live there, and every time we go visit, I bring the camera and sneak off to get some waterfall shots.  There is no shortage of locations for waterfall pictures in Ithaca.

Ithaca is located at the southern end of Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York.  It is the home of Cornell University (where my brother went) and Ithaca College.  It is a great city with great restaurants and shops and a genuine “earthy/crunchy” and “organic” feel to it.  You may have heard the phrase, “Ithaca is Gorges”.  It truly is.  There are over 100 waterfalls in the Ithaca area, coming through the gorges formed by glaciers and entering Cayuga Lake.

Autumn, in my opinion, is the best time to go and take waterfall pictures.  Besides the amazing colors, you will usually find that the waterfalls are fuller in the fall due to the increased rainfall.  The waterfalls are raging in the spring, but typically the scenery is too stark then as the leaves have not come out yet and often the light is not right in the spring to get the good long exposure shots.  In the autumn, you get full waterfalls and usually more overcast skies, allowing you to take the longer exposure shots without overexposing the shot or having to come early in the am or later in the pm.  Another bonus of the fall is that you will likely have fewer hikers to contend with.  In the summer, the trails are packed with hikers, and it can be a real pain to sit and wait till none are in your shot (or edit them out later).

If you plan on going and exploring, wear a good pair of hiking boots and be ready to climb a ton of stairs.  It tends to be very slippery, especially in the spring and fall.  Many, if not all, of the parks containing the waterfalls are closed to the public in the winter due to the hazards of ice on the trails.  I would love to sneak in to Buttermilk Falls Park in January just to see what is looks like!!  Bring a tripod and experiment with different shutter speeds for the motion effect.

Enjoy these shots and leave me a comment to let me know which you like better, the Autumn or the Summer shots.  If you want to see more, just visit the below websites and check them out.  The instaprints site has a gallery consisting only of my waterfall shots.  Next week i will post some Autumn and Summer shots of another favorite spot, Stony Brook.  Till next time.

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

Naples, NY in Autumn: A Photographic Perspective: Photos 3 through 8

Early Autumn in the Vineyards of Naples, NY

Early Autumn in the Vineyards of Naples, NY

Pond at Camp Cutler, Naples, NY

Pond at Camp Cutler, Naples, NY

Old Barn on the Road into Naples from Camp Cutler

Old Barn on the Road into Naples from Camp Cutler

Autumn Vines in Naples, NY

Autumn Vines in Naples, NY

Vineyards in the Fall in Naples, NY

Vineyards in the Fall in Naples, NY

Grapes on the Vine in Naples, NY in October

Grapes on the Vine in Naples, NY in October

I love the fall.  My birthday is in October, and it has always been my favorite month.  I love the crisp, cool air; the beautiful color; the apples and cider; the Harvest Ales and Pumpkin Beers.  I lived in Northern California for 9 years and what I missed most was the Autumn.  Autumn in Upstate New York is a Photographer’s Dream.

I have taken tons of Photos all over upstate NY in the fall; Letchworth and Stony Brook and Ithaca are some of my favorite places to take Fall Pictures.  Naples, though, has a special place in my heart.  Because of my 9 years in Northern California, I developed a special regard for viticulture and vineyards and wineries.  The Finger Lakes has several fantastic Wineries and there are countless incredible photo ops throughout the region.

The above pictures were taken in a one month span, mid September to mid October, in and around Naples.  The first photograph was taken during the Grape Festival in the town of Naples.  If you live in upstate NY and have not been to the Naples Grape Festival, you are missing out!!  We went down for the day, to walk the festival and experience the delicacies. Everyone talks about Monica’s Pies.  Don’t get me wrong; Monica makes a great pie, especially the Chicken Pot Pies.  But, we found another pie master in town; Cindy.  Cindy makes and sells her grape pies and cookies out of her home, next to the High School.  They are AMAZING!!!  We got a pie and some cookies and sat down at a nearby playground.  The kids played on the playground and I brought out the camera.  Just past the playground was a huge Winery.  It is now Hazlitt 1852 Vineyard, the maker of Red Cat Cellars Wine, but it is the old historic Widmer Wine Cellar.  it had been a warm september and the leaves on the vines were just barely starting to change color.  The clouds in the distance were dark as a storm was rolling in a ways north of Naples.

The Second Photograph was taken just a short 3 weeks later.  The weather had finally changed; we had the first frost and the leaves were at their peak.  I was at Camp Cutler in the hills above Naples with my oldest son and his Cub Scout Troop on an overnight camping trip.  WE woke up that morning early, and this was our view.  The rain we had the night before was gone; the sky still looked a bit gray and ominous in the distance, but the sun was peaking out and lighting up the hillside behind the pond.  Unfortunately, about an hour later the sun was overtaken by the clouds and it got very cold.  We decided to leave the campout early and ventured back down the hill, towards Naples.

I missed a turn along the way down the hill.  Thankfully.  Had I stayed on the route I had intended, i would have skirted around Naples and missed out on some of my wife’s and my favorite pictures.  As we worked our way down the hill, we passed the barn in the 3rd photograph.  I came to a quick stop after passing it, much to my son’s surprise and dismay.  I think he thought we were going back to the camp where he had been miserable and cold for the last 2 hours!!  I put the car in reverse and raced back about 50 yards.  I grabbed the camera off the passenger seat and jumped to grab some shots; one of which is the 3rd photograph above.

We continued down the road and it turned out that it lead right into the heart of the town of Naples.  We headed north along the main road and I thought about pressing my luck with my 8 year old and stopping for another grape pie.  We passed a small vineyard on the right hand side of the road (Inspire Moore Vineyard) and I knew i had to stop, even though I knew it meant my son would never agree to a 3rd stop for pie (he has no taste for sweets, unlike his father).  This is where I took the 3 remaining photographs above.  The final one, which I have named “Late Harvest” in this blog is a version of my wife’s favorite photo.  Her version (after some tweaking and editing and interesting effects) is called “Her Choice” and is on a 16 x 16 canvas on the wall in my living room, just above the desk that I am sitting at right now as I write this.

I hope you enjoy the photographs and if you are ever in the neighborhood of Naples, NY you should stop and get a pie at Cindy’s…or Monica’s.  Really you can’t go wrong with a grape pie anywhere in Naples!!

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com