Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘waterfall

Goldenrod at Lucifer Falls

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As we drove around the Northeast in the second half of July and the first week of August, we were surprised to see goldenrod (Solidago sp.) already flowering abundantly in many places. One of those was at Lucifer Falls in New York’s Treman State Park on August 1st. That was seven weeks ago; I’ve yet to see any goldenrod flowering in Austin, though I’ve read reports online of people beginning to see some here.

And while we’re still talking about Treman State Park,
let me show you one more picture of the picturesque rock strata there:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 22, 2019 at 4:47 AM

Rainbow Falls

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You’ve already seen that at Watkins Glen State Park in New York State’s Finger Lakes region a visitor can walk behind Cavern Cascade. Upstream at Rainbow Falls comes another (and somewhat wetter) chance to do that:

From behind the curtain of water I experimented with a slow shutter speed, namely 1/15 of a second.

And below, sans animation or slow motion, is a more ample view showing the round pools the falling water sustained. In the previous waterfall picture from Watkins Glen I felt fortunate to have one disembodied tree trunk or limb that had ended up in the gorge; here I got three.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 17, 2019 at 4:50 AM

Dead tree trunks and limbs at Watkins Glen

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Here’s a view taken at 1/15 of a second showing a waterfall in Watkins Glen State Park in New York’s Finger Lakes region on July 30th. The photographer in me was happy that the dead tree trunk had lodged where you see it in spite of the force of the falling water.

Smaller and whiter dead tree limbs also attracted me.

They played off the rock strata in the gorge and contrasted with the living plants around them.

Even before I’d seen any water at Watkins Glen, falling or otherwise, the shadows on a broken but still standing tree trunk along the trail from the parking lot to the gorge caught my attention:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 13, 2019 at 4:39 AM

Other waterfalls at Treman State Park

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While Lucifer Falls is the best known waterfall in the upper part of Treman State Park, others there also deserve attention. In the first photograph, though no direct sunlight had yet reached these falls on the morning of August 1st, reflected light from near by added yellow to the pool at the base of the waterfall. In some of my photographs I zoomed in to minimize or exclude that trespassing sunlight:

Here’s a different waterfall altogether, the most channelized I saw there:

And here’s a downward and more abstract view of a waterfall:

I used a shutter speed of 1/800 of a second for the third photograph and 1/1000 for the others.
Speedy me, or at least speedy my camera’s shutter.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 8, 2019 at 4:51 AM

Keeping and not keeping to the unstraight and narrow

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Here are a couple of pictures from July 30th showing how narrow and sinuous some parts of the gorge are at Watkins Glen State Park in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

In other places the gorge widens and its high walls curve more broadly:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 4, 2019 at 4:39 AM

Ithaca Falls

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When we visited Ithaca, New York, on July 31, we found that
people there are fortunate to have Ithaca Falls right in town.
How obliging of the dead tree trunk to interpose itself,
and of f/14 to get everything sharp from front to back.
Below is a view showing the top of the waterfall.

Why didn’t I include the top of the falls in the first picture?
Because from that angle I would’ve had to show some white sky
and I really don’t like white sky in a landscape photograph.

Speaking of including: I guess I’d better not leave out a couple of pictures showing
the seemingly ubiquitous rock strata in New York’s gorge and waterfall country,
including on the south bank of Fall Creek within sight of the scenic falls.

In the last picture I yet again imagine I’m looking at the ruins of an ancient building.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 1, 2019 at 4:37 AM

Cavern Cascade

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One of the waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park in New York’s Finger Lakes region is Cavern Cascade. Below is a chiaroscuro portrait of it from July 30th that plays the falling water off against the rock strata in the gorge.

What makes Cavern Cascade so popular is that the trail leading to it passes behind the cascade. Naturally that’s where I wanted to stand to take a less-conventional photograph, but so many tourists kept coming along the path in both directions and stopping to have someone take their picture or to do a selfie that I despaired of ever getting half a minute completely free from people. Eventually there was a brief letup in the human caravans and I rushed in to make my abstract portrait looking out at 1/800 of a second through the waterfall toward the light beyond it.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 29, 2019 at 6:24 AM

Lucifer Falls

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I can’t remember if I’d ever heard of Robert H. Treman State Park in the southern part of New York State’s Finger Lakes region before I did research for our summer trip. When we visited on the morning of August 1st I concentrated on the upper (western) end of the park and skipped the lower part, given that we were expected down near New York City later in the day. At Treman we encountered other hikers, but nothing like the crowds we’d run into at Letchworth State Park and Watkins Glen State Park.

The main attraction in the upper section of Treman State Park is the 115-feet-tall Lucifer Falls, shown above as I photographed it at 1/2500 of a second and a focal length of 85mm. Then I switched to my telephoto and zoomed to the maximum 400mm to record details in the falling and splashing water, again at 1/2500 of a second. Notice how sunlight refracting through the spray created pleasing pastel colors. You can use the slightly curved light-colored “bar” in the lower right corner of the second picture to match up to the same feature about a fifth of the way up from the center of the bottom in the first picture.

I also used the maximum 400mm reach of my telephoto to portray a closed lily (perhaps a Canada lily, Lilium canadense) that I noticed leaning out into the gorge. I chose a position that let me line up the lily with the waterfall; apparently the flower reflected a lot more light than the farther-away falls, given the way that the water turned into what looks like a faint cloud floating in darkness.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 26, 2019 at 4:41 AM

The Middle Falls at Letchworth

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The Middle Falls at Letchworth State Park in western New York State proved as abundant* as the other two main waterfalls in supplying me with pictures during our July 27th visit. Let’s begin with a scene-setter from a faraway overlook. Notice that in the distance beyond the Middle Falls you can make out the Upper Falls, which are indeed upstream and therefore higher up in altitude as well.

Now for a better look at the Middle Falls in its own right:

And here’s an even closer look at the cascade:

Given all that turbulence, the downstream view from the top seems placid:

A slight, slender, tall waterfall graced one side of the gorge:

When I looked down and to the right I was pleased to see this:

* Appropriately, the word abundant comes from Latin unda, which meant ‘wave’ (think undulate) and which evolved from the same Indo-European root that gave rise to native English water. That root also appears in Irish whisky and Russian vodka, which are, euphemistically speaking, forms of ‘water.’

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 23, 2019 at 4:41 PM

The Upper Falls at Letchworth

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On July 27th we visited the three main waterfalls at Letchworth State Park.
These are the Upper Falls photographed at 1/5000 of a second:

To let you sense the water’s movement I made an animation
from two consecutive frames taken less than half a second apart.

Come closer to the churning water at 1/2000 of a second:

The plants on the far side of the gorge enjoyed what amounted to constant sideways rain:

Here’s a view showing part of the top of the falls at 1/2000 of a second:

In contrast, at a slow 1/13 of a second I recorded this view of a nearby side waterfall
that some visitors ambled down to for pictures of themselves at a more-human scale:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 20, 2019 at 4:03 PM

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