Pixley in the Morning

Pixley Falls State Park

Saturday morning I headed out early to visit Pixley Falls before the sun was high in the sky. My hope was to catch the waterfall before the bright sun made the water to “hot” to photograph. I like long exposures for my waterfalls and direct sunlight will create an overexposed area in the water. I can control it with different exposures but really wanted to see if I could capture it with a single image. My timing was pretty good as you can see the sun was beginning to hit the trees to the left of the waterfall.

Pixley Falls
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200
View the Falls
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.8s, 15mm, f/11, ISO 200
Fall Upstream
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1s, 14mm, f/11, ISO 200
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.6s, 23mm, f/11, ISO 200

Simple Pleasures

Wordless Wednesday
Delta Lake State Park

Simple Pleasures
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/40s, 24mm, f/11, ISO 100

Sunset Serenity

Wordless Wednesday
Delta Lake State Park

Sunset Serenity
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/100s, 17mm, f/11, ISO 200

Memories of a Sunset

Delta Lake State Park

A quick visit to Delta Lake for the sunset. A few hours before this there were a few clouds in the sky which I would have loved for this image. Apparently, they found better sky to the west. The orange glow was not to be missed though…

Memories of a Sunset
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/200s, 31mm, f/11, ISO 200

Exploring the Sunset

Delta Lake State Park

The week was definitely a roller coaster ride as far as the weather was concerned. I can’t complain through when the final drop was a good one. Friday was another great day. Once again I was determined not to waste it by being a lump on the couch (well, any more than usual).

I was amazed at the number of cars in the parking lot at Delta Lake when I arrived for the sunset. Was I unaware of an event at the park? No, but a lot of people had the same idea as me.

Get out and enjoy the end of the day…

As I was on my way to the park the sun slid behind a few clouds and created a beautiful array of light streaking down from the sky. I might have pushed the pedal closer to the floor in an attempt to get to the park a little sooner. I was able to catch the very end of the show.

Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/160s, 19mm, f/11, ISO 200

The clouds were moving in and the expected rain was approaching quickly. I walked the edge of the beach, weaving my way around all the people, looking for one more peek of the sun before the clouds fully dominated the sky.

Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/100s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200

The beach was crowded and noisy. I walked through the woods to the picnic area on the left. I was looking for a view through the trees but that didn’t materialize. I opted to climb down to the shore and grab a grand vista view of the lake with the clouds.

If you notice two objects in the water they appeared to be a couple of large branches from trees. After I snapped this image a few jet ski enthusiasts came flying past my location. I was a little worried about them hitting the floating debris. I have to admit though, they were quite loud, obnoxious and annoying, I might have thought it wouldn’t be a terribly bad thing if something caused them to not work any more…

Moving In
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/80s, 17mm, f/11, ISO 200

Heading back to the beach I noticed a small opening in the clouds. I started looking for a view to highlight the color contrast between the clouds and the orange glow from the sun. I seem to fall back to using the trees on the point in my compositions.

Hole in the Clouds
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/30s, 19mm, f/11, ISO 200

My chances for one last peek of the sun were fading quickly. I was having difficulty deciding if what I was seeing in the clouds was rain or not. There were still a lot of people on the beach but I really did not want to get caught if it started to rain. If everyone else was going to be brave about the rain so could I.

Growing Darker
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/13s, 17mm, f/11, ISO 200

I was determined to stay as the sky progressed from sunset into the blue hour but the more I looked at the clouds coming across the lake I was sure I would end up getting wet. One last image hoping to capture the rain in the clouds and then I would make my way back to the car.

Is That Rain?
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/6s, 17mm, f/11, ISO 200

Driving back home a few drops of rain hit the windshield. Did I make the right choice? It didn’t fully rain for quite a while after I got home. I bet if I stayed it would have rained sooner just to spite me… 🙂

One last word. I was processing these images this morning when I noticed the sky lighting up with the sunrise. Beautiful light, clouds to capture the colors and I swear I heard my name in the wind. Finishing this post early could wait. I threw the camera bag over my shoulder I drove off into the morning.

That adventure is for another post…

Spot the Sun

Delta Lake State Park

Spot the Sun
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/400s, 16mm, f/16, ISO 200

Spring Falls

Pixley Falls State Park

It wasn’t the big trip to Ithaca for another State Park day but it was a beautiful afternoon here in Central NY. The small park north of Rome is open all year so I didn’t have any worries I couldn’t get in. Considering it was a week day, I didn’t think there would be too many people I would have to work around. Pixley Falls packs quite a lot to explore into a small area. The namesake waterfall was my focus…

Spring Falls
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/4s, 13mm, f/11, ISO 100

Where Oh Where Did The Waterfall Go

Chittenango Falls State Park

I think I forget this lesson at least once a year. If a park has a website check it out before you drive there. If I had followed that advice I might have saved myself a drive to Chittenango Falls. On the other hand I would have deprived myself of a beautiful afternoon.

I immediately found out the gorge trail was closed. I understand why. The amount of water flowing over the falls was epic. To say I wasn’t a little disappointed would be lying.

I get it. It is for my own safety. There was a lot of water. The roar was intense.

I walked in a direction of the park I have never visited. I was rewarded with a scene I did not know existed. I feel the water in this stream dries up during the summer. I will check it more often now that I know where to look.

Unknown View
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.8s, 34mm, f/11, ISO 100

It was a beautiful day. The park was not crowded. I’m already here, might as well explore. There are images to capture.

I stop at the overlook next to the top of the waterfall. Damn. That is a lot of water. And yet, I’m amazed that there are portions of trees clinging to the rocks. I wonder how long they can hold on before they end up at the base of the waterfall, or further downstream.

I head upstream.

The view of Chittenango Creek as it works its way toward the great plunge.

Bring it to the Fall
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/13s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200

There are trails on the left side of the creek. There is only a partial trail on the right. I head right. The view at the turn in the creek should be worth a look. I’m hoping there isn’t so much water that I can’t get close enough with the camera.

Going Upstream
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/8s, 30mm, f/8, ISO 200

I wait here as there is a person with their dog currently standing at the spot I want. I’m in no hurry. The sounds of the water are relaxing. I should sit down. Soak it all in.

Oh look, they moved on. My turn.

There is a larger opening through the trees here. I can capture a wider view.


A couple showed up on the opposite side of the creek. They are out exploring as well. If I wait a few minutes I can include them in the image. I don’t normally include people but for this view they add scale. They don’t stand still. My shutter isn’t fast enough as I prefer to blur the water. Oh well, they will have to be slightly blurry…

Look at that view
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/6s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200

Back toward the waterfall. I wonder how far I can go on the opposite side. I would still like to get a view of the falls to show the water. I stop on the bridge to get the opposite view to the one above. The last few feet of creek before it heads into the gorge.

Heading for a Fall
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/8s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200

Most of the trail on the right side of the park is closed. Understandable. Again, disappointing, but I get it. So much for a grand view of the waterfall. I can still convey the power. I have to let go of the “iconic” view and find the image. Finish the story…

The top of the 167′ cascade waterfall. Can you hear the roar?

Going Over
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/10s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200
The Bridge Down Below
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/8s, 21mm, f/11, ISO 200

If you look closely at the second image you can see the pedestrian bridge over the creek below. I typically setup on the right side of that bridge to capture the view of the waterfall. Check out an iconic view when the water isn’t so powerful… Simple Beauty.

I took today off from work. My original plan was to drive to Ithaca and walk a few of the state parks. After my experience at Chittenango Falls I checked out the websites for the parks and found the trails I want to walk are not open yet. There is one park I could visit but I will wait until I can make a day of it.

I’ll still take the day off. I’m betting the views at Pixley Falls are worth a look. I’ll let you know…