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…

Moving Through

Delta Lake State Park

The work week was complete!

Dinner had been consumed.

The sun was setting on a calm day.

Time to relax.

Delta Lake here I come…

The park was empty. A few clouds on the horizon but they were moving fast toward the East. Slight ripples on the water producing those soothing sounds I like as they met the shore.

Aaahhh! This is what I needed.

The ice has left the lake, the water level has returned to normal and the possibilities for images were plentiful. I couldn’t ask for a better evening. I grabbed a few images from the beach as the sun crossed into the approaching clouds. I walked out toward the point that typically is in the images I capture. I found a few good silhouette reflections with trees that are now in the water.

When I returned to the beach area for the color show after the sun had set I decided to try a few long exposure images. The clouds were moving at a good clip across the sky which could produce an interesting look of movement contrasted with the calm of the smoothed surface of the water.

To achieve the effect I wanted I needed to pull out the ten stop neutral density filter. As luck would have it the clouds were slowing down. I ended with a forty second exposure. I love the movement in the sky.

Moving Through
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 40s, 15mm, f/8, ISO 200

Golden Blues

Delta Lake State Park

I returned to Delta Lake Sunday evening for another chance at the sunset. There were very few clouds in the sky and the wind was creating ripples on the exposed water. I did not have high expectations I would find anything worth bringing home. I was wrong…

I found a small section of ice and water not affected by the wind. The sun was poised to slip beneath the trees on the opposite shore and the golden glow was illuminating a chunk of ice beautifully. Well, I couldn’t let this scene get away from me…

Golden Blues
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/160s, 17mm, f/11, ISO 200