Early Spring at Niagara Falls

After a long, cold winter, Niagara Falls had built up a large ice pack around the falls and on the talus rocks at the bottom.  Last summer, I photographed the Bridal Veil Falls as people in yellow raincoats walked on the Hurricane Decks.  Last Sunday, the same area had ice packs from ten to thirty feet thick.

Bridal Veil Falls from the Canadian city of Niagara Falls. Photos taken eight months apart.

Bridal Veil Falls from the Canadian city of Niagara Falls. Photos taken eight months apart.

Here are some facts about Bridal Veil Falls: Bridal Veil is similar in appearance to the American Falls, starting with a vertical fall of 78 feet (24 m), followed by the water violently descending the talus boulders to the Maid of the Mist Pool 103 feet (31 m) below. The total vertical drop is 181 feet (55 m). The crest elevation of the Falls is 508 feet (155 m).

American Falls were flowing freely with a large ice pack in the middle covering the larger boulders you can see in the summer photo at the top.

Summer and Spring photos of the American Falls from the Canadian city of Niagara Falls. Photos taken eight months apart.

Summer and Spring photos of the American Falls from the Canadian city of Niagara Falls. Photos taken eight months apart.

Photography has always been a way to look back in time.  Whether the time frame is years, months, days, hours or seconds. One of the main reasons why photography will always be important.

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View 324: Season’s End

The 2013-2014 season for the Syracuse Crunch American Hockey League (AHL) team came to a close last weekend as they defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs in the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada by the score of 3 to 1.  Jonathan Marchessault, number 18 for the Crunch, scored the last goal of the season at the 14:27 mark of the third period.

Syracuse Crunch Jonathan Marchessault (18) shoots and scores the last Crunch goal of the season against the Hamilton Bulldogs in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the FirstOntario Center in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, April 19, 2014.

Syracuse Crunch Jonathan Marchessault (18) shoots and scores the last Crunch goal of the season against the Hamilton Bulldogs in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the FirstOntario Center in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, April 19, 2014.
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/800s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV +1.0, 110mm Focal Length, cropped.

I traveled up to Hamilton and photographed the game as a guest of Bulldog’s team photographer, Brandon Taylor, whose work you can see at ProAm Images. I really liked photographing the game presentation put on by the staff.

The Hamilton Bulldogs play in the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

The Hamilton Bulldogs play in the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Read the Text Below for Collage Details.

The FirstOntario Centre, where the Hamilton Bulldogs play, is a mini-NHL arena complete with ribbon lights which ring the arena and a projection system.  Over 7,400 fans attended and were in full voice for the Canadian National Anthem (top photo).  Those fans are protected by tempered glass which I had only seen in NHL arenas (bottom left). Being Fan Appreciation Night, the Bulldogs promotions announcer was busy at every media play stoppage (bottom middle). A close up of Hamilton Bulldogs (and former Syracuse Crunch) goaltender, Dustin Tokarski (34) in net (bottom right).

Syracuse Crunch players linger on the ice after defeating the Hamilton Bulldogs, 3-1, in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the FirstOntario Center in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, April 19, 2014.

Syracuse Crunch players linger on the ice after defeating the Hamilton Bulldogs, 3-1, in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the FirstOntario Center in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, April 19, 2014.
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/800s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV +1.0, 200mm Focal Length, cropped.

After the game ended, the Syracuse Crunch team came out to congratulate goalie Cedrick Desjardins (30) on the victory.  They lingered on the ice for an unusual length of time for a visiting team.  Perhaps because they knew it was the last time this group would play together. Like most professional teams, a large portion of the players will be making decisions on where to play next season. Some will not be asked back by the Crunch or their National Hockey League affiliate, Tampa Bay Lightning, and will seek to play for other teams. Some will move on because they feel they will have a better chance of playing with another organization. Either way, I wish them all the best.

 

 

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View 323: Spring Sports in Central New York

The calendar has turned to Spring but the weather here in central New York is still fluctuating between it and Winter.  I photographed my first outdoor field lacrosse game of the season over the weekend.  The weather started out windy and cold with an overcast sky.  As the game entered the fourth quarter, snow started to lightly fall.

Cazenovia Lakers Henry Mann (2) wins the face-off to start the fourth quarter against Baldwinsville Bees Luke McCaffrey (20) on Saturday, April 5, 2015 at Cazenovia, New York.

Cazenovia Lakers Henry Mann (2) wins the face-off to start the fourth quarter against Baldwinsville Bees Luke McCaffrey (20) on Saturday, April 5, 2015 at Cazenovia, New York.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/2000s, f/5.3, ISO 800, EV +0.7, 310mm focal length, cropped.

I was using the Nikon D700 camera with the original 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF VR Zoom lens on a monopod in Shutter Priority mode.  Lacrosse is a fast sport so I set my shutter at 1/2000th of a second and let the camera choose the aperture and ISO.  Added a bit of Exposure compensation with snow banks surrounding the turf field.

As the game progressed so did the snow.  It added a surreal look to the photos I was taking.

Baldwinsville Bees Mitch Rein (1) with the ball against Cazenovia Lakers PJ Brown (10) as the snow falls on Saturday, April 5, 2015 at Cazenovia, New York.

Baldwinsville Bees Mitch Rein (1) with the ball against Cazenovia Lakers PJ Brown (10) as the snow falls on Saturday, April 5, 2015 at Cazenovia, New York.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/200s, f/5.3, ISO 1400, EV +0.7, 240mm focal length, cropped.

Isolation photos really came out great with the lovely bokeh of the lens and the falling snow being, if you will forgive me, frozen around the players.

Baldwinsville Bees Eric Candee (10) looking to make a pass against the Cazenovia Lakers in a Spring snow shower on Saturday, April 5, 2015 at Cazenovia, New York.

Baldwinsville Bees Eric Candee (10) looking to make a pass against the Cazenovia Lakers in a Spring snow shower on Saturday, April 5, 2015 at Cazenovia, New York.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/2000s, f/5.3, ISO 1400, EV +0.7, 260mm focal length, cropped.

As the clock was running down on the game, the snow came down even harder.

Cazenovia Lakers Henry Mann (2) lining up a shot at Baldwinsville Bees goalie Daniel Thomas (15) during a Spring snow shower on Saturday, April 5, 2015 at Cazenovia, New York.

Cazenovia Lakers Henry Mann (2) lining up a shot at Baldwinsville Bees goalie Daniel Thomas (15) during a Spring snow shower on Saturday, April 5, 2015 at Cazenovia, New York. Cazenovia won 13-5.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/2000s, f/5.3, ISO 2000, EV +0.7, 310mm focal length, cropped.

The next game scheduled for this week has wind, cool temperatures and rain forecasted. Good thing the young and talented athletes I see through the view finder give me something to concentrate on.

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View 322: Spring Waterfall

Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York.

Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York taken on March 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 32mm focal length, HDR image.

Spring arrived last week as the Vernal Equinox occurred. Problem is Nature is far from done with winter weather in upstate New York.  I drove in and out of snow flurries on my trip down to Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York.  The falls were flowing well and even the ice around the plunge pool was starting to break up.  The cold air temperature required me to wear a heavy winter coat and winter photography gloves.

The trek up to my favorite view of Taughannock Falls was icy and treacherous.  The view calming.  It has been a long winter and the sound of the falling water, crisp air on my face and smell of life about to be renewed was something needed.  Yes, Spring will come as it has for thousands of years….in its own good time.

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View 321: Hockey Drama

A few years ago, North American professional hockey leagues added a short overtime period if a regular season game was tied after regulation.  During this five minute overtime period, the teams would only have four skaters instead of the normal five.  This would result in more ice for each team to score.  First team to score during the overtime period would get two points in the standings, the other team only one.

Last Friday night, the Syracuse Crunch hosted Superhero Night.  Fans came dressed as their favorite superhero and Captain America dropped the ceremonial puck. Jon DiSalvatore represented the Crunch for the puck drop for the first time since joining the team back in December. I point out this fact as it was Jon who did his best superhero impression by scoring the overtime winning goal that night while surrounded by Hershey Bears defenders.  Coincidence?  I think not!

Syracuse Crunch Jon DiSalvatore (41) celebrates his overtime winning goal against the Hershey Bears in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the War Memorial Arena on Friday, March 14, 2014.

Syracuse Crunch Jon DiSalvatore (41) celebrates his overtime winning goal against the Hershey Bears in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the War Memorial Arena on Friday, March 14, 2014.
Nikon D7100/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/3.5, ISO 2000, EV +1.3, 125mm (192 mm DX) focal length.

Still not satisfied with the amount of ties happening with the additional overtime period, the leagues implemented a Shootout similar to what was popular at the Winter Olympics hockey tournament.  For the American Hockey League (AHL), the shootout consists of five skaters from each team one-on-one with the goalies.  After five attempts, if the score was still tied, the shootout continued until a winner prevailed.

The Crunch, after having won in overtime the night before, found themselves in a shootout on Saturday against the Hamilton Bulldogs.  Tied at one after regulation and the overtime period, the coaches gave their list of five players to the referee.  After the first five, the score was still tied as the goalies turned away every attempt.

Syracuse Crunch Jordan Henry's (22) shootout attempt is blocked by Hamilton Bulldogs goalie Robert Mayer (29) in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the War Memorial Arena on Saturday, March 15, 2014.

Syracuse Crunch Jordan Henry’s (22) shootout attempt is blocked by Hamilton Bulldogs goalie Robert Mayer (29) in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the War Memorial Arena on Saturday, March 15, 2014.
Nikon D7100/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/3.5, ISO 1800, EV +1.3, 135mm (202.5 mm DX) focal length.

On Hamilton’s ninth skater, Mike Blunden, fired a blistering shot past the Crunch’s goalie Kristers Guldevskis for the game winner.

There are people who dislike the shootout and there is talk of adding another short overtime period and only having three skaters on the ice.  For me, I like the current format, as there is always a winner.  The fans certainly like the extra entertainment.  As a photographer, I love the fact I will know when and where the big moments will happen during the overtime and shootout to get shoots like these.

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