View 384: Taughannock Falls 2016

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Taughannock Falls State Park on the first day of Autumn near Ithaca, New York on Friday, September 23, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 4000, EV -1.0, 16mm Focal Length, Macphun Intenisfy CK.

I have seen Taughannock Falls in Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York in all kinds of weather and at various seasons over the last seven years. I have never seen it like I did last weekend. There was barely any water falling. In fact, it was more like trickling down the gorge. The deep plunge pool was the only thing indicating what is normally a large amount of water flowing.

The Finger Lakes region of New York state has had drought conditions for most of the summer which has affected the mightiest of the region’s waterfalls as well as all the others. I was just amazed at the lack of flow.

I processed this photo using Macphun’s Intensify CK which pulled out all the details in the gorge’s rock surfaces and helped to control the bright sky at the top of the waterfall.

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View 383: Beauty of Walt Disney World

One of the goals I set for myself during my latest visit to Walt Disney World was to show the beauty of the parks. With the help of the weather, Disney’s technical wizardry and a bit of my own pixie dust, I believe I found a few good examples.

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Cinderella Castle just after sunset at the Magic Kingdom on Friday, September 9, 2016 in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/3s, f/22, ISO 100, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, Tripod.

I had to be very patient as clouds were not allowing much in the way of a sunset. it was not until ten minutes after sunset did the sky light up. Along with a lighted Cinderella Castle and using Lightroom to open up the shadows and enhance the colors throughout the scene, the image I had hoped for materialized on my screen.

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Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase on Friday, September 9, 2016 in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 720, EV -0.3, 16mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

Most people photograph the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest replica in the China pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase from the front or framed through the large gate. As I walked around, I found a path which lead off to the side and found this composition. The big white clouds in the sky helped to balance out all the green in the foreground. I used Macphun’s Intensify CK to pull out all the details of the scene.

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A lion peers out from the Tree of Life during a projection show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 5s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 31mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Disney has perfected the use of projections on their iconic park structures from Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom to the Tree of Life in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. To get a good photo of them, I either use a high ISO number for a fast shutter speed or find a point in the show where a projection lasts a few seconds. This was the case at the end of one of the shows on the Tree of Life where an image of a lion’s face lingers as spot lights beam out from the tree’s branches.

Hope you enjoyed what my vision of Walt Disney World beauty is.

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View 382: Summer of 2016

The Labor Day weekend is referred to as the unofficial end of Summer where I live. The New York State Fair ends today and schools welcome students this week to start a new year. This summer has been very busy for me and I thought I would share a few highlights.

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Olean Oilers Aaron Phillips (22) wins the New York Collegiate Baseball League (NYCBL) Home Run Derby at the Onondaga Community College Turf Field on Thursday, July 14, 2016.
Nikon D500/80-400VR, 1/8000s, f/5.3, ISO 4000, EV +0.3, 230mm (345mm DX) Focal Length.

I again was the team photographer for the Cortland Crush baseball team. The Crush are a member of the New York Collegiate Baseball League and I was named the official photographer for the league’s All-Star Game which was held on the turf field at the campus of the Onondaga Community College near Syracuse. The event included a very exciting Home Run Derby and I got right out in front of the hitters for great pictures of the player’s swings. I was protected behind a screen as those players can really hit the ball.

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Onondaga Redhawks Lee Nanticoke (76) scores against Newtown Golden Eagles goalie Clint Jones (2) in Can-Am Box Lacrosse action at the Onondaga Nation Arena near Nedrow, New York on Saturday, July 29, 2016. Newtown won 10-7.
Nikon D500/70-200VRII, 1/500s, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV +1.0, 130mm (195mm DX) Focal Length.

The Onondaga Redhawks entered the playoffs of the Can-Am Box Lacrosse league as the defending champions. While they lost this game, they defeated Newtown in the series but lost the championship to the Native Sons in the next series.

You may have noticed I am now using the Nikon D500 dSLR camera for my sports photography. This is the camera I had been waiting for Nikon to release the last two years. Excellent to very good images up to ISO 6400 with shutter speeds up to 1/8000th of a second firing off at 10 frames per second. Look for more from the D500 as the football and ice hockey seasons start up this Fall.

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2017 Ford Mustang Grabber Blue Ecoboost Premium with Onondaga Lake in the background near Liverpool, New York.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/22, ISO 280, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

This summer I waited weeks for the delivery of the very first Mustang I ordered direct from the factory. It is also the first new Mustang I have ever purchased. It has a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine boosting over 310HP. The Grabber Blue color is a first for Ford’s newest generation of Mustangs and one I have always coveted. The graphics were installed by my friends at Absolute Detail and Wash which I feel really makes the car fun and unique to drive.

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Checking out the revving flat-plank 5.2L engine of a 2016 Ford Mustang GT350 during the Syracuse Shelby Mustang Club event at Davidson Ford of Clay Grand Opening on Thursday, August 18, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 360, EV +0.3, 19mm Focal Length.

With the new Mustang, comes trips to events with the Syracuse Shelby Mustang Club and hanging out with other Mustang owners. We all love sharing our fondness for America’s original Pony Car.

It was a very good summer and I am going to keep it going for autumn. Hope you will be following along.

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View 381: New York State Fair 2016

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Working on the Sand Sculpture inside the Center of Progress building at the New York State Fair near Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 27, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/100s, f/4, ISO 3200, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

The 2016 New York State Fair looks a lot different after under going $50 million dollars of upgrades, demolition of the Grandstand and removal of the 1 Mile dirt race track. This opened up new areas for more vendors and an expanded Midway. Old favorites still remained as the sand sculpture was taken shape inside the Center of Progress building. This year’s theme: A Tribute to the Grandstand for 37 years of Entertainment.

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Two 4-H girls take part in the Living Mannequin exhibit in the Youth Building at the New York State Fair near Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 27, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1250, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

The Youth Building where 4-H’ers from each county display their talents, research and skills was a buzz with activity. Including the annual Living Mannequin exhibit where young people model clothing they made by being as still as a store mannequin. Though, I believe the smiles got a little bit bigger as I got up close and personal with these two.

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Cooking up bacon wrapped scallops at Charlie’s Famous Steak Pit at the New York State Fair near Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 27, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/40s, f/5.6, ISO 400, 16mm Focal Length, Cropped, Flash Used.

Charlie’s Famous Steak Pit has been at the Fair for as long as I can remember. One of their popular menu items are their bacon wrapped scallops being prepared above by one of the cooks.

The expanded Midway now takes up much of what was formerly the race track’s infield featured seven new rides including a double ferris wheel called the Stampede.

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Left photo: 3s, f/22, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.
Right photo: 4s, f/22, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Both photos were taken with the Nikon D750 dSLR camera and Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR lens.

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View 380: Sunflower Maze

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A honey bee visits the Sunflower maze at The Inn Between restaurant near Camillus, New York on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

Every three years, a few miles east of Camillus, New York, The Inn Between restaurant hosts a Sunflower Maze inside acres and acres of sunflowers planted around the business. Besides harvesting the crop, the sunflowers provide nectar for the Inn Between’s bees which provide honey for the restaurant and its customers.

Last weekend, I visited the maze for the first time. It has been a very dry and hot summer and the sunflowers were past peak. I still found a few posing for me.

Being I visited at mid-day on a bright sunny day, I used fill flash to open up the shadows and make the colors pop.

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People walking through the sunflower maze at The Inn Between restaurant near Camillus, New York on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 17mm Focal Length,Fill Flash.

Being the day before the last time anyone could visit the maze before the sunflowers would be harvested, many people were in the maze with me.

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The Inn Between restaurant as seen from inside the sunflower maze near Camillus, New York on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 160, EV 0, 26mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

As you can see, most of the sunflowers were drooping but some were still standing tall.

These photos gave me the chance learn more about Adobe Lightroom which I switched to a few months ago. While I have processed thousands of sport photos in Lightroom, landscape photography allowed me to delve into using more of the software’s tools like brushes and the graduated filter.

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Sunflower maze at The Inn Between restaurant near Camillus, New York on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

If you would like to see what the maze looked like from the air, check out this wonderful drone video. If you can, watch it in full screen.

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