View 162: Iced Cathedral

A couple looks small compared to the iced giant of Taughannock Falls near Ithaca, New York.

A couple looks small compared to the iced giant of Taughannock Falls near Ithaca, New York. Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/25s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +1.3, 52mm focal length.

An iced cathedral was what first came to mind when I saw Taughannock Falls last weekend. The huge icicles were like the pipes of a massive organ I estimated were hanging down 50 feet or more and surrounded the water dropping 215 feet into an ice crater. The 30 foot tall ice crater had formed below during the winter months.  Ice and snow covered most of the plunge pool I showed you back in 2009.  Once in awhile the constant sound of the falling water was interrupted by a loud boom when a large chunk of ice would break off and fall.

This is another example of showing scale in a photo.  The people in the lower right really give this place a sense of a cathedral in scope.

This winter trek to Taughannock Falls State Park was something I came up with when thinking of things to do with other photographers I know near Ithaca, New York.  Monroe Payne of and Marc Lorenzo, a member of Disney’s Moms Panel, both were excited to see one of New York state’s natural wonders in the middle of winter.

My Taughannock Falls winter adventurers, Marc Lorenzo (left) and Monroe Payne (right) both wearing red.

My Taughannock Falls winter adventurers, Marc Lorenzo (left) and Monroe Payne (right) both wearing red. Nikon D7000, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 100, EV 0, 21mm focal length. Photo by Marc Lorenzo.

The day was overcast with temperatures in the mid-20’s F.  The trail to the falls was well traveled and gave us no trouble hiking the short mile to the falls.  Along the way we photographed small iced waterfalls peaking out along the creek bed meandering along the gorge floor and large ice boulders which had fallen from ice formations clinging to the 400 foot high stone walls of the park’s gorge.

Ice boulders found along the gorge trail at Taughannock Falls State Park.

Ice boulders found along the gorge trail at Taughannock Falls State Park. Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, f/16, ISO 200, EV +1.0, 16mm focal length.

After four hours of photographing in the cold of Taughannock Falls from the gorge floor, the overlook above and along the south rim trail, our stomachs told us we needed some nourishment.  I knew just the right place to go, the Glenwood Pines restaurant and their “world famous” Pineburger.  I had mine with bacon.

The world famous Pineburger served at the Glenwood Pines restaurant near Ithaca, New York.

The world famous Pineburger served at the Glenwood Pines restaurant near Ithaca, New York. Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 400, EV 0, 16mm focal length.

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38 Responses to View 162: Iced Cathedral

  1. That Burger shot looks great…. and it’s making me seriously hungry right now!


  2. kanniduba says:

    It took me a second look to notice the two people in that first photograph! Once I saw them though, the entire scene took on a whole new meaning thanks to perspective.
    Awesome place! 🙂


  3. kiwidutch says:

    Wow those are SOME icicles! I was so absorbed by them that I didn’t notice any people at all in the photo until you pointed them out in the text …and the true scale of the icicles is then amazing! YUM, Great job on the burger photo… serious hunger pangs now here don’t you know? and all your fault! LOL
    Qu: is the wall on the right side of the top photo all man made? what’s the window-like indented bit for? Do you know? It’s got me curious…


    • No, the falls and the rock walls surrounding it are all natural. That squarish chunk is a natural formation. My colleagues and me thought it looked like a door a wizard might open in a fictional story.

      Sorry about the burger pic..well, really I’m not. 🙂


  4. Simone says:

    Breathtakingly beautiful. I love that first shot, and how the two people are dwarfed by this icy cathedral!
    Yes, and that burger… now I’m hungry :-p


    • Taughannock Falls is an amazing place. Wish you could take a side trip when you are in the US later this year so I could show you this and other natural wonders of the state of New York.

      Well, at least, where you live, Simone, it’s close to lunch time when you posted the comment. Some of us have to wait four hours.


      • Simone says:

        I would LOVE to head up to NY state, but don’t think I can fit it in a week! Pity. The national parks of the states are high-up on my list of must-see places…
        (and yeah, I had lunch – chili con carne + homemade bread – about half an hour after I posted that comment! Yum.)


  5. Wow, that is gorgeous!! Those ice boulders look pretty cool, too!
    Funny, I took picures of the burgers that Greg grilled yesterday… bet yours didn’t taste as good as his 😉


  6. Gerry says:

    Blue ice boulders! That captured my attention. I would like to see those in the wild. And after four hours tramping about the park in winter, I would like to find a nice warm spot at the Glenwood Pines. I love the Portrait of Lunch. The classic temptations, with the glowing beverage and the cheery ketchup bottle leading the eye to “Dessert.” And glimpsed in the distance, the possibility of onion rings. Satisfactory.


    • Those blue ice boulder are enhanced from the HDR processing I used. They still look that color just not as much.

      Yes, the onion rings was on my friend’s Pineburger order. I took a pic of them side by side. I’ll post it later for you.


  7. flandrumhill says:

    Those ice boulders caught my eye too. Scott, is their caribbean blue color enhanced or natural? I can also see it in the top photo of those beautiful cathedral falls.


  8. Scott,
    It’s great that you guys got together and went on that journey, photography is all about exploration. I need to do more of that in the winter. That burger looks like its worth the drive!



  9. montucky says:

    What a magnificent display of ice!


  10. Carsten says:

    I clicked my way here from Gerry, with Babs’s beautiful ice fountain. And I thought this was something like it. Until I saw the people.
    This is GREAT! (As is the burger)


  11. Robin says:

    Beautiful. I really like the way you included that couple to show just how big the icicles are. And that burger has my mouth watering and my stomach rumbling!

    I went on a similar outing about 2 weeks or so ago to see Ohio’s Blue Wall (it’s a wall of blue icicles). It was -7 when we started our hike. Isn’t it amazing what we’ll do for a photo? lol!


  12. Karma says:

    Wow! I am late to the comment party here, but wow! I’ve never seen frozen falls before. As the page loaded and the people came into view, the perspective became amazing! I’ve been trying to remember to include something for perspective when I thought it would be appropriate and possible in a shot. Maybe that should be one of your photo assignments this year – showing perspective.
    I’m wondering about the bacon on your burger; are you close enough to Canada there to say ham passes as bacon, LOL? The bacon looks a bit flat and pink compared to what I’d call bacon! 😉


  13. plainmama says:

    Love the contrast in this blog entry. I was so cold looking at those first couple pics. When I got to the delicious looking burger I could almost feel how warm it would make you after a day in the cold.


    • The burger certainly warmed up the body after a few hours in the cold and snow. Another reason I was so glad I had companions for the day was it helped me (and I hope them) to keep my mind off the elements and concentrate on photography. By myself, I probably would not have stayed as long as we did.


  14. milkayphoto says:

    WOW … amazing first shot! I agree that the couple provides a needed sense of scale that really makes you go ‘whoa’.

    That is some burger, Scott! I want to reach out and steal a fry!


  15. Nye says:

    I thought it was beautiful in the Fall, the place looks amazing in the winter. The first image really shows the scale of the place. The burger looks delicious, good thing I just ate. 🙂


  16. Anna says:

    Wow-wee! Would you look at that—those icicles! And what a perspective that is mammoth with tiny people in the distance. Say, that Pineburger looks ever so yummy!


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  19. Sybil says:

    Clever to get your friends wearing red. That always stands out. Having the people in the first shot really gives it a sense of size, that I would not have had otherwise.

    Love the blue rocks.

    Now I must trundle back to your current post to see the rest of the “top ten”.


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  22. Hanna says:

    Amazing perspective in the first photo. It must have been a joy to bee there!! Really impressive landscape ❤


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