View 460: Carpenter Falls

Last week I noticed an Instagram post by Matt Champlin about the Carpenter Falls Unique Area reopening with a new overlook platform. Never having visited there, I immediately planned to get there to check it out. Below is the result.

Carpenter Falls on Bear Swamp Creek
Carpenter Falls on Bear Swamp Creek in the Carpenter Falls Unique Area near Niles, New York on Saturday, September 10, 2022. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/3s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, ND8, Tripod.

The overlook platform gives an unobstructed view of Carpenter Falls. The trees even make a natural frame of the scene. It was mid-afternoon with a cloudy sky to give even lighting. To get the look I wanted, I placed a 3-Stop Neutral Density filter on my lens to cut down the light even more. To keep the camera steady for the 1/3rd second exposure, I put it on a tripod and used a remote shutter. I performed some dodging and burning in Adobe Lightroom Classic to highlight the falls even more.

There were a few people moving about the Bear Swamp Creek and even getting in behind the falls. To show scale, I decided to take a photo with a couple of them looking up at the 90 foot (27m) drop of Carpenter Falls.

Looking up at Carpenter Falls
People look up at the Carpenter Falls on Bear Swamp Creek in the Carpenter Falls Unique Area near Niles, New York on Saturday, September 10, 2022. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/3s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, Tripod

I was impressed by the work of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) who administers Unique Areas. There is a nice easy 5 minute walk from the parking lot on a boardwalk leading to the overlook which is fully Handicap/Wheelchair Accessible. There is an Acrylic panel in the middle of the fencing allowing people in wheelchairs a clear view of the waterfall.

Carpenter Falls Overlook
Carpenter Falls Overlook platform in the Carpenter Falls Unique Area near Niles, New York on Saturday, September 10, 2022. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/15s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, Tripod.

For anyone living or visiting the Finger Lakes region of New York, Carpenter Falls is a beautiful and easily viewed waterfall which is often bypassed for the more famous ones in Ithaca and Watkins Glen.

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