View 458: Upper Falls at Letchworth State Park

Upper Falls in Letchworth State Park from 2020.
Upper Falls in Letchworth State Park near Castile, New York on Sunday, August 7, 2020. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 110, 58mm Focal Length, HDR Image.

Recently spent a day hiking, picnicking and photographing around Letchwoth State Park, one of New York’s beautiful state parks. The Genesee River which flows through the park has cut a deep gorge with three impressive waterfalls.

This image is a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image created by merging five photos taken in 1 stop intervals from -2EV to +2EV. I recently reinstalled Skylum’s Aurora HDR 2019 which roundtrips out of Adobe’s Lightroom Classic making it easy to create HDR images which best fit the way I saw this scene.

Upper Falls, featured above, up until 2017, looked very different as large cement blocks anchored tall steel girders supporting a Portage Bridge spanning the gorge.

Upper Falls at Letchworth State Park from 2007.
Upper Falls with the large bridge footings and steel girders supporting the railroad bridge at Letchworth State Park near Castile, New York on Saturday, October 20, 2007. Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/25s, f/8, ISO 200, 50mm (75mm DX) Focal Length.

Photographing the same scene over time is one of the joys of photography. Documenting the changes for others to learn and appreciate.

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Before the World Changed

Guests walking on Hollywood Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World
Guests walking on Hollywood Blvd. in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida on Monday, March 9, 2020. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 100, 28mm Focal Length.

As you can see, this photo was taken on March 9, 2020. Notice none of the guests are wearing masks nor are they social distancing.

This was the last click of my shutter at the end of a Walt Disney World vacation. Little did I or anyone in this photo know, Walt Disney World and Disneyland would shutdown six days later on March 15th. No guests would walk down Hollywood Blvd. for the next four months because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you are interested in more information on a Walt Disney World vacation, contact my wife by clicking her email address below merrie@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com 

Walt Disney World Travel Consultant
Merrie with her favorite Disney character, Donald Duck

She has been booking and planning Disney trips and cruises for satisfied travelers exclusively for over 20 years.

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View 457: Chittenango Falls

Chittenango Falls viewed through the trees from the Gorge Trail
Chittenango Falls from the Gorge Trail in Chittenango Falls State Park near Chittenango, New York on Monday, July 25, 2022. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/15s, f/16, ISO 100, Handheld.

Walking down the Gorge Trail to the bottom I spotted this view of the waterfall through the trees and vegetation. Shooting at 1/15th of a second handheld, I used the Da Grip technique to create a steady image.

Once I reached the bottom of the gorge, the beauty and sounds of the cascading Chittenango Falls can be fully appreciated.

Chittenango Creek flows through Chittenango Falls State Park
After cascading down the waterfall, the Chittenango Creek continues to flow through Chittenango Falls State Park near Chittenango, New York on Monday, July 25, 2022. Nikon D750/24-120VR, f/16, ISO 100, HDR image.

Being mid-afternoon when I visited, the light was pretty uneven so I decided to take a set of five photos from -2EV to +2EV in 1 stop intervals. In Adobe Lightroom Classic, the Photo Merge HDR process took those images to create the image you see above.

Click here for information about Chittenango Falls State Park near Syracuse, New York.

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View 456: Erie Canal Park

Erie Canal Park Entrance Sign
Liz and Dave Beebe Erie Canal Park entrance sign in Camillus, New York on Sunday, March 21, 2021. The park was established in 1972. Thanks to canal wisdom keepers Liz and Dave Beebe, the park grew. Under their tutelage, the Sims’ Museum was built, the 1844 Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct was reconstructed and miles of nature trails established.

On the first day of Spring for 2021, I visited the Erie Canal Park near Camillus, New York for the first time. While the sky was blue and the air unseasonably warm, Nature had yet to start blooming and the trees were still weeks away from leafing out. This park was created in 1972 and owes much of its growth to its namesakes of Liz and Dave Beebe.

Sims' Museum at the Erie Canal Park
Sims’ Museum is a replica of the original Sims’ canal store at the Liz and Dave Beebe Erie Canal Park in Camillus, New York on Sunday, March 21, 2021. The museum is divided into sections for artifacts of the past, a gift shop, local history, display of an Erie Canal Barge, the 1800’s Room, exhibit on the building of the canal, a beautiful wall mural from the Canal’s past and several more.

Devoe Road crosses the canal and allows for trails on both sides. It gave me a nice view of the Sims’ Museum, boat dock and blue water of the Erie Canal.

Houseboat Catherine at Erie Canal Park
Houseboat Catherine is a small homemade Erie Canal houseboat and is 8 feet wide and 18 feet long.on display at the Liz and Dave Beebe Erie Canal Park in Camillus, New York on Sunday, March 21, 2021. This boat dates back nearly 90 years. Its history has had it all over central New York waterways from Oneida Lake to Oswego Harbor with stops on the Erie Canal.

This little houseboat has quite the history from starting out as a fishing scowl on Oneida Lake to a home for 30 years in the Oswego Harbor. Was even moved to a lot on land for years before ending up in the Erie Canal Park in 1976. Volunteers then restored it. Once the park starts doing tours again, you’ll be able to see inside this little houseboat.

Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct
Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct originally built in 1844 at the Liz and Dave Beebe Erie Canal Park in Camillus, New York on Sunday, March 21, 2021. An aqueduct is a water bridge for the canal boats to easily transverse the Nine Mile Creek. The aqueduct was rebuilt in 2009 using the same Onondaga limestone and yellow pine timbers.

The Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct was first built back in 1844 during the Erie Canal’s First Enlargement. The 144 foot waterway is listed as the smallest of the larger aqueducts and is on the National Registry of Historic Sites. It is the only restored navigable Aqueduct in New York State.

Erie Canal Towpath
People walking on a towpath in early Spring along an icy Erie Canal at the Liz and Dave Beebe Erie Canal Park in Camillus, New York on Sunday, March 21, 2021.

I shared the towpath with many other walkers and bikers on a perfect Spring day. There was a layer of ice in the more protected areas of the Erie Canal to remind me we are not done with winter just yet. Still, I breathed in the promising air of Spring and imagined canal boats moving along the towpath next to me.

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View 455: Spring Snow

The first day of Spring brought sunny skies and warm temperatures. As I was picking up my lawn after a long winter, I noticed the group of Snow Drop flowers in the bright light. These flowers have probably been blooming for a few days but this was the first time I noticed them.

Snow Drops at f/8
Snow Drop (Galanthus nivalis) on the first day of Spring in a backyard of a home in Baldwinsville, New York on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Nikon D750/50mm f/1.8, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0.

Not having a macro lens, I put a Nifty-Fifty (aka 50mm f/1.8) prime lens on my camera. I had to be careful to not get too close to keep the flowers in focus. I used different apertures to control the depth of field.

Snow Drops at f/4
Snow Drop (Galanthus nivalis) flowers on the first day of Spring in a backyard of a home in Baldwinsville, New York on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Nikon D750/50mm f/1.8, 1/800s, f/4, ISO 100, EV 0.

For these two flowers, I opened up the aperture to f/4 which put the background out of focus and popping the Snow Drops right at you. It was a little breezy so the resulting fast shutter speed helped to keep the flowers in focus.

How did you enjoy the first day of Spring?

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