Recently, my wife and I spent a weekend in the Adirondacks of New York at the Long View Lodge on Long Lake. It is a rustic lodge which fit the Adirondack “feel” perfectly for our Autumn leaf peeping trip.
After checking in and getting settled in our room on the second floor, we checked out the rest of the lodge. Somehow, even before we saw it, we knew there would be a moose head trophy over a fireplace. Long View Lodge’s den did not disappoint.
I went out to photograph the sunset (see my Instagram or flickr feeds to see how I did). On my way back, I used a rock to steady my camera for this photo of the Long View Lodge all lit for the evening.
The Long View Lodge worked great for our daily trips around the Long Lake area. The first floor, besides the den, is a restaurant open for dinners with good food, beverages and a bar where locals and travelers mingle at each evening.
The Long View Lodge had a very specific accommodation I was looking for. It has two free electric vehicle charging stations which I used each night to charge my EV. I thanked the Manager for having them. They made this trip possible without using a drop of gas or emitting one ounce of carbon into the atmosphere as the energy used by the stations is offset by solar energy.
Before I get to how I got from the Before and After photos of Princess Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast animated classic, I want to tell you how I got such a lovely photo of her. Back in May of 2021, Walt Disney World was still under many Covid restrictions. One being characters in the park could not Meet and Greet guests has they did before the restrictions.
To give guests some interactions with characters, Disney came up with Character Cavalcades. In Epcot’s World Showcase there were Princess ones with them sitting in a horse drawn carriage and waving to guests from a distance. I got in position with my Nikon D750 camera with my goto park lens, the Nikon 28-300VR. As I always do for outdoor photos of people outdoors during the day, I used Fill Flash to fill in the shadows and create catchlights in the subject’s eyes.
As you can see in the Before (photo on the left) the top of Belle’s hair was hard to see against the dark trim inside the carriage. I recently came across a youTube video about a Lightroom Classic process to separate her from the busy background.
Quickly, it goes like this…First I used Lightroom’s Select Subject AI to select Belle. Then I inverted that mask so that everything was selected except Belle. Here is where the magic happens, Then, I selected Invert Mask with Radial Gradient and created an oval around Belle. This selected only the background behind Belle within the radial. Then I decreased the Dehaze and Contrast sliders of the Radial Gradient until the background softened and lightened behind Belle without affecting her. Finished with a crop and other minor adjustments.
However, it may be easier to just watch the video. I used the first technique Mark McGee shows but will be looking to use the other two when I take an image which could be improved using them.
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.
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.
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 isan Acrylic panel in the middle of the fencing allowing people in wheelchairs a clear view of the waterfall.
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.
As you can image, the last two years have been rough on the Travel Industry. My wife, Merrie, basically had her business of selling Disney trips stop for months in 2020 and very limited in 2021. It wasn’t until this year has travel started to comeback. It was especially hard on Cruise Ship companies including the Disney Cruise Line.
With Disney lifting the previous requirement of having to pass a Covid test before being allowed on the ship for people with proof of vaccination, Disney has decided to do a little synergy with the streaming service, Disney+. If you are a family or group of four AND a Disney+ subscriber, read on.
If you can travel between January and April of 2023 and will be traveling with a group of four in a single stateroom on either the Disney Magic, Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, two members of your party will travel for FREE! This includes 3, 4 and 7 night cruises. There are some blackout dates.
The price of a cruise includes ALL your meals and non-alcoholic beverages. Meals range from restaurants to quick service locations. You can even order one of everything or try multiple desserts. Not that I ever did that (smilies innocently). And how about those Ports of Call?
Depending on the itinerary, Ports of Call could be Nassau, Bahamas for some shopping at the famous Straw Market, explore Mayan ruins at Costa Maya, enjoy entertainment in Cozumel and there is always a stop and maybe two at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
Interested? If you wish to take advantage of this deal, contact Merrie at her email address below. Tell her I sent ya!
If you are interested in more information on a Disney Cruise Line vacation, contact my wife by clicking her email address below firstname.lastname@example.org
She has been booking and planning Disney trips and cruises for satisfied travelers exclusively for over 20 years.
This year’s New York State Fair finally felt more normal after it being cancelled in 2020 and not running at full song in 2021. While some vendors have decided not to come back and a couple of my favorites which had been there for years disappeared, still 2020 felt like The Fair (as we refer to it around here) got back on its feet.
My wife and I started the day with breakfast at JJ’s on Restaurant Row before heading over to the Dairy Building for a Labor Day weekend treat, strawberry milk from the Milk Bar.
This year’s sculptures, Sand and Butter, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the passing of Title IX which gave women in collegiate sports more opportunities and funding.
Animals are a big part of the New York State Fair from livestock being showed off by farms around New York to championship horses from all over the Northeast and Midwest to the small creatures like this little bunny.
Labor Day weekend features a big show for Draft Horses with money, prestige and valuable points for the farms who bring in their big rigs of Belgians, Clydesdales and Percherons.
We ended our day back on Restaurant Row for fish sandwiches and a side of Cordon Bleu deep-fried balls at Horan’s. Yes, they were as good as you can imagine.
All in all, it was a good Fair this year. While attendance was not up to pre-Covid levels, the momentum has certainly swung in the right direction. Looking forward to 2023 and beyond.
to my personal journal through my viewfinder. A place where I leave the world behind and try to find the spirit of what I am seeing.
Feel free to look around at all the posts and pages. If you'd like to borrow a photo(s) for your non-commercial blog or website, be my guest. Please, do not alter the photo(s) and be sure to link back to this blog with a prominent photo credit(s). Thank you and I'm thrilled you dropped in!