Sunday, May 31, 2015

Billy Black Cloud

I went out yesterday to do some photography on Blue Cypress Lake.  In my travels I came across a fellow selling watermellons along side of the road.  I stopped and talked with him for awhile, and seeing he was an interesting character I asked to take a photograph of him.  He told me that he is called Billy Black Cloud, but goes by Cloud for short.  I told him that is a in unusual name and asked him how he became known by a name like that.  He said that years ago while out fishing with family and friends he stepped from one boat to another and managed to sink an 18' boat with three guys in it.  Ever since then they called him Billy Black Cloud, but over the years they shortened it to just Cloud.  After purchasing a watermellon and having a friendly chat with Cloud, I was on my way to do some kayaking out on Blue Cypress Lake.  I know I made some interesting images out on the lake, but my running into Billy was an unexpected surprise.  I have found over the years that to do photography successfully you need to be open and aware to the things around you and be ready to engage the moment when it happens.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fillmore Glen

In upstate N.Y. in the small town of Summerhill is Fillmore Glen.  This is one of my favorite glens for hiking and doing some photography.  It only has five waterfalls but the trail along the stream in the deep woods makes it special.  I enjoyed my visits to this glen because I rarely came across other visitors in my hikes.  I am sure at certain times of the year is can be busy, but I always found it empty of people on my visits.  The challenge with doing photography in these glens can be the low light that requires a long exposure and the a risk of a breeze blurring the vegitation along the steam. The glen is named after President Fillmore who grew up near this location.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Buttermilk Falls

One of my favorite hikes I use to make was in Ithaca, N.Y. in Buttermilk Falls S.P.  The falls trail can be reached from the bottom or from the top several miles up over the hill.  I always preferred starting at the top in this gorge working my way down the smaller falls until reaching the very large falls at the bottom.  Most of the times I hiked waterfalls from the bottom because it is usually the only way to access most of these locations.  Ithaca has numerous waterfalls to explore and can keep a hiker busy for days.  Early mornings or late afternoons is the best time to photograph in these glens.  The days I liked best were overcast with a light rain.  The defused light gave a soft glow to everything.  I could hike and photograph several glens in a day without having to deal with the harsh shadows caused by the sunlight  of a clear day.  This image was made as the leaves were in full autumn color.  The fall colors of the Finger Lakes region in the first couple of weeks of October are spectacular.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Watkins Glen

A great hike to take is a walk up the gorge in Watkins Glen, N.Y.  It is amazing place with numerous waterfalls to explore.  It is a state park and a main attraction in the area and can be busy in the summer months.  When I lived in the area I would visit in the spring and fall time so I could have quiet times to hike and photograph, plus I never had to pay the entrance fee when using the upper access point at that time of year.  The water in this gorge is spring fed and is very cold even in the summer.  There are many other gorges with waterfalls in this region that are rarely explored that I preferred to spend most of my time, but Watkins Glen is a majestic place with beautiful waterfalls.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Springtime in the Finger Lakes

It is springtime and I am feeling a longing for the days I spent photographing the numerous waterfalls in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.  I have spent many years of my life hiking and photographing in this region.  Each year as soon as the ice went out and the spring run off began I would spend countless days hiking up the various gorges in search of a new waterfalls to photograph.  It was always an exhilarating experience to feel the freshness of the springtime air and to hear the pounding of the water falling off the cliffs and rocks above.  After a long day of hiking and photographing I would come home with soggy feet and numb fingers, but always felt a great sense of satisfaction that I got to spend another day in one of my favorite places.