Letchworth State Park has been described as the “Grand Canyon of the East”. The Genesee River runs through this deep gorge over three significant waterfalls surrounded by forest both in the gorge and along its borders. In the park, which is southwest of Rochester, NY, the main road runs for approximately 16 miles alongside the top of the Northern wall of the gorge with a lot of accesses and pull-offs that provide ample photographic opportunities. A trail system of about 66 miles of trails only enhances the opportunities. Like the Grand Canyon, the barriers are mostly low stone walls, and like the Grand Canyon, these walls often border the edge of enormous descending gorge walls. Also like the Grand Canyon, there are clearly marked areas that you can venture into and ones that you can’t. But, while reds, yellows, and brown may dominate images of the Grand Canyon, green is your dominant color at this time of the year.
Rain came and went through my three-hour visit to Letchworth. Three hours is not enough time,but I had a flight to catch and really no choice. It did, however, provide me with an overview of the Park, a visit to their museum and a lot of ideas as to when one might be at a certain location at a certain time. On any first visit to a location, I have made it a practice to try to make notes relating to locations, time of day, etc. for future visits.
Was I discouraged because of the rain. NO! The weather really enhanced the greens of the forest and I felt the muted light made the walls of the gorge stand out from the forest. I am in test-drive mode with the D5 and it continued to perform beyond my expectations. I’ll definitely come back here, want to see it in Fall colors and I will probably get even better images if I give it a few days of shooting. But, despite the weather, it was fun to shoot the Park. Here are some favorites from this three-hour tour in a SLIDESHOW, below …..
I was at an event where Moose Peterson was asked, “Hey Moose, if you had a $1,000, which lens would you buy? (he always gets the equipment questions….)”. Not hesitating, Moose replied “I’d take a workshop”.
Workshops have been an integral part of my journey in photography. I can’t think of any workshop I’ve attended where I wasn’t able to make a list of things I learned or techniques that I was able to revisit or explore. In the recent K&M Adventure to the Moab region of Utah, I had the great pleasure of shooting with a number of outstanding photographers that I have come to know over several years. We all seem to show up on the same trips. Kevin Dobler and Moose Peterson set the tone for the trip from the time we set out. Very giving of their knowledge and experience, a fluid agenda that adjusts as weather conditions, light, clouds make themselves apparent as the trip progresses. So from ghost towns to arches to star trails to light painting, we shot our way through four days of Moab. Another great time.
A little HDR treatment of the stone cabin at Moran Point at the Grand Canyon due to the light at the time..
With cloud cover and snow squalls in the area, we were treated to a light show, with rays of light reaching across the canyon to illuminate their targets…
There are so many opportunities for images at the Grand Canyon. Different vistas early in the morning or late in the afternoon provided us with an endless supply.
In the earlier post on Zabriskie Point, I was focusing on trying to get across the incredible variation of rock formations, textures and colors in one image. Later, I wanted to try to capture an image that spoke more of Death Valley. I physically moved my vantage point to incorporate the salt laced desert floor beyond the peaks, while coming in tighter on the point.
Just prior to arriving at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley our tour passed this formation that was a rainbow of colors reflecting the copper, borax and other minerals abundant in these mountains. With limited time to shoot, I bracketed 5 shots a stop apart and finished it as an HDR image using Photomatix Pro and Lightroom.