Saturday, June 8, 2013

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls...

So, I'll start off with a recent road trip I took earlier this month to Ithaca, New York. When you're a photog on a budget, sometimes you have to make do with the wonders in your own "backyard".  Fortunately, New York State has a lot going for it besides Manhattan. If you take the time to look, there are some amazing natural wonders that New York offers: The Adirondacks, The Catskills...

And the Finger Lakes. I've been to Skaneateles and Keuka Lake, but this recent go-round, I decided to visit Cayuga Lake and the wonderful Taughannock Falls at Taughannock State Park. I can go on about my impressions of this place, but the pictures will say so much more. (I also came to a philosophical realization that is the subject for another post).

One of the reasons I wanted waterfalls as my subject is because I want to try my new toy: the Fader Neutral Density Filter from LightCraft Workshop. Simply put, ND filters block the amount of light coming through your lens so that you can photograph  flowing water with slower shutter speeds. Most often, your camera will capture water in a frozen state because of the quick shutter speeds in bright light conditions. When you apply a filter, you can control the shutter speed and slow it down to really capture the movement of water. Some describe the resulting water as cotton candy, it can exhibit a misty effect or have a look of frosted glass, as I like to say.  See for yourself:

©Jack Aiello 2013
But when you encounter Taughannock Falls, a waterfall with a dramatic 215-ft drop, you can't help spend the better part of the day trying to capture the beauty of this waterfall. Luckily, the falls is perfectly framed by a gorge of exposed layers of rock dating back to the Devonian Period. I used my filter on the falls so I could get the soft blur motion of the waters making their drop. I had to leave the shutter speed at a second or longer to get this effect; that's how far the drop is to properly get the effect.

©Jack Aiello 2013
If you want to see more pictures of the falls, click on the images to take you to the link, or just go here.

That's all for now. If you have any comments or suggestions on how I can make this site better and more entertaining, short of posting snapshots of celebrities vomiting, or me in my zebra skin thong -- which incidentally, will make you vomit -- I'm up for any and all suggestions.