Tag Archive: falls


I spent the Saturday yesterday shooting waterfalls and chasing storms.  I found a small set of falls in the town of Berne, about 30 minutes from Albany.  I was a little weary leaving to go there, as it was raining on and off.  Just to be on the safe side, I brought another set of clothes, a bucket hat and a second waterproof jacket. The sun came out just as I was getting to the falls.  At one point while shooting the falls, however, it started pouring.  I was under some trees at the time, so I wasn’t getting very wet at all.

I took off the bucket hat and put it over the camera so I could keep it dry until I got to the car and grab the waterproof jacket.  Once I had the jacket, I put it over my head and the camera, looking sort of like the really old 1800s cameras where the photographer went under the curtain and took the picture.  I am sure that if anyone saw me doing it, they were probably thinking I was a little crazy.  Boy, are they wrong.  I am a lot crazy!

Here are a couple pictures I got at the falls…

Later that day, I ended up in Thacher Park a few times as I was exploring back roads and finding out where they went. It was a great deal of fun!  On my last trip to Thacher Park, I saw an amazing scene. The storm had moved past the mountain and was now over the valley and passing the city of Albany. There were these huge puffy white clouds and then some darker sky off in the distance.  So, I decided to try a panorama shot.  When I got out of the car, I had no idea I was going to do a pano, so I had no tripod.  I just did it handheld instead.  I am including the original and the Topaz versions so you can see the difference.

What do you think?  See ya soon!

Ever since I was a child, I have loved water.  Heck, I spent most of my first 18 years in a pool or the ocean.  Over the last few years, I have grown very fond of another source of water, the waterfall.  It blows me away that the water can cut out these amazing formations.  What amazes me even more is the way the water looks when you capture it with a slow shutter speed.  It looks so surreal, almost like it is painted.

Before I knew what slow shutter speed pictures of waterfalls were, I swore they were done that way in Photoshop.  I was absolutely convinced that it was altered in some way.  So, one day, a friend took me down to Ka’aterskill falls and said ‘use these settings and see what happens’.  I took a shot and was instantly hooked!

That afternoon, when I got home, I rushed to the computer.  I couldn’t wait to see those pictures.  I opened them up in Photoshop and couldn’t believe my eyes.  It was like magic!  I kept thinking to myself ‘I did that!  I took that picture’.  I think it took a few days before it set in that I took those pictures and it was incredibly easy.  Since that day, I have made it my mission to photograph as many waterfalls as I can.

Do you know of any waterfalls in the area?  What do you prefer – the slow shutter speed falls or do you like the natural look of the water coming over the falls?  Let me know!  See ya soon!

A few years ago, I met Rose’s cousin Tom when we went down to visit him at his home in Honesdale, PA.  I had never heard of Honesdale, but it was somewhere I had never been, so I was happy to go and check it out.  Honesdale is about 3-3 1/2 hours from here in the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania.  It is a relatively small town of around 5,000 people.  Honesdale is a very quaint town.  I would equate it to a country type setting like Voorheesville or Altamont, except it’s a little bigger and they have a Walmart.

While we were there, I was able to take some shots around Tom’s house up in the rural area and also down in the more populated area of Honesdale. These shots were taken right in his yard.  You can see the natural beauty of the country in them.

The fountain in the front yard

Some flowers in the yard

A dying rose

There was a nice small set of falls there called Carley Brook Falls that I really enjoyed shooting.  They were flowing pretty well that day, and also made for a great subject to shoot.

Carley Brook Falls

As I mentioned in the title, it is a small world.  Months later, I was in my favorite photo forum, Movie Photo Forums, and I met Erin and she had Northeast PA in her signature line.  So, I asked what part of PA she was from and she said Honesdale.  What?  Seriously?  Get the heck out of here!  I mentioned that Rose had a cousin there, thinking she might not know him, and as a matter of fact she did.  She not only knew him, but met up with him almost every Tuesday night as she is a part of the same Harley Owners Group he is, and they ride together.  That blew my mind!

I really hope to get back to Honesdale now that the weather is better in hopes of all of us riding together.  I think it would be a blast!

Have you had something like this happen to you?  Let’s hear about it!

Cohoes Falls

Cohoes falls

A shot of Cohoes falls before the new overlook was built.

Watch that first step

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned how much I love riding in the Catskill mountains.  Today, I will tell you another reason why I love that area.  I have mentioned my love for waterfalls in the past.  That beautiful road that runs through the mountains also leads you to one of the most amazing scenes.  At the sharp hairpin I discussed yesterday, there is a small waterfall.

Lower falls by the road

Lower falls by the road

Midway to the bigger falls

Midway to the bigger falls

At the bottom falls by the road

At the bottom falls by the road

If you head in to the woods about a mile from there, there is a 260 foot waterfall known as Ka’aterskill Falls.  Up top is a two tiered falls with a “cave” cut out behind the higher falls.  It truly is natural beauty at it’s finest.

The cave

The cave

Gently falling

Gently falling

Almost three years ago, a good friend, Jay Braker took me to Ka’aterskill to do some shooting.  The first time was only to the lower falls.  I thought it was amazing.  On the next trip, he took me in to the main falls.  Since then, I have been back a few times to shoot these magnificent falls.  I can’t thank Jay enough for introducing me to my love for waterfalls.  He also taught me that shooting waterfalls was nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be.  It is rather simple to be honest.  All you really need is a tripod, a long shutter speed and some steady footwork.

Jay Braker in a tree getting the shot

Jay Braker in a tree getting the shot

The sun shines through

The sun shines through

Lower Falls

Lower Falls

I will give you a bit of information about the area.  The walk in to the falls is a mild hike.  However, the climb up to the second tier is pretty treacherous.  The hill is so steep you practically need to hang on to something while walking up to keep from sliding or falling down the hill.  Once you are at the top of that hill, the path around the edge is very narrow, and washed out in places.  A few people have fallen to their death just last year from these trails.  If you go, please be very careful.

Once you get up to the top tier, it is breathtaking.  The top falls come down into a pool, which flows over and creates the bottom falls.  Behind the top falls is this amazing clam-shaped cutout that allows you to walk behind the waterfall.  You can sit there and just watch the water come down right in front of you.  It is incredibly serene.  Jay and I were up there one day and a storm rolled in, so we sat under the overhang and waited the storm out.

Looking down from the top

Looking down from the top - I had to hang over the edge to get this shot.

If you’re looking for a place to go during the summer, and are in the Catskills, I highly recommend this place.  Just make sure you go early, as it is very popular and the parking area get full very quickly.  There is also another access road that will bring you to the very top, and you can look all the way down to the bottom if you’re not too scared!  Wear some comfortable shoes and bring some water!  See ya soon!

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Here in the Northeast, the weather can be pretty brutal during Winter.  Even more so if you have a motorcycle, or two in my case.  It’s awful.  I love the area, and wouldn’t move, so I just have to suck it up, but I don’t have to be happy about it.

As I was going through ideas I had written down for possible blog topics, I found one that made me smile.  It was about a great ride I took this past summer through the Catskill Mountains.  One of the reasons for thinking about the ride (other than five months of cold weather) came from a few announcements today on Twitter.  One of them was from Harley-Davidson© announcing their new $36k bagger.  Yes, I said $36k for a Harley.  Have they lost their mind?  They are nice and all, but not my thing.  I could pick up two bikes for that amount of money.  Secondly, a friend on Twitter ( @MotorcycleFans ) posts and re-tweets some great motorcycle info everyday.  A lot of the tweets are news in the motorcycle industry.  There were some great tweets about some new Victory motorcycles as well.  I’ve come to know @MotorcycleFans as Chessie.  Chessie has a great blog called 365 Degrees, photos from each day.  Check it out.

So, this past summer, I felt like going for a ride.  Rose didn’t want to go, so I headed out on my own on the FJR.  We have a GPS unit for this bike, but I don’t use it a lot.  I learned my way around Albany a few years ago by filling up the tank and picking a road to see where it brought me.  No matter where I went, I would always find my way out.  I would also learn fun roads to everywhere, rather than taking the main roads. I get around very well now after being here for only a few years.

That day, I wasn’t sure where I was going, but remembered a fun ride that our good friend Dusty had taken us on a few weeks earlier.  Dusty’s friend was in the middle on her bike and is a little timid, so I wanted to ride this one particular road again, but this time at a much faster pace.  It was amazing.  County route 308 on Delmar if you are from the Albany area.  Lots of twists and turns, great for laying it right over.

I got on that road and it was pure bliss.  These are the times where you remember why you love riding so much.  All your cares and worries seem to disappear.  It is so therapeutic.  After a few more roads, I ended up in Athens, NY.  I stopped for a drink and a snack, then I debated what to do.  I could turn around and head back, or I could keep going and keep taking roads to see where I would end up.  I went with the latter.

Next thing you know, I am on Route 23 in Catskill and and a huge smile comes across my face.  I know exactly where to go.  Up into the mountains.  The ride up there is a motorcyclist’s dream.  25 mile per hour corners, 15 mile per hour hairpins, double lane uphill passes, sweeping corners…what a ride!  If you ever get the chance, get on the bike and ride this road.

This road continues through the Catskills and by Windham mountain.  The ride after Windham is pure countryside.  Beautiful vistas, mountains soaring into the sky and views for miles.  Somewhere on route 30, I stopped and took a break to grab some pictures.  As I pulled into the overlook parking lot, I saw a great site.  An older gentleman and his wife on their Harley that had stopped for the same view I had.  As soon as I got off the bike, I noticed the gentleman’s haircut.  I pegged him immediately as a former Marine.  Dead on.  I struck up a conversation with him and his wife, and they were great people.  They asked me about GPS units, and I pulled mine out of the trunk and showed them how it worked.  While I was there, I grabbed the next few shots.  The panorama was taken by standing on the guard rail.

Panorama 2
The trunk held the camera bag and GPS

The trunk held the camera bag and GPS

Catskill Creek

Catskill Creek

After the overlook, I kept on going up 30 until I hit Route 20 and back into Albany I went.  What a great day.  It was about 150 miles round trip.  Here’s a map from the Harley-Davidson Ride Planner© that I used for the trip, in case you want to try out this ride.  Or let me know.  I’d love to go again.

Trip Map

Trip Map

Do you ride?  Been on a bike?  Love them?  Hate them?  Let me know.  Please feel free to subscribe to my blog.  Oh, and if you’re on Twitter, follow me @TCRPMG …See ya real soon!

Natural beauty so close to home

A few months ago, I got a chance to finally shoot Plotter Kill Falls in Rotterdam.  I had been hearing about the falls for a few years now, but never could find the time to get there and do some shooting.  I am glad it finally happened.

I posted a Meetup on my group’s site to see who was interested, and we went down early on the morning of October 17th.  It was pretty chilly out, but not freezing cold.  Plotter Kill has a nice system of trails leading you in to the falls area.  We hiked in, and after about ten or fifteen minutes, we were at the falls.

The leaves were falling with the changing season, and they made for some great pictures.  I may not have mentioned it before, but, other than cars and motorcycles, I absolutely love shooting waterfalls.  The most amazing part of shooting them is the slow shutter speed aspect.  I love being able to set the camera up on a tripod, frame my shot, and then hit the button on the remote to fire the camera.  The water looks so smooth, almost as though it was painted.  The colors are so vibrant.  The best reward is getting home and looking at the pictures you took and exclaiming “I took that”.

I am adding a little excerpt from the Schenectady County web site about Plotter Kill in case you have never been.  If you haven’t, get out there when the weather gets better.

The Plotter Kill Preserve (located in the town of Rotterdam on Route 159) contains 632 acres of rugged hardwood and
coniferous forest along the Plotter Kill, a scenic tributary to the Mohawk River. The gorge of the Plotter Kill was cut by melt waters at the close of the ice ages about 10,000 years ago. The ledges give the stream its name: platte (flat) and kill (creek): Please exercise caution when hiking in the Preserve; the terrain is very rugged with steep slopes and ledges near the trails.

The Plotter Kill drops 900 feet in its 3.5 mile descent from Rynex Corners to the Mohawk River. There are three spectacular waterfalls: the Upper Falls, Lower Falls and the Rynex Creek Falls at the junction of Rynex Creek and the Plotter Kill. All are magnificent sights in spring high water and in winter ice. The Upper Falls is 60 feet high, and the others 40 feet.

The Plotter Kill Preserve is wonderful for nature study. Over 600 species of plants have been found in the area including: trilliums, violets, lilies, ferns and club mosses.

Directions to Plotter Kill Preserve:
NYS Thruway to Exit 25. Take I-890 West to Campbell Rd (Exit 2a). From Campbell Road, turn right on Putnam Road. Go 1.7 miles to State Route 159 (Mariaville Road). Turn right on Route 159 and go 1.9 miles to the Reserve sign and parking lot on the right. The Coplon Road entrance is accessible from Mariaville Road.

Download the Plotter Kill Preserve brochure by clicking here.

Here are some of this pics I got that day.  I hope you enjoy.  I would also love to know of more waterfalls in the area.  Please let me know if there are more around.

Downstream

Downstream

Looking Up

Looking Up

Over the edge

Over the edge

Open

Open

Down Low

Down Low

Up Close

Up Close

I must be delusional, because it is freezing outside.  This time of year is really tough for me as a photographer.  I am not a fan of the cold.  Not one bit.  Don’t get me wrong, the snow on the ground and the scenery is gorgeous, but I still don’t like it.  And you can’t make me.  You may tempt me if we get a somewhat warm spell,  which brings me to today’s photos.

A good friend (and the Co-Organizer of my photo group) Angela got me out on such an adventure last year.  We had fresh snow, and moderate temperatures, so I agreed to go out and do some shooting.  We went to a place called Rensselaerville Falls about 30 minutes from Albany.  It was beautiful.  As beautiful as an icy cold stream with snow covered banks can be.

I am including a few shots that I took that day.  I liked one of these shots so much that I displayed it at the TCRPMG gallery exhibit last month at our local library.  Imagine this – a fresh snowfall on a footbridge, untouched be anyone else.  No footprints.  Incredibly serene. I really like this picture.  I don’t say that about a lot of my photos, but every now and then I really like one.  I called it “Walk With Me”.  My thoughts were, walk with me as we make fresh prints in the snow.  When it was framed with a solid black mat on the wall, it looked like you could walk right into it.

Walk With Me

Walk With me

I took quite a few more shots that day, but that one was my favorite.  Maybe shooting in the Winter isn’t totally horrible, but I am still not a fan.  Maybe in Florida…Until then, here are a few more.

Up Close

Up Close

Icy Falls

Icy Falls

Long Way Down

Long Way Down