Tag Archive: kaaterskill


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!

And by that time, I mean Spring time!  The sun is shining again and the trees are starting to sprout buds.  Rose and I rode the Harley down to her parents house in Rhinebeck for Easter dinner, and on the way down I saw a ton of brilliant yellow blooms.  There were also seedlings growing in her parent’s backyard.  The birds are chirping in the mornings and insects are starting to come back around.  Here is a dragonfly I found one Spring trying to blend in with a stick.

Spring coming around is a huge relief to me.  I am sure I have mentioned before that I go into a sort of (self-proclaimed) “photographic depression” after the leaves fall off the trees and Winter rolls around.  It’s not until those first blooms of Spring that I get the urge to shoot again.  Seeing those first flowers and buds just starts to inspire me.  Here’s a shot I took last year as the flowers were just starting to grow.

But, here’s the problem – now that the weather is getting better, I get torn on what I’d rather do, go riding or go shooting.  Tough decision to make for me.  Between Thursday and Sunday, I put about 150 miles a day on the bike.  It’s been five months, so it was way overdue.  Now, I am ready to do some shooting.  I want to gather locations in the area that I haven’t shot before.  I’ve done Washington Park and Tulip fest a million times.  Been to Plotter Kill falls and Ka’aterskill falls is a favorite of mine.

What I am looking for are places that I can take my photography group, The Capital Region Photography Meetup Group, and have interesting subjects for them to shoot.  I would love suggestions in the Albany, NY area.  I don’t mind traveling, but would like to keep it within an hour or so of Albany because members will need to travel and carpool.  I appreciate any suggestions you can give me.  Thanks in advance!

See ya soon…

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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