End of the Gorge Trail

A tripod and Neutral Density filter

Yesterday I posted “Winter People Watching” featuring the Sony F828 and candid street photography. With the Sony F828 in hand, I carried on my shoulder a new camera bag with a new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV dslr camera, mounted with a Canon 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens with a graduated 0.6 Neutral Density filter. On my other shoulder was a Manfrotto BeFree GT carbon fiber tripod.

Saturday, February 22nd was a first outing with the new equipment. I was still learning the camera and, in my inexperience, did not shoot in “raw” format and the jpeg sizing was not the largest. The conditions are never very good within the gorge, either the sun is below the rim and light sparse, or the gradient between the lit and shaded gorge too great, or the sun is almost overhead.

The graduated neutral density filter solves some of this problem for Taughannock Falls, 215 feet high, the highest single drop east of the rockies. The view faces south, in the northern hemispheres, wintertime, this means shooting into the sun. For our late afternoon walk the sun disk was below the west cliff rim, still there is a large gradient between the sky and shaded falls / gorge.

The falls await hikers at the end of the Gorge Trail. I am standing on a bridge over the creek. To the right is a path to an observation platform. At f/22 fstop atop the tripod and low light, this is a longish exposure.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Standing on the platform, visitors are washed over by the fine mist carried by a wind pushed by the falling water. The mist clings to the gorge walls and freezes. Today, on the bridge, we were dry. I pointed the lens at Taughannock Creek flowing beneath this bring for this second, longish, exposure. The graduated ND filter was not optimal for this shot. It is a circular filter (can be turned 360 degrees), using this I positioned the shading to the left. Of course, for the waterfall, the shading in over the upper, sky, portion.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Winter People Watching

Happy April Fools’ Day

On Saturday afternoon, February 22nd, Pam and I set out for Taughannock Falls State park, 15 minutes away. I had in hand a “prosumer” digital camera, the Sony F828 featuring an integrated zoom lens, from 28 to 200 mm and 8 mpg “raw,” tiff and jpeg images.

I’ve done some great work with this camera. For example the 2003 Homecoming Parade and the award winning Summer Dream: Buttermilk Falls. The swivel is a feature of the Sony F828 that fascinates people, it is possible to change the angle of the body and lens, at one extension the view panel can be seen from above.

Using this feature, I obtained the following series of 28 photographs. Most are candid shots of the hundreds of people who passed us this day as Pam and I walked the 3/4 mile Gorge Trail to the fall’s vantage platform.

Taughannock Gorge is wide enough to be opened throughout the winter. The trails of other public park gorges (Treman, Buttermilk, Fillmore) are close to cliffs, shut down November to reopen late spring, the following year, after the trails are surveyed for dangerous rock overhangs.

With the developing situation with Covid-19 Pam was anxious over the number of people on the trail. There was a steady stream of people, some in large groups, coming and going. We were able to maintain some distance, until I stopped and a group of Ithaca college students walked into us. We are NOT going back to this trail anytime soon. I might walk the Rim trails where 5 or 6 people might pass you on a busy day.

The large groups of young people are for the most part students from Cornell University and Ithaca College. Both colleges are now closed through April, to enforce social distancing to suppress spread of COVID-10. For many of these students, they did not realize it at the time, this was their last outing before campus closure. The seniors will never return. We miss the students.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring 3

With the thermometer in the 40’s on March 12 these crocus were open, under the same magnolia tree as the buttercups from yesterday.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

A tripod held the composition steady and the timer was set to 2 seconds for extra stability.

Here is a slideshow of yesterday and today’s shots.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring 2

With the thermometer in the 40’s on March 12 the buttercups of yesterday are open.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

A tripod held the composition steady and the timer was set to 2 seconds for extra stability at the f25 setting.

Here is a slideshow of yesterday and today’s shots.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring 1

Last month I upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark IV dslr. These are the first images. These flowers are the first to bloom on our property, around a magnolia tree. Each year these buttercups grow thicker and spread.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

A macro lens was mounted, Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USB. A characteristic of this lens is to underexpose, so I set two stops higher. All these are f25.

With the thermometer hovering above freezing, these blooms did not open today. The calendar says “late winter”, these buttercups are singing “early spring.”

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cushendun Beach View North by Northwest

Nearest Ferry, today

Today, the nearest ferry is just over an hour south, on the M2, Belfast and there is no option for the Mull of Kintyre. You can go to Cairnyan, Scotland; Douglas, Isle of Mann; or Liverpool, England.

Torr Road lopes over the hill, upper right.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cushendun Beach View North, ferry destination

Across the Water

North is a glimpse of land across the water, a reason Cushendun was a ferry port since ancient times: the Mull of Kintyre across the North Channel. The ridge to the sea is townland Tornamoney (Irish Tor na monadh).

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills