Big Bend

A tripod and Neutral Density filter

Winter 2020 I posted “Winter People Watching” featuring the Sony F828 and candid street photography.

What I love about this place, a unique feature, is the size and different vantage points making it possible to view the same place from different angles. November 2019, readers were shown “The Bend,” a place with Taughannock gorge makes a 90 degree turn, changing from a southeastern to an eastern flow. Here are photographs from spot overlooked by that post.

Here the camera faces away from the sun, the graduated neutral density filter allowing me to capture the cloudless blue sky, a little milky the way it is here February with a hint of spring.

This little one is studying the information placard with rapt attention, learning how the African continent, pushing against North America, across the eaons, formed the right angle fractures mirrored by this dramatic change in Taughannock Gorge. For the Big Bend photographs I was standing behind them, along the stream bed.

Here is a broader slice of that sky.

Can you see the tiny figures of hikers, dwarfed by the frozen cliff?

Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

A Little Water Fall…

…and Gorge Cliffs

Purling of the water beneath this foot high waterfall was enhanced by reducing ISO to 100, tamping down the aperture to f/22 resulting in an shutter speed of 1/10th second. I set the graduated Neutral Density filter to shade the left side.

On the cliffs ahead is where the observation platform is cut into the rock. It has a great view of the waterfall, in some ways the experience of the falls is enhanced, compared to hiking the 3/4 mile path and standing below.

A marvelous forest grows on talus from the high gorge walls.

A sign on a disused pier warns waders to leave the creek bed. Ahead the gorge walls tower above the creek. Rocks dislodge and crash down unexpectedly, crushing foolish waders. It is appalling to see, in warmer months, people walking below those cliffs gathering the fallen rocks to make delicately balanced cairns.

Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

When Moon Dined from a Stellar Manger

Colored lights of our skies are a trigger for the imagination. The sky is a storybook to be written by the mind and passed along in language. The 3,000 observable stars and planets visible on any one moonless, clear night away from artificial lights draw on the human obsessional skill for pattern recognition. Over millennia, […]

Colored lights of our skies are a trigger for the imagination. The sky is a storybook to be written by the mind and passed along in language. The 3,000 observable stars and planets visible on any one moonless, clear night away from artificial lights draw on the human obsessional skill for pattern recognition.

Over millennia, stars along the path of the planets and sun through the sky held a special place for careful observers. Twelve patterns were imagined, each a named constellation. The word “constellation” means “to know from the stars.” Indeed, we can know much from the constellations. For example, it is winter in the northern hemisphere when the constellation “Cancer” (The Crab) is high in the night sky.

Click Photograph for my OnLine Galleries
Click photograph for my OnLine Galleries. Clicking the other photographs in this post will yield a larger image.

On the evening of January 20/21, 2019 the full moon climbed from the horizon (Click this link for the first post of this series “Total Lunar Eclipse of 2019…”) to a point high overhead were it appeared to float among the stars of Cancer, the crab. On the way, the disk darkened as its orbital path brought it into the earth’s shadow. The surrounding stars emerged from the darkening full moon glow. I captured the sight using a Canon dslr, the Canon EF 24 mm f/1.4L II USM lens mounted on a tripod by setting the ISO to 3200 to reduce the exposure to 1.3 second and placing the auto exposure area (a feature of the dslr/lens combination) away from the full moon.

Additionally, the moon is overexposed on the original image, for the following I used Photoshop to cut and paste the moon from the last photograph of this blog, reduced it to the approximate angular diameter of the moon and pasted it over the overexposed disk. There are better astrophotography images of this event, this image is mine to use and adequate for this purpose.

The Moon on the Crab’s back

Cancer is difficult to trace, the constituent stars are all dim. Hint: click on any of the following photographs and a new page will open with a larger resolution image. What is striking in the following photograph are the number of apparently paired stars. Our sun is an exception, it is not part of a star system; even so, most of these pairings are line of sight, not physical star systems. For example, starting from the “red” moon there is a faint star, “Delta” of Cancer. Trace an imaginary line between the moon and Delta, in your mind move the line down and a little to the right to a pair of dim stars, “Nu” and “Gamma” of Cancer (left to right). The two are not a system, being 390 and 181 light years away. Each is a multiple star system in itself as is Delta. The three are on the back of Cancer, with two stars on the upper right being “Alpha” and “Beta”.

A most interesting object of this photograph, well worth the price of binoculars, is between Nu and Gamma and a little higher, towards the moon. It was what I saw the first time viewing this photograph: a cluster of stars called “The Beehive.” This was how I identified the location of the moon on the back of this crab.

Click for more information about this view

Click photograph for a higher resolution version
Total Lunar Eclipse and Surrounding Sky with labels for primary element of the Cancer constellation

For the following photograph I cut/pasted/enlarged a square with the (enhanced) Moon, Delta. Nu and Gamma, below, with the Beehive between them. See that the stars, though “fuzzy”, have colors. Delta is a orange giant, also known as the “Southern Donkey”. Gamma, the “Northern Donkey,” and NU are white. The back of the Crab holds a two donkeys eating from a manger, a Galactic Stellar Cluster name “The Beehive.” This night the moon joined the feast.

Click photograph for a higher resolution image
“Beehive” with Total Lunar Eclipse with labels for primary elements of Cancer Constellation

The Beehive

With binoculars (or telescope with a wide field eyepiece), the Beehive is a glorious spectacle of 1,000 gravitationally bound stars, a mixture of colors from blue to red. It was one of the first objects Galileo viewed through the telescope, picking out 40 stars. In later years it was here we found the first planets orbiting sun-like (i.e. having the characteristics of our yellow star) stars within a stellar cluster. In spite of being 600+ light years distant the Beehive was known since ancient times, being visible without a telescope in clear, dark skies.

The Total Eclipse

A glorious moon at full totality is captured in the following two photographs. I used the dslr at 3200 ISO with the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L lens at 300 mm. Setting the exposure area to the Moon, the exposure was 3.2 seconds.

In the first photograph, I especially enjoy the effect modeling of the shadows does to make the disk appear round. The field of view does not include Delta, Gamma, Nu or the Beehive. At this time I was not aware how close the Beehive was, or even that the Moon was in Cancer. The beauty of the moon floating among the stars is apparent.

Click photograph for larger image
Click photograph for larger image

Click link for the first post of this series 

Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Autumn Survey

Across the land

Good news….Click Me for the link to my latest photographs accepted by Getty, from this series of 2022 Fillmore Glen. You may acquire reasonably priced rights to use these photographs in your work.

My Sony Alpha captured our October 16 drive to Fillmore Glen. As we traversed landscapes, the spectacle of Tompkins and Cayuga Counties autumn glory passed by the open passenger side window and, even, the front windshield. Thank You, Pam, for driving.

A turn around our home: Smoke tree, Japanese Maple, Pam’s flower baskets, fallen Oak leaves

Panoramas from our front porch and on to Hector Street descending into and through Ithaca

Headed up Route 34 along Cayuga Lake, into “Farm Country”

Turning onto Locke Road and crossing from Tompkins to Cayuga County

Travelling through Cayuga County, the town of Locke, then Moravia and Fillmore Glen State Park

This is my farewell to “Fall” for now.

Copyright 2022 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Last Bridge

Golden Road

Good news….Click Me for the link to my latest photographs accepted by Getty, from this series of 2022 Fillmore Glen. You may acquire reasonably priced rights to use these photographs in your work.

My Sony Alpha was in use during our October 16 drive to Fillmore Glen. As we traversed landscapes, autumn glory of Tompkins and Cayuga Counties was captured. Thank You, Pam, for driving.

Heading today’s post is a windshield shot, I’m loving the effect of a golden road.

During our walk, I used the Sony Alpha for a parallel series of shots to compliment the tripod mounted Canon. Here are some of those results.

Step up and over

Enjoy this collection of Fillmore Glen pathways

Fillmore Glen, New York State Park, Cayuga County, Moravia, New York

Copyright 2022 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Waterfall Gallery

” I ventured up the gorge from bottom to this point where, blocked by an enormous shining emerald-colored ice wedge accumulated from the water pouring over the path in warmer months, I turned around”

Good news….Click Me for the link to my latest photographs accepted by Getty, from this series of 2022 Fillmore Glen. You may acquire reasonably priced rights to use these photographs in your work.

Between the metal walkway (see previous post) and the last numbered bridge, eight (8), the gorge narrows with sedimentary rock cliffs on either side, remnants of the forces that formed this rock in the form of water pouring from the porous stone flowing over the trail.

One February morning, equipped with climbing boots, crampons, gaiters, I ventured up the gorge from bottom to this point where, blocked by an enormous shining emerald-colored ice wedge accumulated from the water pouring over the path in warmer months, I turned around.

I call it a Waterfall Gallery for these walls bracing this wonderful collection of cascades in these photographs.

Waterfall gallery between bridges seven (7) and eight (8). Fillmore Glen, New York State Park, Moravia, Cayuga County, New York

A warm and cool versions of this spot.

Warm

Cool

Watch Your Step!!

Fillmore Glen, New York State Park, Cayuga County, Moravia, New York

Copyright 2022 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Climb to Glory

New and Ancient

Good news….Click Me for the link to my latest photographs accepted by Getty, from this series of 2022 Fillmore Glen. You may acquire reasonably priced rights to use these photographs in your work.

Crossing bridge seven (7), “Lovers’ Bridge, we encounter this passage, from the earliest work of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930’s. Stairs carved into the Cambrian cliff. These images are a combination of handheld Sony Alpha dslr and tripod mounted Canon captures. Can you tell the difference (please comment on your insights).

View from the new walkway

Looking back to the walkway installed this year. This span does not cross Dry Creek, is not included in the bridge count.

Overhead, the glorious autumn canopy

Fillmore Glen, New York State Park, Cayuga County, Moravia, New York

Copyright 2022 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Lover’s Bridge

Lucky Seven

The remoteness of Gorge Trail bridge number seven (7) is a temptation to lovers.

View from Lovers’ Bridge

Fillmore Glen, New York State Park, Cayuga County, Moravia, New York

Copyright 2022 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Gorge Wonder

Fillmore Glen Autumn

Ephemeral Waterfall Over the Years

Between bridges six (6) and seven (7) on the Gorge trail a cascade comes down the canyon wall. Mid-summer this brook can dry out, the waterfall disappears leaving this spot naked of water.

Taken over a period of thirteen (13) years, the cascade was alive and well autumn-time. This year, after the summer drought our autumn rains were sparse, the flow is the lowest photographed.

Copyright 2022 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

How Many?

Count the Cascades and respond via comments

Twin Pillars

Columns of living trees grace the steps leading from Bridge Number Six (6).

Fillmore Glen, New York State Park, Cayuga County, Moravia, New York

Copyright 2022 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills