Part VI – The End
On the way home my friend and I planned on stopping at the picturesque, red barn we had visited earlier in our adventure. We were also hoping to find and photograph a couple of abandoned houses we saw while following our caravan a few days before. This time the barn scene offered diffused light and I worked the view choosing several different vantage points. My two favorites are displayed below. We passed through a canyon area and decided to stop at a place where the autumn colors clinged to a sheer cliff, with pond reflections below. Back on the road we immediately recognized the homely, little green shack we spotted before, sitting all alone in a field beside the mountains. Then, just a short distance down the road we found the other house that caught our attention. For this one we needed our long lenses to avoid trespassing. It was wonderfully weathered! Not wanting our trip to end, we continued to explore a bit without much success before finally heading home, and ending our Awesome Adirondack Adventure.
To see all posts from this trip just keep scrolling down using your browser’s down arrow. Please feel free to leave comments in the areas below each post. (To return to the entire blog at anytime, click on the large ‘Denise Bush’s Photo Blog’ at the top of the page.)
Part II – Warming Up
We arrived at our first destination at Schroon Lake in the afternoon, met up with the rest of our group of six and checked into our B&B. We didn’t want to waste any time so we quickly headed out to our first location, which included a short hike to a secluded pond. We shot there for a little while, warming up our cameras and photographer’s eyes before heading out to find a spot for sunset. While scouting I spotted an old fashioned general store and my friends agreed it would be a good subject. We drove along the shores of the lake and looked for a spot that would allow us to shoot the sunset and found one that included a small beach. The sunset was a quiet one and it provided a nice end to the first day of our six day adventure.
Part I – Introduction I’m just back from an awesome photography trip in one of my favorite places, the Adirondacks. I shared the adventure with friends and we were blessed with a good percentage of great weather and brilliant fall color. We had a lot of fun finding landscapes and interesting buildings along our way. There are many lakes in the Adirondacks and I just love photographing beside the water. And the mountains are tremendous! We visited the top of White Face Mountain for a 50 mile visibility view, with Lake Champlain and Vermont in the distance. There were sunset and sunrise opportunities and attempts leaving us exhausted, especially when coupled with night photography on two occasions. Here is the first image from the Lake Placid area.
Stay tuned for more Adirondacks photography in the weeks ahead.
Looking back through my image folders from the Catskills I figured out that the recent spring Catskills Photographer’s Weekend was my 12th visit. When my friend, Rich became the owner of the Glen Falls House Resort in Round Top, NY years ago I had the idea for the photography weekends, and began recruiting my fellow photographers to participate. The first weekend was in the winter of 2009 and it was led by two photographer’s who live in the Catskills. I had met one of them, Ron while on a trip in Acadia, Maine. The other was a locally known Catskill photographer, Francis Driscoll, who was recommended by Ron. After that first photographer’s weekend Francis led the next couple of tours before I started leading them in 2010.
The Glen Falls House has become a sort of ‘home away from home’ and I very much enjoy my visits. I usually go up a day ahead in order to scout for new locations as well as check on known locations. I have met several kind property owners in order to get permission and my friend tells me I am ‘practically a local’. Each visit is a challenge for me to make images that are different (and better) from previous trips and a chance to capture the same scenes in different light and conditions. I welcome the challenge and look forward to future visits.
My annual ‘Spring Catskills Photographers Weekend & Tour’ went quite well. I was thrilled to see that spring in the Catskills was late and a few weeks behind the fleeting spring colors at home. There were just 4 of us scouting for the weekend tour and we stopped along this meadow. This spot is a favorite of mine because you get a great morning view of some of the higher peaks in the Catskills. The gracious woman who owns the property came out to meet us and gave us permission to photograph. We had always shot it from the road before. It was a wonderful morning and I fell in love with the scene. The tree-stripes on the mountains and the bright spring colors struck me as something special. I sat beneath this tree and took my time to adjust my tripod then compose, expose and focus very carefully. This meant I didn’t have to crop later and made full use of my camera’s capability, offering the best detail and quality. I was taught to always do your best to compose in the camera and recommend it whenever possible. Here is my favorite from our weekend, composed in-camera to avoid sacrificing valuable pixels.
Catskill Winter Photographers Weekend IV
Trees are beautiful every time of the year and to me that includes winter. (The Fleetwood Mac album cover, Bare Trees always comes to mind.) Living sculptures, each one unique and wonderful. I never tire of looking at trees. Since we did not have snow on our ‘winter’ Catskills trip we needed to find our focus elsewhere. For me it was the falls, the ice, the old buildings and the trees. The trees of winter allow us to see through to the sky and I often like the contrast that reveals the architecture of the tree. I like to use trees as a foreground anchor or in a way that frames the scene. They can also add character and texture to a scene that might otherwise be uninspiring. Trees are a popular photo subject but there are millions of different takes on them and they’re fun to shoot. Here are some of my ‘bare tree’ images that I hope you will enjoy seeing.
To see all my images from the Catskill Winter Photographers Weekend scroll down to ‘Birch Bonanza’, ‘Old and Abandoned’ and ‘Frozen Fun’.
Catskills Winter Photographers Weekend II
There’s no shortage of old and abandoned buildings in the Catskills and one doesn’t have to look hard to find these forgotten places. Some were left behind long ago to be weathered by the elements creating fascinating photo subjects. While the Catskills are still a popular tourist destination today, I get the impression that it was even more popular back in the day … when people from NYC were in the habit of driving to nearby vacations rather than flying to far off destinations. With dwindling tourism many places could not keep up and were abandoned. One such place is the Cold Springs Hotel which must have been quite nice in its prime. With each visit it seems to sag a little more and one day I am sure I will find a huge pile of rubble in its place. Though many buildings are left to decay, there are also some preserved like All Souls Church and the Saugerties Lighthouse pictured at the end of this post.
I wasn’t happy with the first ‘Catskills Haunt’ photo I posted so I gave it another try. The first one was an HDR process but the one there now, is not. While I liked the HDR large it was losing something small. From my bracketed shots I used the middle exposure and darkened the sky bringing out more detail, enhanced some colors and brightened the front of the building. Even though this is not HDR I wanted it to have a similar look to the others in the collection. There’s one other photo that is not HDR. Can you tell which one it is?
Catskill Winter Photographers Weekend I
Along with the company of 15 participants in last weekend’s photo tour we found no snow … but the ice was nice! I had fun looking for and photographing some of the frozen subjects we found along our way. Bastion Falls (which is below Kaaterskill Falls) looks different every time I photograph it. This time I approached from the other side and got down low to include some small icy cascades in the foreground. I found some close-up compositions and used a slow shutter to blur the rushing water. At another spot later in the day I used my macro lens to create some frozen abstract images. And at another place, where there was a small waterfall a branch was coated in a thick layer of ice and repeated splashing droplets created what looked like a pile of jewels in the morning light. At the lake I sat close to the edge and took a series of captures with different focus points (infinity, 11.9m, 1.9m). I blended the frames in Photoshop in order to get everything from the foreground to the background in very sharp focus. Below you will find my collection of frozen images. While I was hoping for wintry scenes that included fresh snow I ended up just as happy to have some frozen fun!
After a much needed blogging break following my West Virginia trip here (finally) are some images from the Catskill Photographers Weekend that I led in October. Having been there several times before I tried to choose some images that are a little different from those previously posted. We visited familiar places and a few new spots too. Stops on the tour included a mountain lake, waterfalls, a Buddhist temple and pagoda, the Olana Historic Site, the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, a birch grove, mountain views, a goat farm, and farmland. Heavy rain meant that the waterfalls were flowing better than I had ever seen and the two waterfalls on the property of the Glen Falls House Resort were brownish because of the earth they were carrying. It looked like chocolate milk! Falls in the higher elevations were running more clear. Some of these images were shot a day before the tour while scouting. I, along with our other tour leader have searched the area (relentlessly) looking for new locations to add to our list. Unfortunately many locations are not suitable for the group due to lack of parking, too much hiking or proximity to other locations. Even familiar locations need to be scouted since their conditions can change from season to season. These all-inclusive weekend events take place in the Fall, Winter and Spring. The next weekend is scheduled for February 3-5th. Leave a request in the comment area at the end of this post if you would like more information about the Catskill Winter Photographers Weekend.
Here are some photos from the Catskill’s Spring Photo Weekend I led from Friday, June 3rd through Sunday, the 5th. We had a great group of 15 and were blessed with cool but sunny Spring weather. I traveled up a day early to scout with our other leader, Matt and came up with a few new locations to add to the tour. The photos below are from time spent scouting as well as Saturday’s itinerary of stops which included; a mountainside lake, the Olana State Historic Site, Rip Van Winkle Bridge, a picturesque farm, All Souls Church and Mountain Top Arboretum. Sunday’s locations will appear in my next post.