Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Color in Upstate New York

I just got back from a great weekend in Rochester, New York.

The Tamron Road Series had us scheduled to take a group of photographers to Letchworth State Park, for a full day's shooting in the incredible river canyon that was filled with fog and some great color change happening with the leaves.

We met the group at Rowe's Camera store on Friday nite for a 3 hour seminar, and then took off in a bus, before sunrise to beat the crowds at the park.

In the past, when we traveled to the New England area for the autumn color show, New Hampshire and Vermont were the favorite destinations. But, honestly, after getting a short glimpse of what the Rochester area has to offer, this will be my spot for next season. Even over the popular Columbus Day holiday weekend, the crowds were certainly smaller, and the photographic variety was on par with anything I'd seen.

Just click on any of these photos, to see a full size image.

One of the interesting situations that presented itself in this region was the slate bottomed river canyons, filled with almost continuous small, cascading waterfalls with foliage immediately at the creekside. Easy access and lots of trails made for a shooter's paradise, without feeling you had to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to get the perfect angle. And, if it's the big, majestic falls you're after, this is the place for you. Several monsters are nearby....not to mention the iconic Niagara Falls about 90 minutes from where we stayed.

Early morning fog lifted and presented a very nice sunny afternoon, with big puffy clouds everywhere. The deep canyons provide the soft, shadow-free light needed for shooting those waterfalls. And, man, they're all over the place ! According to the locals, there are lots of other excellent shooting locations, just a short drive from Letchworth.

Other recommended areas that were impossible due to time constraints on this quick trip, are the Finger Lakes region and Watkin's Glen State Park, along with a local favorite, Stony Brook State Park.

During one of the breaks, someone spotted a couple insects hiding from the rain. This was the perfect chance for me to put on the new Tamron 60mm macro lens. And, equipped with the Metz Macro flash set-up, this made for a perfect lighting system for the otherwise flat light.

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