Posted by: kerryl29 | May 18, 2016

Chasing Waterfalls

By the time this post airs, I’ll be in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The original plan this spring was to make a photo trip to Yosemite National Park and the eastern Sierra-Nevada Mountains in California–with a return trip to the coastal redwoods tossed in for good measure.  For a number of reasons, that was mothballed back in late February (the hope is to revive it for next spring), and I had to scramble to put together a Plan B.  As it was rather late to seriously consider scheduling anything elaborate, I remembered that I’d long had an interest in visiting Ricketts Glen State Park.  I first heard about Ricketts Glen nearly 15 years ago and it’s been on my “to do” list ever since, but it had always been eclipsed by some other destination.  With the California trip postponed, it seemed like a good time to put that to rest, once and for all.

Ludlow Falls, Miami County, Ohio

Ludlow Falls, Miami County, Ohio

I was interested in coming up with some other, relatively nearby, locations to supplement the trip (Ricketts Glen is roughly a 600-mile one-way drive from my base) and ultimately settled on the western Finger Lakes region of western New York state.  The original pull was Letchworth State Park–which is actually about an hour northwest of the Finger Lakes–but I subsequently stumbled across Watkins Glen State Park and, from there, numerous spots in Schuyler and Tompkins Counties.  Eventually I put together a workable itinerary, and I’ll be in the field beginning with the outgoing drive on May 15, with a return planned for May 26.

Bow Falls, Banff National Park, Alberta

Bow Falls, Banff National Park, Alberta

The common thread to all of these locations is the presence of waterfalls–dozens of them.  It’s the first time I’ve taken a photo trip where the principal subject of interest is waterfalls.  I’ve certainly undertaken plenty of waterfall photography on previous excursions–at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon last spring, for instance–but that was a tack on to the main subjects of the trip (beaches on the Oregon Coast and the redwood forests of northern California).

North Falls, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

North Falls, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

But this time, waterfalls represent more than an addendum; they are the center of interest.  This means I hope for mostly cloudy weather (without too much rain–during daylight hours, at least).  Sunny days are generally undesirable for photographing waterfalls and streams, but ultimately you get what you get,  and I’m sure I’ll spend my time constructively, even if the sun is out.

St. Louis Canyon Waterfall, Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

St. Louis Canyon Waterfall, Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

After a much-needed respite after my return (history has proven that this is always required),  I plan to start posting images from the trip at some point in June.  I hope to update the blog before then, but if I don’t, you’ll know why.  See you soon!

Elakala Falls, Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

Elakala Falls, Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia




  1. Really neat, Kerry.

    • Thanks very much!

  2. Hey Kerry! I’ve been to all of the places you have on your itinerary. Ricketts Glen is just shy of two hours north of my home base. I can’t wait to see your take on your destinations!

    • Hi David. I’m in the Elmira, NY area right now. Just wrapped up at Ricketts Glen yesterday evening. After horrid weather (sleet and snow in mid-May, for cripes sake) after I arrived on Sunday (which put a damper on things, figuratively and literally), I got a partly cloudy day on Monday and full overcast on Tuesday. That was enough to shoot things out. It’s quite a location–surely one of the premier waterfall destinations in the eastern half of the country, if not the entire continent.

      I drove to the western Finger Lakes this morning and had enough cloud cover to photograph at a couple of locations in Montour Falls. Then things cleared up and it’s been full sun since early afternoon. “Partly cloudy” is the forecast for tomorrow, but I sense mostly sunny. Then clear on Friday. I’m going to hit Watkins Glen SP first thing in the morning tomorrow (even with sunny weather, it should stay evenly lit there for a few hours–and be devoid of people at that time of day). Looking forward to it!

  3. Nice Click inspired Dude
    if you don’t mind check mine too 🙂

  4. I kept thinking, “Watkins Glen…Watkins Glen…” Then, I remembered the 1973 concert. An artist friend who lives in the area posted about that on his blog.

    The photos are beautiful. Unfortunately, the only waterfalls we see here on the coastal plain of Texas as those that spill from freeway overpasses when it’s flooding. There are more in the hill country, but none so dramatic as these. I’m looking forward to seeing more as you post them.

    • Thanks for the link–I’d never heard of this concert. Having now spent some time in Watkins Glen, and seeing the infrastructure (which is probably little, if any, changed over the past 43 years–the only roads in and out of town remain the two-lane variety) I can’t imagine 600,000 people descending on the area. In fact, I don’t know how they handle the crowds that arrive every year for the Grand Prix race.

      That aside, the waterfalls in the area–and the ones in and near Ithaca–are very impressive. I hope to start posting images of them in a few weeks time.

  5. I too like the slow shutter effect on water – seems to make it almost silky. The rocks are also great

  6. AMAAAAAAAZING series, Kerry. You ROCK. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Frank.

  7. Waterfalls really are ideal for capturing movement, and you do it to absolute perfection here!

  8. Wow such an amazing waterfall! Nature can inspire us to do amazing things in our lives as well.

    • Thanks very much!

  9. Love your posts

    • Thanks very much.

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