I was visiting family in upstate New York a couple of weeks ago and had a chance to photograph a few of the many gorges and waterfalls in the area. I went to Treman State Park and hiked through the gorge leading to Lucifer Falls.
The waterfall is a 115-foot cascade. I positioned myself about a quarter of the way from the top of the falls since I wanted to photograph the upper half. It was the beginning of autumn, and I wanted to capture some color in the foliage attached to the canyon wall.
I carefully positioned my tripod a safe distance away from a cliff overlooking the most expansive view of the canyon and falls. Still, when I focused on the distance of the cascade from top to bottom, I began to feel a bit dizzy. Seeing a young man with a cell phone in hand march confidently out to the end of a precipice made me feel more uneasy at the time. As he sat down with his legs dangling over the cliff, he snapped several photos of the valley below. I imagined that he would quietly drop to the bottom of the gorge at any minute and that I would need to notify the park rangers to search for his body. Thankfully, I didn't have to, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people are willing to take such risks.
I liked shooting this waterfall from the side and emphasizing the long stream, seeing it as a diagonal line that separates the wall from the floor. Because it was late in the day and mostly cloudy, I stacked a 3-stop neutral density filter onto a polarizer to take a 3-second exposure.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor