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For my typical shots I tend to do extensive research and travel to find magical spots in far away lands. With Autumn winding down in upstate NY and limited time I knew I needed to get out again but couldn't spend a whole day traveling and exploring. There is a nature preserve not 10 min from my work and I've only been there once to go trail running with a co-worker so I decided to leave work early on a Friday and explore it at a slower pace. The trail is a nice open trail with many loops to take but I was only interested in the ones that went by the three waterfalls in the preserve.
There were a few locations along the trails to look down on the falls from above but there were no clear trails that lead to the basins where I wanted to shoot from. I explored for a while and found my way up stream to the lower falls and the conditions were absolutely perfect. A slight cloud cover had rolled in dulling the harsh mid day light and the foliage was at peak! I couldn't believe I had found such a perfect gem that had been right nearby for my entire career.
I walked around looking at different compositions and even wadded into the cold water barefoot to get some shots directly in front of the first fall, but using my wide angle diminished the falls in the background into an afterthought. I wanted to compress the depth of the scene and bring the lower and upper falls together for a more complete image. I took out my 70-200 zoom and took this shot. 70 mm was the perfect focal length to compress the image and seamlessly connect the two sets of falls.