Kaaterskill Falls, New York, USA by Kyle Barden

Picture Story

Kaaterskill Falls is a place I find myself visiting over and over and each time, it's a completely different experience. I’ve been at night to capture the stars, in winter to capture frozen falls, and this was my second visit in the fall. Last year I arrived too late in the fall season and many of the leaves had already fallen. This year I was able to time it just right. With COVID-19 restricting travel and things that people can do, hiking has exploded in popularity throughout New York and Kaaterskill Falls is no exception.

This was taken as the sun set on a Sunday evening and I was thankful that the crowds stayed mostly at the lower tier of the falls. I had arrived at the spot just as the sun was setting and I spent a few minutes running around trying to find the best angle. Once I had settled on this spot, I set up and began taking shots to stitch together. I was working as wide as I could go with my 16-35mm lens and I needed to take 5 vertical oriented shots in order to capture the full width of the area. I took a set at multiple exposures but I didn’t need them since the dynamic range on my Sony A7RII was able to balance the scene perfectly. I chose to expose at F22 because my focus was on the falling sun on the horizon and I wanted to maximize the quality of the sunburst that I could capture. F22 helped create that fine pinpoint star and reduced the flaring I was getting into the foreground subjects.

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