Waterfall in Black and White II

Upper-Falls-BW-I-(1897)

This can be a difficult waterfall to photograph.  It’s not that it’s hard to get to – it’s only a few hundred yards from a parking lot.  The problem is (or can be) wind direction.  If the breeze is coming off the falls and toward you, you’re going to get wet from the spray.  Not to mention your lens, camera, and the rest of your gear.  In this case, the breeze was blowing from right to left, so we all remained dry.

This, by the way, is the Upper Falls in Letchworth State Park (near Mt. Morris, NY).  Close by, not surprisingly, is the Middle Falls and a little further downstream is the Lower Falls, all part of the Genesee River and what has sometimes been called the Grand Canyon of the East.  That’s a bit pretentious, but the gorge is about 600 feet deep in spots so it’s not insignificant, either.

The Genesee River also has the distinction of being one of the few rivers in the United States that flows from south to north (into Lake Ontario).  The river – and the surrounding Finger Lakes – were all formed by the retreat of the last great glacier some 14,000 years ago.  So it’s also much, much younger than the “real” Grand Canyon in Arizona.  If I remember correctly, some of the rock at the base of that canyon is over 2 billion years old.

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