On Wednesday I drove about 100 miles south, intending to hike and photograph in Robert Treman State Park (just south of Ithaca, NY). It’s a decent spot if you happen to like hiking in deep gorges and you like to photograph waterfalls. Guilty and guilty. I was especially looking forward to getting up close and personal with Lucifer Falls, a 115 foot twisting waterfall in the middle of the park. I mean, you have to love anything named “Lucifer”, right?
It wasn’t to be. Two miles into the hike, I could hear the big falls (there’s a number of smaller ones along the way). Then, as I rounded a slight bend in the trail, I saw the sign: “TRAIL CLOSED due to Dangerous Conditions. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”.
Well, WTF (and I don’t mean “Win the Future”). As far as I could see, there were no water problems. It wasn’t as if Enfield Creek was running over its banks. And the trail was dry. But, being a law-abiding kind of guy, I turned back. Bummer. Well, I didn’t exactly turn back. I crossed the stream and headed into another “restricted” area. The sign there wasn’t as big and didn’t threaten “prosecution”. But that’s another story.
Actually, there was another problem. Too much damn sun. I was hoping for some clouds. Normally in the spring, clouds will form to the south of Lake Ontario on days like Wednesday. You know, air passes over the cool lake waters and then hits warmer air rising from the ground to the south and you get clouds. Happens all the time. And I just wanted a few of them. All I needed was a little shade, a little bit of the time. Nope. Wall to wall clear, blue sky. Ain’t much worse than bright sun on white water for photography. Especially in a deep gorge with harsh shadows in places. My camera’s pretty good, but it doesn’t have that kind of range. I had my tripod with me so I could have done the bracketing thing and gone with HDR, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’d rather just walk out and try another day. So I did.
Long story short, I didn’t get much for my efforts (or my gas expenditure). Got plenty of exercise, though.
This image is more like what I was after, even though this one was taken a couple of years ago in a different place. It’s one of the few times I’ve actually caught a whirlpool in “action”.
And I have to say, the light was just perfect.