Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

OK, For a Little While

Fall Color 4 (EM1, 3282)

Once a year I’m happy to live where I live.  Once a year – if we’re lucky – Western NY becomes a magical place, full of color and the sights and smells of fall.  Once a year for a couple of months.  Again, if we’re lucky.  The other seasons aren’t quite as wonderful (in my opinion).  If every month could be October I’d love it here.  I’d never want to leave.  But alas, October is quickly followed by the cold and wind and ice and snow of December and January and February.  Which suck.  So my “job” now – during October – is to get out and photograph as much of the magic as I can, before it’s all laying on the ground or being raked and bagged by industrious homeowners.

Here, then, are a few current offerings from my favorite season.

Fall Color 1 (EM1, 3245)

Fall Color 2 (EM1, 3249)

Naturally, I have to include a few waterfalls images.  What fun would life be without a few waterfalls?

Fall Color 3 (EM1, 3256)

Actually, this little excursion had as much to do with trying out a new filter as it did with wandering through a favorite gorge and enjoying the color.  I have a new variable ND filter that I wanted to test.  I’ve used lots of ND filters in the past, but I’ve never used a variable one.  It’s an interesting piece of equipment.  Being able to dial in the right amount of filtration seems to have a few advantages (like not having to look through your bag to find the one with the right diameter and the right amount of filtration).  And if you want to use a large amount of filtration, you can set it at a low amount while you’re focusing and then crank it up.  The main disadvantage, I guess, would be using it with a wide angle lens (the filter is a little thicker than most).  You’d certainly have to be wary of vignetting around the edges.

Another “advantage” is that it forced me to get back to using my tripod.  Even the EM-1’s stabilizer can’t handle 1 – 3 second exposures.



8 Responses to “OK, For a Little While”

  1. TomDills

    Fall is a great time for waterfalls, Paul. And there’s nothing like a little fall color to go with that water.

    You may be planning to talk about the filter in a future post, and if so I’ll wait. But I’d be interested to know which brand of variable ND filter you are using and how well you like it.

    • Paul Maxim

      Yes, I love walking through gorges like this in the fall. I like the dampness and the smell of the water and the leaves. It’s really too bad that it all turns to ice in a few months……

      It’s a Tiffen 2 – 8 stop filter. It’s a very solid filter, I think, and it has a wide outer ring that diminishes potential vignetting with wide angle lenses. So far I really like it. You can turn it in either direction and watch the exposure time increase or decrease until you get what you want (handy if you’re trying to blur water to a certain level). It also doesn’t appear to have much affect on color. I really couldn’t detect it at all.

      I got it at B + H for $100.00 (I think it’s $109 now).

  2. John Linn

    Paul, I will be visiting a few of these spots this weekend for our annual wine tour. You are right… it is a great time of the year in Western New York.

    Like your photos, especially the second one with good use of negative space.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, John. Yeah, I’ve got to hit some more spots in the next week or two. I think Taughannock Falls is my favorite. It’s a really interesting gorge.

      Haven’t commented (yet), but I’ve really enjoyed your China posts. Especially the one with the hanging coffins. I’d never heard of those before. Kinda weird……….

  3. Cedric Canard

    I like using my ND filter (a B&W ND10) and it’s perfect for waterfalls. As you say, it does require a tripod but it does allow to capture the element of motion in water so beautifully.

    • Paul Maxim

      Yes, blurring waterfalls does enhance the sense of motion, depending on how slow an exposure you use. It’s also a little controversial – some say it renders the image “unreal” since we don’t see that way. But what the heck – it’s still a lot of fun!

  4. Earl Moore

    Falls in New England are fantastic — but from living there for a while I learned they need to be because the winters which follow “suck” so. 🙂

    Nice captures here, Paul. I have an adjustable ND filter for my Nikon DSLR but haven’t seen fit to purchase one for the Oly — yet.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Earl.

      No argument from me on the “winters suck” sentiment. The days are starting to get way too short, I think…….

      This is the first variable ND I’ve ever owned. It works well with the EM-1 because you can actually see the density change on the LCD as you rotate the filter.


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