Sunday, October 30, 2011

Visiting Kaaterskill Falls in Autum

We decided to take a trip up north and look for colors. Since hurricane Irene took out most of the Catskill trails we hit the tried and true locations. One of my favorite being Kaaterskill Falls. The beauty of the Kaaterskill Falls trail is it is filled with possibilities for images and at the end you are rewarded with Kaaterskill Falls itself!

What you see above is Bastion Falls. The water flow was incredibly heavy with all the rain the day before. The sound was truly deafening. This is one of the sights that immediately greets you as you get to the trail head. Almost makes you think the hike isn't worth it. If you think that though you'd be wrong.

Along the way you find all sorts of small pull offs or paths to venture down. Some are more difficult than others. Sometimes you need to hop down a few feet of rock and others there is a small step like path. I find the closer you can get to the water the better (without falling in of course.) I personally don't like shooting from afar. It all tens to make the scene look flat and uninteresting. It's also important to note that foreground doesn't always have to be a rock or physical type object. Here the foreground is the foam and rushing swirl of the stream.

The trails themselves can also become the subject of your images. In this one location the colors from the leaves really painted a beautiful mood lighting across the landscape. Often with these trail shots we need to use lines natural or artificial to lead the viewers eye into the image and sharpness to bring them back. This is one of many keys to a successful image.

The Pièce de résistance for the trip; Kaaterskill Falls. I have had great difficulty getting great shots of the falls. The falls are in a valley so light in the morning is to one side and in the evening to the other. Leaving us with light mid day. if anyone has gone mid day it tends to be harsh if it's sunny and that is horrible for waterfalls. On this day it was cloudy and I waited about 20min to get just enough blue in the sky to make this work! Patience is really key here. There were some scattered branches I didn't like, but we can't win them all. I walked away really loving this image. I might just print it with my coupon codes from the recent Photo Plus Expo I attended in in NYC. Oh goodie!


  1. Such a beautiful set of falls -- great shots! I really like all the color in the 3rd frame too!

  2. Oh man I can't tell you how many time I have seen those falls and never nailed the shot. Even freezing my ass off once with the first one to make the trail in a foot of snow and not getting the shot I wanted. It was a good feeling that made all the effort and patience worth it! Now that you are on the opposite coast you can experience the true majesty of fall :-)


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