Braddock Point Bed & Breakfast

In searching Google Maps for a place to photograph the sunset along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, I discovered a wonderful gem called Braddock Point Bed & Breakfast. Originally built in 1896, the Braddock Point Lighthouse was eventually converted to the Bed & Breakfast it is today. Although we did not actually stay the night, we were granted permission to wander the grounds and photograph this beautiful location.

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Niagara Region Porsche Club 50th Anniversary

A few weeks ago Gillian and I traveled to Glenora Winery near the south end of Seneca Lake, as they were hosting the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Niagara Region Porsche Club of America (PCA). The celebration included live music, food and drinks, and a Concours de Elegance. The club even hired a helicopter to take a couple photographers up for aerial photos. Unfortunately, I was not one of them.

Gillian’s parents have been long time members of the Northern New Jersey Region, and since moving to the Rochester area, have transfered to the local Niagara Region of the Porsche Club. They are active members and Gillian’s father owns a 1967 Porsche 912, of which he is the original owner. It is immaculate and has been awarded many trophies. Today’s Concours would be no different…

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Watkins Glen Gorge Photowalk

This past weekend Gillian and I joined A. D. Wheeler, of A. D. Wheeler Photography, for a fun and informative photowalk at Watkins Glen Gorge in Watkins Glen, NY.

About 25 people attended and many brought their tripods and ND filters as they were after the “silky” waterfall look or were shooting HDR brackets. I decided to challenge myself and just bring my 35mm prime and shoot handheld. (or maybe I was just lazy and I didn’t want to haul my tripod…) The group got a bit bunched up at some of the more interesting locations but as polite photographers we waited patiently for tourists to pass by and for each other to get their shots.

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I Got a New Lens!

I recently purchased a new Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens from eBay. I know the 28-300 covers a larger range but when I want to go wide, 28 isn’t usually wide enough on my d300 so I would end up carrying another lens regardless. Not to mention its almost half the price. I have read lots of great reviews on the lens describing it as sharp, fast to focus, and having very good VR. I agree on all points and see no use in repeating what everyone else says about the lens. I’ll just share a few photos I have taken with it…

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Raindrops Hitting My Car during a Stormy Sunset

Photographing the Rain

My lawn has been a mess for a couple years now so I finally broke down and hired a service to fertilize and get the weeds under control. Now that thats working and most of the weeds are gone the grass needs to fill in. So I used that as an excuse to put off mowing for a couple extra days. I finally decided to start the job one evening around 7:30PM and as luck would have it, it started raining about half way thru. The lighting was nice and the rain looked cool so I got out the camera. I played around with shutter speeds and apertures to control blur and depth of field and this is what I came up with:

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Stokoe Farms-Harvest Festival

Stokoe Farms Harvest Festival

After immigrating from Northumberland, England in 1801, Thomas Stokoe established Stokoe Farms on 100 acres of land in 1812 in what is now the town of Scottsville, NY. The Stokoe family, now in its seventh generation, has expanded the farm to 3000 acres in four towns.

Each year, we get our Christmas tree at Stokoe’s but this is the first year I attended their Harvest Fest. In addition to their selection of pumpkins, Stokoe Farm offers recreational and educational activities as well as food and beverages and a gift shop.

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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from Tom Sawyer Island-Cell Phone HDR

My case Against Point and Shoot Cameras

For a recent family vacation to Walt Disney World, I wanted a camera that was more compact than my DSLR to carry in the parks with us. Something easy to carry that could fit in a small hip pack. Something lightweight, accessible, easy to use, but still with flexible manual control and decent picture quality. Since at the time I thought I was in the market for a high end point and shoot, I decided to rent a Nikon P7000.

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Photography Near Home

Wouldn’t it be nice if every day we could all shoot in the most interesting venues in the world like Venice or Yellowstone or Hawaii and display a continuous stream of gorgeous photos on our flickr or G+ pages? This is where I think a lot of us would love to be, either shooting professionally, or simply indulging our love of photography while traveling the world in our free time.

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Chimney Bluffs

Chimney Bluffs State Park

After spending time with some friends at Captain Jacks on Sodus Bay, Gillian and I decided to make the short trip over to Chimney Bluffs State Park. Gillian had never been to Chimney Bluffs or even Sodus Bay. I practically grew up on boats that my parents kept in Sodus. We sailed between Sodus, Fair Haven, The Thousand Islands and Kingston for many summers, so for me, the area holds fond childhood memories. One of the nearby places we would spend hours anchored was in front of Chimney Bluffs. Which back in those days, was not yet an official State Park.

Even today, as a NY State Park, it does not have much in the way of amenities, but does offer a small parking lot, a picnic area, a restroom, and a few hiking trails. Since today we were interested in seeing the bluffs from the beach, we drove directly to the parking area at the end of East Bay Road instead of using the official park entrance off Garner Road. (See map links below) We skipped the hiking trails but you can find a map at the official NYS Park website. For a local website with descriptions of the trails, see here. For an article about the bluffs, check Wikipedia.

We arrived shortly after a major downpour. In the photo below you can see the trenches created by the water rushing down the faces of the bluffs.

Looking up one of the bluffs at Chimney Bluffs State Park

Looking up one of the bluffs at Chimney Bluffs State Park

And here you see a thunderhead passing just south of the bluffs. We could hear the thunder but we stayed dry.

Ominous clouds just south of Chimney Bluffs

Ominous thunderhead lurking just south of us.

After reading about showing scale over on Scott Thomas’ blog, I took his advice in composing this shot.

Showing the scale of Chimney Bluffs

To show the scale of the bluff formations I composed this shot with my girlfriend Gillian at the base of the bluffs.

Below is one of the more interesting formations at the bluffs. Also, you can just see a large rock hanging from the left wall of the right bluff. I was unable to show any scale here, but that rock is a minimum of two feet in diameter. A good reason to heed the warnings about falling rocks!

Chimney Bluffs, NY or Arizona?

Chimney Bluffs, NY or Arizona?

The photo below (courtesy of TripAdvisor) is of Mitten Ridge, Arizona. Maybe you see a slight resemblance to the shot above???

Mitten Ridge, Arizona - Photo courtesy Trip Advisor

Mitten Ridge, Arizona - Photo courtesy Trip Advisor

Chimney Bluffs State Park has a nice picnic area on the shore of Lake Ontario as well as a couple hours of hiking trails that overlook the bluffs you see above. The rocky beach has crystal clear water thats wonderful for a refreshing swim and the sunsets are gorgeous. Check it out some time!