Monday, June 25, 2012

The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall

Get a long, little doggie... enjoying the Christman
Nature Preserve. Photo ©Jeremy Clowe. All rights reserved.
Yesterday I set out on a photographic mission: to take a nice shot of a nearby waterfall to use at the wedding. For the uninitiated, Sarah and I have a thing for waterfalls and have been making a list of those we have seen (including Niagara). I brought along an excellent book that my Mother had given us for Christmas: New York Waterfalls: A Guide for Hikers & Photographers by Scott E. Brown. In addition to listing all the locations in the state, I forgot that the book also had some useful tips for taking photographs of waterfalls, including the author's manual camera settings. Beautiful results!

One of the nicest waterfalls we have seen is located at the Christman Nature Preserve in nearby Duanesburg, New York--we actually used a photo of it for our wedding invitations, but thought that we should take a photo with a higher resolution for what we have in mind. So off I went, and enjoyed the nice wooded hike through the winding preserve. There were plenty of pretty nature scenes, but I was determined to get the shot of the waterfalls first... 

What I found instead was more like a trickle... I guess there has not been enough rain over the last week or so to sustain a natural waterfall in the location. The only sights I had to see were girls in swimsuits enjoying the pond... oh darn.

Christman Nature Preserve.
Photo ©Jeremy Clowe. All rights reserved.

With limited time, I called Sarah at work and she suggested heading over to the Cohoes Falls, pointing out that because it was flowing from the Mohawk River, it would indeed by falling. She was right... I wandered down a long staircase on to broken shale rocks, and down near foot level for a nice vantage point to a series of pretty waterfalls. However, no sooner did I start taking photos then a park guide walked up to me to tell me that this portion of the park was closing for the day... by this point, I was wondering if I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. took a few quick photos, which turned out alright. Maybe one of these will work, or perhaps I still have time to find another (now I'm praying for rain this week!).

(Cohoes Falls photos ©Jeremy Clowe. All rights reserved)

Sarah joined me at the river park after work, and we learned a bit more about the area and town of Cohoes. Also called "The Great Falls of the Mohawk," Cohoes Falls was celebrated by 18th century travelers, who regarded it as the second most beautiful cataract in the state this side of Niagara. The power of the falls was harnessed to fuel turbines for the city's industry, which included the manufacture of cotton. Most of the water is still used for power generation, and for the town's water supply. 

It looks like Cohoes Falls even has it's own webcam (hmmph... I bet no one's kicking them out):

So I'll keep chasing those waterfalls for the perfect picture... hopefully finding a good one before the big day.


The Nature Conservancy: Christman Sanctuary

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