Fall is one of my favorite seasons in the year. I enjoy a break from the summer heat and I find natures color palette at this time of the year to be truly spectacular. This season I had the opportunity to accomplish a couple of things in my wish list. One was to get to Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania and the other was to photograph leaves swirling in the eddies that sometimes form around waterfalls.
I was with my husband Anthony and my friends Roman Kurywzack and Dr. Nick Palmieri at RGSP. The park was named after Colonel Robert Bruce Ricketts. The trails have a reputation of being difficult and dangerous. But I feel that if you are well prepared you will enjoy your visit and walk out with some wonderful images. The falls trail is a 3.5 mile loop that showcases 18 of the 22 named waterfalls.
Our first stop was Adams Falls. An easy stroll thru a trail from the parking lot. This bridal veil type waterfall is located at the lowest elevation in the park at 1,214 feet. My excitement was not easy to hide and for those who know me, you know I have no problem showing it. Roman was his usual self. He genuinely loves to share his knowledge and lend a helping hand. Nick and I were working the falls and content to stay there. I mentioned I would love to photograph the falls in the winter when they are frozen. At this point Roman suggested we should move along and return in the winter, rather than us staying there and capturing fall and winter images in our first and only visit. We all had a good laugh and headed out to the glen.
The adrenaline was flowing walking thru the trails and Roman’s assurance that I would get the swirls I wanted, made for a what seemed to be an easy hike. We covered a number of falls and indeed captured some swirls… but not the ones with the leaves in them, but never the less they were swirls only white water ones. I still think they were pretty cool.
Roman uses a Singh Ray Vari Neutral Density Filter which is great for blurring motion and allowing you to take longer exposures. Nick had purchased one already after trying it out while shooting in the past with Roman and of course now I need (need not want) one as well. Roman lent it to me while we were shooting and after a few exposures I was sold.
We continued photographing various falls until late in the afternoon when the sun decided to show up to our party. At this point when we were heading back I realized why they call the hike a rough one. I kept asking the guys, “does this trail ever end?” But after getting to the car and resting for a bit, the light was sweet and we were ready to keep on shooting. Nick and I had a blast doing blurs of the fall colors and the moving cars, while Roman was driving.
The next morning Roman guaranteed me I would get swirls and he delivered. I met him at Hedden Park in Randolph, NJ. He had photographed there the past couple of years and knew the possibilities were high. Not only one… but I got images with four swirls going. All I can say is Thanks So Much!!!
Here are some images from a prior year, photographed at Harriman State Park. On this particular day I was photographing alongside my friends Klaus Dieter Schleim and Dotty Waxman as well as with my husband Anthony. Dotty and Klaus, have supported and encouraged me in my photographic endeavors. I have learned a great deal from them and I never forget the valuable lessons learned. Harriman State Park is the second largest state park in New York. Located in Rockland and Orange counties 30 mi north of New York City, it is a haven for hikers with over 200 mi of hiking trails. The park is also known for its 31 lakes, multiple streams, public camping area, and great vistas.
For some interesting history information regarding RGSP you may want to visit Ricketts Glens website.