Weekly inspiration

Hi everyone,

During the 4th of July holiday, I visited family in North East PA. As one would imagine, I can’t go to PA without including plans to visit Ricketts Glen State Park with a fellow photographer and friend Ian. With everything we had planned, the only day we had open to visit the park was Saturday the 4th. Ian and I watched the forecast and as luck would have it, it was sketchy at best during the early morning. We didn’t let that stop us and got up early to make the 2 hour trek to the park. We arrived with gloomy skies which included intermittent rain and periods of downpour. Still not wanting to be deterred, we pressed forward. The recent increase in rainfall had the water at a level that I had never seen before. I was amazed at how much flow there was even in the smaller tributaries that feed into the main runs. We parked in the Lake Rose trailhead parking lot and headed down the Ganoga Glen side of the falls trail. The rain continued to be a menace making getting any shots challenging. We made the best of it and trekked down the falls trail all the way to the top of the 94′ Ganoga Falls. I stopped at each falls along the way and took in some shots. Most of my time I spent in the middle of the main run, shooting upstream in various spots. Here is one of my favorites from the trip of Oneida Falls. The amount of flow was so much on this falls that there was a wind driven spray even 50 feet from the base of the falls. At this particular location, the falls is exposed to the open sky, where the stream is mostly shaded by the canopy of trees along the edge. I don’t often process my images as monochromatic – it just isn’t my cup of tea. I played around with the highlights and shadows on this image and finally settled on the conversion. I think it evokes the mood of what we were experiencing that morning. If you are looking for a good place to shoot in the coming weeks, I highly recommend a trip here. The flows are likely still very high and will make for some fantastic waterfall photography. Thanks for stopping by to have a look at my work. Hope you enjoy! 

Tech details: Nikon D810, 17-35mm f/2.8 lens @ 25mm. ISO 400, .7 sec at f/11, Singh Ray LB Polarizer, Induro Tripod.  

Morning Mist at Oneida Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, PA © Rob Loughrey
Morning Mist at Oneida Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, PA © Rob Loughrey

Starry night Part 2

On the second night out at Lake Nockamixon, I went out much later due to issues with passing air traffic. I waited until after midnight and then proceeded back to the same spot I was at the night before. It was pretty lonely the first night, but on the second night at this late hour, there was absolutely not a soul around. The owls and ducks were the only thing breaking the crisp silence in the air. Just as expected, I didn’t have any issues with light trails from passing aircraft. I have posted a shot from the first night with the aircraft traffic in the image for comparison.
For this shot I used a 24 mm lens and exposed 40 frames at 30 seconds each and used Photoshop to create the star trails, each image being on a separate layer  (the first shot I used a 16mm). This is the same as taking a 30-40 min exposure but without all the noise from the sensor heating up during long exposures. The moon was so bright, it lit up the landscape like it was daytime. It was a great night, and I learned a few things trying this technique which I will use during the next attempt. Hope you enjoy…

Star trails over Lake Nockamixon - Nockamixon State Park, PA © Rob Loughrey


Starry Night

This past weekend I visited my family in PA for the holiday. I spent two nights at Lake Nockamixon State Park which is only a short drive from where I grew up. The sky was clear all night with a full moon illuminating the landscape. It was a little strange being out there all alone for several hours, with only a few ducks and an owl or two making any noise. The first night I was out from 9pm until midnight but wasn’t happy with the results of my star trail composites as there were numerous light trails from passing planes. I make the composites by taking several 20-30 sec exposures, one right after the other and then combine them in Photoshop to create the same effect as when you leave your shutter open for a long period of time to record the earths rotation.
Since the conditions were right for the blended exposures, I took several different individual shots. On the first night, there was a fisherman there late with me, trying his luck with the full moon light. I composed the shot to show him with his light torch on his head, his pickup truck and the clear skies above. The sun had just set about 2 hours prior to me setting up for the shot.  As you can see, the full moon washes out a good deal of the stars normally visible on a dark night. This makes it a little easier to discern the constellations. Notice the constellation Orion just to the right and above the fishermans pickup truck. Shortly after this, a group of about 30 people that were out for a night time stroll from the nearby campsites converged on the area to get a glimpse of the lake at night. This is a single exposure for 25 seconds at iso 400.

Star filled sky over Lake Nockamixon - Nockamixon State Park, PA © Rob Loughrey