Friday, March 18, 2011

Finger Lakes Gorges in Winter - Robert Treman

One last "gorges in winter" entry.  Good thing too... it feels like spring today!

Robert Treman is just outside Ithaca on route 13 going southwest toward Elmira, and encompasses the gorge known as Enfield Glen.  There are two sections, separated by a couple miles of trail or a few more miles of steep, winding road.  Both the lower and upper areas are worth a visit in winter but it's the spectacular upper region, with 115' Lucifer Falls, that is the main topic today.  Usually a small amount of parking lot is plowed at the upper area, near an old grist mill.  Follow the main trail over a bridge by the picnic shelter, and take the rim trail where it diverges to the right.  (If you get on the wrong path you'll soon come to an iron gate barring access to the gorge proper in winter due to dangerous conditions because of ice.)  The rim trail winds around through the woods for half a mile or so, then comes out at an open promontory almost directly over Lucifer Falls, with an unparalleled view down the deepest part of the gorge.  Late morning is a great time to be here in winter for photography.  Take in the view here, but don't turn back yet.  Continue on as far as the trail allows in winter and you'll be at the overlook directly across from Lucifer Falls. For winter gorge viewing, it doesn't get any better than this. This spot always puts me in the mind of Middle Earth and perhaps the Mines of Moria!

The shot below is processed with HDR, using Photomatix.  This is four shots, each 1 stop apart, with 1 under, 2 over, and 1 right on.  This is not my usual procedure for HDR, where I take three shots, 2 stops over, 2 under, and 1 right on, but this was early on in my experimentation with HDR.  More on HDR and Photomatix in a future post, but for now, suffice it to say that in the absence of HDR, either the upper canyon walls were washed out and over-exposed or the botton section was an inky pit of dispair.  This shot used Exposure Fusion, so not strictly HDR, actually, but a technique that takes the midtones of each photo and combines them.
This is the last of this series on gorges in Winter in the Finger Lakes.  Now, moving on to spring!  Oh, wait... it's snowing outside again...

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