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Gushing Finger Lakes Waterfalls

July 30, 2019


Photographically, there’s something special about flowing waters.  They’re constantly changing —  the flow, the patterns, the textures, the colors and reflections.  Some of the most photogenic waterfalls in the Eastern US tumble over escarpments in the Finger Lakes region of western New York.  There are over 200 named falls.  My goal for our June workshop was to visit a variety of falls, from the bridal veil-type, such as Taughannock Falls, the highest in New York State, to ledgy falls that form a series cascades, as in Buttermilk Falls State Park.  This area offers each in abundance.  And recent spring rains had them flowing beautifully.  Not only are the waterfalls scenic, the winding streams that host them are enticing in their own right.


 Cascades in Buttermilk Falls State Park ©Mark Bowie 2019


We shot waterfalls and streams over three days, and were fortunate to experience a variety of lighting and weather conditions.  High clouds produced soft light on the water for the first couple of days, bright sun lit them on the final morning.  Over time, I’ve garnered lots of tips and techniques specific to shooting flowing water.  The group experimented with different shutter speeds to see how they’d render the waters’ texture.  We got to interesting vantage points, including walking into streambeds for an up close and personal look.  We also shot spectacular panoramas, HDR’s, focus stacked images, and video — and found that here, the possibilities for creative images is endless.


 Eagle Cliff Falls, ©Mark Bowie 2019


Given the sheer number, variety, and ease of access to beautiful waterfalls in this region, I plan to lead another workshop here next spring.  It is truly a magical place.  If you love shooting water, I invite you to join me.  Details will be posted to the API website as soon as logistical arrangements are finalized.  Many thanks to the talented, enthusiastic group of photographers who shared the experience this spring.  I’m inspired by your work.

 Cascadilla Gorge, ©Mark Bowie 2019

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