This one came about when I was running through my slides and realized that I had a comparison image – it was unintentional, but fell into place. What we see here is a view down from a bridge over a small waterfall/torrent in Watkins Glen, New York, during a visit in 2006. Watkins Glen is the name of the town and the big scenic gorge that cuts down through the bedrock towards Seneca Lake, with excellent access for sightseers. I’d been meaning to get back there and do the place justice for some time, but the day that I had available was overcast and a little rainy, so while it kept the crowds at bay, it didn’t lend itself to good photos. The wet rock stood out perhaps a little better, but of course increased contrast significantly, rendering many of the slides that I took that day almost into monochrome.
[A word of background: I grew up near this in central New York, and visited a couple of times but long before I was ever doing photography. After moving away, I didn’t get back up to NY to visit family too frequently and was often constrained in available time when I did, plus the fact that Watkins Glen is roughly an hour from where I was staying, to say nothing of the multiple hours hiking up the paths that run alongside, so arranging the trip wasn’t a simple thing. I was more than a little chagrined to find the weather so crappy when I finally did get the trip in order, but so it goes.]
We follow that with a few years ago in 2019, when I eventually got another chance to return.
Same bridge, same perspective, but this time I found a foreground item to use. Plus the conditions were a lot better, though the flow is clearly reduced. So credit to the better lighting at least, and I think the latter was later in the year (summer instead of spring, if I recall correctly,) and so more likely to find a fern of this nature to begin with. But a part of it was just finding the fern sprouting from the vertical sides of the bridge and realizing that I could make it a subject; it was even better when I realized that the steps in the rocks could accentuate the edges of the fern leaves, if I positioned myself carefully – yes, this was fully intentional. In this case, the reduced flow worked in the image’s favor by even providing those lines to begin with. We lose the depth of the descending falls of course, so the conditions of the gorge are not displayed here, but I’m good with this particular tradeoff.
If you want another perspective, it’s the same bridge in the second image here, from the same excursion, and you can thus see the number of people visiting when the weather’s right. It’s worth the visit, and really, the Finger Lakes region of central New York is very scenic, so if you have the chance and haven’t done so already, check it out. My big regret is that, with last year’s visit when The Girlfriend was finally along, we didn’t have a lot of time to check out more spots.