Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: New York (Page 2 of 3)

Niagara Falls in Winter

Mist over the falls from the Canadian side.

Bright and early, a few days after Christmas, we headed off to the Finger Lakes area of New York. We decided to drive through Canada on the way there to be able to stop at Niagara Falls. Shortly after we arrived in Niagara Falls, dark clouds rolled in. As we walked along the path at the falls viewing area rain began to fall. It was hard to tell if this was just mist from the falls or if it was really raining. One thing I know for sure is that it made for some really spooky looking photos!

American Falls from Niagara Falls State Park

I had been to the falls once before, back in 2003. We only had a short time to view the Canadian falls from the Canadian side. It was much more crowded this time. I don’t know if it is always this crowded nowadays or if it was just because it was the week between Christmas and New Years, but it was a madhouse. It was hard to get pictures of the falls without getting other people in them. We didn’t stay on the Canadian side too long before getting in the car and crossing the Rainbow Bridge back to the U.S.

The border crossings took a lot less time than we budgeted for so we decided to check out the State Park on the New York side. I was really happy we did because it was much less crowded! I was always told you could only see the American Falls from New York, but that is not true at all! The state park puts you right on top of Horseshoe Falls and gives you a totally different perspective from the Canadian side. In the summer, you can walk practically to the top of Horseshoe Falls. Many paths close to the water close for winter, but it was still worth stopping! I would love to come back to the New York side when it’s warmer and you can get closer to the water!

Photo by Sally MowersAfter leaving Niagara, we headed to Buffalo for lunch at The Anchor Bar (left), the birthplace of Buffalo Wings. The last time we were in the area, we tried Duff’s because we didn’t have to drive too far off of the freeway to get there, but coming from Canada, it didn’t take us too far out of the way to go to the original in downtown Buffalo. Chris is kind of obsessed with wings, so this was a pilgrimage of sorts. Of course, the wings were delicious and I learned that there is an Anchor Bar in Rochester Hills, Michigan that we may have to visit sometime.

Photo by Sally Mowers

After lunch, we continued to our final destination. We took a route that took us down the west side of Seneca Lake and allowed us to stop at a few wineries on our way to Corning. This day, we stopped at Ravines, Billsboro, and Fox Run before heading to our AirBNB in Corning. I think I will talk about our experience with Finger Lakes wineries in an upcoming post. Be sure to stop back in the next few weeks to hear more about this trip!

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

2019: Year in Review

2019 was the best year for travel in my recent memory! Before this year, the last time I had been on an airplane was New Years Day, 2014. In 2019, we took three plane trips and visited more airports than seems reasonable. I finally spent some time west of the Mississippi and even got to break out the passports a few times. We took another amazing cruise and took my family to one of our favorite places.

Today, a memory popped on Facebook that we booked our flights to Phoenix one year ago. That trip was a super busy whirlwind, but it was an experience I will never forget. It was my first time visiting a desert, it was cold and rainy so I still haven’t really gotten a true desert experience. It is still fun to joke about Phoenix being a cold and rainy place. Of course, the highlight was spending a day at the Grand Canyon. Getting there right after they had reopened due to a blizzard was amazing! Crowds were low and the snow really added something special to all of our photos. I’ve printed the above photo and it is now hanging in my living room.

Just about a month after getting home, we hopped on another plane for our much anticipated cruise. We bought a voucher for this cruise on our last cruise back in 2015. We had booked and cancelled and rebooked so many times I was worried we were never actually going to take this trip, so it was a great relief to finally get back on a ship! All of the ports were visited were amazing and we took some great excursions. I can say that I accomplished everything on that trip that I had hoped to. Of course, we also got to experience New Orleans, but I don’t feel like one day was really enough time to take that city in.

After getting home from our cruise, we had just a few short months to prepare for our trip to Maine with my family. It was good to go back and spend more time in a place that has so much to see and do. It was great to share it with my family and watch them take in the beauty for the first time. Of course, we still weren’t able to do all that we wanted to do at Acadia so we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to make it back to Maine in 2020.

Of course, we took some day and weekend trips since June. We went camping at Sleeping Bear Dunes and spent a chilly weekend by the fire in Canada. After spending all that time in airports in the first half of the year, I really do miss getting farther away. Especially with the weather getting colder, I would love to escape somewhere warm for a little bit!  I have been obsessively checking for flight deals so we can jet off for another long weekend.

We do have another trip coming up before the end of the year. We are taking my mother-in-law this time and heading back to Corning, New York. Too bad we didn’t make it back to Boston, or we would’ve hit all of our stops on our 2018 road trip again this year. We’re heading out that way because the Corning Museum of Glass has an exhibit until the end of the year entitled “How Glass Got Us To The Moon” that we wanted to check out. So, be sure to stay tuned in the next few weeks for posts about that trip.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

 

2018: A Year in Review

2018 has been one of the biggest years for photography for me so far. While I feel like my landscape work has been pretty stagnant over the last few years. I definitely improved my portrait game this year. We continued our photography tours in 2018 and we are looking at how we can continue and come up with new classes for next year.

Catwalk at frozen St. Joseph Lighthouse

We had our biggest portrait job ever this year, photographing over one hundred families for our church directory. We also shot a wedding this year and I did my first ever infant shoot. We even got a few senior shoots in too and did a little more sports photography.

In terms of landscape photography, we started off the year with a trip to frozen Lake Michigan lighthouses (left). Early in the summer, we explored the Hocking Hills region of Ohio which really blew me away. I really want to return there when the colors change. That would be beautiful!

We also returned to a favorite campground, Straits State Park in St. Ignace and took a day trip to Sault Ste. Marie to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Michigan’s oldest city. Of course, at the end of the summer, we took a great road trip to Boston,  Acadia National Park, and Watkins Glen. As unbelievably beautiful as it was at Acadia, the sheer vastness was difficult to capture. Watkins Glen (right) was one of the most stunning places I have ever visited and I have been telling everyone I meet that they need to check it out. It really isn’t a bad drive from Michigan. If you would make the drive to the U.P., Watkins Glen is a similar distance.

Us at Watkins Glen

We finally upgraded our camera this year to a Nikon D7200. I can no longer say that I shoot with an entry level camera. We had rented them a few times so I was excited to finally own one. When you hit the top of your camera’s abilities, it feels so good to upgrade and be able to do the things that your camera was keeping you from. In this case the biggest thing was ISO sensitivity and low light capability. Even with the new camera, I think my favorite photo I took all year may be the Jordan Pond House photo I took with my iPhone (top).

This has been a good year for photography and exploring new places. I am looking forward to 2019 for more of the same! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Another Waterfall

East Coast Adventure

Cadillac Mountain Panorama

Looking back on this trip, and I have to think that this was one of the best trips in my recent memory. We visited three places that I have wanted to visit for years. We visited three places that I want to return to. There is so much history in Boston. There is no way to see it all in a day. Acadia National Park is giant and I feel like we only scratched the surface. Watkins Glen is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen. I would love to see it in the fall. All three of the stops on this trip will have to be revisited later.

Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Boston Highlights: Honestly, the best thing about our time in Boston was dinner at a trendy, Mexican restaurant called Lolita Cantina that was unlike anything we have at home. The meal started with a complimentary granita with a splash of tequila and ended with cotton candy and temporary tattoos. I often wondered if I was cool enough to eat there. I was worried they were going to throw me out. For me the biggest thing about Boston was just being in this historic city. Boston played a huge part in the early part of our country and there are many sites to see. Walking the freedom trail and knowing all that happened there was unreal.

Acadia Highlights: My favorite part of Acadia was probably the sweeping vistas along the Park Loop Road. I’ve thought about that a lot since I’ve been back home. When work gets tough, I can go back to Cadillac Mountain and hear the rush of the water and smell the salt air. Its not a matter of if I will get back there but a when. And it needs to be for longer. And maybe not in August. Lunch at The Jordan Pond House was good too. Eating a lobster roll and looking out over Jordan Pond is not something you can do anywhere else.

Watkins Glen Gorge Trail

Watkins Glen Highlights: Obviously, Corning Museum of Glass was great and I want to go back and create some more glass. But, the gorge trail at Watkins Glen State Park was unlike anything I had seen before. As beautiful as Acadia was, Watkins Glen was more photogenic. The beauty was more compact. Every turn was more beautiful than the one before. I had expected beauty and was blown away.

As I kind of mentioned about Boston, one of the best things about this trip was the food. We utilized TripAdvisor’s Cheap Eats a lot and got to try off the beaten path places that were surprisingly good! We had Asian Fusion is Corning, Gyros in New Hampshire, and poutine in Boston. Probably one of the best was a little Italian Place in Lexington (Massachusetts) called Marios that had unlimited bread and ridiculous portions of very good pasta. We were able to get out of there for less than $25 for two people. It was insane. We wouldn’t have found it without TripAdvisor.

Thank you for stopping by and for following along with this trip! To read more about our East Coast Adventure, click the link to get to our itinerary. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Waterfall Profile

Exploring Seneca Lake


After leaving the Corning Museum of Glass, we made a quick stop at the Rockwell Museum. Corning’s Rockwell Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate with a focus on American Art. Housed in the old Corning City Hall, the collection was a gift of Bob and Hertha Rockwell. Its a small museum and didn’t take long to see the whole collection. If you have extra time in the Finger Lakes or you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, The Rockwell Museum wouldn’t be a bad choice.

At the museum, I grabbed a guide for the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, so we headed back north to check it out. The Finger Lakes was just voted the best wine region by 10best.com and being in the area, I was looking forward to seeing what the big deal is. With over 30 wineries on the trail, it is much bigger than the Michigan wine trails. Obviously, we couldn’t visit all of them in one afternoon, so we stuck to the ones closest to Watkins Glen.

We visited Catharine Valley (above), J.R. Dill, and Atwater Estates. Located on the shore of Seneca Lake, all of the wineries had beautiful views. Much like in Michigan, Riesling is the king in Seneca Lake and our favorite was a forced carbonated Riesling from Atwater Estates. It was unlike anything I’ve ever had before.  Doing a winery tour was a relaxing way to end our final day of this trip and a way to bring back the perfect Finger Lakes souvenir.

Thanks for stopping by! To plan your visit to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, visit SenecaLakeWine.com.If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Corning Museum of Glass

We began our first full day in the Finger Lakes area with a plan. We would get up early and head to the Corning Museum of Glass. I have to thank Doug Parker of Cruise Radio for first turning me on to this museum and it has been on my list to visit for years now. If you’ve never heard of the Corning Museum of Glass, let me give you a brief run down of what they have to offer: unique, glass sculptures, a large exhibit on the history of glass (it may not sound exciting, but it really is interesting), glass blowing demonstrations, and a make your own glass experience.

Pendants We Made

I was most looking forward to making my own glass. I have watched the glass blowers at Greenfield Village for years, and I’ve always wanted to give it a try. So, we looked online the day before and all the glass blowing was already booked up for the day. Instead, we booked flame working and Chris and I both made a pendant. I am so glad we did that! It was a great experience to use a hot torch and melt the glass together and form it into a tear drop (right). While we were waiting, we got to watch people doing the glassblowing and they were literally only

Chris’ Etched Glass

doing the blowing. A worker was the one putting the glass in the kiln and molding it to shape. Knowing that, I am so glad we chose the flame working instead. Getting to actually create something with your own hands is a really good feeling! After we did that, we actually went back and tried our hand at the sand blasting, which is something anyone, any age can do. We were given a glass (I chose a bowl. Chris did a glass) and were given tape and stickers to cover it. Then, you put it in a sand blasting machine and any area that isn’t covered got etched. Chris’ glass turned out really cool (left)!

If you are in the Finger Lakes, you HAVE to stop at the Corning Museum of Glass! The exhibits are interesting. The demonstrations are unique. There are not many places these days where you can get to see glass blowing. If you are visiting, definitely budget time and a little extra money to create something. If you don’t get to do glass blowing, don’t feel bad, there are a ton of other ways that you can create a unique memento of your trip and get a conversation piece out of it!

To plan your visit to the Corning Museum of Glass, visit CMOG.org. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park has been on my bucket list since I first saw a picture of it when I first got on Flickr, about ten years ago. A picture very similar to the one on the left inspired my wanderlust. Looking at this picture, I would assume this was Costa Rica, or Hawaii, but no, this amazing glen of water and rock is actually in western New York. When I discovered this beautiful place is less than 8 hours away, I began planning a long weekend to explore it. Finally, the time came when it made sense to visit.

After visiting several Maine lighthouses, we made our way to Keane, New Hampshire for the night. I didn’t have much planned on the way from New Hampshire to Watkins Glen, but we did stop at the Albany Museum of Art and History to get out of the car and stretch our legs. Before long, we arrived at Watkins Glen and set up camp.

In the summer, the park offers shuttles from the Main Entrance to the upper entrance of the park. This allows you to hike down the 1 1/2 mile Gorge trail instead of having to go up 800 steps.  This made of a pretty leisurely, hike. It is definitely one of the most scenic of my life. If we had more time to explore, it would have been nice to hike some of the other trails in the park and get a different view of the gorge. As it was, I’m sure we got to see the best part.

From the moment we left the parking lot, I knew this was going to be like no other place I had ever seen. It seemed like every few feet there were beautiful stone bridges high above cascading falls. It reminded me a lot of Hocking Hills, but much more compact. The whole time I was amazed at the beauty, only to go down a few more steps, make a turn and get an even more breathtaking view.

While the top photo is the most iconic one of the park, the whole Gorge Trail blew my mind. I have never seen such a beautiful place. I have a really hard time reconciling it with New York state. This is not what I think when I think of New York. I’ve been told that some of the other parks in the Finger Lakes are just as beautiful. I will have to go back sometime to see for myself.

To plan your visit to Watkins Glen, visit parks.ny.gov. Be sure to come back next week when we visit the Corning Museum of Glass. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Onieda Community Museum

The first stop on our recent East Coast Road Trip was at the Onieda Community Mansion Museum. This is an interesting place with a unique history. We had first heard about the Onieda Mansion on an episode of Planet Money. You know the Onieda silverware company, right? Did you know that they started out as a 19the century, perfectionist cult and free love commune? The mansion house (now a museum) was the home of the Onieda Community from 1848-1880. Led by John Humprey Noyes, the community “challenged social views on property ownership, gender roles, child-rearing practices, monogamous marriage, and work.” The community was way ahead of its time in the in the rights of women, in that the women of the community were able to participate in community work and they played an active role in shaping policy of the commune. (wiki and Onieda Community)

The mansion house itself is a beautiful building with unique details. There are many community spaces to explore including a beautiful library. There is also a large meeting space where the 300 members of the community would come together for religious purposes as well as community meetings. It is hard to imagine 300 people living together under one roof. Nowadays, the building houses a museum, gift shop, as well as apartments, and guest rooms. It was a very interesting place, but I will admit it had a kind of creepy vibe to it. The Onieda Community may have failed as a cult/commune/eugenics experiment, but they do make nice silverware.

While in Onieda, we also discovered the Wold’s Smallest Church. The Cross Island Church was built for a wedding so it can house a couple with a minister while the guests watch from boats on the water. I wish we had heard about this place earlier because we may have called ahead for a tour, instead we viewed it from the road. More information about this tiny church can be found at RoadSideAmerica.com.

Thanks for stopping by and reading what has to be one of the strangest posts on this blog! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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