Making my way back to upstate NY at the end of September was a long time coming. Having grown up spending a lot of time up in Adirondacks and Lake Placid region it had been almost 10 years since I was last up there. And how good it was to return. The cause for the trip was a close friend’s wedding which I extended in to a fall foliage photography extravaganza. Last year I was able to capture the Eastern Sierra of California but the Northeast is a icon of which to view fall color from. Of course coming from Hawaii to upstate NY there is quite a change of climate…especially in late September. Packing my bag I had the usuals, long pants, gloves, multiple jackets, long underwear…and as expected all were needed.
On this particular day the plan was to catch some of the early morning fog that was occurring each day before the sun had a chance to warm up the air and ‘burn off’ the low clouds. This section of the Ausable is a winding treasure hunt. Wanting a certain flow of color and water I came across this section in the twilight. Bundled up I was ready to wait for the long haul. Poking around I found a couple of different options and then to sit and wait…and wait…and wait. 2 hours pass by. But then almost right on queue the fog began to break and the mountainside in the distance was revealed as the light illuminated the fog above the river. Admittedly the cold doesn’t feel as bad after being able to capture an image like this. 🙂
Here I am; sitting in LAX on a 8 hour layover headed back to Kauai. It’s here that for the first time since my photographic adventures over a week ago that I get to look over images from the trip. And in somewhat of an unusual turn I actually started at the beginning 🙂 Late September I found myself in the incredible little mountain town of Lake Placid, NY. A place that I visited fairly frequently as a kid and college ‘adult’ however it had been nearly 10 years since I had returned. Even more to the fact that I can never remember seeing fall color up there. Well…I was in for a treat. New England and the high peaks range are home to some of the most spectacular color displays in the US. Now, with only 4 days to shoot and a bit of memory loss from my childhood it was time to do some research. Which, on the first sunset of my session lead me to Mt. Jo. A relatively easy hike (about 1 mile with some decent elevation gain), it offers great bang-for-the-buck with views to some of the highest peaks in the Northeast. And this time of year…fields of color as far as the eye can see. 🙂
Arriving at the trailhead I aimed to get myself up to the top around 45min or so before sunset. Given that there were NO clouds i wasnt in much of a hurry as without them the sky is remarkably boring. But up we go. Making good time, about 20 min to the top, I was glad I brought layers. Not quite the same temperature as Kauai in September! A few other photographers were scattered about taking in the afternoon light while I bounced around the rock figuring out what I would do. Now, my normal train of thought is that if there are no clouds…shoot stars. So the plan was to wait until dark and then hike down with my headlamp (ALWAYS carry at least one in your bag).
As darkness fell the other people disappeared as well. Until it was just me. Much more of what I am used to when photographing 🙂 Of course being alone in the dark in the woods lets the mind wander…and I try my best to not be a wuss…but it’s bound to happen. :p Staying warm, 3 layers plus hat plus gloves, etc, sunset faded to twilight which gave way to the heavens above, and my goal for the evening. To my incredible surprise as it got darker I noticed a familiar streak across the sky. My old friend the Milky Way! No way. Directly in front of me right over the peak I was photographing. Well…wasnt going to let this go to waste. Managed to capture a few images as the light balanced out. Back down to the car in about 25 min with that feeling of ‘I hope I didnt screw that up’ it was a great way to start my week.
Now sitting in LAX…finally getting to review images I can say that am quite happy I was able to pull off something ‘on the fly’. More to share from the week and my apologies for the small size. The full resolution has some stunning detail 🙂
Much thanks and enjoy!