Went on a quick visit to Upstate New York with my 8x10 Camera

November 21, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Late October Road Trip - to Rochester and back

     I had a chance to get away from home with my 8x10 camera for a few days in late October, we went to visit family who live near Rochester, New York.  One of the stops along the way was Steam Town in Scranton, this is one of my favorite places to visit.  I just can't get enough of the old, large steam engines with the cast iron, pipes, valves, rivets, connecting arms, wheels and the toll of time make this place just magical for me.  Every time I visit I see something new, or something I have seen before in a new light.  I was working away until the late afternoon as the daylight was fading into the darkness.  I did spend about three hours there, but as is always the case I wish it would have been longer.  The low angle of the sun in the fall does make for interesting lighting effects, but the short hours of daylight means your working day is shorter.  So I packed up my gear, and we found a place for the night.

     The next day our first stop was at Taughannock Falls State Park on the west side of Lake Cayuga.  This rather modest creek falls about 200 feet into a gorge, one of the highest drops in the Eastern US.  It was a very nice fall morning when I was there, but unfortunately the main falls were in fairly deep shadow so I was unable to get an image of them.  The park has a very nice trail up into the gorge and along the way I did stop to make a couple of images of the creek where the light was better.  That morning the park was not very full of visitors, and a few of them stopped to ask about the large camera I had with me and what I was using it for.  I had a fairly long conversation with some visitors from the UK who were interested in the camera I was using.  While it does look old, it actually was made two years ago in China.  And, the film I was using was made by Ilford at a factory not far from where they lived in England.  But, most of all they were intrigued by my baby carriage - when I am out and away from the car with my large camera ( And the 8x10 camera with its lens set and film holders is a fairly large amount of equipment ) I use a baby carriage/stroller.  I much prefer to push the load, than carry it - I would guess if I weighed it the equipment I have with me would be around 50 pounds. 

     Later,  I was able to get to Letchworth State Park just south of Rochester, this is where the Genesee River goes over three rather large waterfalls.  The river has formed a large canyon over time and it was just a little past peak color for the fall foilage, so the hillsides blended into a muted brown, red and orange display of colors - still quite nice to enjoy even if the very bright yellows and oranges were mostly gone.  I did get the camera out for a couple of images of the falls before I ran out of film.  One of the things that a large camera user needs to plan for, how many sheets of film to take on a trip (or how many loaded film holders can I fit into the car).  On this trip I underestimated how many sheets of film I would use at Steam Town and how much time I would be able to spend making photographs.  So the after the last shot in Letchworth, I packed the camera away for the rest of the trip and just enjoyed the scenery and visiting with family.


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