Daniel Novak Photo | What a wonderful surprise (in a ditch)!

What a wonderful surprise (in a ditch)!

August 10, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

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Alright, not a ditch but a ravine, but a ditch sounded more dramatic for a headline. In my previous post I described my search for inspiration with a pinhole camera in the Chestnut Ridge park. And I also mentioned that the original reason to go to the park was finding a new access path to a place I had not visited for a long time. So two pinhole exposures and an hour later I resumed that original mission eventually ending at the bottom of a deep ravine.

I started creek walking towards the place I vaguely remembered. The water level definitely was not a problem compliments of the summer heat and limited precipitation. However, the wet rocks were totally unpredictable. On some, my shoes held traction well while on others I came close to wiping out.

As soon as I turned the first corner I stood in awe! The lush green I was faced with literally took my breath away. It reminded me of jungle scenes, or some of the gorgeous photographs from the Columbia River Gorge. However, it was no material for a black and white paper in a pinhole camera.

Lush Green Ravine, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, NYLush Green RavineChestnut Ridge Park

Lush Green Ravine, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, NY

I took a quick phone snap as a reminder and headed on, eventually finding the little cascade I had seen once before. Not much water there now but the colors were again beautiful. Here, I actually thought a pinhole photo would look great. While the color would be gone, the texture of the shale rock and its cascade up the hill would certainly render beautifully. A reading with a light meter would not have it though with 240 minutes! I thought the 40-minute exposure I just took above the ravine was fairly long setting my new exposure length record. I was not going to hang around for 4 hours.

Creek Colors, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, NYCreek ColorsChestnut Ridge Park

Creek Colors, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, NY

It would not even be 4 hours anyway. It was about 90 minutes before sunset and I'd run out of any light about half way through. As a result, this idea got tabled and I would have to return in different lighting conditions.

Again, the phone came out for a few scene studies and that was it, only a track back remaining.

So where did these photos come from? Nope, they're not the cell phone snaps. While I returned home tired and really anxious to get the pinhole prints developed I also knew that could wait until darkness. But I could grab my digital camera and return immediately rather than risking the disappearance of that intense green. I had seen it too many times before where saying "next time" just did not cut it. I swapped my equipment and headed for a redo of the expedition. And I am glad I did!

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You (#etbtsy)!

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