As I was returning from my hike in Tucquan Glen this morning, I was stopped by a man who was a part of a larger group who had camped near the stream overnight. He asked me for directions on how to get to “The Pinnacle,” which I assumed was further up the trail in the direction from which I had just come. I told him since I didn’t know other parts of the park very well, I didn’t want to steer him the wrong way. I had only just been down towards the end of the trail where the small sets of falls are located. He looked a little puzzled then asked me, “So where exactly did you come from?”
I guess he thought 9 am was awfully early for a hiker to be returning from this direction. I told him I had passed his camp and its sleeping-bag-encased inhabitants at about 6 am, prior to sunrise.
Yep, we photographers are a strange breed. Then again, I think sleeping overnight, in April, in the woods, with only a hammock tied up between two trees separating you from the wet cold leaves on the ground is crazy. So who am I to say what is and is not strange?
In preparation for my upcoming trip to Ricketts Glen State Park and its bevy of waterfalls, I decided to purchase a few neutral density filters for my standard walk-around zoom lens. I wanted to hedge against getting too much sunlight during my trip to the falls, plus I want to play around with some really long exposures when I’m down at the shore, or anywhere else I get near water.
Truth be told, I’m not in the position to buy the best of the best in the filter department. I knew I wanted at least two filters, so I could stack them and increase my exposure times. I ended up getting a .6 and .9 ND filter from Tiffen. With the ND filters in-hand, I got up in the pre-dawn hours to head out to one of the only spots in Lancaster County with an acceptable modicum of easily accessible running water: Tucquan Glen.
After my test run today I was pretty pleased with the results. I’m definitely not a pixel peeper, so if I lost some sharpness or the color is off I would never be able to tell you. All I know is the filters cut the amount of light I was getting into the lens, big time. With the lack of bright light puring into my camera, I was free to get more creative with my exposures.
I’m pretty excited about testing them out again this weekend at Ricketts Glen.