Waterfalls & Streams of CNY Photography Workshop

When: April 24-25, 2021
Where: Syracuse, NY
Registration Deadline: Apr. 1, 2021 (space permitting)
Fee: $175 (Both days); $125 (one day)

Chittenango Falls-8856

Chittenango Falls

This workshop was the first one I ever put on the schedule, years ago. I wish I would remember how many years ago. While the exact streams and waterfalls that we visit each spring may change one thing does not change. By the time spring arrives in Central New York, many of us are suffering from cabin fever. With my focus on Spring 2020, I know it’s probably going to be muddy and it may not be all that warm yet. But, we’ll be anxious to get outdoors with our cameras. Well, I’m not going to waste my time trying to identify a  better subject for these early days of spring because I don’t think there is one. And, the question isn’t whether or not the waterfalls and streams will be photogenic. They always are. The only room for discussion is about how creative we’ll be from behind our cameras. If we had any concerns about this workshop in the past, it has been about whether or not we would be able to get to all the venues we hoped to.  Over the years, that’s gotten to be harder and harder. So this time around I’ve decided to make this a two-day event for those who would like to enjoy more time and perhaps visit a broader array of waterfalls and streams.

Let’s get prepared to get wet and create some meaningful, expressive, artful photographs that we can only get in the early spring. Come on . . . we’re photographing waterfalls and streams. Water, water everywhere. I’d bet that some of us will want to get into more than one of the streams and may even want to wade into the pools below some of the waterfalls. Oh yes, and this is Central New York, after all, so rain is always a possibility. We look at that as a positive, offering even greater opportunity for creativity. We’ll shoot rain or shine. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to use our neutral density filters, to try some HDR captures, and likely to pull out our macros at some point. Midday, both days, we’ll stop for a couple of hours to review our images and learn from what we’ve just experienced. These image review sessions are always a highlight of my workshops. Not only do we all learn from our own efforts but from those of others in the workshop, too. Add, to that the camaraderie that these sessions help develop and we have a can’t lose proposition.

Some favorite venues:
If you’re local to Central New York you may recognize some names, but if not you’ll have to take my word for it . . . “these are almost magical places to photograph.” We certainly won’t be able to visit every CNY waterfall and stream, but the list of possibilities includes Tinker Falls, Chittenango Falls, Carpenter Falls, Bucktail Falls, Fillmore Glen, and New Hope Mills, Chittenango Creek, Delphi Falls, and the list goes on. Of course, each of these has interesting streams and creeks above and below.

In anticipation of our time together, I will be sharing some tips about how to protect yourself and your gear for photography in and around water, shortly before our trip.


What you’ll learn:  

  • How to maximize the flow of water in your images,
  • How to get that soft, feathered look with water,
  • What to do if the sun shines brightly,
  • Maximizing/minimizing depth of field options,
  • Capitalizing on lines, shapes, and textures,
  • Making the most of “small landscapes”,
  • Composing to accentuate or minimize depth, and
  • What difference does your white balance make?

We’ll begin each day around the breakfast table with a brief presentation to whet everyone’s appetite for what’s ahead for the day. While we’ll stop each day for lunch, depending on just where we’ve gotten, that could be a country diner or a roadside convenience store. Saturday evening will be an opportunity for us not only enjoy dinner but to also soak up some of the creative energy from the group by enjoying examples of the day’s photography.

CNY Streams

As I said, we’ll meet Saturday morning for breakfast, likely in the picturesque Fingerlakes Village of Skaneateles. There’s a municipal parking lot handy where we’ll consolidate ourselves into three or four vehicles for the day’s travel. Some venues will be short on parking and carpooling really adds to the ability of everyone to get to know each other.

Lodging: There are several options for lodging in the area, ranging from national chain hotels and motels to comfortable independent motels, historic inns and B&Bs. All are readily available via Google search, however, if anyone would like assistance making reservations, all you need to do is ask.

Don’t forget:

High water boots . . .  you know you’ll want to get into the water somewhere along the way.

Knee pads or a ground pad . . . so you can get that really low vantage point.

Neutral Density Filters . . .  to go for the feathered water look so many of us like.

Tripod . . . long exposures are a joke otherwise … and so are most other exposures for that matter.

Rain gear . . . for you and your camera.

Here are a few images from past years to whet your appetite.


NOTICE: The potential always exists for specifics of any workshop to change. It is with this thought in mind that I always encourage workshop participants to confirm the details of your planned participation with me before making travel and/or lodging reservations. If you will be flying to this workshop and making reservations well in advance (often a good idea to get better pricing), I’d encourage you to take advantage of travel insurance just in case.