Sunday, March 17, 2013

KISS at Niagara Falls

I was at the annual convention of the Niagara Regional Camera Clubs this weekend. The meetings (and lodging) are right at the American side of the falls, literally a five minute walk.  Niagara Falls has this night-time illumination every evening.  It draws a lot of people, even on a frigid night. Ignoring strong winds and sub-freezing temperatures, I took my tripod and camera down to test a lens that I am considering to buy.  The scene looks like this:

Nikon D800,  48 mm lens;  8 sec. at f/8.

The lights, sitting on the Canadian side, cycle through a range of colors.  A typical resulting image of the American Falls is:

So, now, many are saying to themselves some assortment of "ooh" and "aah".   I was pretty happy with the result that night.  But, I recalled a previous time when I walked to the falls in the very early morning when the floodlights were off.  So, I got up and was there at 6:00 am.  The only light was the ambient city lighting reflecting off the low clouds.  Here is what I found:

Absent the strong floodlights, the foreground colors come out nicely and the textures are better.  A vertical image absolutely won me over to the early morning result. 

So, you might say that I was reminded of  Keep It Simple, Stupid.  I know the floodlights attract both moths and tourist alike, but predawn is uncrowded and beautiful in a simpler way.  Another bonus was that the wind had subsided and it was definitely easier to keep my hands warm.


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