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Exploring the Mill Trail

Let’s begin by understanding that the name of the trail is not “The Mill Trail” rather it is a trail that is dotted by numerous mills that have been mostly abandoned.  The actual name is the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail and is part of the Crooked Lake Canal system. The holidays came and went and as cabin fever was setting in, I decided it was time for a winter hike that would be rich in photographic opportunities. After looking through my typical online sites such as AllTrails (https://www.alltrails.com/ , Waterfalls of New York State (http://nyfalls.com/waterfalls/) and google earth, I found the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail (https://www.keukaoutlettrail.org/ ) that would provide the perfect opportunity to incorporate a winter hike and a photo adventure. The trail begins in Dresden, NY and seven miles later ends in Penn Yan, NY. As one of my favorite subjects to photograph are waterfalls, I checked out the trail map to find the best opportunities.  I decided to enter the trail at the visitor center off of the Outlet Road which is about the midpoint of the trail system. From this location it was within easy hiking distance to two of the mill sites that I wanted to see and of course, they were in opposite directions of each other.

The trail system is very good with parts paved with asphalt and most a combination of gravel, dirt and ballast from the railroad bed.  This time of the year, it was snow packed, but well-travelled.  As a life-long outdoors enthusiast, I have a solid inventory of hiking skills and necessities, so this would be more of a test for my camera gear. Let me begin by what I decided to carry and what I learned from this adventure.  My backpack of choice for this type of day hike on a well maintained trail system is the LowePro Pro Tactic 450.  I have owned this pack for about two years and has served me well, however, in my opinion, the only negative feature is the waist belt.  I ended up modifying the pack by replacing this waist belt with a Steroid Speed Belt from Think Tank. It was the perfect combination that provided better support and allows the addition of other system pouches.  I further modified the pack by changing out the tripod straps from a side mount to a bottom mount which afforded a better balance in carrying my Induro tripod. My camera kit consisted of the Nikon D750 along with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0, and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens, along with a set of Lee ND filters and my favorite Big Stopper filter.  Miscellaneous gear included lens cleaners, lens air blower, etc.

The trail was well-groomed and well-traveled by other hikers and cross-country skiers so I didn’t need my snowshoes but definitely took my trekking poles. The warmer temperatures made the snow soft and made it feel like you were walking on beach sand.  So I geared up and took a left turn at the trail head and headed off to my first destination, Cascade Mills and falls. As temperatures were rising, I knew that I had overdressed for this hike within the first half a mile.

Cacade Mills

First stop was the site of Mallory Mill. This was originally a grist mill built in 1827 just below the twelfth and last dam built on the outlet.  It is completely abandoned at this point.  While time has taken its toll on these buildings, there are still plenty of opportunities for some excellent shots.

Out of Business

A side view shows the open door ways and windows allowing the elements into the interior of the building.

Empty

Someone decided to use the interior as their canvas for graffiti.

Hole Plug

This hole patch system appears at several different locations and heights on the building.  Makes you wonder what kind of piping passed through these walls and what they were used for.

Mallory's Mill

Just downstream is another part of the mill.

Mill Remnants and Falls

In a complete opposite direction of the Mallory Mill is Seneca Falls.  I had to back track on the trail and go past my original entry point to arrive at this site. Seneca Falls is part of the Crooked Lake Canal system that was opened for navigation in 1933. The remnants are part of the first mill was a saw and grist mill erected in 1790 with a 26-foot overshot wheel and two runs of stones brought all the way from Connecticut. There were several mills within close proximity of each other.  One of the owners of the mill on the south bank was a carpenter who built ten of the Crooked Lake Canal locks.

For this time of the year, the water was intensely fierce and the mist was being carried throughout the air for quite some distance.

So, what did I learn about my gear? The weather was perfect for a winter day hike with the sun shining and the temperature sitting around 40 degrees. As I stated in the beginning, this was also a test of my photography gear and I learned that I carried far more than I actually needed or used.  For starters, I had too many layers for the weather.  More importantly, I carried way too much gear for this type of hike.  While the backpack system is excellent and I am strong enough to carry what I brought, time and distance will begin to wear anyone down and then it wouldn’t be enjoyable.  In the end, all my shots were taken with Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 which is an excellent light weight lens.  Not once did I take out the Sigma 50mm Art f/1.4 or the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8.  To put this in perspective, between the Sigma 50mm and the Nikon 70-200 I carried over 5 ½ pounds of lens that I did not use. In addition, my Induro tripod and ball head are over 6 pounds. While the tripod is a necessity for long exposure photography, I started researching for a light weight replacement. What I found is that carbon fiber is very expensive. The cost per pound to shave off about 2 ½ to 3 pounds for a new tripod doesn’t make sense to me at this point.  I would reconsider purchasing a carbon fiber one if I were take longer and overnight hikes.  Besides, by moving the tripod from a side carry to a bottom carry, it has resulted a better balanced and more comfortable back pack.  On a groomed trail type hikes where reach is not a necessity, I feel that I am well served with the current Nikon 16-35 and a mid-range zoom.  Since this hike, I have added the excellent Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 which will round out my lens kit. In the end, this experience and research will dictate the camera kit that I will pack for future adventures.

As spring is slowing arriving, I look forward to returning to explore the rest of the Crooked Lake Canal System and its series of mills that dot the trail.  Happy trails!

 

 

 

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Next Step

Upon restarting my photographic journey over six years ago, I am very excited in that I have reached that next step.  It is with great pleasure that I announce the transition to providing professional photographic services. While I will still continue in  expanding my landscape portfolio, I have begun to provide services that will focus on traditional corporate and environmental portraits and event photography.  I have re-launched my website (www.frankkapustaphotography.com) to include a client gallery and a store front to purchase landscape images.  While the site is now active, it will continue to evolve as I add additional client content and add to the image inventory.

Visit www.frankkapustaphotography.com and explore the new site and visit the store front. Leave a comment and don’t forget to click on the “follow me” button on the blog page.

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Lee ND Filter: The Aqueduct Falls Adventure

I was exploring a new way back to our home from our daughter’s new house when I saw these real neat stone arches over a waterway that I suspected was part of the Erie canal.  So, I pulled into what is known as Aqueduct Falls Park between Palmyra and Macedon, NY.  The structures are characterized as hand crafted stone pillars that supported a wooden aqueduct.  The falls are approximately 15 feet and is part of the Erie Canal System.

Featured: Fine Art of Photography D7100: Nikon 10-24mm @ 24mm – 30 secs @ f/13 – ISO 200. – Lee Big Stopper Filter
Aqueduct Falls

As I just happened to discover this place, I was unsure of what I would find. At first I went to the water’s edge and took a couple of shots of the waterfalls.  It was there that I noticed a walking trail that would put me above the falls. So I packed up my gear and hiked over to the bridge. Again, I set up and framed up a couple of shots from this view.  I was not that thrilled with what I was seeing in my LCD screen.  Once home, I reviewed the images in Lightroom and ended up scrapping all of them.  I decided that the next time I would do some homework and online scouting using the Photographer’s Ephemeris and Google Earth.

For my second trip, I was better prepared and decided to go up and around Lock 29 to get to the top of the dam overlooking the waterfalls and remains of the aqueduct. This put me across the canal from my first visit. Once I got there and looked around, I knew this was the spot that I wanted to compose.  The only drawback was that there was a big log stuck on the step of the falls.  I knew that I would need to compose in a way to keep the log out of the final image.  I started to set up all my gear and prepared for the traditional landscape view, but I could not get that log out of my field of view.  After stepping back to think about it, I decided that a portrait composition would work best, but I would need to set up as close to the edge of the dam as possible without falling over. As I do not have an “L” bracket for this orientation, I used the tripod and tilted the camera on its side.  When I was taking the landscape view shots, I did so with my Lee ND Big Stopper filter in place.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Lee filter system, the 4 x 4 filters are placed in a filter holder that freely rotates on your lens.  Although not a necessary feature when using an ND filter, it is very useful when using either the hard or soft graduated filters.  With one of the tripod legs close to the edge, it still would keep the center of the tripod and me safely away from the edge. With the camera securely mounted on the tripod, I begin to rotate the camera on its side when all of sudden I heard three strange sounds. Two of them were the sounds of optical glass hitting the concrete and the third was the distinct sound of something hitting the water.  With a terrible pit in my stomach I looked over my camera to the front my lens and saw that the Lee filter is gone. As I rotated the camera with the filter half in the holder, it slid out and fell the twenty feet down into the brown, murky water.  My heart sank and knew that this shooting session was over. With no choice left, I packed up and headed home.  The next step was to get on the B&H website and order a new ND filter.  While there are cheaper alternatives, the Lee system is made from optical glass and has no color cast issues and very worth the additional cost.

Fast forward two weeks, with a new ND filter in the backpack, I headed off to the Aqueduct Falls. I walked around to the other side to position myself on top of the dam and much to my disappointment, the darn log was still stuck in the falls.  As you recall from my last attempt, I lost my Lee ND filter over the side of the dam.  In order to avoid this costly mistake again, I swapped out the column to my Induro tripod to a longer column so that it would give me plenty of room to position the camera into a portrait orientation.  Once in place, I add the filter holder and inserted the Lee ND Big Stopper filter.  After a few test shots, I sat back and waited for the sun to crest the local hills to get the right light and…success!  The image at top of this post was taken with the Nikon D7100: Nikon 10-24mm @ 24mm – 120 second exposure at f/13 with ISO set at 200 and Lee ND, Big Stopper filter.

Just as you enter the park, there is bridge below the locks that provide a great and different perspective of the falls.  This next shot was taken from the top of a bypass bridge and for this image, I used a Nikon D750: Nikon 70-200 @ 200mm – 120 second exposure @ f/13 set at ISO 200.

Aqueduct at Macedon/Palmyra
Remnants

As we begin to move into winter, I am looking forward to some wilderness landscape adventures that will take me off the beating path. As I am going in for a knee replacement in a couple of weeks, I’ll have to hold off until February.  My rehab time will provide plenty of opportunity to research cross-country ski or snow shoe trails to plan out my next adventure.  Happy Holidays!

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The Colors of Letchworth

We had hoped to make it into the Adirondacks several weeks ago when the colors peaked. The original plan was to do an overnight at Big Moose Inn, spend the day in the Moose River plains looking for fall photo opportunities at its many trails and ponds and then exit the other side at Indian Lake. We would have continued onto Lake George for another overnight and then back home.  That didn’t work out and so we missed the Adirondack colors this year. I was bound and determined not to miss the colors around the Finger Lakes, so our next photo adventure took us to Letchworth State Park.  As most you know, Letchworth is billed as the Grand Canyon of the east.  It’s been at least 10 years since Kathy and I had last visited Letchworth.  There are so many scenic overlooks in the park that it was hard to pre-plan specific shots, with the exception of the Middle Falls, which was a planned hard stop. The old railroad bridge is scheduled to be replaced and I wanted to have the opportunity to capture the falls with the original bridge.  The colors were in full bloom, but unfortunately, we had so much rain the previous week that the river was a murky brown. Not much you can do about that, other than work around it. So as we went through the park stopping at each of the overlooks along the way. If the scene “spoke to me” I would return to the car and grab my gear and start setting up for the composition I had in mind.

The park was extremely busy and the traffic very slow going. It was amazing to see and hear the many different cultures that came to see this wonder of New York.

Nikon D7100: Nikon 10-24mm @ 15mm - 20.0 sec @ f/16 - ISO 100 Lee .6NDSF
Down Below

This image is from our first stop. Looking upstream, you can see how the river cuts to the left and there is a definitive separation in the hills that outlines the gorge. In an effort to disguise the murky water, I used a Lee 10 stop neutral density filter with a 20 second exposure at f/16. This effect smooths out the motion of the river to give it a milky effect.

 

Nikon D7100: Nikon 10-22mm @ 1/20 sec @ f/11 - ISO 100 Lee .6NDSF Filter
Razor Back

The view through the trees with what appears to be the backbone of some prehistoric creature jutting out of the river certainly captured my imagination!  This image was featured in the Power of Photography.

Nikon D7100: Nikon 10-22mm @ 20mm - 1/45 sec @ f/13 - ISO 100 Lee .6NDSF Filter
Around The Bend

As can be seen throughout this series, the wind moved the clouds around quite a bit. Often, I would setup the shot and just wait for the right moment when the wind moved the clouds around and opened up the blue skies.  Here I caught the sun hitting the right side of the canyon, while the rest laid in the shadows of the clouds. The rolling carpet of colors were amazing, but noticeable missing in this region were the reds.  Many say it was due to the recent extensive and hard rains.

 

Nikon D7100: Nikon 10-22mm @ 24mm - 1/30 sec @ f/13 - ISO 100 Lee .6NDSF Filter
Thru the Trees

The canyon walls were alive with colors that are dominated by the yellows and golds.  While the colors of the leaves are not balanced throughout, the sporadic speckles of reds gave it a nice contrast.

One of the major attractions of Letchworth are the falls.  In order to get to the lower falls, you have to descend 127 steps and then hike about 100 yards or so to get to the falls. These are not just normal stair steps, but a combination of stone steps with wide dirt landings.  Some steep, some narrow and many of the dirt areas were muddy due to the rain which made it a little tricky.  Now for a guy with a really bad knee lugging a tripod, cameras and a small bag of assorted filters and accessories, the descent was painful.  I should have put everything in my backpack and just carried it that way! By the way, Kathy played it smart and she stayed at the top and told me take my time!  After getting down to the bottom, the excitement started to build as the roar of the falls got stronger. I found what would have been the ideal spot to set up, however, the wind and the volume of  water coming over the falls created a strong misty rain.  Although my camera is weather sealed, it is not water proof.  While I have been researching and looking for the right camera rain cover, I still had not bought one.  So I tried an alternate spot in front of the falls and off the trail. While I took several shots, I was not happy with them as there was too much vegetation in the way that took away from the falls. So, sorry no shot of the middle falls!   As a side note, I have since ordered a rain cover that will cover my camera along with my longest 70-200mm lens which will also come in handy for some winter adventures I have in mind.

Now it was time to get to the prize of the day….the Upper Falls.  This was the most challenging due to the openness of the area and sheer number of people all trying to a get a shot of the falls.  I was patient and waited in front of the spot that I wanted to setup to clear out.  Throughout the day, I have to say that all the people were very friendly, polite and patient.

 

Nikon D7100: Nikon 10-24mm @ 24mm - 30 sec @ f/11 ISO 125, LEE .6NDSF Filter
Upper Falls

Upper Falls at Letchworth State Park, NY.  Known as the Grand Canyon of the East, the Genesee River cuts through the gorge and over three major waterfalls. In the background is the original 1875 era train bridge. It can no longer support modern train loads and current train travel is limited in weight and speed.  New bridge construction has started and will provide the Norfolk Southern Railway Southern Tier a modern bridge.

This image was taken with a Nikon 10-24 ultra-wide angle zoom at 24mm. The water effect is created using a 10 stop Lee Big Stopper neutral density filter with a 30 second exposure at f/11 and ISO 125. This filter, through the use of long exposures, impacts motion creating the smooth and milky effect on the water. In this image, it also smoothed out the fast moving clouds.  This image has been featured in Redbubble in the Power of Photography group and Exploring America group.

It was another great photo adventure that Kathy and I enjoyed and certainly made up for missing the Adirondacks!

 

 

To see more of my works, visit and follow me at:

www.frankkapustaphotography.com

on Facebook at Frank Kapusta Photography

All work is copyrighted and property of Frank Kapusta and may not be reproduced, downloaded or modified without express written permission. Please enjoy, but respect my copyright.

 

 

 

 

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Road Trip

After selling our country home, we seriously downsized to a two-bedroom townhouse in the outskirts of Rochester. We exchanged vistas from the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes of New York. You would think that after giving up all those domestic chores of mowing 3 ½ acres and maintaining a 186 year old home we would have all the time in the world to do whatever we wanted. After all our new place does all the maintenance for you.  In addition to welcoming into the world our new and second grandson, the summer flew by.  We finally were able to carve out some serious time for my passion…photography!  Kathy was a good sport in that she got up “zero dark thirty” as we ventured off to chase the light on what turned out to be a 165-mile adventure.
Urger Resting
Urger

First stop was the Erie Canal in Seneca Falls, NY.  This area is rich in photographic opportunities.  Although I preplanned the locations and specific sites, I was surprised by an unexpected opportunity of a very historic tugboat docked on the canal.  Built in 1901 in Michigan this tug was sold in 1920 to the NYS Canal System and renamed the Urger.  Urger was retired in 1980 and called back into service in 1991 as a teaching tug. In 2001 it was placed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Canal Boats
Canal Boats
A bonus photo opportunity were these European styled canal boats docked in Seneca Falls, NY.
Right across the canal was one of my preplanned sights, the Knitting Mill. This limestone structure was built in 1844 and ran continuously for 155 years, until it closed 1999.  It is now the future home of the Women’s Hall of Fame.  Seneca Falls, NY.
This limestone structure was built in 1844 and ran continuously for 155 years, until it closed 1999. It is now the future home of the Women’s Hall of Fame. Seneca Falls, NY.
Knitting Mill
The next stop was to find the Trinity Church, but along the way found this funny looking red house.
D7100: Nikon 10-24mm @ 20mm - 1/90th sec @ f/11 - ISO 100
Funny Red House
Right across the street is the Trinity Episcopal Church.   After 50 years of service, the congregation decided to build a church across the canal at its current location. Construction began in 1885 and the first service were held in 1886. The limestone used came from Fayette and Onondaga, NY.  Of particular note of this church is its Gothic influence and the numerous stained glass windows.
After 50 years, the new Trinity Episcopal Church was built across the canal in 1885. The limestone used came from Fayette and Onondaga, NY. Seneca Falls, NY
Trinity Featured in: Power of Photography
This wonderful timber-framed pergola was located right next to Trinity
D7100: 10-24mm @ 13mm - 1/90 sec @ f/11 - ISO 100
See Thru
It was time for some coffee and we decided to try the XIX Café.  Best cinnamon buns in the world!  They were so big, that we decided to split one.  Between the pastries, selection of coffee and excellent service, this is on our top list to revisit again.  It worth the trip just to go there!  Now it was time to get back on the road and on the way to Geneva (USA!).
First stop in Geneva is the waterfront!  Captured this shot from a floating dock near the jetty. Using a Lee Big Stopper Filter (10x) created the smoothness in the water.
(D7100: Nikon 10-24mm @ 24mm – 10.0 sec @ f/11 – ISO 100 (Lee BSF)
Stone Jetty
You never know what you will find along the way.  I saw this site several months ago when I didn’t have my camera with me and was bound and determine to capture this image.  I wonder what he uses for seeds to plant this bicycle garden?
Bicycle Garden
Bicycle Garden
South Main Street in Geneva is the most significant Historic District and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Most of these homes were built between 1825 and 1850.

 

Time for lunch!  We are always up for a challenge in picking places to eat and so far we have never been disappointed in trying something new. At the lower end of South Main Street was a neat look place called Beef and Brew!  The name says it all and we tried. It was absolutely great.   What did we eat?  Well beef and a brew for me and beef and a glass wine for Kathy. Based on our waiter’s recommendation, Kathy tried one of the local wines and we ended up taking a side trip to the Bellangelo vineyard.
The goal of our trip was to end up at the famous County Road 12 overlook above Canandaigua Lake. In order to get from Lake Geneva to Canandaigua Lake, we took…..Lake to Lake Road!  How appropriate!  Along the way, I couldn’t resist stopping to take a picture of this barn featuring some vintage signage.

 

D750: Nikon 70-200mm @ 70mm - 1/350 Sec @ f/2.8 - ISO 100
Barn Art

 

As we are motoring along heading west, we arrive in Naples, NY (not Italy!) with a population of 1,025, except for when we arrived. The population swelled to what appeared to be 5 times as many people with half the number of cars bumper to bumper. Somehow I found a back road at the back-end of the Hazleton winery and finally make my way to CR 12.  We arrive at the overlook and it is full of cars and people.  No chance of setting up my gear so we moved on.  Fortunately, less than a mile away I located a small pull off and was able to capture the final image of the day!

 

D750: Nikon 70-200mm @ 195mm - 1/45 sec @ f/16 ISO 100
Hill Side View – Canandaigua Lake

 

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Old School…new school

 

I recently introduced my grandson, Vinny, as the newest 15-month old blogger hitting the social media scene.  Clearly, it may look like old school versus new school, but the style certainly spans the generations! In July, his cousin Ben will enter the world as the newest member of the new school generation and I will be blessed to impart some old school wisdom and values on both of them.  It will be cool to hear Ben say, wait until my cousin Vinny comes down!  I have a feeling that both of them together will make us all gray on an accelerated basis (grandparents) and prematurely for parents!  Anyways, stay tuned. Vinny will be posting a blog later in July on his cousin!

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Beach Patrol by Vinny

While visiting Uncle Ben and Aunt Lindsay, and my soon to be new cousin, Ben, we went down to Virginia Beach. I assigned my staff photographer to Uncle Ben and Aunt Lindsay to get some new maternity pictures on the beach.  Can’t wait for my new cousin!

So, while on the beach, I had the opportunity to check out the other toddlers and strut my new beach wear.  My wardrobe staff assembled the following:  a retro Oshkosh Seersucker shortall set, sandals (for the board walk) and a real cool Trilby hat!  My staff informs me that GQ has forward a contract for review!

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Checking things out on the beach.

D750: 70mm – 1/1500 sec @ f/2.8 – ISO 100

No fear
On my way to check out the water temp. No surfing today. Waves to small.

D750: 200mm – 1/3000 sec @ f/2.8 – ISO 100

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I think I saw a mermaid….that was really awesome!

D750: 2o0mm – 1/1000 sec @ f/2.8 – ISO 100

Chillin
Limo is all packed up. Where’s my driver?

D750: 200mm – 1/3000 sec @ f/2.8 – ISO 100

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Blogger Profile Picture

Overall, it was a great day at the beach!  Stay tuned for my next report on Uncle Ben, Aunt Lindsay and the baby bump!

Vinny is a 15-month old blogger reporting on toddler topics from his extensive travels.  His travel and lodging arrangements are complementary of MD & GP Travel, Inc. (mom, dad, and grandparents).  His staff consists of a photographer, fashion consultant, nutritionists and a couple of personal assistants.

D7100: 50mm – 1/8000 sec @ f/2.8 – ISO 100  Special Effects: Color Efex Pro 4

 

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Memorial Day

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I found this road side memorial on Route 332 in Farmington, NY.

(D750: 50mm – 1/250 sec @ f 8.0 – ISO 100)

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is a day set aside to honor those who have died in the service of this country.  Whether a civilian or veteran, we should take time to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their life, so that we may continue to exercise those rights and freedom that we enjoy today.  It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have served side by side with my brothers and sisters in both the United States Navy and the NYS Army National Guard.

Take time to honor those who have gone before us and thank a veteran today!

 

 

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New Direction… New Beginnings

With very few exceptions, my camera has sat idle for the past few of months.  Under normal circumstances I could have used the excuse that most Upstate New Yorkers use…its winter.  Too much snow and it’s too cold.  The reality is that as 2015 started to wind down, the winds of change were picking up speed and strength that would propel each member of our immediate family in New Direction and with New Beginnings!

So, let’s begin with our daughter, Katie.  With a growing family in a small house the search was on to find a larger home that would better accommodate the family.  Throughout this search process, I was presented with a great career opportunity that would allow us to relocate to the Rochester area.  This not only presented us the opportunity to downsize and choose a life style of less home maintenance and more travel and exploration time, but put us within a half a mile of our grandson, Vinny.  If you are a regular visitor to my photograph Facebook page or my website, you will have seen the many albums of Vinny. The distance to our son, Ben, would remain the same with the exception of traveling 1 hour west, we now would travel 1hour east.  So as our transition began to unfold, Katie and Greg found the home of their dreams.  However, instead of being 5 minutes away, they are now 20 minutes away.  No big deal, since we were travelling 4 hours round trip before.

It’s time to bring, our son, Ben into this scenario.  Over a year ago, he transitioned from a career in law enforcement to fulfilling his life-long dream of starting and managing his own business.  In his former career, he had the ability of changing, impacting, and saving lives and now in his new career he has the ability to change and impact lives and help provide them financial security for the future as a financial planner.

As this is a photography blog, you are probably asking what kind of pictures is he going to tie into this blog?  I could put up a picture of Katie and Greg’s new home, or the sold sign on our old home, or a picture of my new office.  But there is more to this blog that will define the title, New Directions and New Beginnings!

During all these changes, Ben met a wonderful person, Lindsay.  Together, they charted a new course in their lives that will bring them to Virginia.  It will be in Virginia where they each will start new careers in their respective fields, but more importantly, it is where they will introduce the newest member of the family…Benjamin M. Kapusta II!

 

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a.k.a. “Lil Putter”

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“New Direction….New Beginnings”

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Why use a prime lens?

Often when a zoom lens is mentioned, what comes to mind is the convenience and versatility of a one lens do it all solution. With a zoom, light needs to pass through more glass and extra elements altering light so many times that sharpness is bound to diminish. Prime lens produces sharper images due to their simpler design, single focal length and fewer moving parts.  This also makes prime lenses smaller, lighter and cheaper to buy.

 Prime lenses have wider apertures than zooms therefore they can produce a very thin depth of field. For portrait photographers this allows for “bokeh” or that creamy out of focus look around your subject. These wider apertures also allow for excellent results in low light.

In my opinion, the most important reason for using a prime lens is that you have to slow down and think about your composition. As a point of reference, the 50mm prime lens is considered a standard lens as it closely provides the same perspective of a scene as viewed through the human eye. Keeping this in mind, it forces you to think about your lens choice and composition and in turn makes you go to great lengths to get the one great shot. This makes choosing a focal length one of the most important decisions when considering a prime lens.

Patience grasshopper!  Since we can’t zoom into a scene, we must take our time to scout, visualize, and move around to find the best location to capture an image.  The end result will be an exceptional image.

The following images were taken with prime lens using both crop sensor and full frame Nikon cameras:

 

Nikon D5100 - 35mm (f/1.8G): 1/30 sec @ f/1.8 - ISO 100
Nikon D5100 – 35mm (f/1.8G):   1/30 sec @ f/1.8 – ISO 100

 

Nikon D7100 - 35mm (f/1.8G): 1/2000 sec @ f/1.8 - ISO 100
Nikon D7100 – 35mm (f/1.8G):   1/2000 sec @ f/1.8 – ISO 100

 

Nikon D750 – 50mm (f/1.8G): 1/750 sec @ f/1.8 - ISO 100
Nikon D750 – 50mm (f/1.8G):   1/750 sec @ f/1.8 – ISO 100

 

Nikon D5100 – 35mm (f/1.8G): 1/500 sec @ f/8.0 – ISO 100
Nikon D5100 – 35mm (f/1.8G):   1/500 sec @ f/8.0 – ISO 100