Hi, everyone! I hope everyone had a happy halloween! This year, we decided to try something new and travel this halloween down to Sleepy Hollow, NY to partake in the spooky festivities with Ichabod Crane and the rest of the community. Sleepy Hollow is about a 2-1/2 hour drive from where I live in upstate New York, and the Fall colors are a little past peak where I live, but there was some color in the lower part of the state. We actually got there early in the afternoon, and one of the places that I definitely wanted to stop and see was in Croton-On-Hudson, where one of my favorite photography mentors, Rick Sammon, lives; the New Croton Dam. I entered in the name of the dam into my GPS, which took us down a very quaint road to the upper part of the dam. Unfortunately, this was the upper part of the dam where the bridge is closed to vehicle traffic, but people can park and walk along the upper part of the dam. On the right was Croton Lake, and below was the State Park that I was trying to get to. We walked along the top of the dam for a few minutes, then drove down to the park. It was great to be at the waterfalls and attempt to capture an image like what Rick had captured. I was trying to “Steal” from one of the masters, just as Rick recommends in his “How to Stay Motivated in Photography” course at kelbyone.com. I hope I did him proud!
Later in the evening, we headed over to Croton for the Jack O’Lanterns Blaze event, where they display hundreds of carved jack o’lantern pumpkins and light them to display different spooky characters and scenes. What a great display! This gave me an opportunity to work with my handheld night photography capabilities while walking through the display. I set the camera’s ISO to 3200, my f-stop to 4.0 and the speed to 1/60. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the images came out! I also set the white balance to tungsten, given how most of the pumpkins were lit, I wanted the truest colors possible to be caught in camera.
So, lesson learned on this trip is that you can handhold your camera without flash and get amazing photographs if your willing to get out there and try, and stay motivated to always improve your craft. You can do it!