Chris Walters Photography: Blog en-us (C) Chris Walters Photography (Chris Walters Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:27:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:27:00 GMT Chris Walters Photography: Blog 81 120 On Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine Corning, NY in Upstate New York and the Corning and the Finger Lakes and Finger Lakes Wine Country and Gaffer DistrictSummer Corning Sunset 1

I have the honor of being featured in the March/April issue of Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine. Author Nancy McCarthy did a wonderful job of weaving a narrative to tell my story in a very meaningful and powerful way. And just as importantly, it tells the story of my family which has made this all possible. Nearly 5 years ago I began publicly showing my work for the first time and I could never have imagined that it would lead to me being interviewed and published in the premiere lifestyle magazine for the Finger Lakes Region. Nor would I have imagined I'd have exhibited work in over 30 exhibitions, including solo shows and the prestigious Southern Tier Biennial. I look forward to seeing what comes next.


(Chris Walters Photography) article chris walters chris walters photography corning ny finger lakes interview life in the finger lakes magazine photographer photography southern tier biennial Tue, 03 Apr 2018 16:56:38 GMT
On the First Snow Snow Covered Trees in Corning's Gaffer DistrictSnowy TreesThe lights still burn on a early morning in Corning's Gaffer District as the year's first snowfall covers the trees leading to Centerway Square

As November gave way to December, a first snowfall blanketed the Finger Lakes region.  Ever since, the waves of periodic winter storms and temperature fluctuations that so characterize this region have begun to ebb and flow like tides in the ocean.  It's during those snowy moments, however, when the air is cool and the clouds are just right that the region comes alive in a winter wonderland.  And now, as nearly all the final leaves of Fall drift away, the trees lay bare and the hillsides transitions to its winter repose, the fallen leaves scattering into the surrounding area acting as bedding for the snowy comforter that will soon envelope the frozen earth.  

That first snowfall was a good first snow, a heavy one where you can feel the power of the united snow against the bottom of your boot and where the snow wipes away from the hood of your car not as individual pieces but as if an iceberg has broke off from the arctic shelf.  Waking up early and heading across the walking bridge that spans the soon to be frozen Chemung River, the lights still burned in Corning's Gaffer District as the snows laid claim to the the trees in Centerway.  Bonded by science and magic, the snows give the once naked trees a renewed sense of their place in the world.  Seemingly without meaning now that their leaves are gone, the trees exist in idyllic purpose, given new life to carry on until the buds of Spring start the cycle again.

For this photo, I used my Neutral Density filter, although there wasn't necessarily anything in the sky that needed slowing down.  Rather, I wanted the extended depth of field of a long exposure.  The perfectly manicured trees carry the viewer towards the Centerway Clock Tower with the almost gas-like lamps guiding the way.  It was a good morning and I look forward to many more like it.

(Chris Walters Photography) 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Centerway Clock Tower Centerway Square Chemung River Corning and the Finger Lakes Corning's Gaffer District Corning, NY Light Long Exposure Morning Snow Winter Winter in the Finger Lakes Sat, 20 Dec 2014 19:43:43 GMT
On Soaring Airplane and glider in silhouette above Harris Hill, NYSilhouetteCaught in silhouette against an oncoming cloud front and the blue sky beyond it, an airplane tows a glider off the expanse of Harris Hill

With the winds of winter ushering in a wintry mix over the Chemung RIver Valley, the soaring season has officially come to a close.  This region is known worldwide as one of the grandest and greatest places to soar or glide.  It's officially the Soaring Capital of America and Harris Hill plays host to not just the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation, but also the National Soaring Museum, a world class aviation museum.

I feel this image captures both the grandeur of soaring and the end of the season.  Standing on the lookout below the runway, the planes are caught in silhouette against an oncoming cloud front and the blue sky beyond it, an airplane tows a glider off the expanse of Harris Hill.  With blackened shapes seemingly cut out from a Platonic thought, they're stuck between real and unreal, between the light they came from and the darkened skies that await them -their fortunes literally tied together in communal partnership.

This photo is currently printed on metal and on display in Traverse: One Gallery, Two Shows, a collaborative exhibition between The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning, NY.  For more information on soaring, check out the website for the Soaring Society of America.


(Chris Walters Photography) 171 Cedar Arts Center Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Chemung River Valley Corning and the Finger Lakes Gliding Harris Hill Soaring Corporation National Soaring Museum Soaring Soaring Capital of America The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes Fri, 07 Nov 2014 21:29:30 GMT
On the Wineglass Marathon 2014 Wineglass Marathon Runners in Corning, NY and the Finger Lakes by Chris WaltersWineglass RunnersRunners blur towards the finish at the 2014 Wineglass Marathon in Corning, NY

Corning, NY played host to the 2014 Wineglass Marathon today, a marathon the Active Times recently ranked #10 for the world's best marathons.  It started out a crisp and cold Fall day.  Half-Marathon and Marathon runners of all expertise started in the towns of the Finger Lakes and finished on historic Market Street in Corning's Gaffer District.  The winds throughout the previous days had taken many of the yellowed leaves from their tree top homes, but a few remained, to float down through the air in a coronation ceremony for the arriving runners.

With many of the runners donning the preferred neon and bright color uniform of the street running, the day was perfectly set for long exposure photography.  Setting up my tripod, the scene before unfolded in a colorful wave of endless bodies streaming through the street.  Using a 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter, I was able to achieve a nice amount of motion blur while keeping the colors in tone with the Fall day.  Other photos from that day can be seen in my 2014 Wineglass Marathon gallery.  For more running photography, check out the great work of Zach Hetrick and for more local, marathon photography, check out the work of A.D. Wheeler

(Chris Walters Photography) 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter 2014 Wineglass Marathon Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Fall in the Finger Lakes Long Exposure Motion Blur Runners Running Mon, 06 Oct 2014 12:15:09 GMT
On Fall Colors Letchworth State Park Waterfall and Nature Finger Lakes Long Exposure Photography by Chris WaltersFall Arrives in LetchworthAs Fall arrives in Upstate New York, the morning sunlight fills the canyons and waterfalls of Letchworth State Park

With Fall firmly entrenched here in the Finger Lakes, the colors have arrived that gloriously transform the hillsides and canyons into a rainbow forest as far as the eye can see.  As the days pass on, reds, yellows, and every color in between begin to fill in the trees, bringing an unseen depth to the countryside that reveals intricate layers often overlooked in the other seasons.  And just as soon as these new colors arrive, like the flash of a comet's tail, they too will pass on from this world.  Their short stay heralds the long march of winter to come, but for the moment, it's enough to bask in these changes and the awe accompanying them.

There are many wonderful places to look for the changing leaves, from the local hiking trails to the vineyards with grapes ready to harvest, but to me, there are two places more magical than all the rest.  The first is the simple walk down the tree lined sidewalks of a historic, small town street such as Corning's Gaffer District or downtown Hammondsport.  The second is the grandeur filled cascading waters of waterfall such as Buttermilk State Park or Letchworth State Park.

This photo was taken in the mid morning hours when the sun, having already illuminated the canyon walls, had already left parts of the walls in shadow.  I didn't mind.  It created a brilliant contrast between each side of the canyon and the waterfalls in the middle, framed in cool, blue light.

For more information on finding Fall colors in the area, check out Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes Fall Foliage report and for tips on where to photograph the Fall foliage, check out these tips from Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes.

(Chris Walters Photography) 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Corning and the Finger Lakes Fall Fall Colors Fall in the Finger Lakes Leaves Letchworth State Park Long Exposure Nature Waterfalls Thu, 02 Oct 2014 19:54:30 GMT
On Grapes in the Finger Lakes Grapes of Finger Lakes Wineries and VineyardsA Vine of the Finger LakesWith the vintage quickly approaching, a bundle of grapes hangs from a vine in a Finger Lakes vineyard

Fall has finally arrived in the Finger Lakes.  Despite a few last gasp attempts, the clear skies and cool nights of fall have pushed aside the lingering memories of Summer heat.  With the emergence of the crisp air and the calendar's turn into September, it also means that the vineyards scattered along the length of the Finger Lakes are in bloom with grapes as far as the eye can see.

There are so many vineyards to see.  All shapes and sizes.  All tastes and preferences.  All lakes to visit.  Whether enjoying the wineries along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail or the Keuka Lake Wine Trail, there's certainly something for everyone.  But, the one commonality they all share is the beauty and simplicity of a bunch of grapes hanging in colorful contrast to the green leafs of a vine.  There's such aesthetic pleasure in taking a closer look and marveling at the intricate patterns of a grapes skin, of seeing the way the weather and bugs have shaped the leaves that provide the grapes shelter, and of seeing the majesty of the whole each grape encompasses.

For this photograph, I focused on the closest grape in the bunch, wanting it to jump out of the frame towards the viewer while the rest of the grapes and leaves disappeared into the background.  Shooting with a f/2.8 aperture with my Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens gave me amazing sharpness with just the right amount of bokeh.  A square crop finished the photo off.  There are many approaches to photographing grapes resulting in an even wider variety of outcomes.  For some nice information on photographing at wineries, check out Napa Valley photographer Bryan Gray's tips here.

(Chris Walters Photography) Canon 5D Mark II Close Corning and the Finger Lakes Fall Grapes Keuka Lake Wine Trail Seneca Lake Wine Trail Up Upstate New York Vineyards Wine Winery Sun, 14 Sep 2014 21:50:06 GMT
On Tybee Island

A short drive from downtown Savannah, Tybee Island lazily stretches along the relatively calm waters of the Atlantic and into the rivers and inlets that make up the Low Country of coast Georgia.  Throughout the many years of sand dunes being replaced by high rise hotels and condominiums across much of the coastal United States, this little island remains mostly unchanged.  Visiting every year or so, about the only thing that seems to change is in the ebb and flow of the tides.  

For those that have never experienced the marvelous tides of the Low Country, it's a sight to behold.  In one instance you can be looking out on the salt marshes and see what looks like a flood plain with slender reeds of green poking up towards the sky.  Return to the same spot hours later and its as if a chasm has opened up where the waters have receded.  Intricate valleys and canyons carve between the marshes with nary a trickle of water remaining.Low tide at Tybee provides a beach so wide and sand so packed, it's hard to believe that at high tide the waters will cover nearly all the beach with only the soft, untouched sands close to the dunes remaining.  Such changes provide amazing opportunities to practice long exposure photography.

It's at low tide when I took this photo.  The cloudy fingers of a towering thunderhead were slowly making their way along the beach front and the tide and winds caused the waters to toil and tumble into the sand.  Using a 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter, I knew I wanted to capture a stark, black and white image of the pier.  But then, a family entered my frame.  

At first disappointed I didn't have the pier all to myself, I accepted they would be a part of my shot, one way or another.  Most of the family milled around, but one young boy stood mostly still, taking in the grandeur of the ocean before him and the towering pier above.  The bright colors of his bathing suits, t-shirt, and hat blazed in the late afternoon sky.  And it was then that I realized he added to the scene rather than distract from it.  As I gently desaturated most the color from the photo, his dramatic colors remained.  Like a ghost gracing the present, I'm forever grateful for this happy accident.

(Chris Walters Photography) Beach Long Exposure Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Long Exposure Low Country Low Tide Ocean Long Exposure Savannah, Georgia Tybee Island Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:18:05 GMT
On Waterfalls Taughannock Falls State Park Waterfall in the Finger Lakes by Chris Walters PhotographyIn Darkness and In LightThe sun catches the canyon wall at Taughannock Falls State Park, bathing the scene in darkness and light

When the snows of a long winter have finished melting and the heavy rains of spring dissipate, summer comes alive in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, and with it, the waterfalls.  It's as if a giant faucet was turned on across the lands and every where you turn there's another one to experience.  Theirs is a bounty so great and plentiful that one could spend an entire day visiting local waterfalls and not even begin scratch the surface of the area's wonders.

Some of the falls take a little more effort to see than others, but many are located in vast network of state parks and one simply needs to pay the park entrance, park the car, and walk a few steps to be in their presence.  And one in particular has a lookout that requires no fee at all.  This is Taughannock Falls.

Over 200 feet high, the falls plunge into an awe inspiring canyon below.  While you can take a short hike to a platform near the base of the falls, from up above at the overlook, the entire scene plays out in epic grandeur.

On this early morning day, much of the canyon was in shadow with the sun's rays highlighting slivers of the canyon walls, the trees that surround it, and the falls in between.  The shadows were visible enough to create a nicely contrasted black and white photograph, however, with such a heightened difference in light, I underexposed my shot to produce the photograph above, "In Darkness and In Light".  With a 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter, the scene was complete.




(Chris Walters Photography) 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter Black and White Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Corning and the Finger Lakes Corning, NY In Darkness and In Light Long Exposure Taughannock Falls Waterfalls Long Exposure Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:43:09 GMT
On The Rockwell Museum The Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning, NY in Black and WhiteThe Rockwell MuseumOn a beautiful, clear blue day lazy clouds roll over the stunning facade of The Rockwell Museum of Western Art in downtown Corning, NY

In the heart of Corning, NY exists The Rockwell Museum, a world class museum of western art.  One wouldn't imagine a small town in Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York to host such a museum, but it's just one of many pleasant surprises to be found in Corning.  Located in Corning's Gaffer District right off of historic Market Street, the museum is an icon soaring high above the surrounding buildings.  Filled with a core collection from the original donations by the Rockwell family, the museum houses an amazing permanent and revolving exhibition of artwork.  Additionally it provides invaluable educational programming to local youth.

The Rockwell Museum recently underwent a rebranding, changing their logo and updating their website, and after the time I've spent here in Corning, I realized I didn't have any photos of their amazing building.  The brick, architecture facade stood in stark contrast to the beautiful summer day with light, white clouds floating lazily through the crisp, clean air.  With power lines and traffic lights straddling the neighboring streets, it's difficult to get a wide angle photograph that takes in the whole building.  The street corner in the newly finishing transportation center offers the best, unobstructed view.  I hope you enjoy.

(Chris Walters Photography) Architecture Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Corning Museum Corning and the Finger Lakes Corning, NY Finger Lakes Architecture Finger Lakes Museums Museum The Rockwell Museum Tue, 24 Jun 2014 15:22:09 GMT
On the Arnot Art Museum's 74th Regional Exhibition

Friday, June 20 marks the opening reception of the Arnot Art Museum's 74th Regional Exhibition.  The exhibition is a juried showcase of artists throughout the northeast region including artists from Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania , and more.  I'm honored that my photograph, "Lincoln", was chosen to be among the pieces of art accepted into the exhibition.

It was late March of 2014 and after a long day sightseeing in Washington, DC, it was time to head over to the Lincoln Memorial to catch the last light before the sun settled beneath the hills that rise gently over the Potomac River.  A beautiful day, tourists and locals alike were out in droves.  As the memorial became illuminated I began to focus in on the stoic Lincoln sitting watchful in his throne.

I used a 10 Stop B+W Neutral Density Filter to take this long exposure photograph and I couldn't have been happier with the results, of some people looking outward in silent reflection, obviously moved by the power Lincoln holds and then others who excitedly moved up and down the steps to bask in the overpowering grandeur of the memorial.  Shortly after taking this photo I read the magnificent book "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Only then did I truly grasp the magnanimous measures by which Lincoln saved the Union and understand how fitting this memorial.

Printed at 16x24 on Illford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk 310 paper and framed by the wonderful people at American FrameI'm humbled that my photograph will be appear in the 74th Regional and honored to remember our greatest president as he watches over us all.

(Chris Walters Photography) 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter 74th Regional Exhibition American Frame Arnot Art Museum Black and White Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Corning and the Finger Lakes Illford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk 310 Lincoln Memorial Lincoln Memorial Long Exposure Lincoln Memorial in Black and White Long Exposure National Book Festival Team of Rivals Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:43:49 GMT
On Dreamscapes in Watkins Glen Sailboat reflections in Seneca Harbor in Watkins Glen, NYI Dreamed of WatersIn the village of Watkins Glen along the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York, sailboats float dreamlike in the waters of Seneca Harbor.

In the village of Watkins Glen in the heart of the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York, sailboats float dreamlike in the waters of Seneca Harbor.  The harbor sits along the shores of Seneca Lake and at times, when the waters are still and the sun is deep in its decent towards the horizon, the sailboat reflections take on an ethereal quality.

Standing on the shore, a long pier juts out all the way to a rocky jetty that serves as wind and breakwater to the often powerful storms that funnel down the lake.  Protecting the dozens of sailboats and pleasure crafts that call Seneca Harbor their home, the large rocks that form the jetty dip below the clear, blue waters until they disappear under the green algae bottom. 

The jetty also provides safe passage for tourists and locals a like to leisurely stroll above the waters.  From there I was able to frame my shot.  The gently lapping waters not only caused the sailboat reflections to appear simultaneously real and altered, but by inverting the image the bottom became sky and the sky became bottom - the dreamscape realized.

This upcoming weekend Watkins Glen will play host to the Harbor Lights Festival during which this photo will be seen in the Midsummer Night's Dream exhibition at the Franklin Street Gallery.  The gallery is in service to local artists and is operated through the Arc of Schuyler which provides support to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  Finally, on Saturday and Sunday the Watkins Glen Cardboard Boat Regatta occurs with even more dreams taking flight.


(Chris Walters Photography) Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Cardboard Boat Regatta Franklin Street Gallery Harbor Lights Festival Reflection Sailboat Sailboat Reflections Seneca Harbor The Heart of the Finger Lakes Watkins Glen Tue, 10 Jun 2014 18:03:44 GMT
On Clouds A cloud in black and white high about the finger lakesCloudHigh above the Finger Lakes, cloud after cloud roll through the crystal clear, summer sky

I love this time of year in the Finger Lakes when the clear airs of Spring meet the oncoming humidity of summer.  It reminds me of travelling in northern Europe when clear blue skies would be contrasted by endless lines of puffy, white cumulus clouds.  Like water rippling out in a lake, these giants expand throughout the sky like a sponge soaking up all the surrounding moisture.  They live and breath, growing through the sky.

On this day with the sky some bright, clear, and blue, the clouds were so well defined and expansive.  This particular cloud was impressive not only in its thickness and numerous layers, but in its need to devour all the clear sky before it in increasing crescendos.

I knew immediately that I was shooting for black and white, already dreaming about how the cloud would look as white against a stark black canvas.  All the textures and crevices, the contours and depths, would be accentuated and highlighted in ways unseen to the human eye.  It exceeded all my expectations.

Visit the Digital Photography School's website for tutorials here and here on how to take great cloud photographs.  And see more stunning cloud photographs here.

(Chris Walters Photography) Black and White Clouds Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Cloud Photography Clouds Corning and the Finger Lakes Corning, NY Finger Lakes Clouds Summer Clouds Thu, 05 Jun 2014 18:46:26 GMT
On Centerway Bridge Centerway Bridge in Corning, NY in winter in Corning's Gaffer DisctrictA Winter's BridgeThe restored Centerway Bridge in downtown Corning, NY stands above the frozen Chemung River

Along with a number of other wonderful artists from Corning and the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, I was honored to have my photograph, "A Winter's Bridge", chosen into the "The Art of Corning's Architecture" juried art show.  Celebrating 40 years of Revitalizing Market Street, the show is currently on display at the West End Gallery on historic Market Street in Corning, NY.

This photo is of the newly refurbished Centerway Bridge.  A pedestrian walking bridge, it straddles the Chemung River, connecting Corning's north side with the Gaffer District, Corning's historic downtown area.  It's a beautiful bridge and one I have the pleasure walking across every morning on my way to work  I love the way the view that rises up each time I walk across the bridge, and I'm particularly moved by the view from below.  

Over the holidays I received a 10 Stop B+W Neutral Density Filter for long exposure photography, allowing me to keep the shutter open for long periods of time in the daylight.  It's been amazing in its ability to capture a brand new world, one that I have always imagined in my mind, but could never actualize.  

On this day the river was frozen in a sheet of ice and clouds filled the air out of some Northern European sky.  It was a perfect opportunity to create a dizzying juxtaposition between the still bridge and the soaring sky.  For the juried show I printed the photograph on aluminum, creating a sensation that the clouds looked like they would fly off the metal.  I was honored that someone bought it during the opening night reception and I'm happy I could share it with the local community.

Read here for more information on this bridge's reconstruction and its national recognition as the American Public Works Association (APWA) Historic Restoration & Preservation Project of the Year.


American Public Works Association (APWA) Historic Restoration & Preservation Project of the Year.




(Chris Walters Photography) CMOG Canon 24-105mm f/4L Canon 5D Mark II Centerway Bridge Chemung River Chris Walters Photography Corning and the Finger Lakes Corning, NY Gaffer Distrcit Glassfest Market Street Market Street Restoration Neutral Density Filter West End Gallery Winter Thu, 22 May 2014 17:19:13 GMT