A Photo Blog.....Phoblog.....Blogoto? (nope)
In May of this year my parents and I went to the States for two weeks. The main purpose of the trip was to visit our wonderful American relatives. Many years ago my Dad's two sisters did what the Irish are best at; they emigrated, settled down and multiplied! Neither of my parents had ever been across the Atlantic, and being *ahem* slightly advanced in age, they knew they needed a bit of help, so I duly obliged. No applause necessary, I got a free holiday, so it was a win-win. I won't show any photos of my American relatives or parents for fear they wouldn't appreciate their faces being plastered across an immensely popular blog and I'm too lazy to email all of them to ask. In any case; hi to all my American aunties and cousins, and hello to the ten other people who read this blatant exercise in self-promotion. Did I mention that I'm a photographer?
Well, the trip was a blast and despite not getting group photos with my folks and cousins (*facepalm*) I did whip out the ol' camera for some travel photography. My main task however, was to make sure that Mom and Dad got around okay and not get mugged, so keep in mind that I may not have photographed all that was worth photographing. Now, with the exposition and foreshadowing (yes) complete let me show you some amazing photos of Niagara.
I planned to travel light so I just brought my camera, a relatively cheap Canon DSLR, with a couple of lenses and few other bits and bobs which I'll get into in the next post. For light travel and a quick draw that doesn't attract too much attention I would recommend a small, fast prime lens. The 50mm f/1.8 from Canon is great value as it's cheap, produces nice sharp images and, when shot wide open, gives you a sweet out of focus background. For any novice Canon DSLR users this is an ideal step up from the kit lens. However, the 50mm wasn't on my camera much as it lacked range, so for all the shots here I used the Canon 24-105 f/4 L. While it's not cheap, it's still relativley inexpensive for one of Canon's "L" series.
We only visited the American side of the falls as my folks were pretty tired from the whole 6 hour drive through NY state the day before, which is pretty spectacular by the way. We had a tour guide for the half-day, let's call him 'Jim'. Jim was in his late 50's/60's with a grizzled voice, one bad leg and a scar across his face. I immediately thought that he had "seen some things, man." but it turned out that he never made it into the military. Not for want of trying, though. He did try to get in a couple of times but was turned away each time because he was too fat. His words, not mine. He's probably not reading this but if you are reading this Jim, first, that's super weird and second, you're a hero to me. Thanks for the great tour, buddy..... I never did find out how you got those injuries. Next time!
I only have a couple of shots of the falls because the boat trip was very wet and my camera didn't have weather sealing, plus to get the best view you really need to go over to the Canadian side. Why black and white? Because of the mist! (If you're not familiar with Niagra it's like a semi-circle of waterfalls. The boat brought us into the middle.) The only real colour in the previous shot is the blue of the rain ponchos, which I found too distracting.
Some normal sized gulls and people in the above photo help to give some sense of scale to the abnormally sized waterfall.
The largest whirlpool I've ever seen and I've seen tons of them. What? Toilets don't count? Okay, I've seen precisely one whirlpool but I was huge and I've got the photos to prove it. See those boats? Totally real. They have people in them and all. Perspective. Scale. Lesson. Boom.
That concludes Part:1. Let me know in the comments if you want more photography tips, more slightly embellished stories, how I go about editing my photos or just say "Hi. Great job, Mike.". Subscribe to my mailing list if you haven't already so you can be updated on when Part 2: The Adirondacks is up and so you're notified of any future events or print sales.
Happy snappin! Is that a cool thing to say? *crickets*