[Landscape Photography] The Details About Every Stretch of the River: A Photo Safari With My Sister, Part 1.

My youngest sister came for a visit and stayed with me for a couple days. There’s no relationship like that of a sister. And I should know, I got 3 of them 😉 Can you imagine living in a house with 4 daughters? My poor parents. They should be nominated for sainthood.

My sisters and I are each vastly different in many ways, yet all the same at the end of the day. We cling to and cherish the traditions and stories of our mother, grandmothers and great-grandmothers (I secretly believe it is the women that keep each family’s legacy alive). All of our names start with the letter K, and we’ll always have that even though our last names may change. We bicker with brutal honesty, but would go to the ends of the earth to fight for each other and protect one another. Sometimes we don’t understand each other’s personality quirks, but it matters very little because we are bonded through blood. It doesn’t matter what happens in our lives: the mountain tops, the valleys, the proud moments, the not-so-proud moments… we love each other unconditionally, flaws and all. Yeah we fight, who knows how to push your buttons better than your sister? But we fight even harder to protect each other from the outsiders. People come and go, friends come and go. Sisters are through the ages, the decades, the life’s milestones.

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I don’t get to see my sisters often, and when I do it’s normally all of us together at the same time. So it was really nice to spend some quality time with the one that used to be called a mini-me when we were kids 🙂 (pictured above).

Salmon River Falls

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Despite the great grey that seems to have set in over Central NY, we decided to go out on a little photo safari. For the first part, I took her to see a couple of the local waterfalls.

We started with Salmon River Falls. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make it down to the bottom of the gorge because everything was so wet and slick from the heavy rains. I’ve been coming to this waterfall for 7 years now. For a photographer, the greatest exercise is returning to the same scene and finding a new way to see it, a new perspective to photograph it. I think the picture above is my new favorite image I have created from the falls.

The Salmon River falls are a 110 foot waterfall with the land originally belonging to the Iroquois Indians. The tribes of the Iroquois Nation used the barrier of the falls to fish for Atlantic salmon.

Salmon River Falls 2 Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

Salmon River Falls 3 Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

And in typical fashion, the Europeans came along and settled the area, built a dam and the salmon were no longer able to run the river as they once did. Hydroelectric power development marked the early 1900’s for the Salmon River. In 1993, the power company that owned the land and river sold 1700 acres back to the state of NY as conservation easements and fishing rights. The state now operates a fish hatchery facility near the river to stock millions of trout and different species of salmon in the river each year. Salmon River Falls 4 Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

The next day we headed down to Chittenango Falls. The falls are a 167 foot drop over 400 million year old bedrock. And bonus, the park has nice steps all the way down the bottom so we were able to get the whole dynamic feel of the falls into a photograph.

Chittenango Falls Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

Chittenango Falls 3 Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

Chittenango Falls 2 Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

Josh tagged along on these two trips and the both of us were playing with the camera so he definitely had a hand in the making of some of these photographs…though I don’t remember who shot what, and you can’t really tell through the images either. That is a good sign for someone who I make second-shoot for me at weddings 🙂

Chittenango Falls 4 Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

Chittenango Falls 5 Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

Chittenango Falls 6 Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

Chittenango Falls 7 Photo [Kelley Elizabeth Photography]

I asked my sister at one point what her goals were for the next 5-10 years, where she saw herself and what she wanted out of life. She answered that she hoped to still be earning a living and continue pluggin’ along. She followed it up by explaining that she didn’t want to find herself disappointed with the way life sometimes unfolds uncontrollably, and that’s why she intends not to set specific goals and plans.

“It is not required that we know all of the details about every stretch of the river. Indeed, were we to know, it would not be an adventure, and I wonder if there would be much point in the journey.”  Jeffrey R. Anderson

And so too it is with life, dear sister.


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