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Author Topic: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.  (Read 8453 times)

Drum

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Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« on: May 24, 2017, 07:04:52 AM »
Hi, I will be taking the family for vacation to up-state New York during the first two weeks of August. I wouldn't really consider myself a landscape photographer and never having been to the area before I was looking for a bit of advice as to good spots for taking photos. I do realise that later in the year may be the more spectacular for the Fall foliage colours but this is the family holiday time!! As we are staying with my sister I can make time to go off and take photos without my wife and kids feeling left out
   First question!! We will be travelling to Niagra falls, I was mainly wondering are there any insights by CR members that have visited? The cave of the winds sounds like it could be a fantastic photo op but do you have any recommendations for taking such photos? Same for the maid of the mist? I have a 5D3 and 4, 16-35f4, 24-70ii or should I just buy a waterproof compact for these shots? I would prefer the IQ of my own equipment...
   Second question I have googled upon googled areas around the finger lakes (we are staying near to Syracuse with my sister) but personal recommendations by CR members for particular areas would be welcome. as I said  before I don't really do landscapes but a bit of inspiration in a foreign (to me!!) country might help!!
   Lastly New York city, as I said I have used Google and I sort of know where to look eg statue of Liberty, Ground zero memorial, but are there any restrictions I should be aware of? are any days quieter than others (weekdays vs weekend) I was also planning a quick visit to either B&H or Adorama but Saturdays seem to be out for both of them (yes I understand the religion thing). How much is sales tax in NYC google seems to give me different answers between 4 and 8.75% as I might save a few euros on the 70-200 I plan to buy at some point!!
    So really what I am asking for is CR members insights into any and all of these areas bearing in mind that it is a family holiday, but that making time for photography is certainly an option.
  My equipment is 5D4, 5D3, 60d. lenses 16-35f4, 24-70 f2.8ii, 100-400mk2, 100L 135L (I wasn't really planning on bringing the primes).

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Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« on: May 24, 2017, 07:04:52 AM »

monkey44

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2017, 08:09:04 AM »
It's worth a day-trip from Syracuse to explore the Erie Canal - a bike trail and park run along parts of the canal too, and it's a great day for family. 

Drum

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2017, 08:14:30 AM »
Thank you this is exactly the sort of tip that I was hoping to get!!

monkey44

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 04:16:19 PM »
Begin your day at the Locks and Museum - small museum, but interesting history. 

Don Haines

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2017, 05:33:31 PM »
If you take the maid of the mist, you REALLY REALLY REALLY!!! Want a waterproof camera. Water will be running off of it...... think of it as photography while taking a shower......

If you are interested is some landscapes, try the Adirondaks, there are some nice day hikes, including some really short ones (an hour or so) with decent views, but this time of year bring some bug dope...... August will be fine for bugs, but it will be hot and you will need lots of water.....

The other advice is to avoid touristy places on weekends.....
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 05:35:38 PM by Don Haines »
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BillB

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2017, 05:45:34 PM »
I prefer the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.  There is an overlook at the top of the Falls on the Canadian side that is really impressive.  Going into Canada (and getting back into the US) will require a passport for everybody present though.

I am lucky enough to be near a library that is big enough to have a pretty good collection of travel guides.  There are several different companies that put out travel guides.  If I am going to be spending some time in a new place, I like to spend some time looking through the travel guides beforehand and check a couple out to take along with me.  Very helpful in finding interesting places to visit, and good places to eat.   Also, you might check the New York Highway Dept website to see if you can get a map with Scenic Byways identified.

lion rock

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 06:01:48 PM »
Plenty of vineyards/wineries along the lakes.
-r

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 06:01:48 PM »

DJL329

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2017, 07:52:55 PM »
How much is sales tax in NYC google seems to give me different answers between 4 and 8.75% as I might save a few euros on the 70-200 I plan to buy at some point!!

The New York State sales tax is 4%, with local municipalities, such as New York City, adding their own on top of that.

The total sales tax in New York City, which includes the 4% from the state, is 8.875%.

http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2389/sales-tax
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Drum

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2017, 08:24:47 PM »
Thanks for the replies everyone, after your reply Don I looked at the waterproof/underwater bags on amazon and the B&H website, has anyone experience of these? I am not a diver or planning to go underwater with it but as Don Mentions there will be a lot of spray, I would really prefer the IQ of even my 60d to the point and shoot underwater cameras that I have found on various websites. Also thanks Don for the Bug spray advice I hadn't even considered about bugs as we don't really get them here.
    BillB Thanks for your contribution too. I had read about the Canadian side being more spectacular but I couldn't seem to find an answer about whether being on a tourist visit will allow us to cross the border (and back!) I have also been looking at several websites in preparation for our visit, but a lot seem more interested in selling accommodation than giving information!!
    Lion Rock do you have any specific recommendations? a picture of a vineyard could be really interesting to me as we don't have them here in Ireland.
    Thanks for the sales tax info!! It's included in our prices that's why I asked!
   

becceric

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2017, 09:26:33 PM »
A trip to the finger lakes, especially Ithaca would be nice. I like Buttermilk Falls State Park and Robert Treman State Park.

lion rock

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2017, 09:39:58 PM »
Sorry I don't have specific names of wineries.  When my daughter was going to college in Ithaca (2000-2004), we would visit her, and took side trips driving around sight seeing.  Along the shores of Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake, there are many of them.  I remember Fox Run as their Rieslings were very good.  Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon with a glass of wine (don't drive if you have too much).
-r

dak723

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 09:43:48 PM »
Keep in mind that upstate NY covers a huge area and things are not that close to one another.  Arguably the most scenic spot in NY is the Adirondacks.  You could take a day trip from Syracuse, but that will be one full day.  If you can spend a few days there, it would be better.  From Syracuse, it's probably about 2 hours or so to Old Forge - roughly the start of the Adirondacks - and then you can continue on through the Fulton chain of lakes to Racquet Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, and Long Lake.  If you have time, then the road continues to Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and then to Lake Placid where you will be in the "heart" of the Adirondacks.

Closer to Syracuse, I would recommend the area around Ithaca (about an hour drive).  There are numerous State Parks with gorges and waterfalls.  Your sister would hopefully be familiar with those parks (Buttermilk Falls is one).  A bit farther away is Watkins Glen, another State Park.

Perhaps the most scenic State Park in NY is Letchworth State Park. (about a 2 hour drive from Syracuse, south of Rochester).  Stony Brook State Park is in the same area, a bit farther away, which also has some nice waterfalls.

Just remembered one more - and this one is the easiest!  Just outside of Syracuse is Green Lakes State Park.  Definitely go there!

You should be able to Google these parks to get some idea of what they have to offer.  Hope this helps!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 10:26:50 PM by dak723 »

lion rock

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 09:56:11 PM »
If you want shopping, factory outlets, there is Woodbury Commons near Bear Mountains.  Watch you wallet.  You can buy too much.
-r

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 09:56:11 PM »

monkey44

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2017, 10:11:58 PM »
Montezuma Wildlife Refuge is close (right off I-90) near the Finger-lakes area - can drive much of it on dirt roads, but well graded.  Easy drive - and some walking trails.   

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 02:03:23 AM »
Upstate New York is REALLY big!  Before I retired, I usually flew to Syracuse and went South to rural Sidney on business trips, I've been thru the area from Syracuse to Corning, to Oneonta to Cooperstown (Baseball Hall of Fame).  So many places have interesting things, Binghamton - Home of IBM.  Finger Lakes.

Then, I later spent almost 3 years in Toronto, so I visited Niagara, Rochester, the area North and East of Syracuse, the Hudson Valley and a ton of historic and colorful places.  North of Syracuse, the Adirondacks, and St Lawrence Seaway, the drive to Montreal, which is another amazing place.  People think of big cities and heavy industry in New York and New England, but there are many beautiful and quiet rural places.  I avoid big cities when I can, I've driven thru downtown Boston, but not NYC.

I could literally spend months and years in the area and still have more to see.

The Canadian side of Niagara is the big attraction.  Its wet from the lower viewing platforms, wet enough to soak your camera if wind blows the mist toward you.  Don't bother with photos from Maid of the Mist.  Assuming your camera survives, photos of mist and water running over the lens are not all that inspiring.  Make sure you have a passport or other document that will let you cross the border.

I'd pick two or three general attractions that you want to see, and then look up other attractions along the way and in the area.  Cooperstown was interesting, the Baseball Hall of Fame is fabulous, but there are other attractions there too.

The finger lakes and the Corning Museum of Glass are in the same general area.  You can't go wrong.

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Re: Advice wanted for trip to upstate New York.
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 02:03:23 AM »