The Nikon D750 and Nikkor 17-35mm Looks at Autumn in Niagara Falls


1/800 f16 ISO 200

Shooting the light when not right, right into the sun on a storm threatening, windy day around 9am. Yes, not the best time of day or best way to shoot right into the sun. To see these images, make sure you click them to see a larger size.

What is nice about the sharp, 17-35mm lens is you can get a wide view and create a moody landscape image, even if trying to pull something from nothing. Just a minute later, the scene brightens a bit by changing the camera settings to 1/200 f11 ISO 200, but note, I moved to the right and down a bit to avoid the white, sun brightness in the first image.

If you checked out the post on Nature and Wildlife Pics, you might realize I could have left the settings as they were, but changing them does change the image slightly in this case.

The wide-angle lens exaggerates the perspective in a scene. Although nearby objects appear bigger and very detailed, everything in the distance shrinks in size. Mountains for instance, end up looking tiny and insignificant if you use a wide-angle lens. That is why these images of the Niagara River rapids looks OK. They can make a photo feel three-dimensional.


1/200 f11 ISO 200

While I like to travel and see landscapes I am unfamiliar, you can easily discover and explore close-by nature photography possibilities if you check out Google Maps. You just need to look for greenspace near you, like parks and nature areas that are right around your location.

Once you are outdoors, the landscape becomes anything and everything you want it to be at any time. If you think of the landscape that way, it becomes a lot more accessible and interesting than, say, just a costly vacation you might have planned. Noon day sun? Get out that macro lens.


1/250 f8 ISO 200

Luckily, I do have a pretty popular vacation destination practically just outside my front door. I live along the Canadian border which is just beyond the middle of the Niagara River shown above and below.

So at any time, winter, spring, summer or fall I can walk to the places in Niagara Falls that you see in this post. The gorge area is most pretty in fall, but I am very partial to winter if you have seen my frozen falls images. I go out in all conditions; inclement weather and milder days.


1/100 f11 ISO 200

These areas are photographed by millions of people each year, a lot by cell phones and small consumer cameras. The pros come as well with high-end gear and heavy-duty tripods. Most of those photos are taken of the Falls themselves, rather than the images I am showing.


1/400 f8 ISO 200

See how the buildings look tiny and far away. That is what I was talking about above. The brighter area should be the focal point of the photo.

I often am almost by myself at these spots many times. Three Sister’s Island is popular every summer, but by October the masses are no longer here.


1/60 f7.1 ISO 100 and some sun flare

I had to crop the image below. The wide view had little interest on the edges. It looks like winter a bit. Winter is my favorite season at the Falls.


Winter has few tourists unless the media starts posting images of the Frozen Falls. Above, that is not winter, but just on October 18th. It is not even a B&W photo.


The bridge I am on goes to Goat Island, and occasionally it’s closed to pedestrians in winter. Right now there is repair work going on and I could not photograph beyond the rail.


The presentation I attended at Gannon University on Nature and Wildlife Pics really was helpful to get the most out of an exposure, even in more difficult conditions like illustrated here. Shooting into the sun does make for tricky exposure. The presentation led by a world-famous photographer explained how different lenses, and angles of view can change the mood or interest of a photo. While these images are not the big landscape scenes I like to shoot, it has various elements that make determining a proper exposure more difficult.


Yes, putting the camera on Auto settings will get you a reasonable photo with even tones, but it also can make for a boring image. You might get saturated color but you lose the mood and depth of the scene. What about that lens I used? Look at this image, one I had no business taking with a wide-angle lens. Either my macro lenses or zoom lenses would have been a better choice. I add them for you to see the sharpness.


Look at the enlargement below from the original above. This lens is really amazing. I had it for years, and use it when I take the D750 and travel.


The two above are RAW images as are the next two. With RAW, I can extract even more detail and greater exposure opportunities. I did not edit to saturate these images either.

beaver-island-lake beaver-island

See my latest post on nature and Wildlife Pics. What Kind of photographer Do You Want To Be?

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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20 Responses to The Nikon D750 and Nikkor 17-35mm Looks at Autumn in Niagara Falls

  1. I loved your photo with the rainbow! Probably one of the best ones I’ve seen over Niagara Falls. Thanks for sharing the camera information. I purchased a (new-to-me) D90 and really have not used it much. And I have not shot in RAW, but after seeing your photos in RAW I’m ready to try it.

    • Thank you, Sue. That particular image was taken with the 400mm when I was shooting gulls. I could not pass up that rainbow. It was more vibrant than any I have seen, bigger too. You should use the D90 as it it a good camera. I sold my D80, but it was a fine camera too.

  2. humanity777 says:

    Fabulous shots with great colour…

  3. Stunning! My favorite is the image of the falls with the autumn color (#8). I love the layers of visual interest. You are a pro!

  4. Andrea says:

    The autumn views are more spectacular for me than winter. Niagara Winter photos evoke in me a scary feel, i wonder why!

  5. Shooting in RAW does have its advantages. I don’t usually have time to work with RAW files, so I shoot jpg, but have my settings for a large file size. That helps.

    • It is less than one minute to process a RAW file in Camera RAW. It really needs contrast adjustment the most if exposure is done correctly. I was surprised there was no need for Vibrance or Saturation adjustment. Usually the file needs some color adjustment.

  6. Love your photos. It is sometimes more interesting to go off the beaten track and find some different views of a popular tourist spot.

  7. Sehr tolle Photos.

    Liebe Gruesse


  8. swo8 says:

    I certainly have lots to learn about photography. Thanks for all the tips and advice. Your photos are excellent, Donna.

  9. debsgarden says:

    Amazing photos; I love the dragonfly image. You are blessed to have such marvelous landscapes nearby! (However, I suspect your photos would be equally inspiring and certainly provocative if you only took inner city images!)

  10. Wonderful photos. I like the gray and stormy shots. Looks like the perfect setting for a Victorian murder mystery.

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