Monday, October 12, 2020

King's Falls


The photo above was made by my grandfather and namesake, James Hackett at Kings Falls in the township of Denmark, NY. The woman on the left is my grandmother, Carrie. The couple on the right were friends that appear in other photos my grandfather made. The photo was made at least 100 years ago.

There is a dam at the top of the falls now and the site is not open to the public but today I had an opportunity to go to the falls myself with the permission of the land owners. Below is a photo I made from a camera position similar to my grandfather's.

You can see bits of the dam over each of the side slots in the falls. Although Grandpa Jim chose the best view point, you can't shoot the same view today without getting at least a little of the dam in the picture. I shot this one as low to the water as I could in an effort to avoid the dam. His was clearly made from closer to eye level. The falls themselves have changed in the last 100 years as well. The raised flat area on the right where my grandmother and their friends were standing is no longer there. There have been other smaller changes to the shape of the falls as well.

Having made this trip to the falls I am impressed by how adventurous my grandparents were. It is no small trick to get to this point. You have to descend a very steep bank, then I had to wade flowing water that came more than half way up my calves. I was grateful for my hiking shoes and trekking poles.  They did it wearing leather soled dress shoes and the women had full length skirts. I can't image how they climbed up there to pose in that attire.

I took my drone but did not use it, a decision I regretted on my way home. When I first saw how close the zig-zag dam was to the top of the falls I thought there was no way I could get a good aerial view without the dam in it and put it out of my mind while I went about making my other photos. It was a foolish and preemptive decision on my part. I should have at least attempted it and seen what the possibilities were and I regretted my failure to try on my way home but I was halfway home then so... Perhaps I will be allowed to go back another day and try a drone photo or two.

The other photos from today are below.

Autumn color among the rocks.
The falls as seen from a peninsula to the left to the falls.
Autumn color near the bottom of the falls.
Along the road on the way home.
I hope you enjoy the photos. I am happy to have been allowed to make them and share them.