A Castle in the Clouds

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn’t it be? – it is the same the angels breathe.

– Mark Twain, Roughing It

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Photo caption:
I realized a few years ago that the Finger Lakes’ spectacular vistas are best captured in a panoramic format. This view, from County Rd. 12, north of Naples, is the best view I have found for a panorama of Canandaigua Lake – my second favorite Finger Lake.

Photo caption:
I’ve come to love the storms and the clouds over Keuka Lake. They create better photo opportunities than the “clear blue sky” days. This shot was taken from the dock at the Lakeside Restaurant on the west shore. Most of my favorite photographs, like this one, are a matter of being at the right place at the right time, and, of course, of always having the camera on hand and seeing the spectacular shot that is right in front of me. For composition, aligning the chair, the bluff and cloud was important – a once-in-a-lifetime capture.
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A dream is where a boy can swim in the deepest oceans and fly over the highest clouds.
– J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Photo caption:
This rare cloud formation calls out for an explanation by a
meteorologist. It looks like a tornado to me. Luckily, for the sake of
composition, the spiral rose directly from the end of the bluff.

Photo caption:
The gravel pit on Winding Stair Road above Hammondsport affords a great view of Keuka Lake from the south. The gravel pit, like the lake, was a vestige of the ice age, deposited by the retreating glacier 10,000 or so years ago. The beauty of the Finger Lakes Region is the result not only, or even primarily, of the retreating glaciers, but of the geologic formation of its underlying rocks millions of years ago.

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A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all – he’s walking on them.
– Leonard Louis Levinson, author of The Left Handed Dictionary

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Photo caption:
This photo was taken on a boat ride with friends, back to their home on the east side of Keuka Lake, following dinner at the Lakeside Restaurant. The combination of the clouds, the sunset and its reflection on the wake of the speeding boat was what caught my attention. I knew it was a keeper when I pressed the shutter.

Photo caption:
The spectacular view of Keuka Lake inspired my move to professional photography about 10 years ago. In the transitions between warm and cool seasons – and warm and cool air and water – we are treated with these spectacular cloud formations. This shot was taken in the early summer of 2012.

Steve Knapp is represented by several galleries in the area: Artizans (Naples), Franklin Street Gallery (Watkins Glen), Keuka Creations and the Arts Center of Yates County (Penn Yan). To view more of Steve’s work, visit keukaview.com.


by Steve Knapp