Marlon Flores Photography: Blog en-us Copyright (C) Marlon Flores. All rights reserved. (Marlon Flores Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:55:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:55:00 GMT Marlon Flores Photography: Blog 120 68 Adirondacks' Best Kept Secret Lower Ausable lake

We arrived at the trailhead at almost 2pm loaded with all essentials; food, water, first aid kit, map, whistle, headlamp, bear spray, down and shell jacket and of course camera along with variety of filters, two lenses and tripod.

We walked for a couple of miles along the road and was happy to see the junction for the Gill Brook trail. It was a wonderful walk along the brook with mossy trail and scenic waterfalls/cascades to please the eyes and ears.

It was a clear sky which is not the best time to take photos, so we headed straight up to the Indian head lookout. Once we reached the second intersection marked Indian head, the trail starts to get steeper through the area with lots of trail work and stairs. We reached the third intersection where that leads to the Fish Hawk cliffs and Indian head.

Upon reaching the summit, we were in awe with the breathtaking views of Lower Ausable Lake and the slides of Gothics Mountain as well.  The colors were absolutely gorgeous in the fall.

Snowy and Vanderwhacker mountains mark the skyline beyond the deep lake cuts; Colvin and Sawteeth slope steeply into the Lower Lake.

Panorama view from Indian Head CliffPhoto by: Rollo Sicoco



It was already 4pm and the light was still too harsh. Though it was windy and cold, we took some cover under the trees and rested while waiting for sunset.

Photo by Rollo Sicoco. With Armstrong (elev-4,446ft), Upper Wolf Jaw (elev-4,203ft), Lower Ausable Lake (elev-1,950ft) and Lower Wolf Jaw (elev-4,203ft).


As the golden hours started, we begun shooting until twilight. We were the only ones left at the scene. After packing my gear, we headed back through the Lake Road trail. Going down was easy but not a scenic trail like Gill Brook trail. My right knee was already in pain but it didn’t stop me to keep going. This is probably one of the best trail I ever had, the Gill Brook trail going to Indian Head Lookout.

Lower Ausable Lake




St. Huberts Parking area  44.14976°N / 73.7677°W



  • Trail begins on private land about 3.3 miles. No drop offs or pick-ups are allowed at the trailhead area/gate.

  • No dogs allowed and no camping. One must reach the legal areas to camp outside, where transition from private to public lands are well marked along the trails.

  • Bear canisters are requirement from April 1 to November 30. If you don’t have one you will be asked to turn back by a ranger.

  • Half of the walk is along Lake Road.

  • Sign-in register is that large gate of Lake Road near the ranger cabin.


Check out What Does It Take To Get The Shot: Heart Lake and Lower Ausable Lake video





(Marlon Flores Photography) Thu, 15 Oct 2015 21:13:46 GMT
What Does It Takes To Get A Shot: Sulpan Cave and Pinipisakan Falls Unknown to the locals, the pristine Pinipisakan waterfalls and untouched Sulpan Cave lie in the deep tropical rainforest of San Jorge Samar, Philippines waiting to be explored.

"Echoes Of Silence""Echoes Of Silence"San Jorge, Samar, Philippines "Pinipikasan Falls""Pinipikasan Falls"San Jorge, Samar, Philippines "A Fallen Leaf""A Fallen Leaf"San Jorge, Samar, Philippines

Pinipisakan falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines, it’s a four layered of waterfalls that serves as most convenient way to enter the Sulpan Cave. The Sulpan Cave has five-kilometer long underground cave chambers with huge stalactites and stalagmites. The cave has an underground river that serves as tributary for the Blanca River. 

Sulpan Cave and the Pinipisakan waterfalls can be better accessed through the municipality of San Jorge, Samar. However, getting there is not easy so local guide who is familiar with the place is needed.

We met our friendly and extremely knowledgeable guide, Jon Bonifacio in Catbalogan City, Samar. He is a cave master and speleologist who had been to numerous cave expeditions with international spelunkers. He runs Trexplore The Adventures who organized caving tours in Samar.

Breakfast with Rio Tudtud and Mickey Deutsch Photo by: Joni Bonifacio Photo by: Joni Bonifacio with Daryl Comagon, Rio Tudtud, Mickey Deutsch and Marlon Flores Habal-habal ride to Blanca Aurora with Rio Tudtud Photo by: Joni Bonifacio

After our sumptuous breakfast in Catbalogan City, we rode a van for hire to San Jorge town which is about 40 minutes away. In San Jorge we hopped on the motorbikes going to Barangay Blanca Aurora, we rode 30 minutes through asphalt road and constricted dirt roads.  Blanca Aurora is a small village known to its Blanca Aurora Falls. This is where we will have to get the permit and meet up with the porters and boat navigators.

While Joni was busy processing our permit and organizing the porters,  Daryl Comagon a fellow photographer who came with us, took me to Blanca Aurora Falls. It’s a small wide waterfalls just 5 minutes walk from the main road of Blanca Aurora. I just took some snapshots using my phone then we head back to where we will take the boat going to Duroongan.

Blanca Aurora Falls Taken from my iphone

The banca (native boat)  ride was quite an experience for me. We had to go upstream that is against the flow of water and the river has a lot of parts that are too shallow where we had to go down and pushed the boat. Normally it will take two hours but since it was summer, the water is lesser so it took us 2.5 hours to reach the other end.

Photo by: Joni Bonifacio Pushing the banca against the river current. pushing banca against river current Photo by: Joni Bonifacio











Once we arrived at our jump-off in Duroongan, we quickly ate our packed lunch before we started our jungle trekking. It’s a two hour hike on an unestablished trail and rugged terrain and some parts we had to climb on rocks to get to the next trail to follow. 

Mickey Deutsch rock climbing Photo by: Joni Bonifacio Taken from my iphone Photo by: Joni Bonifacio

Once we arrived at the Pinipikasan waterfalls, I started exploring for a better perspective to capture the magnificent form of the waterfalls. The sun was so bright so I used polarizer with 6 stop Neutral Density ND filter and luckily I got a shot that the sun was covered by the clouds. We didn’t waste much time and went up to the Sulpan Cave entrance. 

Before reaching the Sulpan Cave entrance, you will have to swim across the river, wade through the clear greenish waist-deep and chest-deep water, climb three mini waterfalls and walk all the way through mossy rocks.

Need a helping hand with Daryl Comagon Photo by: Joni Bonifacio

It was already late in the afternoon when we arrived at the last waterfall, so we decided not to climb the last one and spend more time on exploring the spot and figuring out how to get the shot on what I visualized. Otherwise it will be very difficult to hike back and ride the boat in darkness.

Exploring the site with Daryl Comagon and Marlon Flores Photo by: Joni Bonifacio Setting up for our shots with Daryl Comagon Photo by: Joni Bonifacio Photo by: Joni Bonifacio
At the spot I chose, there’s barely any direct sunlight reaching the bottom so there was no need for a Neutral Density ND filter. Polarizer filter was enough to suppress glare and slow the shutter speed, this will create a motion blur effect on the waterfalls.  

The cave entrance is humongous and the only way to measure it up is by positioning a model person on the photo. It is like a giant monster mouth with fangs hanging, its saliva spitting out and ready to eat us. I was in awe with it’s  massive entrance  and the rock formations are astounding  with its beautiful five meter falls flowing towards bluish waterpool. Its just serene beauty with soothing sound of flowing water and the splendid attraction of the falls. 

Tips and Info

Guide contact:
•    Joni Bonifacio of Trexplore the Adventures.
•    Address: Abesamis Store, Allen Avenue, Cabalogan City, Samar
•    Email: [email protected]. Tel. no: 055-2512301, Cell: 0919-2943865
•    Website:
•    1 day adventure trip inclusion: Permit, life vest, helmet, transportation, food (breakfast and lunch), boat rides, local porters, TREXPLORE  guide, certificates and photo documentations.

What to bring:
•    Backpack (daypack)
•    Drybag to store your camera, wallet and other items that you don’t like to get wet.
•    Quick dry clothing: Avoid cotton clothing, when wet it doesn't dry quickly.
•    Extra clothes
•    Strong water-friendly footwear with toe protection is a must.
•    Two pairs of lightweight wool socks. Avoid cotton socks.
•    Headlamp
•    Trail food like energy bars.
•    Water bottle
•    Hiking pole or hiking stick.
•    Waterproof portable camera:  Its hassle to remove the DSLR/Mirrorless Camera from your drybag along the trail.

Photography stuff:
•    DSLR or Mirrorless camera
•    One ultra wide zoom lens. Its more flixeble than ultra wide primes lens.
•    Tripod
•    Polarizer and Neutral Density ND filter. Polarizer filter is mostly used but will need ND filter if the sky is too bright.
•    Extra Microfiber cloth to constantly wipe off any water droplets on the filter or lens. Mist especially you are near from waterfalls will accumulate on your lens or filters very quickly.

Highly recommended to take a two days for photography activity.
Best month to go: April to May


(Marlon Flores Photography) Aurora Blanca catbalogan cave jorge philippines pinipisakan samar san sulpan trexplore waterfalls Mon, 27 Apr 2015 23:55:18 GMT
Winter Solitude at Manasquan Reservoir Manasquan Reservoir in Howell, New Jersey is also part of Monmouth County park system. The place is not only for recreational activities but it also provides water to the town and utilities.


The park has visitor center, trails, boat launching area, dikes for fishing and environmental center. It offers a lot of activities for one you can do boating activities in the reservoir. There is also the second level observation deck where you can enjoy spectacular views.

During the winter, the reservoir is open for ice-skating, ice-boating and ice-fishing. However, these activities are permitted depending on the weather conditions.

There’s a special portion of the reservoir that is designated as wildlife reserve which protects certain faunas such as notable bird and land animal species of Swan, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Great blue Heron, turtles, Red Fox, Raccoons and White-tailed deer.

A swan looking at a frozen dead duck on the lake. Taken on overcast foggy day using 70-200mm telephoto lens.

The forests at the reservoir have an interesting mix of trees e.g. pine/oak and maple/sweetgum species. There is an area next the park called Bear Swamp Tract and Howell Park Golf Course which is open during the State-regulated hunting season.  In addition, hunting areas are clearly posted.
The park opens daily at 6a.m. to dusk from April 1 to October 31 and 7a.m. to dusk from November 1 to March 31. Occasionally the park ranger opens the parking at Chestnut point before 7am on Winter.


It is one of the places that I put into practice my winter photography in New Jersey. During winter I will wait when the lake has frozen, frozen enough to walk nearby the shore.   



Here are some tips if you want to take a photo in the reservoir during the winter:

"Frozen Log""Frozen Log"

Where: Park your car on the roadside near the intersection of Georgia Tavern Road and Lemon Road, and then make your way to the Chestnut Point.  You should be extremely careful when walking on ice, it might be slippery or ice might be not thick enough.

When: A great spot for sunrise views is best during overcast light.

How: If you are aiming for a sunrise shot be sure to use wide angle zoom lens to get everything from foreground to background.  

Try vertical composition, it often accentuate the dynamic qualities of an image particularly when using ultra-wide lens. 

A solid neutral density filter is useful if you want to blur the clouds. For more information on how to use a neutral density filter you can check How and when to use ND filters

Check out my Winter Solitude Manasquan Reservoir Gallery:






(Marlon Flores Photography) Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:51:41 GMT
Hiking to Athabasca Glacier's Toe  
We were driving along the Icefields Parway from Jasper to Canmore, when we decided to make a stop at Icefield Interpretive Center and hike to the toe of Athabasca Glacier located at Canadian Rockies.
Athabasca Glacier is just one of the six glacier tongues of the Columbia Icefield, which is situated across the Icefield Centre. As you can see, from the Icefield Centre you can glimpse the grand view of Snow Dome and the Athabasca Glacier. 
It is the most visited glacier in North America due to its easy accessibility along the Icefields Parkway.  The Columbia Icefield was formed during the last Ice Age.

Snow Domeview from Icefield Center


Toe of Athabasca Glacier

It’s relatively a short hike but there’s a part that is steep though the leading edge of the glacier is within easy walking distance. However, you should hike with caution and stay on the trail because there are hidden deep cracks on the ice sheet or glacier called crevasses that have led to deaths. To this date, there has never been a successful crevasse rescue recorded at the Athabasca Glacier. This is why the Icefield Interpretative Center is closed during the winter that is mid-October to mid-April.
The glacier is in continuous motion, creeping downward like a slow moving river; sometimes you can hear the sound from the toe of Athabasca Glacier. This movement is due to the warming of Earth. 
The trail runs along the edge of the glacier before looping back to the rocky ridge. 

Mt. WilcoxA frozen pond with Mt. Wilcox on the background Going back to the trailhead, you can see on your left Mt. Wilcox also Lake Sunwapta and on the right you can see the Icefield Interpretive Center.

Here's the last shot before going down to the trailhead where I found a frozen pond and a solitary rock with Mt. Wilcox on the background.


Mt. WilcoxTrail overlook view with Sunwapta Lake and Mt Wilcox in the background.






(Marlon Flores Photography) Sat, 24 Jan 2015 14:38:00 GMT

One fine weather weekend, I wandered alone along the serene shoreline. It was early morning around 2 am. Along the trail, I found a seemingly dead tree. It simultaneously spooked and amazed me. I thought it would be cool to shoot it with the cosmic Milky Way so I spent an hour trying to get a perfect composition. 

Once settled, I sat down, turned off the headlamp and started shooting a series of shots. Then I noticed a bright light on the LCD screen akin to a dew building up on the lens. I stood up and approach the lens, I felt a whiff of warm air passed over me which caused a goose bumps feeling. I carefully looked at the lens closely there was no dew.

I fired another shot thinking the camera sensor might be busted. In my amazement it yielded quite a good result. The camera settings remained unchanged at ISO 3200, f 2.8 20 secs.  

I wondered, where did the bright light came from then? I started to imagine some being was with me at that particular moment, an entity that could not be seen but only felt. I stayed for a few more minutes to see if it would manifest itself but to my disappointment nothing appeared. I just then packed my bags and left. 


When I got home, I started editing my photos and zeroed bright light in the one photo. Here it is! What do you see? Ghost? Alien? Or something else?

Here is the series of shots what it looks like from Adobe Lightroom.

Series of shots



(Marlon Flores Photography) alien ghost jersey jersey shore milky way night sky shore spooky stars tree ufo Thu, 11 Sep 2014 03:18:15 GMT
"Power Charging The City" I’ve been taking photos for several years now but haven’t done lightning photography because of safety concerns. Although, I have in mind a pretty good idea on how to capture it.

On the night of a thunderstorm forecast, we went out to Exchange Place together with my fellow photographers, Jennifer Khordi and Gary Feng. Our mission was to capture lightning streak that would hit the One World Trade Tower. On the road near Jersey City we can already see the thunderstorm clouds hovering New York. We all got so excited as we witness the cloud formation. 

Once we arrived in the spot, I immediately grabbed my camera and tried to visualize which lens is good to use and composition considering that I’m new to the place.I scouted a little further and saw that the clouds are getting darker. So I hurriedly put on my rain jacket and as well as my DSLR rain sleeves.

Now the wait: as dark clouds hovered over New York I was able to get some series of shots but no lightning yet. In matter of minutes since we arrived the heavy rain started to pour. Right away we took cover under a nearby shelter.

We all waited in the shelter until the rain stopped. For safety, I stayed inside and shoot from there. I used intervalometer to get series of shots. We waited for awhile for a lightning streak and there it was! But sadly it was on the side not on the One World Trade Tower.

It was tempting to move and recomposed on the side but I was determined to get a shot for One World Trade Tower. I convinced myself to stay put for a little longer and continued series of shot until --- there it is! Lightning streak.


"Power Charging The City""Power Charging The City"New York, New York Check out my friends work too Jennifer Khordi's FB page and Gary Feng's FB page

(Marlon Flores Photography) clouds exchange place hudson jersey lightning new jersey new york nyc rain river storm world trade Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:24:30 GMT
"Sailing Through The Sky" The Jersey shore has always been my regular place during the night. I always find time to go see trillion little lights above me. Every time I am there, seeing a meteor falling from the heavens is ordinary to me but this one is the nearest that I’ve seen. It’s a ball of unearthly white light and a long shining tail.

"Sailing Through The Sky""Sailing Through The Sky"Island Beach State Park, New Jersey

Although it lasted for a few seconds before it vanishes in the deep Atlantic Ocean, this has been an awesome experience that I will surely hold dearly.

It is quite challenging to capture the meteors that appear in the sky but with constant observation I have a arrangement in mind. Using tripod to stabilize the camera, I then positioned it facing the north-eastern part of the sky to get higher chances to capture the falling meteor. In addition, I used intervalometer to get series of shots.

While the shots started rolling for at least an hour I comfortably lay down on the warm sand and enjoyed watching the twinkling stars. 

(Marlon Flores Photography) beach jersey shore meteor milky way night sky stars Thu, 03 Jul 2014 02:12:02 GMT
"Empire State's Magic Moments"

I have been scouting for months on a best spot for the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks in New York. I wanted it to have a different perspective – a different view but to my dismay I couldn’t find one. As the event neared I thought of just going local or be early in Hamilton Park, Weehawken. Luckily, two days before the most awaited July 4th, a friend of mine hooked us up with his fellow contact. I guess destiny has its own course of finding me a spot. 

The view is from the rooftop of a 22 storey-condo. The sight was just simply what I thought of --- it was breathtaking. As I enjoyed watching the fireworks, both my hands are busy clicking the triggers to capture the amazing fireworks display.

Yes, I used two DSLR camera bodies: one with wide angle lens and one telephoto lens for tight shot of Empire State Building.

When I got home, scanning through the pictures I knew I got what I wanted “The Empire State’s Magic Moments”.


Please share to your friends the "Empire State's Magic Moments". See more photos of July 4th Fireworks.

Special thanks to Fernando Trujillo for arranging the spot for us.
You can see his awesome work here .

Here's some Iphone shots behind the scenes .

(Marlon Flores Photography) 4th of july empire state esb fireworks hudson river jersey new york Fri, 05 Jul 2013 12:25:00 GMT