Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Travel Tuesday - Cuyahogo Valley National Park

Only 5 1/2 hours from home, and a new experience opened before us. We went with a group of fellow photographers to a beautiful national park near Cleveland, OH, and came away with sweaty clothes, mosquito bites, and memories of good times and photo opportunities.

Every summer our photography group takes a field trip to a location not too far from home. Typically we leave on a Friday morning and return Sunday. The last couple of years we haven't been able to attend the entire weekend, but we go for whatever time we can. This year it was Friday and Saturday, returning in the evening so we could be here to photograph our airport open house on Sunday.

Of course, the weekend was as hot and humid as most of our summer, it seems, so we did the best we could to stay hydrated, and apply mosquito repellant as we walked a wonderful walkway through a swamp, early Saturday morning. That walk was heavily traveled, we found, by a large number of cyclists, walkers, and beautiful wildlife.

If we'd gotten up for a sunrise walk with a few members of our group, we might have seen the beaver family, or the otters. We did manage a 7:00 a.m. jaunt which included blue heron, ducks, a large variety of birds, turtles, water lilies, lush foliage and gentle fog. I photographed this beauty from the boardwalk, with a 200mm lens and 2x extender. She posed for us for quite a while, so I expect there will be a number of duck pics which will show up in our competitions this year.

We also visited a section of the park which danced with sparkling water - a glorious waterfall provided over an hour of photographic opportunity. We picked it apart, photographing sections of the falls, as well as the fall in its entirety. The slower the shutter speed, the more veil-like the water appears. A long exposure is your best friend at times, but use a tripod to keep everything in focus.

And at the end of the day, we found a sunset. Even when you're surrounded by trees, it's possible to find that last shot - a moment which captures the essence of the moment. There are star filters you can purchase, which will give you a number of different star patterns. They screw on the front of most lenses. But if you have the capability to change your camera's settings, a tripod, cable release or very steady hand, use the f22 setting to get results like this:

The summer is coming to an end, I'm back to work, yet more travels are in our future. The glorious autumn is coming, with crisp air and brilliant color. And then there's the trip I will take for work - I will be taking student teachers to Ghana, Africa in October, where we'll be for 7 weeks. If there aren't photo opportunities there, I'd be very surprised!

More to come on the preparation for this trip, as we make our lists and check them twice. Research is underway to determine which lenses will be the most important, and which locations will give us the most opportunity. Adventure ahead and we'll be keeping you posted!

1 comment:

Slices of Beauty... said...

Love these, especially the last image!
Happy long weekend to you, enjoy.