Often times photographers scour the earth looking for that next great shot whilst forgetting gems right in their own backyard. This article will highlight 3 must see nature photography sites in Pennsylvania.
Scenic Jim Thorpe is beautiful any time of year but is especially stunning in late fall and winter. A short drive from the town will lead you to Glen Onoko Falls. Free and easily accessible parking is available right at the trail heads. Numerous trails are available up the mountain along (and even crossing over) several waterfalls. When shooting under foliage a tripod is a must; packing light is also recommended as the hike becomes rigorous at some points. If visiting in the winter the snow and frozen falls can present lots of photographic opportunities but be sure to take caution when hiking and avoid icy/slippery trails.
If looking for something a bit more leisurely Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square may be more your speed. The garden is open year round and never seems to have a shortage of photographers present. It’s a great place to spend the day. When shooting bring a tripod and if possible a macro lens or extension tubes for closeups of the exotic horticulture. Also check out their website for visits from various artists, the outdoor exhibits often provide great potential for some creative shots.
For relaxing camping and a clean-crisp-clear night sky look no further than Cherry Springs State Park. Located roughly an hours drive north of state college it truly is in the middle of nowhere. Nearby lakes offer swimming along with other recreational activities. Open fields line the way to dramatic sunsets which are not to be missed. It’s a great opportunity to fire off some bracketed shots and generate an HDR frame of the sunset. Before going check a moon phase calendar see if you can align your trip with a new moon. The views of the night sky will not leave you disappointed. At night using a fast lens will help reduce blur from star moment by eliminating the need for long exposures. Another approach to try our is using long exposure with a wide angle lens to capture star trails caused by the rotation of the earth.
Wherever you decide to travel have fun, stay safe, get some great shots and don’t forget to look for opportunity in your own backyard.