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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Favorite Places: From Readers & Pros

For real estate and nature photography, there’s nothing as important as location. Check out this selection of diverse places around the country so you can be in the right place to get your shots.

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favorite places
Thomas Biggs, Dog Slaughter Falls, Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky
One of my favorite places in Kentucky has to be the Daniel Boone National Forest. The waterfall is a big reason for that and was enough to grab my attention—“Dog Slaughter Falls” is a curious name for such a beautiful place. The isolation and beauty of these falls are what drew me back. Almost unknown, the human element hasn’t tainted this wonderful area. This particular morning was perfect for this type of photography. Fog provided great atmosphere, and a light rain made the color deep and saturated. Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 17-40mm ƒ/4

favorite places
Geoffrey Wittig, Genesee River Gorge, Letchworth State Park, New York
Letchworth State Park includes more than 14,000 acres and three major waterfalls, with hiking trails up to 20 miles long. The southern portion includes the Big Bend, where the Genesee River, redirected by glaciers, carved a meandering gorge nearly 600 feet deep into the shale and limestone bedrock. It’s a more dramatic landscape than the typical gentle hills in the Northeast. Fog frequently fills the gorge before dawn, and photographic opportunities abound as the azimuth of the rising sun migrates with the seasons. The park is so lightly visited in winter that you may have the entire area to yourself. Pentax MZ-S, Pentax 80-200mm ƒ/4.7-5.6

favorite places
Jay O’Brien, Raquette Lake, Adirondack State Park, New York
I consider fall to be the best time to photograph Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks. The evenings and early mornings are chilly, so dress in layers, but as the day goes on, it warms up. Peak season in the fall usually is around the last weekend of September or the first week of October. The photo opportunities here during the fall are truly outstanding, and it makes this a favorite place for me. No matter how many times I’ve photographed this area at sunrise, it never disappoints. After the sun comes up, there are numerous opportunities to capture first light for many different subjects. Nikon D200, Nikkor 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6

favorite places
* Rob Sheppard, Acadia National Park, Maine
With relatives in Maine, I frequently visit the state, and Acadia National Park is a stop that’s always a favorite. The Park Loop Road on the east side is a popular road, and with good reason, as there’s so much to see there. But what I love about it as a photographer is that this road gives you a quick trip through areas that depict all of Maine. Maine’s rocky coast is well-represented on the east part of the road. Dawn is the best time to be there, but go during the week and see fewer people. However, there are a few bays on the way to Jenny’s Pond that are good at sunset and rarely have many people.

The western part of the road goes away from the coast and takes you to some lakes surrounded by forest typical of “ponds,” as they’re called, throughout Maine. Bubble Pond is a terrific location both at sunrise and sunset. When there’s no wind, you get outstanding reflections. Plus, the woods along the lake have a variety of wildflowers in the spring and colorful displays in autumn.

Farther up is Cadillac Mountain. This can have severe weather, so be prepared. On clear days, there’s no better place for sunrise or sunset. A telephoto lens is needed. If clouds are in and the wind calm, this also is a great place for fog.

Essential Gear: Maine coastal weather is extremely variable. It rarely gets hot, and rain is common, so be prepared for cool temps and wet weather.
Getting There: Park Loop Road is accessed from Bar Harbor, Maine, where you’ll also find the excellent park visitor center. Be sure to stop and check for what’s new and interesting. Bar Harbor is more than halfway up the coast of Maine, southeast of Bangor off of Route 3.

Note: * denotes pro photographer


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