The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Monday, July 23, 2007

Photographing Line Creek

Line Creek Nature Center is a wonderful place to spend the morning – or most of the day. After living in this area for almost 10 years I finally found this spot and have visited it three times this year to shoot photos. The Fayette Photo Club first visited it in February. Imagine my surprise when I arrived – after telling other members that you turn into the Days Inn parking lot to get there – then I see – there is NO Days Inn there any longer! Oh well, we found our way in.

In June the group returned for a shoot with leaves on the trees and noticed the substantially lower water level. We could easily walk across the creek in areas that had once been higher water. I had planned to practice my moving water shots with slow shutter speeds only to have to change my plans to working the beautiful reflections in the still pools that were left. The reflections were beautiful!

Last week I returned to the creek – thinking that the recent storms may have helped raise the water level to put some of that babble in the creek. Nope, again, I did have beautiful reflections in near still pools to photograph in the morning light. I will return in the coming weeks – to perfect those reflection shots and hope that the rains continue and provide a little more movement and a higher water level each time. I am hoping to spend many productive hours there – especially in the fall when those green reflections turn to yellow or red. The leaning trees and branches that hang over the pools are gorgeous subjects.

What to bring on a field shoot like this? Everyone knows the regular things – lenses, extra batteries, filters, and memory cards. A tripod or at the least a monopod is needed for sharp shots. A monopod can also double as a walking stick. If you plan to experiment with slow shutter speeds – do bring a tripod. I carry micro fiber cloths with me every place I go. These little cloths are perfect to clean a lens, or your glasses! Sam's Club sells a large (and I mean large) package of them. Depending on the weather – it might be a good idea to pack a large plastic bag to quickly cover your camera and gear in case of rain. If you don't want to sit on the ground – a beach towel might be handy. I think rather than a towel, the next time I return I will bring along my gardening knee pad. Spending your morning kneeling on rocks will convince you that a pad would be great.

The best thing I can think of to have with you is a friend. It has been fun to go with other photo club members. We can spend a long time completely silent, wrapped up in what we are composing. But – there are those breaks in concentration when a little conversation is a good thing. Also, you may not notice something – until someone else points it out to you. I remember my "aha moment" when another member suggested I slowly turn my circular polarizer to see the changes on the water surface.

Last thing about Line Creek – was I barefoot? No – I was wearing my Crocs! Hey – doesn't Crocs make knee pads?

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