Landscapes my photos, my words

I’ve captured a number of landscape or scenic photographs through the years, but it’s definitely not my speciality. I’m not a very good landscape photographer. I admit it. I accept it. And I’m trying to improve.

I’ve often said that I don’t “see” landscapes like other photographers do. Where they see lines and angles and colors and symmetry, I see a bunch of trees or a field or a stream.

A stream winds through a snow-covered forest in Slate Run Metro Park, Canal Winchester, Ohio.

It’s odd that when I’m in a large city I see the lines and angles and color and symmetry in the architecture. I think that’s because I’m actively looking for those elements when I’m walking a city with my camera.

When I’m in the wild I’m usually carrying a long lens for wildlife photography and don’t spend time studying my surroundings for the compositional elements that make eye-catching landscape photos.

Overcast sky and buildings reflected by the reservoir in Central Park, New York City.

But in the last few years I have made several trips to local parks with one goal: landscapes. I leave my super telephoto wildlife lens at the house and carry shorter lenses, a tripod and other equipment used for landscapes. And I study my surroundings, looking for scenes that capture the mood of the area.

The early morning sun filters through the forest, Clear Creek Metro Park, Rockbridge, Ohio.

It’s not easy. As a matter of fact, it’s hard work setting up for a shot with a camera on a tripod, composing the scene in the camera’s viewfinder, capturing the scene, then breaking everything down again to continue my hike. But I think I’m getting better.

Walking through the woods on an autumn morning, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

One of my favorite places to pursue landscape photos is in the Hocking Hills, an area with unique (for Ohio, anyway) terrain that’s a little more than an hour’s drive from my house. The waterfalls, deep, rocky gorges and towering, forested hills make Hocking Hills State Park a perfect area for landscape photography, even for someone as landscape-challenged as I am.

Sun beams around a cliff on the Old Man's Cave Trail, Hocking Hills State Park, Logan, Ohio.

I’ve also found several other parks closer to home that have provided some interesting landscape opportunities. And I’ve captured some landscape scenes in cities, an area where I seem to see landscapes better than in the wild.

I’m still not a very good landscape photographer, but I do have some usable photos in my collection. I’ll just say I’m a work in progress.