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Sep 15

Discovering New Places to Shoot

I live in Ohio, and there are a lot of nice things about Ohio, but few would consider it a prime destination for landscape photography.  If you’ve come to this site for a while, you’ve gotten used to seeing shots from around Columbus, where I live, and places nearby.  Occasionally I’ll get to make a trip out-of-state or out of the country, which will afford additional opportunities.  When I lived in Europe, I traveled a ton: I’d go to a new city or a new country every month and explore. Now, I don’t get those kinds of travel opportunities, but one has to make the best of that and learn to see the familiar in new ways.

However, you also need to explore the area around your location for potential new places to shoot, simply to keep things fresh.  In Ohio, we don’t have big mountains or amazing seaside cliffs, but we do have a fair amount of glacier-created rocky gorges with streams and some smaller waterfalls. I quite enjoy shooting waterfalls, and have made a point to visit many of the major falls in Ohio over the past 10 years.  However, this past week, I learned about a new place, and wanted to share some images.  I was browsing 500px, and someone had added one of my images to a collection of photos from Ohio, and I saw a picture of Berea Falls, outside of Cleveland by a photographer named Michael Shake. It was a good image, but most importantly, I saw that the location had some unique properties that I felt could make for great photos. Cleveland is about a 2 hour drive, but it’s also fairly close to where my parents live, so I noted where it was and though that I’d head out one weekend the next time I visited my parents.

Berea Falls - Sony A7 II with Zeiss FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS @

Berea Falls – Sony A7 II with Zeiss FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS @ 28mm, f/16, 3.2s

Well, I ended up having a meeting for work in Cleveland this week, that took the entire afternoon.  On my way back home, I decided to at least see what the falls were like in person, and I ended up getting some nice shots. I will definitely head back a bit later this fall to catch the fall colors. The point of this post is to keep your eyes open for new shooting opportunities near home.  I grew up in Ohio, and while I moved away for a decade after high school, I’ve been back for another 10 years, and I just found out this location existed.  It’s not a perfect place: there’s some trash along the trails and some graffiti on the railroad bridges and on some of the rocks, but it’s also a great juxtaposition of nature and man, with the old arched bridges in the background.  Searching sites like Flickr or 500px for things you like to photograph in your area is a great way to discover new locations.  Keep those eyes peeled!

Berea Falls - Sony A7 II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L @

Berea Falls – Sony A7 II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L @ 118mm, f/16, 1.6s

Berea Falls - Sony A7 II with Zeiss FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS @

Berea Falls – Sony A7 II with Zeiss FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS @ 17mm, f/16, 3.2s

Berea Falls - Sony A7 II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L @

Berea Falls – Sony A7 II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L @ 87mm, f/16, 2s

About the author

Jordan Steele

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Admiring Light; Photographer; Electrical Engineer and Dad

3 comments

  1. Florent

    Hey Jordan.
    Good post: it’s true we often overlook areas close to where we live. I’m from Switzerland which is touted for beautiful landscapes, but ironically I never really visited it much until the last few years, after coming back after having lived in the US for almost a decade!
    Sometimes, we need the life experience and time to see things differently.
    You’ve got some great images here. I see your recent images were mostly shot with a Sony A7 II. Has it now become your main system (compared to Fuji)? If so, what is the main motivation behind this choice?
    Thanks!

    1. Jordan Steele

      I prefer using the Sony gear for landscape work. I still use my Fuji gear for events and portraiture, plus a fair bit of general purpose shooting, but if I know I’m going to go out to shoot landscapes, I’ll grab my A7 II.

  2. Brian

    I live very close to this location and visit it often, but it’s been a while since I’ve spent much quality time there with my camera. Nice work, and good inspiration to go back and shoot!

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