Monthly Archives: March 2012

Indian Run Falls

A winter view of Indian Run Falls - Click image to enlarge

Indian Run Falls is nice 10’ to 15’ high waterfall located in Indian Run Falls Park, a Dublin Ohio city park.  Hayden Falls, the subject of a previous post here, is close by.  Early history of the area indicates that the land around the falls was the site of a Wyandotte Indian village on the west side of the gorge in the early 1800’s.  Today, nature trails wind along both sides of the gorge and several observation platforms provide views of the falls.  There is a bridge spanning the gorge that would provide a great view of the falls, but unfortunately it has been closed for a number of years.

None of the observation platforms provide a very good view of the falls so to get the best view, especially if you want to photograph them, it is necessary to climb down into the gorge, and then hike several hundred yards along Indian Run to reach the base of the falls.  It is worth the effort since you will have a view of the falls that not everyone who visits will get.  Walk along the east side of the gorge and you’ll find several places off the nature trail where you can safely climb down into the gorge.  Use extreme caution however, since the sides of the gorge are very steep!!

A close-up of an Indian Run cascade - Click image to enlarge


Photographing the falls is best done during the “magic hour” of the morning or evening when the sun is low in the sky otherwise the mid-day sun will create an extreme contrast range with areas of deep shadow, bright sky and reflections off the water making a good exposure difficult.    Photographing the falls on an overcast or misty day is also a good option.  In addition to the falls, there are many opportunities for photographing various creek scenes along Indian Run.  Above the falls there is a very nice 10 foot high cascade, and several other smaller cascades (one with a bridge overhead), that are especially interesting to photograph.  Making some close-up compositions, focusing on the intimate details of the cascades will create some interesting imagery.  To get the best results, I highly recommend using a tripod and a polarizing filter.  Using a tripod will slow you down and force you to look through your viewfinder and think about your compositions.  It will also allow you to use a slow shutter speed that will give the water tumbling over the rocks a silky flowing look emphasizing the motion of the water.  Using a polarizing filter will help you to reduce or eliminate reflections on the water so you can show detail under the water that would otherwise be hidden by the reflections.  These details will make your images even more striking.  Enjoy photographing Indian Run Falls!

You can see more of my Indian Run Falls images in my gallery here. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, please click here to email me.


Posted in Ohio State Park, Photographic Technique, Weekly Column Tagged , , , |

The Outer Banks of North Carolina and The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Atlantic sunrise, Fishing at dawn - Click image to enlarge

The Outer Banks of North Carolina will supply any photographer with a wonderfully diverse array of subjects to photograph.  Sand, sea, sky, wildlife, and some of the oldest and tallest lighthouses on the Atlantic coast are there for you to create memorable landscape and nature images.  My wife and I made our first visit in late October 2009, which turned out to be the perfect time to be there.  The summer tourist season was over, the temperatures were cooler, and we had our pick of places to stay.  We arrived with no reservations, turned south at Nags Head and drove down the coast until we spotted a nice house on the beach to rent in the town of Avon on Hatteras Island.  We had a fun and relaxing vacation and the photography was fantastic.  My favorite subjects were the lighthouses, sunrises and sunsets, and beach and seascapes.  Given its more than two century history, of particular interest was the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

There has been a light at Cape Hatteras since 1803 when the first tower was completed.  It was an eight-sided sandstone tower and was perched on a 20 foot sand hill.  Eighteen open-flame lamps created the light for the tower, and no matter how well the keeper tended the lamps, the light given off was not strong enough to reach across Diamond Shoals, dangerous ridges of underwater sand that could destroy a ship.

In 1854 the first tower was heightened to 150 feet and a first-order Fresnel lens was installed.  The tower was also painted white for the first seventy feet to stand out against green foliage in the background when viewed from the sea, and red for the rest of its height to contrast with a blue sky.   It served well until after the Civil War when it was discovered that the aging sandstone tower had cracks and was worn from wind erosion.

In March 1867, Congress appropriated $75,000 for a new lighthouse, the very best that could be built.  Work began in November of 1868 with the best materials available.  One and a quarter million dark-red bricks came from kilns along the James River, the dressed granite blocks for the quoins came from Vermont, and an enduring iron spiral staircase was cast by Bartlett and Robbins of Baltimore.

At the summit of the 198 foot tall tower, a twenty-four panel, first-order Fresnel lens sparkled when it was first lit in December 1870.  And in 1873 the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse received its black and white spirals that helped it become world-renowned.

The iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Click image to enlarge

Hatteras Island is a barrier island migrating southwestwardly, and the coastline has changed gradually due to erosion, driven by rising sea levels and prevailing water and wind currents.  In 1870 when the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was completed, the tower was about 1600 feet from high tide.  Over the years the beach eroded and by the 1920’s the ocean had advanced to within 300 feet of the tower.  In 1987 the National Park Service asked the National Academy of Sciences to study and provide definitive, achievable advice on how to save the lighthouse.  The goal was to provide a long-term solution of 100 years or more and preserve the natural processes of barrier island migration.  “Move the Lighthouse,” stated the Academy’s report.

The keepers quarters and other buildings were moved first and on June 17, 1999 the Lighthouse began its 2,900 foot move to its new home.  On September 14, 1999 the last brick of the Lighthouse’s new foundation was laid, and on Saturday November 13, 1999 the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse flashed its brilliant beams of light once again.  Of the more than one thousand lighthouses built by the U.S. Lighthouse Service, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the most recognized in America.  Today it has earned the esteemed rank of National Historic Landmark, a fitting tribute it retains after relocation.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, view from the beach - Click image to enlarge


The Outer Banks is a 150-mile long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina that covers most of the coastline, beginning at the southeastern corner of Virginia Beach, and south to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the east coast of the United States.  The major islands are Bodie (pronounced “body”), Roanoke, Hatteras, Ocracoke, and Portsmouth.  The Outer Banks is not anchored to offshore coral reefs like some other barrier islands and as a result significant beach erosion can occur during major storms.  In fact, the Outer Banks is the most hurricane-prone area north of Florida.  The treacherous seas off the Outer Banks and the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred there have given these seas the nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

The Outer Banks is also a major tourist destination and is known for its temperate climate and wide expanse of open beachfront. The Wright brothers’ first flight in a powered, heavier-than-air vehicle took place on the Outer Banks on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills near the seafront town of Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers National Monument commemorates the historic flights.

The English Roanoke Colony—where the first person of English descent, Virginia Dare, was born on American soil—vanished from Roanoke Island in 1587. The Lost Colony, written and performed to commemorate the original colonists, is the longest running outdoor drama in the United States and its theater acts as a cultural focal point for much of the Outer Banks.

If your time in the Outer Banks is short, must see locations are the Currituck and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses, the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kitty Hawk, Ocracoke Island (including the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse), and the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve.

To see more images of the Outer Banks, please visit my Outer Banks gallery here.  If you have any questions about my photography or my website, please send me an email.

Posted in National Parks, Weekly Column Tagged , , , , , |

Photo’s On Display

I’m very excited to announce that starting today, March 9, 2012  five of my print’s featuring imagery from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hocking Hills State Park, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina are on display at Starbucks located at 1315 W. Lane Ave in Upper Arlington, OH.  They’ll be on display through Saturday March 31, 2012 so please stop by to see them.  After the 31st, my prints will be on display there every other month on an ongoing basis.  For the rest of 2012 that will be in May, July, September, and November.  The prints currently on display are shown below.  To see a larger image, click on the thumbnail.

The Cable MillThe Devils BathtubSmoky Mountains SunsetMiddle Prong of the Little RiverCape Hatteras Lighthouse


Posted in Weekly Column Tagged , , , |

A Hidden Gem

Sagurm Waterfall – Click image to enlarge

Photo by Ken Wurm – Click image to enlarge

Presidents Day in the US, Monday February 20thwas a holiday for me so I decided to spend the day photographing in one of my favorite locations, Hocking Hills State Park in southeastern Ohio.  Fortunately my good friend and fellow photography enthusiast Ken went with me.  It was great to have some company, and Ken didn’t mind leaving at 6:30 AM so we could make the most of the day!

Click image to enlarge

The Old Man’s Cave Gorge is the most popular area in the park and rightly so, it has 3 waterfalls (Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls), several nice cascades, the “Devil’s Bathtub (the subject of a previous post), and numerous interesting sandstone formations along its half mile length.  It’s a photographer’s paradise, but on this occasion Ken and I decided to bypass it and hike the 6 miles roundtrip from Lower Falls to Cedar Falls and back in hopes of finding some icicles, waterfalls, and other interesting subjects to photograph.  During the first 2 miles of our hike we did find icicles, 2 overhanging waterfalls and some nice creek scenes so we were pleased with the photography so far.  Just as we wondered if we’d find something special Ken and I could hear water falling on the other side of the creek but we couldn’t see where it was coming from.  We hiked a little further, just past some large fallen rocks and we could see water cascading over some rocks at the top of the gorge.  The title of this post, “A Hidden Gem” says it all; after we crossed the creek and climbed over some rocks, we found a beautiful waterfall hidden away in a nicely shaded area off the main stream.  It would have been very easy to have hiked right on by and never heard the water falling had we not been looking and “listening” for interesting subjects to photograph.  We spent the next hour or so photographing the waterfall from every possible angle enjoying every minute of it.  As far as we know, the waterfall is unnamed and is probably one that only appears when there has been enough rain so we felt fortunate to have found it.  As we left our special waterfall, almost at the same time we said, “That was really sweet!”  We named it the Sagurm Waterfall, the combination of our last names.  I hope you enjoy our waterfall!

Click image to enlarge

To see more images of Hocking Hills State Park and the waterfall, please visit my gallery here.  If you have any questions about my photography or my website, please send me an email.

Posted in Ohio State Park, Weekly Column Tagged , |