Favorite Places


Elakala Falls. Nikon D3S & Nikon 14-24 f/2.8

One thing that I have been wrestling with lately is about shooting over and over in the same place and whether it is a good thing or a bad thing creatively. This thought takes me right to my favorite location in West Virginia, and that is Blackwater Falls State Park (BWF).

I discovered BWF about 11 years ago when I moved out to the country. I live about 1.5 hours away from this gorgeous park, and have made the trek out here at least two to three times a year to photograph my favorite waterfall, Elakala Falls. Even though I love this waterfall I noticed that my photo stream (on Flickr.com) seemed to have a lot of shots from here, and I am one that believes there can be too much of a good thing. So a while ago I decided that I needed to stop covering the same ground and find some new places to photograph, and while discovering new places is wonderful, I missed the magic of BWF.

My thoughts on this dilemma I was having eventually brought me to these two words…. Ansel Adams. When you think of Yosemite you think of Ansel Adams and his wonderful photographs from there. He visited this park a lot, and there is even a gallery there in his name. Remembering this made me realize that photographing someplace you love over and over isn’t a bad thing, but rather a wonderful thing. The trick is, you have to allow your photographs to grow and mature.

Also, going back to a favorite place allows you to see compositions you hadn’t seen before, and that will make you work harder to improve upon your own work. Also, by going back to a place you love and photographing it again and again you may inspire others to love that place too.

I will leave you with a detail shot of Elakala. Thank you for reading!


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