Halls Creek Woods


My journey across the state of Ohio to document its various State Nature Preserves continues with a visit to Halls Creek Woods.  This modest preserve is based around Halls Creek, a tributary of the Little Miami River. When it comes to photographing areas around this river, I keep a close eye on the weather forecast. Any large temperature and pressure shifts in the area can result in the most gorgeous fog rolling through the preserve. My first visit to this area was one such morning. 

The trail opens up immediately to Halls Creek, which at sunrise has a faint glow of light in the distance. With the help of a sturdy tripod and a deep blue filter, the haze is enhanced and the water begins to glisten with the flow of the creek. Further up, the path loops around a heavily wooded area with pockets of light making their way through the thicket. Here again, some heavy filtration and long exposure add depth to the wooded residents of Halls Creek. 

While many of the photographs taken on this morning were using tricks I'd already practiced earlier in Ohio Uninterrupted, one I'd been shy to use up to this point was limited depth of field. It would have been easy enough to add more exposure time to get deeper focus, but the density of trees in Halls Creek Woods would have cluttered the frame. Trees and winding branches are busy enough, let alone dozens occupying the same photograph. In my opinion, limited depth of field is a high-risk, high-reward compositional tool. In the case of this state nature preserve, the results were worth the risk. 

If you'd like to check out any of these fantastic State Nature Preserves (SNP's) for yourself, remember most of them are free to visit, and usually only an email away from getting permission. Check out more of the Ohio Uninterrupted series by following the tags in this blog post, and see you next time!