Shooting Expeditions

Creeks of Northeast Iowa

  • June 17, 2014

When going to Lanesboro MN for Art in the Park, I had the opportunity to spend some time exploring the hills and creeks of Northeast Iowa.  Many thanks to Paul and Paula at Old Hospital Lodge for the great stay, for making a fire just for me on Friday night, and especially for the tour of the hills–a person could really get lost trying to find their way around without guidance.   Those roads go anywhere but straight as they follow the various streams, and there’s no guessing which roads will cross which, or where you’ll end up when you turn down a road you haven’t been on.

My primary goal was to find locations to shoot when the leaves turn this fall, and I think this whole area will be amazing when the trees are in full glory.  I found many areas where rich green moss covers rock bluffs that border, and even hang over, the streams.  Tiny rapids and water falls are abundant as the creeks wind down the hills, and the sound of rushing water is an ever present undertone to the constant birdsong–what a wonderful place to be.

Hiking in waders isn’t one of my favorite things, but trails that cross the creeks, and wanting the angles provided by standing in the water made it necessary.  I spent most of my time on two locations I found–one on North Bear Creek, the other on South Bear Creek–hiking to each a few times as I monitored the sun’s position throughout the day.  I shot from various angles, trying to find different ways to include the bluffs, rapids, and rocks, and avoid an overload of green.  Although I didn’t get exactly the light I was hoping for, the overcast sky was bright enough to bring out the vivid greens, and the forest is so dense I couldn’t include the sky in the images anyway.

I plan to get out there this October–it must be an incredible sight to behold.  I can’t wait to see the colors of the leaves reflecting in the water and contrasting the rich green of the moss on the bluffs.  As the compositions will include much more tree, I will get to fully analyze each location again…what a joy!

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