Evolving Environment

Posted: September 8, 2015 in Uncategorized
When I started my photography in 2001 I did all my shooting at Stony Creek Metropark. In my second year shooting at Stony, I ran into a bird watcher that told me about another park in the area that I had never heard of, and it was called Holland Ponds. It is a place that has a little gravel parking lot and a very small sign that could be easily passed by if you we not looking for it.
It’s a small park that has many ponds with easy access to the water edges, and woods and fields that were easy to navigate through when searching for plant life and wildflowers. One small pond had lots of duckweed with frogs heads popping up everywhere, and if you took your time and worked slowly down to the waters edge, you could capture a nice head shot of a frog. This frog shot was my number selling print in the seven years I was in the art show biz. It has also been published many times.


Holland Ponds is also where I shot most of my dewy dragonflies, and I always teach photographers that if you want to have an easy time shooting dragonflies, go out right after sunrise on a cool dewy morning and search out dragonflies in the fields or pond edges. The cool temperatures and dew on the wings prevents them from flying and allows you to set up your tripod and take your time setting up your shot. Here is another great shot from Holland Ponds that has been very successful for me for publishing and selling. This was shot in mid September at 7am at the edge of one of the ponds.


I learned about shooting backlighting with subjects at Holland Ponds, and have many backlit images that I have been happy with, but this was my favorite. It was found at the edge of one of the ponds, and are Sycamore leaves backlit by the early morning sun.


Lily of the Valley flowers were always hard for me to find a composition that I liked. They grow in a wooded area low to the ground, and are very cluttered with large leaves and flowers that are hard to find in the right position with a clean background. It was at Holland Ponds where I figured out how to get a good shot of these flowers. I just used one of the large leaves as the background and solved the clutter problem.


I could go on and on with many great images that were shot at this small park, but what I really wanted to talk about in this post is how much the park has changed over the 13 years I have been shooting there.
I visited the park recently, which was my first time there this summer. I was amazed how much growth has happen in the short time span since I started shooting there. The growth at the edges of the ponds has made it impossible to shoot frogs in the duckweed, as the tall bushes now stop you in your tracks. The vegetation along paths at the edges of the ponds where I use to shoot a variety of wildflowers is almost as tall as me, and the path is hard to travel through. Areas that I use to be able to find pockets of colorful iridescent oils from rotting vegetation at the ponds edges, I can’t get to or even see the ponds from the bushes that has taken over.
The park is just not the same anymore, and never will be again. I’m just glad I was able to shoot there when there were still opportunities to captures some of these great images. I can see myself going there less and less now that things have changed.
Just have to look for new places, but sad when we lose those places that held great opportunities, and good memories, but at least I have these images to remind me of those days spent at Holland Ponds.
Another image from the edge of one of the ponds.


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  1. summitjim says:

    It’s always sad to lose a favorite spot, but all they more reason to get again and explore. Who knows what the next wonder will reveal?

  2. Elda Borroni says:

    I love your pictures in “things have changed” and “My visit to the Vernal Ponds.” Please tell me: what lenses you used for these pictures. Macro?

  3. Jeff B. says:

    As you say tiny landscapes photos can’t be duplicated because they are constantly changing. It’s a little sad when our favorite spots change. I have several places I kayak/photograph that I can’t get to anymore because the aquatic plants are too thick to paddle through.

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