Woodsy creek in summer by Kelly Verdeck

As I mentioned a few months back, my family and I recently pulled up stakes and moved to a new-to-us house in a new-to-us state. It was quite an adventure to sell one house, buy another, and do an interstate move in the middle of a pandemic, but we are happily on the other side of all that!

I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to explore our new area, and there’s lots to explore! But it got me thinking: What better place to start than my own backyard? And the same can go for you.

I mean, how many people really explore right around their own home? We got lucky and found a beautiful home in a gorgeous, woodsy neighborhood. Right outside our back fence is a walking trail that leads over a creek and into a wooded tract. But I’d bet that even if you can’t say the same, somewhere within a few minutes’ walk or drive you can find a spot worth exploring. Or maybe right in your own backyard! Sticking close to home can be an outstanding way to hone your photographic skills, and to develop your artistic eye.

Wooden bridge over creek by Kelly Verdeck

This past weekend I grabbed my camera and a few lenses, and headed into the woods out my back door to see what I could find. Anywhere can make for interesting photos, if you approach it with a sense of wonder and an eye for detail. Let’s take a look!

Dirt trail through green forest by Kelly Verdeck
I often find myself photographing trails winding through the landscape–I just love the invitation to explore offered by a trail stretching off into the distance!
Mossy tree trunk fallen across creek by Kelly Verdeck
Three main things to think about as you look around: color, texture, and light. Here I loved the color and texture of the moss and tree trunk, which leads the eye up to the rootsy creek bank (more texture!) and treeline.
Still creek reflecting trees in forest by Kelly Verdeck
Reflections are always a nice touch–here the creek was still and offered a mirror for the canopy of trees above.
Maybe you can find a geocache or two! More on that in a future post!
Bracket fungus on tree trunk by Kelly Verdeck
Bracket fungus on a fallen tree trunk is a neat find.
Tree trunk cut down and hollow by Kelly Verdeck
And the tree trunk was hollow, which I thought provided an interesting shot as well.
Green spider on iridescent web by kelly Verdeck
Okay, spiders are admittedly not appealing to everyone, to say the least. But the sunlight on the web created a fascinating iridescence I just had to capture.
Creek water trickling over rocks by Kelly Verdeck
Running water is another opportunity. This shot would have been neat as a long-exposure, to blur the movement of the water–maybe next time!
Wooden boardwalk and bridge out of the woods by Kelly Verdeck
I like it when a foreground leads the eye into the background, or when there’s a natural frame between scenes. Here I got both!
Cluster of white flowers on shrub by Kelly Verdeck
Keep an eye out for a chance to frame your subject against an interesting background–the mix of colors and light in the background add something to this snap, I think.

Step right outside and explore–just don’t forget your camera, your photographer’s eye, and your sense of wonder. It’s a wide, wonderful Wanderland, after all!

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