We spent a good part of the day photographing Virginia Kendall Ledges in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The park is close to our home, and we visit it often – but today was different. We joined friends from the Cleveland Photographic Society for a group field trip. It was great fun, and Jay and I took some neat photos. The sun was too high in the sky for wide-angle photography, so we focused on details. Bright sunlight is usually a big problem when you are out shooting during the day, but in this case, we were happy to have it. The soft, even lighting you see in the photos happens when bright sun light bounces off the ground and is reflected up onto the walls of the ledges. We stayed away from direct sunlight, and focused on these areas where the light was soft and directional. So, we got soft shadows that allowed the colors and details to take center stage.
The ledges are incredible. During the last ice age, glaciers carved deep grooves and valleys into the towering rocks. The giant stones are pitted and pebbled, carved by the incredible force of moving ice. In some places, gaps so narrow you have to turn sideways to pass through open into dark corridors spotted with little stones and covered with moss. In others, wide avenues open up to allow the sun to touch the boulders at the bottom. Huge trees with tangled roots tilt precariously on the edges of sheer cliffs, and ferns grow in stone crevices. We’ll return on an overcast day to take some wide-angle shots for a sense of scale… but for now, we hope you’ll enjoy some of the detail shots we took this morning.
Cuyahoga Valley is a lesser known National Park – have any of you been there?