Can’t decide between taking a hike or visiting a farm? Stratford is your place! Hike the wooded 4-mile trail, hunt for frogs and salamanders in the swamp, interact with farm animals, tend the garden, use an apple press to make cider, and so much more.
Update: Stratford Photography Club is live! It meets the third Thursday of each month, and it’s $10/year to join.
Continue reading Stratford Ecological Center & State Nature Preserve
The Dawes Arboretum is all about trees, and is home to over 1,800 acres of trees, bushes, gardens, and more. Drive the nearly 4.5-mile auto tour, then stop at a pull-off area when something strikes your fancy.
Continue reading The Dawes Arboretum
Gahanna is the “Herb Capital” of Ohio, so it’s only fitting that there’s a sizable herb garden in front of city hall.
It offers brick paths, with an overhead trellis entwined in what seem to be pea vines, and lots of different garden spaces featuring a wide variety of herbs, from culinary to medicinal. A garden shed and brightly-colored benches make playful backdrops for taking portraits, and depending on the time of year, you may find fruits and vegetables ripening as well. While the garden is not that large, it feels a lot bigger due to the variety of areas and plants it has to offer.
Continue reading Geroux Herb Gardens
Walnut Woods Metro Park has paved trails throughout, which makes it very accessible. Little to no trees overhang the trails, so the shade is minimal. It’s bike and pet friendly. There’s a mountain bike trail as well, but since I didn’t have a bike and my dogs were with me, I didn’t check it out. The park also offers a playground, pavilion, sledding hill, and bathrooms in the buckeye area.
Continue reading Walnut Woods
If you’re looking for a shooting location downtown with a lot of variety, head straight to Scioto Audubon! Located on the Scioto River just south of downtown, it’s the newest Metro Park. Looking north, there’s a great view of the Columbus skyline. Facing south, it’s all trees and river.
Continue reading Scioto Audubon
If you’re looking to walk through a forest to take pictures of flora and fauna, you could certainly do worse than Blacklick Woods Metro Park. The park boasts a variety of habitats, including forests, swamps, ponds, and meadows. Covering over 600 acres, there’s plenty of room for critters to roam. Depending on the time of year, you might come across owls and other birds of prey, coyotes, deer, frogs, turtles, and more. This is definitely a good place to bring a long zoom lens. Continue reading Blacklick Woods
What seems to be the biggest focus at Blendon Woods? Birds. They have a variety of protected habitats for our flying friends, as well as excellent spots from which to observe and photograph them. Continue reading Blendon Woods Metro Park
Good for eyes. Bad for photos.
Do they have a different pair? No? Just take them off.
Don’t wait until you’re editing pictures to say “Man, I wish I’d asked them to remove their glasses.” Better yet, ask before the shoot if anybody in the group uses transition lenses and have them bring a different pair. That way they don’t feel like ‘that guy/gal’ who’s wearing sunglasses when nobody else is. You can do some editing to make it less apparent, but it’s easier to address it up front.
Photography is all about the little things.
Shooting outdoors? Start with the shots you want most.
We live in Ohio. That means all kinds of weather. I’ve shot in rain, snow, and oppressive heat. One thing I’ve learned (the hard way) is that however good your intentions are when you’re preparing a shoot, you’ll likely not get all the shots you want. Start with the location and the pictures that you’re most excited about. That way, when your subject’s makeup is melting off of her face, you’re soaked to the bone, or he’s shivering uncontrollably, the shots you leave with when you throw in the towel are the better ones anyhow.
And it doesn’t hurt to have a super-collapsable umbrella in your gear bag. They don’t take up much space, and are indispensable in keeping your models, you, or someone else dry until the rain lets up. If there’s a small chance of it being cold out, keep a pair of gloves in your bag. So handy (pun intended—sorry).
4850 West Powell Road
Powell, OH 43065
Park Map (PDF)
Hours vary depending on the time of year. See the full list.
Confirm hours for a particular day on their events page.
Very generally, their daily hours are:
Open: between 9 and 10 am.
Close: between 4 and 7 pm. Continue reading Columbus Zoo and Aquarium