Although the phrase is usually used to describe why one piece of similar real estate is more valuable than another, finding locations for taking pictures is valuable to the traveler. Most of us would not have a problem finding the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, but there are thousands of interesting locations for the photographer that are less known.  This week I’d like to try something a little different.  I’ll list a couple of little known locations that I have found interesting subjects for picture taking.  My hope is others will use the “Comments” section at the end of this post to add some locations that they have discovered.

Although I’m including images from my locations, if you don’t have them available for posting, feel free to just provide the location.  I am posting the locations both by the nearest town and coordinates that can be plugged into Google Earth. If you don’t know the coordinates, search for the location in Google Earth, place your cursor over the viewing location & copy the coordinates that appear at the bottom of the screen.

For example, one of my favorite near by places to photograph birds (other than my bird feeder behind the house) is the Sterling Nature Center at the end of Jenzvolt Road in Sterling, NY.  Part of the habitat includes a beaver pond that is a nesting ground or rookery for Great Blue Herons. The location of the viewing platform is 43°22’50.14N 76°39’05.87W.  Cut & Paste the coordinates into the “Fly To” field in Google Earth & it will take you to the location. If you don’t have Google Earth on your computer, it is worth getting.  It’s free, and, as long as an internet connection is available, provides a useful way of viewing satellite images, roads, etc. anywhere on the earth. Another way to find a location is to go to Google, select the “Maps” section, and paste the coordinates into the “Search Maps” field in Google Maps.

A couple of others:

41° 00'42.96

Burney Falls, located in the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial Park near Shasta, California. Coordinates for the parking lot are 41°00’42.96″N 121°39’08.18″W. This is a beautiful waterfall that can be viewed from the top by taking just a few steps from the parking lot. If you want to see the view in this photograph you will have to make a short hike on a well developed path to the bottom. This image was made about half way down the path to the bottom. The park has a campground with 121 sites (no utilities) that has received favorable reviews so it might be worth a stop!

Returning to New York state and more waterfalls (I have to admit I’m addicted to photographing waterfalls). Chittenango Falls in the Chittenango Falls State park is one of my favorites.  Again, this is a waterfall that can be viewed from the top by taking a few steps from the parking lot, however if you want this view, like Burney Falls you will need to follow fairly well developed path (175′ drop and hundreds of stairs) to the bottom. There is a bridge across the Chittenango Creek that provides a good viewing location at the bottom of the falls. The coordinates are 42°58’54.96″N75°50’49.52″W. While you are shooting the waterfalls, don’t forget to take some images of the creek. There are paths along both the lower & upper sections that are worth exploring. The park has picnic facilities, bathrooms, but no campsites.

A last location from me is Chimney Bluffs State Park, NY.  This park is located on the shores of Lake Ontario on Garner Road, Huron, New York. This section of shore line is shaped by wind & waves in a way that resembles a monochrome version of the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.  The park does not have a campground, but it is a great place to stop for a picnic lunch. Coordinates are 43°17’03.99″N 76°55’22.85″W.

Again, without input from the readers of this blog there are only these few of my favorite locations.  By adding your favorite locations to the “Comments” section of this post we can build a list of places worth a visit by traveling photographers. If you don’t know the coordinates, just list the name of the location.  A search in Google Earth found each of the locations I listed so although the coordinates are useful, they are not necessary. Thanks to all that contribute!

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  1. Ron Butler

    Great blog and topic. Several years ago we re-entered the US at International Falls Minn. We took highway 71 south to Big Falls where we found the greatest little community rv park right next to the river and falls by accident. Great scenery and the sound of the river and falls right outside the rv. Had e/w for something like 10-12 bucks as well!! Can’t remember if they had a dump station or not.

  2. curtis troth

    We found a new National Monument in New Mexico (establish in 2001). ” Tent Rocks” is southwest of Santa Fe about 35 miles on the Cochiti pueblo indian reservation. We were camped in the Cochiti Corp of Engineering park on the Cochiti Lake. There are two paths, one lower and one upper. We climbed the mountain and got the most awesome pictures on the way as well as when we reached the top. It’s 675 feet up with steps in the mountain to help climber get there. Its almost impossible to describe. The rocks form an inverted cone, then have a “tent” on top. The movie Silverado was filmed in part there before it became a National Monument .

  3. Some spectacular falls. I have to remember to go to these.

  4. J.H. McCallum

    Bear in mind the importance of the location of the “shooter” in ralation to the scene. By moving a few feet – by raising or lowering the camera, the final result of any shot is substantially altered. Take your time, and study your view finder.

  5. Sid Burklund

    Great start for a blog however I am going to give it a twist. Instead of listing single locations, I am suggesting a point to point rout. One of our favorite is the Oregon Coast (we live north of Seattle). Accessed from the North, South or any were in between you will find picture opportunities around every bend in the road. Also, Oregon is very RV friendly with many public and private parks available.
    I could go on with others but won’t for now. I do hope others will continue this blog as it will give us all a “picture” on your world.