Shooting locations in Virginia?

Discussion in 'Nature' started by adam_c|1, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. I live in Virginia, but have realized that I don't even know my own state enough. What are some good shooting locations in the dead of winter?
    I was thinking of skyline drive, but it's a rather large area. Does anyone have specific locations, such as good scenic views or waterfalls? Or any other areas of the state?
     
  2. Well... which part of Virginia? It's a long haul from, say, Covington (in the Allegheny Highlands) to the Great Falls gorge or Harper's Ferry areas along the Potomac, north of DC.
     
  3. I have never been there in winter. I was there in June the past two summers and loved the place. Great photo opportunities. I have no idea how it is during winter but apparently some visitor centers are open during winter weekends.
    My suggestion to be would be to go to a visitors center and pick up hiking literature or purchase information on line through the Shenandoah National Park Association. You may find what you need online.
    Most of Skyline Drive is above 3000 feet and the trails go down from there. I have no idea how the roads or trails are or whether the road is even passible at this time of year. Surely there are trails from low elevation but I am not familiar with them. By all means visit this undiscovered park of the East!
    Consider also a visit to Chincoteague. The place is great around Thanksgiving, but probaly worth a vist during the dead of winter as well.
    http://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm
     
  4. Matt just brought up the Harper's Ferry area, quite beautiful. Shanandoah park is also wonderful, especially with a good snow fall. Out towards Williamsburg can be pretty as well with some snow fall. I think the issue is that not to many winter places look all that great without a good snowfall. Some exceptions can be made here and there though.
     
  5. I'm talking anywhere that's a two hour drive from central Virginia (Richmond area).
     
  6. Only about 86 miles from Richmond to Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park.
     
  7. It's pretty hard to reliably expect snow coverage in VA at any given time during the winter. I guess that's why I mentioned the Potomac gorge... the rocks and whitewater are always interesting. But 2 hours from Richmond? All depends on the day, time, and the traffic. Northern VA is completely capricious, that way.
     
  8. Adam,
    I'm in Richmond as well - e-mail me if you want to brainstorm privately.
    As to specific suggestions, the rapids in Richmond can provide some interesting shots. To the west, Crabtree Falls and Big Meadows spring to mind. Big Meadows has some nicely colored flora that can make for nice shots. There are also some waterfalls near Big Meadows, but I recall a decent amount of hiking being involved. In low humidity conditions, some of the overlooks up to Afton Mountain can be nice. Goshen Pass near Lexington is good too.
    I'm not sure it's up your alley, but if you can get onto the Kingsmill grounds in Wiliamsburg there's a fantastic view of the Ghost Fleet from points near the clubhouse. Pretty spooky seeing those ships there, though far fewer than in the past.
     
  9. This workshop group has been around for a while. They go to Sperryville VA near Lurray all the time, and also have a workshop coming up that features a blacksmith.
    http://www.blueridgeworkshops.com/
     
  10. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm just getting started in photography - that's why I live in Virginia but am still asking good places to shoot.
     
  11. Richmond itsef has a lot to offer there. If it's street photographyor archetecture in an urban environment, there is the downtown area and Cary Town. When it's too cold to go out there are lotsa bars and live music in Schocoe Bottom, the Fan and the West End, and I've never had trouble even worked a few festivals for some buddies in a band.
    For outside stuff, the Fan, nice historical district with parks and many musems in that general area and Monument Avenue. There is a lot of access to the James River for good scenic shots, and Maymont park too; they have a petting zoo with a nature preserve/learning center there. Hollywood Cemetary is a cool old place that has, I think, 7 Presidents there.
    There are also a ton of National Park locations in that general area with the common thread being "When the North invaded the South." If you are on the Southside of Richmond along the James there are a handful of very small NP locations set up ovelooking the James that the various units used. Winter doesn't have the great color changes, but the locations are there. There is also Hopewell and Petersburg that has a lot of real estate set aside to preserve history and might fit your needs.
    As spring comes up you can go out to Woodlake and they have a few small regatta's on teh reservoir there too.
     
  12. "I'm just getting started in photography - that's why I live in Virginia." Adam, how does that follow? Just wondering, you don't have to say.
    I live in Va., too. Just head East one day and take the most back roads you can find along the water. Explore Northern Neck and the Eastern Shore over toward Chincoteague. You'll find lots to shoot, not all of it nature. Good luck.
    Gary
     
  13. Gary,
    I guess my wording was kind of strange. I meant to say that I live in Virginia, but since I'm just starting photography, I have never really traveled around the state looking for areas to photograph (and haven't really thought 'photographically'). That's why I'm asking where some good places are to shoot in my home state. Hope that clarifies things.
    thanks.
     
  14. Natural Bridge to the west is a pretty area. Beyond the bridge is a short hike to a nice waterfall.
    Chincoteague is wonderful. I plan to go back there this year.
    I've only seen the northern half of Shenandoah (any only Skyline drive), but the southern end is pretty close to you.
    Try any of the state parks near you.
     
  15. Anywhere in Virginia is good. Even your backyard.
    Any National or State Park, Battlefields, State or National Forest, gardens, beaches, streams and falls will allow you fantastic imagery. Photography is only limited by the location of your eyepiece and your imagination.
     
  16. get on patterson ave. (rt. 6) and drive west. there are plenty of scenic stops along the way, like maidens in goochland co. keep going about 100 miles until you reach rt. 29, the rockfish gap in nelson co. get a delorme gazetteer at staplers, and use that to explore the backroads around around tye river. you can head north to waynesboro, staunton, harrisonburg... all the way to winchester. as you come back eastward, find rt. 522 and take that back south -- if you follow it, eventually you'll be back in maidens. another great trip would be eastward, rt. 5 (main st.) to charles city co., go over the benjamin harrison bridge to rt. 10. navigate through the cluster of hampton roads til you cross the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel, and then drive up eastern shore.
     

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