As time goes on, I have found that I go back to the same places time and time again. Delaware Valley Water Gap, Glen Onoko, Hickory Run – I go to these places at least three times a year it seems, always managing to come back with new images for my portfolio. But there comes a time when I need something new to see, something interesting to photograph other than the same waterfalls over again. So the question comes up: how do I find new locations in the first place?
Well, there are a few different methods that I use. From time to time, I simply drive by a sign pointing towards a new park or forest that sounds interesting. If Mel is with me, I have her write down the name of it in her or my phone so I can further look it up online. In the rare cases when she is not with me, I do my best to remember it. Worst case scenario, I look back towards the route I took on the way there on my phone and try to find it. There’s about a 90% chance that this works without fail. The other 10%, I am left saddened. I get over it quick though, don’t worry.
Another method I use is as simple as going on my phone or laptop and scanning around on Google Maps. To be honest with you, I only use this method if I have a ton of time to kill and don’t want to be doing what I should be doing, i.e. writing a new article or going out with my camera. However, there are still some times when I find a hidden area of a park or some new waterfall that only has one or two reviews. Nonetheless, I don’t recommend using this method...
The method I use most often is looking online. If I am running out of places to venture off to, I will type in something like “waterfalls near me” or “hidden waterfalls in Pennsylvania.” This is how I found most of the places that I go to frequently. Raymondskill Falls, Dingman Valley Falls, Glen Onoko Falls. Each one of these – and so many more – I have found through the use of my good friend Google.
Every so often, Google will pop up with some suggestions that it thinks is relevant to your search. My suggestion would be to look at what it is showing you first and see what catches your eye. If nothing does, start scanning through some of the top websites listed below. For those living in Pennsylvania like me, Uncovering PA is a great one to look through. They have a bunch of great places listed for you to search, along with some lists of hidden waterfalls that are always beautiful to see.
If you are outside of Pennsylvania – or for those of us in PA – check out Only In Your State. Simply type in your state – or choose it from the drop-down – and then search the articles.
From there, save your favorite locations on whatever map software you use on your phone for future reference. Oh, and never dismiss the location closest to you: you never know how many great photographs you can get by staying local.