This past Sunday I drove down to Holtwood, PA and visited Tucquan Glen. Tucquan Glen is one of near 30 preserves maintained by the Lancaster County Conservancy. There are three main trails, each slightly more than a mile long, that follow the Tucquan Creek from River Road to the Susquehanna River. The area is beautiful and during it’s busy season it is estimated that forty visitors venture it each day. There are plenty of small waterfalls throughout the creek and is mostly covered by large trees to create nice cool shaded areas. You can also find wildlife in Tucquan Glen. It is reported that coyotes, foxes, deer and copperhead snakes are some of the larger creatures that can be spotted in addition to smaller wild species as well. I did not see any animals during my trip but that may be due to the fact that I was mainly focused on the waterfalls. I made this venture on my own, but it is recommended to take a hiking buddy along. At points the trails are very narrow including rocky terrain and mossy tree trucks. A wrong step could easily put you on your rear end or even worse into the creek. My mission was to get some killer shots of the waterfalls with the changing leaves to add a nice element the photos.
[one_third]I began my hike along the high trail and then ventured back on the low trail after reaching the railroad tracks that run along the edge of the Susquehanna. On my way in I ventured off of the high trail down to the water many times being very careful not to take a dip in the water with my camera. I did get a little wet here and there but sometimes you need to take that extra step to get that unique angle or composition. I used my 10-18 mm wide angle lens mostly which probably caused me to want to get closer into the subjects. At points I did switch up my lenses and used a 18-55mm in addition to my 55-210mm telephoto zoom lens. I took my trusty tripod along to make sure I had a steady camera and mainly shot longer exposures to create some motion in the water. On my way back I put my tripod away and used an old Canon FD lens, the 50mm f/1.4, to focus more on interesting elements along the trail such as fungi or moss on the trees. I was there for a good four hours but the walk in was much longer than my way out due to going off of the trail and getting close to the water.
The above shot shows one of the many small water falls. I took this shot at 15mm, ISO 400, 1/4 second exposure at f/16. I slightly tweaked it in Lightroom and then took it into Nik Color Efex Pro 4. I used the tonal contrast filter in addition to the glamour glow filter to make the water just the way I wanted it. I used a few of the negative control points on the mossy rocks in the foreground because I did not like the way the filters treated them.
Another of my favorite photos from the day is to the right. I again used Lightroom at first and then Color Efex Pro software. I took the processing more extreme this time. I really wanted to have the leaves more colorful than the original shot so one of the filters I used was indian summer. I used many control points to limit the effect to only certain trees making sure not to lose the neat greens on the moss covered rocks and some of the trees. I also used the tonal contrast, glamour glow and darken/lighten center filters. I might have been there a tad early to witness the Autumn colors in full effect, so I had to make them on my own in post. Some people may frown upon this but I like the way it turned out.