A Summer at Great Falls National Park

The past few months, I’ve concentrated my efforts on capturing Great Falls National Park. It’s simply the most beautiful and majestic natural wonder in the DC area. It surprised me (and continues to surprise those I meet) that such a sight can be seen just 10 miles outside the Nation’s Capital. If you live in the area and have not yet visited the park, I highly recommend you do so! You will not regret it.

As a landscape photographer, one must frequent an area to ‘scout’ the best possible compositions of photographs. This includes visualizing a future image based on conditions that may not be present during one visit. Over the course of the last few months, I’ve come up with some spots I hope to return to based on changes in weather and water level (e.g., fall foliage or snowfall). In the meantime, I wanted to share a few views of the falls I found most beautiful.

This first image was taken early in the summer, from the walkways on the Maryland side of the falls. An easily accessible location, I enjoy this image because of the soft tones and subtle clouds that filled the scene just past sunset:

“Good Flows”

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Sunset at the Maryland side of Great Falls. The Potomac River fills from water from these rapids. [Purchase Print]

This next image was taken that same day. As you climb down the Maryland side towards the water, there are flooded brooks along the river that graceful, Great Blue Herons congregate and hunt at. Though this particular Great Blue Heron was right in the middle of the action near those violent rapids, he was not taking as much risk as his brothers and sisters, who were daringly skipping between dry areas in rock, searching for fish.

“Living on the Edge”

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A Great Blue Heron scales a strip of bedrock alongside the violent currents of Great Falls. [Purchase Print]

This next shot was taken right after some intense flooding in the DC region at the beginning of September. Just below one of the main overlooks, this shot shows how the rocks in the distance were inundated with especially brackish floodwater. I wanted to highlight the textures of the water and the daunting rock when presenting this image.

“Great Flooded Falls”
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Brown floodwater overwhelms the falls, and spins in furious circles at Great Falls Park in Virginia.

This last image was taken right at the end of summer. Up near the main Virginia side gorge, this image shows how the river cuts right through the textured bedrock and down the falls. The lines of the intense rock lead you upstream, to where the water bashes through large sections of stone.

“Forces Through Stone”
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The fierce Potomac River cuts through bedrock as it makes its way down through Great Falls to the Atlantic Ocean. [Purchase Print]

I hope you enjoyed my past few months of images of Great Falls National Park. For as long as I’m in the region, I hope to continue building out a portfolio of unique and high quality images of this gem of the mid-Atlantic. Please drop me a line and let me know how you liked this set!

Until next time!

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