Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Photographing the Keystone State

If you live in or are visiting Pennsylvania, there are a great number of places from one end of the state to the other for your photography work or hobby. Because Pennsylvania was the second state to enter the union, there is a lot of history just waiting for visitors to find.

If you enjoy photographing historical sites, start at the eastern end of the state and stop in Philadelphia for a couple of days. You will find things that you have heard about your entire life in the City of Brotherly Love. Don't forget to snap a photograph of the outside of Independence Hall. It is where the United States Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence were written and signed, after all, so a very important part of the nation's history. In the same area is where you will be able to see the Liberty Bell.

Another piece of history is found near Philadelphia, and that is the Brandywine Battlefield and Valley Forge. These are places that also played a major role in the nation's history during the Revolutionary War. After you have visited the places in the city proper that you want to see and photograph, take a tour of some of these historical sites that were so important to history during the 1770s.

If your travel is taking you to the opposite end of the state, the western border, you may want to visit Pittsburgh or further north, the Lake Erie region. Don't forget to stop at the zoo while in Pittsburgh if you enjoy wildlife photography.

A very important part of the Civil War took place in central Pennsylvania and Gettysburg offers countless opportunities for incredible photographs. Some of my own best shots were taken of the sunset from Little Round Top. Plan at least a few days here so that chances are greater that you will be able to find one of those stunning sunsets.

You can drive the battlefield yourself with an auto tape tour (recommended so that you will be able to stop to take your photos when you want to). You can also hire a battlefield guide to drive your vehicle around the tour route, but they are on a timer so to speak, so not recommended. Be advised that the tape tours don't go to all of the most intriguing places, such as Devil's Den, so research before your trip so that you won't miss some of the greatest spots just because they're not on the tape route. While in the Gettysburg area, you may want to get a tour to Dwight D. and Mamie Eisenhower's farm there. Also in Gettysburg is the Land of Little Horses.

Other things that make great photo subjects in Pennsylvania:

(1) Hershey! Tour the visitor center to see how the chocolate is made. Don't forget to snap pictures of the street lamps. There is also a Zoo America in Hershey as well as Hershey Park.

(2) The beautiful Pocono Mountains. You will be able to get some impressive nature shots here. While in the area, take a trip on the Steamtown Railroad found at the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton.

(3) The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

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