You do not need to go to national parks or national monuments to make great images.
No matter where you live, you can make great nature or landscape images, with a quick 3-hour or less getaway.
I offer this advice to Illinoisans: Just outside Chicago, there’s a place called Illinois.
Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois is about 2 hours away from Chicago. If you haven’t been there, go (and not just in Summer).
Feature Image Details
- Canon EOS 6D (I now use and highly recommend the EOS 5D Mark IV )
- Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens at 19mm.
- F10 for 1/20th of a second at ISO 320
The feature image is at the junction of Ottawa Canyon and Kaskaskia Canyon. The image below is a side view of the Council Overhang, a ledge underneath which Indians used as a shelter.
The sandstone canyon walls are very soft. It’s easy to carve initials into the rock. Unfortunately, people do just that.
Don’t destroy what you love!
The views are from the main trails, open year round.
Starved Rock State Park Trail Descriptions.
If you visit the area, I highly recommend staying at the park lodge. It fills up way in advance in Autumn and may be full other times as well. Many other hotels are nearby.
Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.
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In the Spring, there are waterfalls in many of the canyons. My favorites are La Salle Canyon, Tonti Canyon, and Ottawa Canyon.
Curiously, the trail descriptions left off La Salle Canyon. It’s one of my favorites. You can walk behind the waterfall.
The waterfalls all photograph best from within the canyon, not from the bluffs above.
In the winter, the waterfalls freeze. More images coming up!
Mike “Mish” Shedlock