This past weekend, we did a freelance photo shoot at Logoly State Park, which in fall is a truly beautiful place. In fact, it is one of the few places in this area where just anybody (and not hunters) can walk and see trees, leaves, sky and water. It passes, more or less, for our city park.
Logoly has miles of walking trails, a manmade pond, and of course plenty of shade trees and wildlife. In summer it is almost excessively green, but this past weekend, with autumn edging into winter, it was gorgeously weathered and faded — the perfect backdrop for photos.
We did some not-very-exerting hiking on the gently rolling trails around the pond. For me, the point of the expedition wasn’t taking family portraits, but once again getting to explore nature through a camera lens. Arkansas has more scenic beauty than I ever gave it credit for, and when possible, I try to capture some of that beauty photographically. This is, after all, my “back yard.”
There was a bit of a spooky element to the locales we visited. At Logoly, we found a washed-out trail and an impassable swamp, on the far side of which was a small wooden structure we could only guess was an outhouse — but whose? And how was it reached? I got as close to it as I could without sinking in muck up to my ankles, and got a pretty decent wide shot, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking “Blair Witch Project,” and hearing Heather cry out for Josh. I rejoined my party in a hurry.
The woods were otherwise soft and rotted and muted, filled with subdued, late-afternoon sunlight and carpeted with damp, colorless leaves. There were narrow creek beds that contained nothing but mud and pine straw. There were curious little wooden bridges, which we used in our portraits. There were also bursts of riotous fall color. In all, it was a lovely, almost magical place — if, again, a little spooky.
We also visited an empty house that is the backdrop for many family portraits here in town. It is fenced and gated but nonetheless easily accessed. Because of its remote nature, it is more than a little creepy. Peeking through one window, one spies an old-fashioned chair positioned in front of another window, almost as if some unseen occupant had been looking out and been interrupted. I know the place is entirely innocuous (it’s owned by SAU and has a historic marker out front), but still, it’s AN EMPTY OLD HOUSE.
Anyway, we enjoyed our trek. What did Annie Leibovitz say about photography? It gives you an excuse to go out exploring in the world? Indeed.