As many photographers are discovering, the Ozark Uplands offer a broad range of subjects. Let us know what it is that interests you for photographic subjects and chances are good we know where to find them.
Landscape composition in the Ozarks is not dramatic or sculpted. It does not offer the sand dunes or swirled limestone deposits seen in Western United States. In fact, at first glance, the Ozark landscape is unremarkable. Heavy forest cover hides the truly fascinating formations. Stand at any vista and all you will see is an endless forest. Yet the Ozarks offer some unique formations you will not see out West. You'll need to hike down into the canyons to the narrow creeks. Follow the creeks and you'll find rock formations worthy of fine art photography. This is not easy photography because the light can be dim or uneven in the canyon bottoms. Yet your biggest challenge will be selecting from all the possible image compositions. If you want to add uniqueness to your portfolio, spend some time in the creek canyons of the Sylamore.
There are many places all along the Ozark highways, as well as out on the back roads, where you'll find scenic vistas. The best time of year for scenic shots is from the end of April through June 10, then again from about September 15 through October 15. During these periods the humidity is lowest and the skies the bluest. The worst time of day to take scenic photos is in bright afternoon summer sun unless you are well armed with filters. The photo above was taken in August at 1pm in the afternoon. If you are shooting in summer sun you'll get better shots a few hours after a thunderstorm. Your best bet is to spend some time driving the area, pick your shots, then come back to them in prime light periods.
All through our area are little log barns, old cabins, abandoned farm implements from 60 years ago, and similar objects reflecting the past culture of the Ozarks. In places like Cooper Park in Mountain Home there are restored cabins and buildings from the 1800's like those in the photo above. Those who enjoy photographing old barns will find an endless supply of them in this area!
If macro is your pursuit bring plenty of film or memory cards. Numerous species of colorful insects can be found on any wildflower. The flowers themselves offer stunning macros. Since the Ozarks are famous for rocks you'll find endless textures in gravel and also in tree barks. Many trees in this area have odd barks that produce some very attractive texturing. There are several oak species all producing different size acorns which more than one photographer has used to compose creative textures. Moss, lichens, mushrooms, and grasses grow in endless variety. During winter months the pods and seeds of the wildflowers and grasses offer more compositions.