I joined a friendly group of Somerset County photographers for a early morning walk around Duke Farms in Hillsboro.
The early morning weather was cool and the skies were clear. I met up in the parking lot a larger number of photographers from all over Somerset Country. A few people I already knew — like Terry Lyons — but the rest were complete strangers.
Duke Farms is the former estate of Doris Duke, an American heiress, horticulturist, art collector, and philanthropist. The estate was opened to the public last year. It is an amazing place with ponds, barns, wildlife, wild flower fields and great scenery. There were plenty of photo opportunities.
We walked over instead of taking the tram. As it is with any large group of photographers each of us was interested in different things and each of us saw the park differently. We walked slowly stopping at park features we found interesting. For me that was mostly the landscape and the flora. I got into some interesting conversations with fellow photographers about camera equipment, photography tips and kids.
Duke Farms has a small green house filled with Orchids. One could spend an hour inside. I couldn’t. The orchids are misted every five minutes and the humidity become unbearable. However, by far, this was my favorite part of the walk. I saw a few picnic tables but I’m not sure visitors are allowed to bring food in.
There is so much I didn’t get to see in the two hours I was there. I will certainly return with my camera and my family and do another walk myself, perhaps more slowly and deliberately.
Image is HDR from three exposures (+2,0,-2) combined in Photomatix Pro. You can see more of the photos on 500px.