I have been a professional photographer of high school seniors and weddings in the Des Moines area for almost 20 years now, but I also love taking photos of wildlife and nature. I have found that my favorite place to take pictures is Water Works Park. The park is filled with gifts from nature that create interesting and varied backdrops.
For nature shots, spring is breathtaking when all the crabapple trees are blooming. If you enjoy close-up photography, the blossoms will not disappoint. Summer is beautiful with all the colorful gardens scattered throughout the park. Water backdrops are always great in any photo, and the ponds in Water Works Park make for a great scenic backdrop, especially if you can capture a duck or goose in the background. Vibrant autumn leaves, large fallen trees, and overgrown woods lend richness to photos in the fall season. After a new snowfall drapes everything in the winter, it’s wonderful to capture that peacefulness and quiet in a photo. In the early morning, you can find deer sleeping under the pines on a bed of needles. What a stunning photo!
If you are looking for the perfect spot for a family portrait, Water Works Park has several great opportunities. The Charles Sing Denman Memorial Fountain just inside Water Works Park is an easy favorite. Be sure to stop by the Arie Den Boer Arboretum where the gazebo is located. In addition to the beautiful flower garden, the wood rail fence adds rustic charm to any portrait.
Two of the most photographed areas in the park, and my personal favorites, are the old barn and the bridge. Both of these features are drenched with character that can only be shaped over many years. The rustic looks of both are great backdrops, whether shooting in color or black and white. Venturing a little beyond the bridge, you will find a lush green area with large trees, small wooden bridges, and another pond. Travel on the road father back and you’ll be rewarded with old stone chimneys left from old farm houses from years ago. In your travels throughout the park, don’t forget to stop and take advantage of photo opportunities using the Raccoon River. When the river is low, many sandbars are visible and the terrain is great for black and white photography.
There are so many great places in the park to use as backdrops for your favorite photos. I have found that with a good imagination and any camera you will take great pictures at Water Works Park. With all the gardens, buildings, wood rail fences, ponds, trees, and wildlife, you are sure to find something or somewhere in the park to use as a backdrop in your next photo.
Happy picture taking!!