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New Croton Reservoir

Updated: Jan 4

Why a Wonder: A peaceful location for photographing dramatic cloudscapes reflected in beautifully calm, blue water.



Where: Westchester County, New York – about 1.5 hours north of New York City.



When: Throughout the year. If you go after 9 AM and before 5 PM, you’ll encounter the least amount of traffic. I usually see five to ten cars on my one-hour ride, shown below as tracked by Strava, a cool biking/walking app.



Photography: You’ll find dozens of photo opportunities along the narrow road that runs alongside the reservoir. There are several pull-offs for cars, but you’ll have the most photo flexibility by exploring the reservoir by bike. You could also choose to walk around the reservoir.



No matter how you go, think safety first: watch out for cars and trucks. I always wear a brightly colored shirt/jacket and have my bike lights turned on. Off course, I always wear a helmet.



You can make nice photographs with a smartphone. All the photographs in this post were taken with my iPhone.



DeHaze and Clarity in Photoshop/Lightroom can also add some drama to a photograph.



There’s plenty of wildlife to see! I have seen: grey and red foxes, white tail deer, great blue herons, Canada geese, coyotes, turtles, swans, woodpeckers, red-tail hawks and more. Because I only take a wide-angle zoom lens, I don’t have any wildlife photos. . . but I do have fun memories of those encounters.


When composing a scene, try to use a foreground element (which can even be a reflection) to add a sense of depth to an image. Also remember to take vertical photographs as well as horizontal photographs. Sometimes, a vertical photograph of a landscape can have more impact than a horizontal image of the same scene.


The spillway at the top of New Croton Dam is a popular location to photograph the reservoir. In springtime, as the snow melts from upstate New York, the spillway is filled with flowing water, as shown above.



As the year progresses, the water flow decreases. The photograph above was taken in July.



Always be on the lookout for photographs. Above is a shot I took of a gazebo on one of the small ponds that you’ll find around the reservoir. I used the Van Gogh filter in Topaz Impression to add a painterly look to my photo.


Learn More: Learn more from the Department of Environmental Conservation. See our post on the New Croton Dam, which you must visit as long as you are in the area.


If you are looking for a true-color polarizing filter or neutral density filter, check out the filters offered by Breakthrough Filters.

© Rick Sammon



This post sponsored by Adorama.



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