Sunday, November 6, 2016

One lucky maple tree....

Lucky for me anyway. The tree was located in a industrial area and right near the front of a building, but by laying on the ground and being vigilant about the backgrounds I was able to make it work.

I really like the patterns and shapes and colors of these photos.
I used a couple of different lenses and felt good about the images I made so I put my gear away and headed back to the cemetery.
When I got there I was just looking for color and light. I found it with this maple tree.
I love the shapes and structure of its branches along with the light through its canopy.
I spent some time reading names and dates on various headstones and sat with my back against a maple tree as the sun dropped below the horizon. It was a peaceful, beautiful night.

Looking for color...

led me to a local cemetery and golf course.

I only had about 45 minutes before sunset so I headed towards a colorful maple tree and got to work.

Isolate specific good looking leaves, watch out for the background and depth of field, and always be conscious of the light.
Sometimes just shoot it while it's there and find out it's not quite right later. I think looking up these trunks gets a little busy.
Keep looking for the color and pay attention to the light and once it's gone, keep moving.

Shadows fell over the maple tree, but the sun was still hitting some oaks on a nearby golf course.

I really liked the colors on this specific group of changing oak leaves.
As the sun dropped towards the horizon I had to keep moving to leaves higher on the tree and still in the light.
Find some good looking leaves, wait for the wind to die down, focus and shoot.
My shutter speeds were getting slow and I was hand holding this stuff so I turned up the ISO and kept working.
I was switching between three different lenses and just did the best I could.
The light was fading fast.
So I worked near the trunk and shot almost straight up at the leaves catching the last light up near the top. And then it was all over.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Color and a katydid...

I hadn't been seeing much color this fall when I had a camera and the time to capture it.

So I took advantage of a half hour and one lonely maple in the Madison arboretum.
I isolated good looking leaves using the available light and shadow and got to work.
I wasn't having an easy time of it but I kept on working with what was there.
As I moved around the tree looking for better angles and interesting images I heard something in the fallen leaves below.
I looked down and found this katydid on its side making noises. So I picked it up and moved it to a lit leaf on the tree and made a couple of quick images.
Earlier, I had heard a loud insect making noises in a different tree and didn't know what it was. Finding this katydid solved that mystery.
The light was fading fast as the sun headed toward the horizon.
Don't hurry, no worries, just keep doing what you can, I reminded myself.
This is supposed to be fun, it's beautiful out here, enjoy it.
I finished with a few leaves against the color of a maple tree whose crown was still catching the sunlight 40 feet up. And then the light was gone.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Let It Be....

I was looking for fall color in Madison on Halloween day,

and noticed a few colorful maples as I drove by a cemetery.
I pulled in and parked and was pleased with the leaves and light on one big maple.
As I waited for the branches to be still enough to get sharp images, I found myself singing 'Let It Be' by the Beatles.

I did what I could with the color I found. I made a few images of fallen leaves on the ground and started walking down the cemetery road looking for more color.

The large oak trees had dropped most of their leaves and the sun kept going behind big clouds. When I got back to my car some employees were blowing the leaves off the grass and out from the headstones onto the road.
I was about to get in the car and leave when inspiration struck. Regardless of the light I should try and shoot the flying leaves.
So I walked over to where the men were working; there were three commercial lawn mowers with large blowers mounted on them and one mower with a leaf catcher on the front to push it all into piles on the road.
I made it a point to stay out of the way of their equipment as I looked for good angles and interesting compositions.
I tried different shutter speeds and found that faster was better.
I tried both auto and manual focus and auto gave better results. 

And finally, I found an angle with a colorful maple as they blew leaves out towards the road.

I use Adobe Lightroom to change raw files to jpegs for the internet. The next several photos are the normal image and then a more abstract version I created by changing only the clarity setting.



I like the soft focus images.
After awhile the sun disappeared and the leaves were all to the road. I put the camera away and started walking to the car, feeling pretty good about the opportunity I just had. As I walked by a mausoleum there was a work crew putting on a new roof. I paused just long enough to hear what song was playing on their radio. and 'Let It Be' by the Beatles was just finishing up.