Oh how I love my macro lens. Makes dealing with all the leaves in the yard kind of bearable. I used a tripod for all the shots. If you can remove the center post of your tripod, I recommend doing it if you like to get close to the ground. I don’t use my beanbag as much now I have a tripod that can go all the way down. I also played in the light, looking for very subtle backlighting.
Playing with shadows is a lot of fun, too. I had to work fast for this one, but in the end I beat the sun as it sunk behind my house. Sure, there was always tomorrow, but I kind of like working against a clock. Of sorts.
I couldn’t help turning a couple of the images upside down. Although the light and bokeh are striking, I think inverting the shot just makes it a bit more eye-catching. And we can’t do the same things all the time, now can we?
By now you must know how much I love indian pipe wildflowers and how even though my original project was for one season, I still shoot them almost every time I see them. Usually they bloom in June and sometimes spill over into July. But October? October?!
Yes, I did place one of those leaves back there, but not both. And they were right to hand. I’m not above a little manipulation to make the shot work better. Don’t you dig the pine needles though? Oh I love this one. It’s funny, I noticed an older one first; one that had already turned brown and then this one showed itself and boy did I go to work. So much fun.
Fall is one of the most productive…well, if I can call it that, times for me as a photographer. There are so many things that catch my eye and the season is so volatile that there is a surprise almost every day. Here’s a few of my favorite catches.
Early in October things are still relatively mild and all kinds of delicate things still thrive –
But as unexpected things go, one of the prettiest is this –
It’s pretty, but so, so destructive, too –
But at this time of year, it doesn’t last –
and paradise returns –
but the mystery doesn’t end –
While the season is by no means over, the peak color is draining rapidly. A storm came through yesterday that probably knocked a lot of leaves off the trees and so I was even more glad to have gotten out in the days before. Because of my health issue, my fall season was in jeopardy and that makes what I’ve been able to photograph even more valuable.
I’ll start with a trip to a nearby Nature Conservancy park in the city called Cedar Swamp (poetic huh?). It was designated to preserve the rare Atlantic white cedar among other species and has truly spectacular groves of giant rhododendron which I can’t wait to see in spring. Judging by the buds already set it’s going to be a wondrous display of blossoms.
Here’s an obligatory leaf shot to start out with. I think it’s a scarlet oak, but the contrast of textures and colors on the granite boulder were too much to pass up. The hell with originality.
Further into the cedar swamp itself I was caught by the color contrasts in this next shot. And yeah, it’s a fern, what of it??
On our way to the rhododendron loop trail we went through a part of the woods that got creepy all of a sudden and I half expected the hunter from Snow White to appear from behind a tree with his knife. Real Grimm’s Fairy Tale stuff. I think if it weren’t for the color-changing ferns in the foreground, the picture wouldn’t work half as well. The textures are really great and I like the depth it has, too.
Mushrooms are popping up everywhere and I used a downed tree as a tripod for this little microscape (check out the rhodie leaves – they’re huge!). I think these guys are in the Amanita family.
Another day we went to lake Massabesic to hike around and see what we could see. Mostly it was an excuse to be out and drive our 1988 BMW 325 ix. We walked way out to a pointy cape-like section and the witch hazel was blooming like crazy. I found some on the shore and loved the contrast of colors –
And what would a walk around a lake be without some traditional foliage shots? I wished for a more interesting sky, but nature was not obliging that day. Still, it was perfect weather and I was with my honey and who am I to complain?
Well that’s it for this post. If I include everything I’ve shot so far it will be too long to manage. Thanks for checking it out.
Sometimes you get lucky.
I went into the woods today for the first time in weeks and had been walking barely 10 minutes when I found this –
I couldn’t believe it. How did this beech leaf just stand up like that? As if it were spotlit on stage and about to give a speech. Funny huh? I’d just started to look around and notice details and there it was.
Now, another thing that’s kind of spooky is that I’d pulled over and stopped far short of where I usually park on this particular road. It’s unmaintained, but I’ve driven it in worse conditions with no problem. I have no idea why I did it. There was no logical thought process, I just stopped. For some reason though I parked at a junction with a couple of trails that I didn’t plan to actually hike, but ended up on anyway. If I’d driven all the way in, I would have run over this little leaf and blown a perfect opportunity.
Someday I will get to the famous Frank Lloyd Wright house, but until then this kind of falling water will have to do. I revisited Cold Brook in Mont Vernon which has falls locally called Senter. Strangely there hasn’t been much seasonal change from the time I shot it in mid-December. Other than the absence of snow and ice and some new green growth there isn’t much difference. But the light was good – strong overcast and I had leisure to explore. Until the rain came in earnest that is. I got back to my car just in time.
For this first one I had to go behind some safety ropes set up in winter to keep people off the icy boulders. I figured it was safe now. Love the view and the color of the rocks and how the brook just drops and curves away. I really need to get a neutral density filter for this lens, but for now I only use a polarizer; 5 second exposure.
I was on the lookout for some greenery I could use in an image. There wasn’t a whole lot of it, but I found some at the main falls. They waved in the breeze while I took a second 5 second exposure. I really like the solidity of the tree and the rock and the fluidity of the water. It’s like a dance.
While I was standing up there with the water rushing past me, I couldn’t resist getting a detail shot. I panned around a bit trying things on before deciding on this one. I’m still not sure how I feel about that stick, but there was no way to go get it.
Further down the brook widens out. Back in December I tried for a shot like this one, but it didn’t work out. I was in almost the exact spot, but not far enough into the brook itself. The stream bed slopes up slightly here, enough for a dramatic view of the whole thing. I really like this one and didn’t even get that wet.
While scanning the bank for a good location, I found a leaf from last year. Even though the rocks have some rich color in them, the leaf itself was depleted and pale, so I decided on a sepia treatment and a bit of a crop and rotation. The water was flowing by and adds silky contrast.
As I worked my way downstream and back to my car, I found a little tributary coming into the main brook. It was pretty bare and strewn with debris from a recent flood, but I found this little arrangement. I like the color contrasts.
And I have a fascination with ferns. I always have and only now have begun to photograph them seriously. Here’s another species in another location –
I was captivated by the arrangement and even though I had to crouch in the muck, handhold this shot while the breeze refused to cooperate, I’m glad I stuck with it. Of about 10 shots, this is the only one that was worth a damn.
On the way to the mailbox in the rain I walked by this once –
But not twice.