Fall Cliche

In my minds eye transitioning to Fall photography it’s hard to avoid the colors & changing light on the trees. Does that make images cliché? How do you find a unique motivation or perspective? Or do you go with eye-catching drama of the season & capture obvious pallets of colors & subjects? I’m reminded of the 48 Hour Film Festival a decade ago. An organization I asked for support told me they didn’t participate in “gimmicks”. I asked the question…Isn’t all filmmaking & photography a “gimmick”?


Juxtaposition does grab my eye. There are many variables involved in when the colors burst out on trees. When I saw this red/green combination I dubbed this shot “Leader”. Since I no longer jump around times zones & work long hours, just like the leaves, I’ve taken more notice of the gradually decreasing sun time.


I just picked up a lens on craiglist & was taking shots with little purpose other than getting familiar with a new field of view…28mm on a 1.6 crop. I looked down & noticed the shade creeping as the sun was rising. The blades of the grass & the leaf are tipped with frost throughout much of the frame. The warmth of the sun had just melted the frost in the lower right portion of the frame. Lots of transitioning happens during the Fall at 40 degrees N latitude.


The light of evenings golden hour enhances the warmth of natural colors. When the light is lower & the sky is crisp I find my lens attracted to natures complex forms. The diversity of shapes within a narrow spectrum of color is somewhat unique at this time of year. While wide shots can be dramatic, I find the detail of CU to be powerful.


Got em! All spring & summer this guy avoided my lens. I deleted dozens of terrible attempts. I doubt it had anything to do with Fall but I was patient as well as persistent. I find the cropping tool to be my first choice in determining if a shot can be improved. After re-sizing & re-positioning I slightly enhanced the birds color while reducing what little chroma was in the bark. I believe this improved but didn’t distort the reality of the photo. At a recent pghphoto.org meeting my evasive friend was given the name of White-breasted nuthatch.  I am still appreciative & amazed at what some photogs know & share.


The light of sunrise on the signature leaves of a Golden Maple  create a dramatic hue. The texture of fog almost hides the lake. Floating vapor blends hills with sky further complimenting the drama of the bright tree. What a way to start my 2nd cup of coffee.


In the only photography class I took at Kent State, Professor Brill forbid images of graveyards & waterfalls. Was this censorship, or personal opinion? My opinion…long exposure of moving water is a technique that crosses my threshold of the reality my eyes see. Surreal cotton candy water can be beautiful but not something that stimulates me. This image is 1/20th sec at 80mm hand held which pushes the limit of my bad knees on this human bi-pod. The highlights on the water with the ever so slight motion blur assist the compositional flow of the image.


Fall doesn’t get any more cliché than pumpkins in the field. Various supporting  backgrounds & angles drew my eye to this composition. The sharp focus of random orange globes anchor the base of the image drawing dominant attention. The BG layers & the soft focus of the cow provide context & relationship to the image.



2 thoughts on “Fall Cliche

  1. I look forward to your blog, thoughts and pictures. Was interested in your comment about light this time of year, as I have always found the shadows to be clearer, more crisp.


  2. The lower Sun position goes thru less atmosphere…less diffusion That harder light creates stronger/sharper shadows. “Black Space” also grabs your attention because the different relative position of the sun moves the shadows into positions you don’t normally see them. When I can blend the subject with the light I usually am happy with the pics I get. When the shadow adds another character to the story, I am usually really happy!


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