Think Small This Fall

Autumn is heading in your direction.  No great vistas or reflective lakes where you live?  Think small.

When there are no grand landscapes  to photograph, just find a nice tree or two.  I love early fall when the colors and tones in one small scene can be numerous and varied.  Don’t forget to compose your image.  It may seem like a “point and shoot” opportunity, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Much like the director of a symphony orchestra you need to guide the colors so they compliment the entire photo.  Don’t forget those tree trunks, they are part of the composition.

Fall can be just as compelling as the flower season for close-up work. Color and detail are important here.

I look for opportunities to combine warm and cool colors.  One color advances while the other recedes, giving that eye-popping 3D look.  Anyway you look at it, fall can be small. 

You can use the veins of a leaf to direct the viewer on a miniature journey.  Nature is full of journeys, both large and small.

Fall isn’t only about tree leaves. Bracken and Cinnamon Ferns make great subjects in autumn.

Early frosts are common in northern regions such as where I live.  Find a couple of fall leaves that refuse to give up their branch, and you can share another part of nature’s story.  The background in this shot is an out of focus red building.  I admit that red on red is rather odd.  The edge of the ice, and the light reflecting from the leaves, does somewhat separate the leaves from the background and provide a little visual relief from this sea of red.

Leaves, whether they are singular or a multitude, never need to be on the tree to be a stimulating subject.  Unique perspectives work well in fall.  When I come upon a scene like this, I will at times make 8 or 10 distinctly different pictures. I will change lenses and position looking for fresh ways to “see” my subject.  I am more than willing to let my wide angle lens distort the image, if that makes for an interesting picture.

Here we are in mid September and I have already taken you from the first color change, all the way to the forest floor.  I tend to rush my favorite season.

Of course subjects like bird migration and the fall rut for large mammals, help make this time of year great as well.  Still when it is all said and done it is the quiet time of fall that evokes the most special feelings.  The joy is framed with a touch of sadness.  Just a touch.  Atmosphere is as rich in autumn as are the deep reds and golds that fill the hillsides, and the woodlands.

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