I have been leading a weekend workshop in the Pocono’s for 10 years. Every year, it feels like I’m coming home. This image is from one of my favorite places there, Hidden Lake. A bit of fog hanging on as the sun makes its appearance made my heart sing!
Category Archives: Fall Color
This image has an interesting story. I was at a favorite location but disappointed with the foggy conditions. I waited, and waited for the dense fog to lift, but it never did. Trying to practice what I preach, I let go of my expectations of vibrant reflections in the lake, and shifted my thinking to be open to what was there. I found this colorful stand of trees and fell in love with the mood the fog created. Another right answer!
As a side note, be careful when setting your black and white point in this type of image. It is easy to overdo the black point which will eliminate the mood of the fog. For this image I backed off of my black point with purpose to make sure the mood was retained.
Thank you, to the almost 2,000 people that signed up for my Topaz Webinar on Tuesday afternoon. From the feedback, it seems to have been successful. My friends at Topaz have made the special webinar discount code available to share on my blog. If you want to save 30% on any Topaz products including the new Impression (which I love) or the full suite, use the code barclayweb13 at check out. The discount code is only valid through Saturday, November 1st.
The blog image below from Childs Park in PA, is one where I used Topaz Clarity in my demo. Clarity allowed me to add subtle local contrast adding “pop” to this image. It also gave me the ability to add vibrance and saturation to the colors making them look as I recall when shooting it.
There is still time to register and attend my Topaz webinar this afternoon. Here is a link to do so, https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/361809535. I’ll cover the new IMPRESSION as well as DETIAL, CLARITY and B&W EFFECTS 2. And because many are asking in my workshops, I’ll touch on my approach to RAW processing before I use Topaz plug-ins. Hope to see you there!
This image is my homage to my friend Bill Strom who passed from cancer three years ago. One of his last projects was to photograph color behind fallen leaves. Miss you Bill!
Thanks to all who shared their thoughts about the last two posts. I posted the two leaning tree images, as they generated an interesting discussion in the field while making them. When Dan (tour partner) showed me the first image (below) with what some of you see as a tree leaning out, I too had the same reaction. It felt like the tree was leaning out of the frame. He responded by saying “I see it as an element that is directing the eye into the frame.” Commenter Rad, has done a good job of articulating what Dan and then I ultimately saw, thus prompting me to make the capture. “The leaning out image for me has a circular, repeating motion to it. I find my eye following the leaning tree into the frame at the bottom, across to the yellow trees on the right, and then up and to the left to do it all over again. The vertical lines are less figural and play a supporting role to the lead characters of the leaning tree and the two yellow trees on the right.” So, at this point, I would argue that the leaning tree in the first image is actually leading the eye into and not out of the frame.
Now, lets look at the other image. This one, most agree, has the tree leaning into the frame. Again Rad does an excellent job breaking down what my eye is doing. “The one leaning in takes me in a clean, horizontal but staccato ride from left to right. It’s about the horizontal line of color contrasted with the staccato rythym of the vertical lines of the trees. I can almost hear it as a cymbal crash, followed by a drum beat with a thread of yellow “melody” holding it all together. For me it flows in one direction – left to right- and exits at the right.” Man, I love the drum and cymbal analogy! Thanks Rad.
I think it instructive to reiterate what commenter Frank said as it is why I added the leaning tree to each composition. “This is a great example of a comp(composition) based on a pattern and a break in pattern, with all the verticals except for one. ” Frank is correct about adding an element to break a pattern. Pattern images are fine, however, when we add an element that breaks the pattern, we add visual interest. This element may direct the eye in a very clear way. Other times it may simply break the pattern giving the eye a place to go and then bounce back to the pattern. I’ve cloned out the leaning tree in the image below to illustrate. I think the leaning tree makes for a more interesting and impactful image.
As evidenced by the varied comments, there appears to be no right or wrong image. We each see or read images differently. Ultimately, you need to decide what works best for you. And fight for your vision by the way. Just because someone does not agree, this does not make them right and you wrong.
Lastly, I believe discussions like this are important. Not enough people carefully assess their (or others) images. Doing so allows you to make a more thoughtful decision about your composition in the field.
Which image do I prefer? The second one.
In keeping with the previous post, this image was made in the same location with yet another leaning tree. So, once again, what are your thoughts on this composition? How do you feel about the direction of the leaning tree as compared to the one in the previous post? (image show below)
A favorite stand of Aspen. What drew me to this was the more open feel as opposed to a wall of color. To me this is much more interesting as it adds a graphic element, and a sense of story. A wall of color can be pretty but tends to look more like a postcard.
I’m curious, how do you feel about the leaning tree on the left side of the frame?
While waiting for the clouds to move and light up the grand landscape we were focused on, off to the right this little scene was happening. I waited for soft diffused light to illuminate the horse and the pasture. Of course a stand of colorful aspen didn’t hurt either.
As a side note. This was shot with the 16:9 aspect ratio available with my Fuji X-T1. I use the three different choices (1:1, 16:9 and 2:3) often as a way to pre-visualize how it will look. I do not lose any data as the full 2:3 raw file is left intact. But, when I open it in Lightroom, I see the in-camera crop which is nice. If I want to see the full 2:3 image, I simply click the crop tool and there it is.
Another multiple exposure. This time adding the ubiquitous evergreen trees. In the past, I had not considered adding evergreens to my compositions for fear they were too heavily weighted visually. This year, I was actually drawn to them and found them to add interest.
One of the things I suggest we bring with us as we make our images, is our ever maturing sense of composition. Each year we photograph we learn more, and thus mature in our ability to see and compose. We also learn from others, and add that to our visual vocabulary. I believe this is exactly what happened for me here. It’s been three years since I’ve been to Colorado. I’ve learned and grown as a photographer, and this image is a more mature composition for me.
As always, I’m interested to know your thoughts.
I was drawn to the yellow stand of aspen set against the more colorful stand in the background. Typically the aspen tree turns yellow, so it’s nice to find splashes of other colors to add to your composition. I tend to like aspens in soft light as you’ll see in upcoming posts, however, on this stand, the backlight was very soft and seemed to be making the foreground trees glow.