Category Archives: Fall Color

Hey, Another Right Answer!

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I found this wonderful scene while leading a recent workshop on Cape Cod.  The lead image is the one that I settled on as my favorite. I think the story of how I arrived at this image is worthy of sharing.  I sent the image to my friend Dan who is my goto guy for feedback.  He suggested the crop below as another possibility.  Interesting, Dan tends to see in neat tidy compositions as he is prone to use his 70-200 with a 1.7x teleconverter.  As such he will isolate and drill down.  I like his crop!

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Inspired by Dan’s thoughts, I decided to show Dan the original image I shot.  Another right answer! (See below)

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As you can see, my first shot and initial instinct was to include the water but then I zoomed in a bit and excluded the water. Hey, another right answer!

My hope is that this series of images drives home three important ideas.  First, look for more than one right answer when you’re shooting. I could have made the first image and walked away, but I didn’t.  I kept looking to see what else might be there. Second, work the composition both in the field and in post processing.  There is nothing wrong with cropping your images!  In fact, I think you’ll be surprised at how many other right answers you will find with the crop tool! And third, we all see differently.  There is no one right answer, rather there are almost always more right answers and yours will be different than mine and that is just fine.  So, stop thinking in terms of right and wrong and focus on what feels right and go with that!

 

Alien Skin Snap Art 3 Does Fall Foliage!

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This image was created from a 9 image multiple exposure of a hillside of color in New Hampshire.  I then used Alien Skin Snap Art 3 to further enhance the painterly look.  Here is what I did. In Snap Art I selected the fine brush preset.  Next, I tweaked the preset by making the canvas transparent, backing off on the color saturation and adding more photo realism (its a slider).  Snap Art will automatically make a new layer, so once it loaded into Photoshop, I blended the BACKGROUND and SNAP ART LAYERS at 50% opacity.  Then, I over sharpened it to bring out more detail.  

I promise to do a short video tutorial about Snap Art next week.  It is hands down the best piece of software out there for creating painterly images.  I use is frequently, especially for images that are busy and need to be simplified a bit.  Foliage images work very well with Snap Art.

You can save 10% by clicking this link and using the code  JBW1320.  The code is only good till October 31st.

With the government open again, I’m off to lead a weekend workshop in the Poconos!  WOO HOO!

One More

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Fuji X-E1 – 55-200mm

In my last post I said, “at first blush there seemed to be just one composition, just one shot, the wall of color, however, that is almost never true.”   The lead image in today’s post came after being mesmerized by the wall of color, working that scene AND THEN looking for something else.  It pays to stay in a location for more than a few minutes.  If you are still and allow it, more images will present themselves.  Don’t be so quick to move on to another location. And look, there was a vertical composition too!

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Fuji X-E1 – 55-200mm

A comment with regard to the comments that were shared on my last post.  With the exception of one, all liked the tighter square crop best.  If you recall, I said I presented three right answers, however, most settled on one they preferred.  What does this mean?  First, I would suggest if you had never seen the square crop you would have liked one of the other image just as well.  In addition and probably more importantly, I believe it cements the idea that it pays to work a scene that you are drawn to.  As you simplify the scene, leaving behind just the elements that matter, while eliminating all that don’t, typically the image becomes stronger.  I think that is exactly what happened with that last post.  Folks were drawn to the neat tidy composition more than the others.

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While shooting with Dewitt Jones one time, I was struck by how patient and willing he was to stay with a subject.  He found thistle in a field as the sun was setting and stayed in that spot for almost 2 hours.  He never moved, he was invested in that moment.  He was drawn to this particular scene and was willing to stay and work it.  I remember his wife Lynette saying, just move on if you wish, he will be there for awhile!  She knew that he would be happy alone, working the scene.  I remember thinking, what on earth does he see?  I don’t see a thing! Was I ever wrong, the result of his patience was brilliant!  

For the processing of the lead images, I used a diffused glow technique.

More than one

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Not far from our hotel along the Androscoggin River is a magnificent wall of color.  At first blush there seemed to be just one composition, just one shot, the wall of color, however, that is almost never true.  So again, like the last post, I submit what were for me, three right answers.

All images taken with the Fuji X-E1 and 55-200mm lens including the square which was shot in-camera as a square.  This is another feature I really like about my Fuji’s.  I can even shoot square and B&W while not losing the original full frame RAW capture. 

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New Hampshire Birch

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I’m a fan of the white Birch in New Hampshire and loved the mixture of color found around this scene. I am curious to know your thoughts though. How do you feel about the busyness of this image and what do you think of the alternate square crop below?  UPDATE – SEE BELOW

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UPDATE – I’ve toned down the Birch on the left per a readers suggestion.  I like it much better!  You?

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Fall Foliage is around the corner!

I don’t know about you but I’m excited about fall color being right around the corner.  My tour partner Dan and I will be in New Hampshire the first week of October and then I’ll be in the Pocono’s for a week long workshop and then the annual weekend gig. Hidden Lake in the Delaware Water Gap is arguably one of the finest locations for fall color that I’ve seen.  I’ve been to this location so many times I’ve lost count, however, you can count on my being there again this year.  The images below are all from this location.  

Its not too late to join Dan and me in New Hampshire.  There are two spots left for the Pocono week and there is room on the weekend gig as well.  I hope to see you this fall!

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Back to the Poconos

 

 Here is another from the amazing two days I had in the Poconos this fall.

Thank you! – New Ireland Folio Added

The 2012 Nature Visions Expo was another winner.  This group does a tremendous job each year with a an event that takes a ton of time and volunteer help.  I was happy with the way my new presentation, Discovery & The Creative Choice went. Thank you, to all that came out for the lecture.  If you’ve not been to the event, pencil it in for next year.  There are terrific vendors available with great show deals on lots of good gear.  The lectures, workshops and keynote are all very well planned with excellent speakers and teachers.  It is a great event.

I’ve added a new Folio to my Folios tab, Ireland.

The blog picture is yet another from that magical two days I had at Hidden Lake.  This was very late in the day just before I captured the single yellow tree with reflection posted a few posts back.  The light lasted for just a minute and I was only able to make four images in that time.  This is one.

Light Matters

The main or lead blog image was captured 3 days after the image below.  The lead image was captured in soft overcast diffused light. The other (below) in early morning, soft gold light.  Essentially the same scene captured on different days in different light.  Two completely different feeling images.  Light matters.

Nature Visions Expo & Computer for sale!

I’m in the process of finalizing my new presentation, Discovery & Creative Choice for the Natures Vision Expo on Saturday.  In addition to the lecture, I’ll be doing a breakout session which will cover Topaz software and ideas about how to use it in your digital workflow.  I hope to see you there!

My tour partner Dan Sniffin is selling his 17″ MacBook Pro.  It was recently sent back to Apple for some issues and came back totally refurbished with a brand new motherboard and hard drive.  It is essentially new!  In the meantime, he decided to buy a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display (drool).   The 17″ he is selling has not been used since being refurbished a month ago.  It is a mid 2009 model purchased in December of 2009 with a 500GB hard drive, 4GB RAM and matte screen.  He has an 8GB RAM upgrade kit that was not installed that he will throw in too.  A very solid computer for $975.00!  Let me know of your interest and I’ll hook you up with Dan.

Today’s blog image is from Hidden lake again.  The weather this day could not have been better.  I had just rained making the trunks of the trees wet with soft overcast light and no wind!  When I arrived and looked across the lake at this scene my eyeballs about fell out.  This is about as lush as I have ever seen foliage.