Thursday, October 12, 2017

Having Fun with Leave Abstracts

OK. Leaves are falling. Sad, but that's just the nature of things. And instead of complaining about the cold and dreary season that's about to come upon us, we can still have fun! Just take a macro lens and get close to the ground. And do not focus on the "nice" leaves only. I found the half broken down ones even more interesting. See this example below.

The trick is to find a flat one. Once they lay around for a while, they get dry and wrinkle up. And wrinkles require too much depth of field that a macro lens at that magnification usually does not offer that easily. Sure, bringing leaves into your studio and putting them under a glas to flatten them might work as well... but I prefer to take photos of objects in their natural environments.

And then just try different angles and compositions. Find out what works best only on a bigger screen once the image have been downloaded. You can still rotate and crop, but you loose resolution and quality in the process. So try to get as close to a good composition already while shooting.

In post processing you can then add more contrast or clarity, sharpen the image and optimize the colors. Those subjects without a background reference are quite forgiving.

Maple Leaf Abstract

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Nichol's Ledge

This Fall seems to be all about new discoveries. I really should start a book or at least a list of favorite places in Vermont. I finally made it to Woodbury and Nichols Ledge today and was not disappointed. The colors are definitely past peak now (at least in the northern parts of the state), and morning light would have been better. But no complaining about a sunny, mid seventy degree day in the middle of October! Just splendid...



Turtlehead Pond (II)

Since Saturday was an overcast day, my photos included very little or no sky at all. I just wanted to follow up and give the "big picture" (panorama incl. blue sky) from the same pond as shot today. What a difference in foliage just a few days make...

Turtlehead Pond Pano

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Shortlived Foliage Season 2017

A very dry second half of Summer 2017, together with windy and rainy conditions on the Columbus Day weekend will probably shorten the Vermont Foliage Season this year. After our photo tour on Saturday under overcast skies, Sunday was partly sunny again. We decided to explore the local Preston Pond area in Bolton. It features a few beaver ponds and a beautiful outlook, called Libby's Look. Thanks to the high dynamic range sensor of my SLR and the editing capabilities of Lightroom, even the backlighting conditions in late afternoon resulted in good photos from the top. Instead of the all too common broad view of colorful trees, I played with reflections, abstracts, camera movement and sunstars. Oh what glorious colors and photographic opportunities nature provides!

Preston Pond Loop Abstract


Libby's Look

Preston Pond Reflections (I)

Preston Pond Reflections (II)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Turtlehead Pond

We (Thomas and myself) stumbled upon this little gem in the Marshfield Town Forest more or less by accident. On our quest for Foliage photos, we went along VT Rt. 2 on Saturday and stopped in Plainfield (Martin Covered Bridge) and Marshfield (amazing hillside colors). But then I found two small ponds on the map in the vicinity and we just went there. It turned out to be an amazing site. Even without blue sky, the view from the lower end of Turtlehead Pond with the cliff in the background was well worth the drive!

Turtlehead Pond (I)

Turtlehead Pond (II)

Turtlehead Pond (III)

Turtlehead Pond (IV)

Vermont State House

Talking about Vermont being a rural state... From this particular vantage point (the National Life parking area), all you can see from our capital is the golden dome of the State House. I have been there many times and the view is getting tighter and tighter every year (someone needs to clear those trees!). But I have still to time it right for the perfect foliage colors in the trees on the slope behind the State House...
BTW: For those of you interested: The statue on top is Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. Fitting!

State House (I)

State House (II)