“There are few things more soothing than the bright colours of autumn and a handful of bright, warm days. It feels like the world around us is beaming with joy and it’s contagious.” – Ed Lehming
I continue to review the images I made on my many autumn hikes. Today, I look on a drab, rainy, and dull landscape, so reflecting back on the colour and light of recent weeks is refreshing.
It always astounds my when an image of a familiar place realizes in a new way. In the case of this image, it’s a bit of a narrow pathway where the trail weaves between a stand of poplars. This is a place I have passed through literally hundreds of times, but it’s never revealed itself like here. In fact, I would not have seen this view had I not looked behind me. Light direction plays a major factor in the photo.
This was about three weeks ago and fall colours were just completing their peak. The forest was filled with yellows and retained splashes of reds and orange. The mid-morning light cast wonderful long shadows but cast enough light to brighten the canopy with brilliant, soft light.
It’s these ‘moments’ that keep me coming back, time and time again. Every time I experience things in a new way. I hiked through here a few more times since, recalling this particular time with joy. But, for now, that moment is gone, ‘paused’ and waiting to show me some some new version, when the time is right.
iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm 1/285 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20
“All that glisters is not gold— Often have you heard that told.”
– William Shakespeare
Indeed, all that glitters is not gold, but often beautiful, nonetheless. These young poplars along the edge of a meadow actually glimmered as the gentle breeze shifted through the golden leaves, making them shimmer in the sunlight.
This image is still a part of my “Golden Paths” series. It’s the only one that was made, thus far, outside of the forest, though still a stop on the path, as it emerged from the forest. The bright wood of the tall tree trunks are what drew my attention at first, but it was the movement and brightness of the leaves that caused me to make the image, hoping to capture this moment effectively.
Nikon D800 Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm 1/4 sec, f/18.0, ISO 100
“See that path in front of you? That path has been laid before you, the one that you’re supposed to take, the one you’re told to take through life…just like everyone else. If you follow that path, you’ll be following all the rules, you’ll always know that you did what everyone wanted you to do and you’ll make it through… See that path in front of you? I dare you to step off and make your own.” ― Travis Culliton
Looking out my home office window yesterday, as the dark clouds cleared and the sky brightened, I could not help but get outside for a few minutes to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. There is a nice trail system 5 minutes from home. So I took my camera to see what this day offered.
I’ve walked this path hundreds of times and there is always some slight variation in light, foliage, and viewpoint that makes each walk unique. I’ve also photographed these poplars on numerous occasions, including vertical pan shots like this.
However, this day, that slight play of light, new growth, and the bright green grass (including dandelions) made the element s align for this lovely spring image. It seems far too long since I’ve created one of these ‘painterly’ images, which I enjoy so much. Hopefully, this image of a bright spring day brightens someone else’s day.
Nikon D800 Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm 1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200
Hearkening back to milder days, as I ride the train through snow filled landscapes to Montreal. This image was made back in mid-October 2015, as I hiked the southern trails of the Secord Forest. I have made many photographs in the area, but as with many of the photos, the light is always a bit different and what seems familiar suddenly transforms into something altogether new and wonderful.
This image is a fine example of that phenomenon. There are many small poplar groves in this forest and I’ve sen and photographed most of them. Primarily because the long, straight trunks lend themselves so well to these painterly effects. As I recall, this was a mild afternoon on a Saturday and the light was soft and warm and the leaves had just started to turn to their bright yellow fall hues. I stood and looked at these familiar trees but there was something a bit different than previous visit because the sun lit up the background nicely so I made a few vertical pans. I was pleasantly surprised at the show of colour layers in the image and the retention of some of the finer details in the tree bark.
About mid-way through this trail are several groves of poplars, which I have photographed and shared in the past. This particular grove is in the middle of a meadow, which the trails grows around. Because of the nature of this area, it’s also difficult to get an unobscured view of these trees, without some branch interfering with the overall shot. That becomes a common issue for photographers, at least in my experience. You can envision a great composition, but the reality is it does not alway play out as planned, since that perfect angle and lighting is tough to achieve because of the surroundings.
Fortunately, I did find a narrow slot between the trees which provided the attached image. There are still a few stray branches in the foreground, but they don’t interfere with the image as a whole.
As I look at the photo, I once again see it as a painting, even without any manipulation. So, I pulled it into Photoshop and the following is the result.
I’m not sure which I like more?
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/200 sec, @ f/7.1 -0.33, ISO 250