Last week, I carped that this has been a bad year for shooting fall color. But, quite by accident I found that the reality was I was looking in the wrong places. I don’t mean to say that I found a grove of wonderfully-tinted trees at peak color – it’s getting pretty late for that. Instead, while trying out a new lens, I learned that I had forgotten there are many more aspects to fall color than peak season. Here are some examples:
Intense Fall Color
Early morning, just after sunrise, is a wonderful time to take pictures around lakes and ponds. If the wind hasn’t risen, and the skies are clear, you get great light and great reflections. The leaves are pretty sparse on these trees at Argo Pond, but their yellow and orange color is intensified by the morning light and contrasts nicely with the soft blue sky. The slight disturbance of the reflecting water lends a hint of painterly quality.
Subtle Fall Color
A few mornings prior to the above, I was looking in a different direction on Argo Pond. This view is mostly in shadow, as the sun is just beginning to penetrate, giving the impression of a foggy morning. In reality, there is no fog and this is just an effect of the interplay between the shadows and some lightly rippled water left of the island. I love the mood of this picture – it is such a contrast to the boldness of the previous picture.
Hint of Fall Color
At the other end of the day is this picture taken at Barton Pond after sunset. A long exposure brings out the colors when the human eye can barely see the shoreline. At this time of night, the water is still wavy as the day’s wind ebbs, but the long exposure smooths that out and yields a different, much more painterly reflection. Here, most of the leaves haven’t turned and fill the frame with rich blues and greens that serve to intensify the reflection of the few yellow leaves.