A Rainbow of Leaves

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Do you like what I did there?  A rainbow of leaves?  It’s true.  If you look hard enough, and use your imagination just a little, you can see the entire ROY G BIV we all once learned about in science class.  Of course,  they were talking about rainbows there, and these leaves are not rainbows, but hopefully you see the artistic slant in all this.  People who see this bush, which has grown in my front yard for the last 20 years, are amazed by what it does in the fall.  Eventually, the leaves will all go to a bright yellow, but they don’t drop.  They just slowly loose their color, and get really thick for the winter.  The cool thing is that they progress through all these different colors first, and almost never in unison, so you wind up with this bizarre looking plant.  I can’t account for the flower in this picture, beyond the fact that it has been unseasonably mild this fall, and perhaps this poor guy got his seasons mixed up.  Sometimes people see one of my pictures of this bush and assume I’ve photoshopped the colors.  That sort of drives me nuts.  I’ll admit to using photoshop, but I don’t manufacture false images unless they are obviously so.  I’m more of the subtle enhancement kind of guy, and almost every picture gets a vignette.

For this picture, I got most of my bang out of the contrast slider in lightroom, and I did make the jump to photoshop for some sharpening, and curves adjustments in the channels.  Back in lightroom, I applied some more sharpening (not sure why) and I’ll admit hitting the vibrance slider a bit, but the base colors are all genuine;  I promise.  Fall continues to progress here in the northeast, but we continue to enjoy a mild run of days.  We have not seen a snow yet that has stuck, and by that I mean accumulate, or at least not melt on contact with the ground.  This has the skiers pulling their hair out, but most everyone else is pretty ok with it.  There have been some heavy frosts lately, and I’ve been fortunate enough to put a few hours together to get out and grab some shots of the frosty landscape.  I look forward to sharing them with you soon.  Have a great day!!!

Corn Maze for Days

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In the fall, it’s a right of passage to explore a corn maze.  I actually don’t know if that’s just around where I live, or if that’s a thing everywhere.  Basically, once the corn has been harvested, the farmer cuts paths into the field, and charges people money to waste the better part of an afternoon trying to find their way through the darn thing.  Trust me on this, there is no worse feeling than stumbling along in one of these things, and finally seeing the exit…only to realize it’s the entrance!!  This was a hard core maze too, so if that happens, they won’t let you out.  They tell you to turn around, and find the real exit.  Imagine getting paid to do that job!!  This corn maze was huge.  It actually had an area cleared out in the center of it with a refreshment stand, complete with picnic tables, and a full menu of junk food.  People were just standing around, eating Hot Dogs, and comparing notes on the best course to take, but the truth was…no one really knew what they were talking about.

For this picture, my daughter and I stumbled upon a look out tower you can climb to see the maze from above; and hopefully find your way out.  As you can see, the light was fading fast, and I fortunately had my D810 with me to grab a quick sunset shot.  I love the lens flare!  I suppose I could have removed it in post, but if your shooting into the sun, that’s the sort of thing you get.  It’s kind of ironic that camera companies put all this technology into special coatings and such to reduce lens flare, and then photoshop actually puts a filter setting into it’s menu to add flare back in.  Anyway, this lens flare is 100% the real deal.  I actually didn’t plan it that way, but I consider it a happy accident. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no they don’t care if it’s dark and your still in the maze.  I did, but they did not.

Fall Reflections

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I was trying to decide what to post today and had a tough time coming to a decision.  Fall is in its last stages here in the northeast, and most of the trees are bare.  The nights are getting cold, and we’ve already had more than a few frosts.  I was debating on putting up something winterish, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Even though it doesn’t really feel like fall anymore, it is definitely not winter yet either.  Although, if I traveled west, there’s about a foot of snow falling as I write this post.  Fortunately, I raked leaves today in a light jacket, and when the snow gets here, I’ll be ready with my camera.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this shot I took at a pond not far from my home.  Honestly, I was hoping for some Great Blue Herons to photograph, but none were to be found.  I guess they were hanging out at another pond that day, but I see plenty of them this time of year.  They seem to stick around a lot longer than the geese.  For lack of a Heron, I found some amazing reflections on the water, and since I had my long lens on my camera, I could isolate some interesting compositions that could almost be considered abstractions.  I know lots of photographers like to take those glassy smooth reflection shots, but you have to get up pretty early in the day for those.   This shot was taken in the late afternoon, so there was no chance of a smooth reflection.  I still loved the contrast between the reflected fall colors, and the green water plants enough to grab a quick shot.  I hope your weather is just perfect wherever you are, and I’ll see ya soon.