Fall Subtlety

Beaver Wetland, Summer Hill State Forest, NY

When I moved back to the northeast, I was really excited to photograph fall foliage, but this year has been a little strange.  Trees tend to be changing very sporadically with some trees, even in the same species, having totally turned and others still perfectly green.  It can make for some challenging photography as you sort of get a salt and pepper effect if photographing large swaths of forest.  As a result, I tried for some more subtle images while I was out yesterday.

I visited this spot a few months back during a scouting trip when I was just out exploring without a camera.  As I have said numerous times, I am a sucker for wetlands and this spot really drew me in.  I returned yesterday morning to see how the fall colors were and what birds might still be in the area.

Light turned out to be the major issue for the morning, and it is also what makes this image for me.  The morning started off with a mostly clear sky with a few clouds moving fairly rapidly across the horizon.  As the sun crested the horizon, it provided about three minutes of light before getting swallowed up by clouds.  About twenty minutes later, the clouds had dissipated and the sun had moved above the tree line providing the light you see here.  Again, a couple minutes later the clouds returned and I didn’t see the sun again for several hours.

I am really pleased with this image and the subtle tones of brown, orange, and red scattered across the marsh and into the trees in the background.  The dead spruces providing strong vertical lines help to create a strong composition of a fairly busy scene.  What do you think? Please comment below, as I’d love to hear your opinions.

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