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.

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Fall Migration: The Ugly Stepsister

Rose-breasted Grosebeak (Male, Fall Plumage) - Dryden Lake, Dryden, NY

Rose-breasted Grosebeak (Male, Fall Plumage) - Dryden Lake, Dryden, NY

Spring migration gets all the attention because all of the warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, and other songbirds are decked out in their finest plumage as they head north to breed, but don’t ignore fall migration!  Sure, you don’t get the spectacular fallouts along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico as exhausted birds reach the coast after crossing the water.  But you do get an intellectual challenge: how to identify birds in nonbreeding plumage and a multitude of drab juveniles can challenge even the best birders.

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Exploring your Own Backyard: Seeing the Amazing in the Ordinary

Fall Flowers in Meadow, Freeville, NY

Fall Flowers in Meadow, Freeville, NY

When people think of nature photography they typically imagine an African safari or exploring the wilds of South America.  This romantic view is a reality for a number of photographers, but the reality is that most people simply can’t afford to spend $15,000 for a week long African safari.  If being a nature photographer required that, then there would be far fewer of us out there.  Nature photography is open to anyone and be done anywhere and at any time.  Take for example the above image.  This fall scene of a meadow covered in blooming goldenrod and scattered with a handful of other flowers was taken less than a mile from my apartment. [Read more…]