It’s that time of the year again when the leafs turn those gorgeous yellows, oranges and reds. The color is seductive that it’s hard to put the camera down. What most don’t realize is that color can also be too overpowering. Pretty much every photographer has seen at some point a good fall color shot and a bad fall color shot. It’s really quite understandable since, like every over photograph, a bad composition or bad light can lead to a disappointing image. The color by itself isn’t always a savior!
One great way to make sure that the color isn’t overpowering is contrast. Yellow, orange and red are usually bright colors and thus our eyes often go to them first if there is no white in the photo. If you have something dark like blue, green or black to balance out the photo then the Fall color won’t be overpowering. Now does this mean that every Fall color photograph should be this way? No, of course not. But it is important to keep in the back of your mind that fall color can be overpowering and that the other elements like composition and light are still essential.
Captured with Nikon D4, 85 F1.4, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film
It always makes me nervous when its October and it feels like the beginning of September. I don’t know if that is because I spent all of September inside on the computer working or if it’s just going to be one of those years. Usually when we get nice weather like this it means that one big dump is coming. It’s just the way Montana is. However, this is a goofy year and a lot of the locals are split on what winter will be like. The Farmers Almanac says that this is going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever had but the weather service says the exact opposite. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out but until then the fall color is still around due to the warm temperatures.
Now when I went out hunting I wasn’t just watching everyone else, I was watching the scenary. The landscape was beautiful on the ranch we were on and I took full advantage of it! With the D4 and 24-70 AF-S it was real siple enjoyable shooting with simple colorful subjects in the morning light. These Cottonwoods naturally caught my eye. We even had clouds that day!
Then as we walked toward the back half of the ranch the Mustard Grass was alive in a sea of gold that when paired with the fall color Cottonwoods and blue sky, made you want to just lie down and enjoy the day.
One of the realities to being a photographer is occasionally you have to work. The upside of working is you make money, the downside is it’s hard to get out shooting. I never considered shooting as work because it was always fun just getting out of the office. Of course there have been some jobs where that has not been the case. I finally got out shooting some of the fall color and felt that a Friday was a perfect day to post the shots. Nothing fancy. Both shot with the D4 and 70-200VRII. The one obvious difference is that the bottom image is warmer because I turned the white balance to cloudy. With the vibrant colors I wanted to see what the results would be like.