Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fall Colours Up Close and Personal

Last week’s blog dealt with the fall colours on a broader landscape palette, which is how we normally think about fall scenes with its broad expanse and vista of brilliant colours.

There is, just at your doorstep, another set of artist colours to be gathered and painted by the camera.

With landscapes we normally think it is all about Location, L… , as the famous real estate saying goes. With close-up photography the analogy is somewhat the same but it is more about position, position and once again position.

You do not need to trek great distances to find great subjects. Many times these can be gathered in the backyard or near by fields. Depending on the subject you need to position yourself so that the way the light is striking the image best enhances the colourful details or you need to position yourself around the object to find the best background to highlight the and complement subjject.

The image below is fall leaf that is just slightly underwater in a gently moving stream. The slight current and ripples are causing the abstract texture in the object. A polarizer is a definite benefit to remove the sky reflections and bring forth the colours underwater.

In fact for fall colours a polarizer is almost a necessary tool to remove any glare of the leaves.

Even an ordinary weed with just the right background can create a captivating image.

In the photo below I moved around until I found a vibrant colorful background and then used a shallow DOF to ensure that this background was well blurred that almost creates an aurora borealis effect of colour. The background pattern creates a similar hanging downward effect to compliment the flower clusters.

Sometimes even a singular well-textured and abused leaf can create a compelling image. In this image the colours of the tree bark (blue and red tints) is complemented by the bokeh colours of the background, but out-of-focus bark keeps our attention on the leaf.

There is nothing quite a grand as a strong fall reflection in a sunlit still pond. I used the weeds that were in the shadow and the tree truck reflections to frame the image and provide for eye movement around the scene.

Niels Henriksen

A Photographer's Adage

Color is very much about atmosphere and emotion and the feel of a place. -Alex Webb


Lynda Lehmann said...

Very informative post, Niels, well articulated. And the photos are lovely! I'm an avid fan of water shots, myself. I don't have a polarizing filter for my digital SLR, but thank goodness I can compensate for that, most of the time.

I see you went on Imagekind. Good luck with that!

Paul O' Connor said...

Agree with Lynda - good solid post and the colours in the photos are superb.

Paul @

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