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

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Colours of Fall on the Landscape

This week’s blog deals with the wonderful and exciting colours that paint the landscape during the special 2 week period of Fall, at least for those who will also soon experience of the white of winter.

This image was taken just as the sun was coming up over the horizon on an early thinly frozen pond. The early morning light has caused the rocks to have a bluish tint which compliments the reds and oranges. One day I may decide to clone out the distracting hoar frost which is just catching the sunlight using a upside image.

This scene is captured during the early morning light as the overnight fog is just starting to lift on the river.

The darker pine boughs frame the fall foliage and create an abstract pattern of colour and kight.

In late evening the golden glow of the sun is helping to add a yellow vibrancy to all the leaves on the trees.

In this image the spectacular colours of the leaves in sunlight are bursting through the a whole in the canopy of the forest.

Niels Henriksen

A Photographer's Adage

A painter works with color as the medium, a photographer works with light. -Carlotta M. Corpron

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Perth on the Tay River

Last week as I was heading out to the ghost town of Balaclava (pervious post), I decided also to drive by the town of Perth since it was somewhat in the general direction I was heading.

Perth is a very picturesque town about 75 km west of Ottawa that has a small meandering river winding through the town. Perth has become an artistic and retirement community and also a tourist destination with its many craft shops and restaurants

I was hoping that the fall colours would be at their peak but this was not the case. Most of the maples were in brilliant plumage but many of the other trees, which add the many hues of yellow, were still in the finest green with just a hint of yellow on their fringes.

In one of the parks along the river, this one behind city hall, there was a group of ornamental grasses that I managed to position in front of a colourful orange maple. A shallow DOF keeps the background colours.

In a corner of the same park along the river I saw this perfect tranquil setting with a picnic table under a larger willow tree. It just seems to call you to sit, ponder and reflect on the rich and colourful world we live in or to enjoy reading a great novel in the warm morning sun.

In another park I was able to look up the river towards the central areas of the town and capture the river winding around the buildings surrounded by a canopy of trees.

I can definitely see why this has become such a popular retirement location.

Earlier in the summer in a pervious visit (I do like dropping by), I captured this image which I think clearly demonstrates the tranquility and beautiful vistas of this town.

Here we have a couple sitting on the bench and starting to share a lunch while this magnificent panorama unfolds before them.

One final parting image, I couldn’t resist the contrast of the brightly lit ornamental grass against the old stone wall.

If you have a chance, do take the time to drive to Perth and enjoy some the local and fine hospitality of this interesting town with a river winding through it.

Niels Henriksen

A Photographer's Adage

Seeing, in the finest and broadest sense, means using your senses, you intellect, and your emotions. It means encountering your subject matter with your whole being. It means looking beyond the labels of things and discovering the remarkable world around you. -Freeman Patterson, "Photography and the Art of Seeing" by Freeman Patterson , ISBN: 1550130994 . (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979), page: 7

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Balaclava an Ontario Ghost Town

After reading an article several years ago in the local newspaper about ghost towns in Ontario I have always wanted to go visit some of these old towns and see what photographs I could get. Many of the old ghost towns found in eastern Ontario are today, no more than a few rock outcroppings on farmer fields. One town, Balaclava is more reminiscent of our typical perception of how a ghost town should look.

There is a water-powered sawmill along Constant creek and a few other abandoned buildings along the windy road. Balaclava is only a few kms north of Dacre and about 100km MW of Ottawa.

The dammed up creek fed power to the old sawmill, which was founded in 1855. A fire destroyed the mill in 1936 and was subsequently rebuilt and later abandoned in 1967 when it was no longer profitable to operate the mill. The store continued into the mid 70s.

As you approach the town there is one large 3 storey abandoned sawmill and a dammed up creek forming a small lake on the other side of the road. A little further along there are few boarded up building one being a store the other side of the road. I am showing some images that are from a different view than those normally found on the ghost town web sites.

This is part of the old sawmill looking down from the road. Much of the siding has been removed, I suppose by locals cashing in when there was a barn board craze for remodeling.

On the other side of the mill where the creek both runs underneath and beside the mill are several fallen logs across the creek, which covered, in colourful moss and lichen.

This is also on the creek side of the building and I guess it was too dangerous for the locals to remove the barn boards as was done on the other side.

From behind the mill there is a large stone chimney about 60 feet tall and 15 feet wide.

This is one of the buildings on the other side of the road.

Back up on the dammed part of the river there is an old collapsed boat house.

Niels Henriksen

A Photographer’s Adage

The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process. -Edward Weston


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