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Finding the Remnants of Autumn: Light in the Leaves

in Photography

When I planned my trip to Arkansas for photographing the foliage I was warned that it had been quite dry and much of the foliage had turned brown prematurely because of the recent weather.

I wasn't sure what I would discover when I got there but I was prepared to be pleasantly surprised, I try to lean toward optimism by nature. 

The long drive was a battle with myself, I am recently unemployed and looking forward to great adventures in photography, art and travel, but do I really need to pay for a hotel now? Should I wait for another week? Should I just wait until next year?

I missed my son, I felt out of place, what am I doing? My answer: what I've planned for the last five years. I've learned if you don't do what you planned, your plan will wait indefinitely and what happens is I should have, I would have, One of these days I will.

Many ghosts haunted me along the way and some nerves were quite emotional I must admit but I watched my new horizon growing as the sun set behind me and the autumn foliage of Arkansas waited to be explored and more importantly described.

Finding Images out of Chaos: An Artist eye finds its aperture.

For many artists and photographers a scene screams to be described. When you are in the creative moment suddenly the work creates itself even if there are many directions and detours. I love photography because of its immediate discovery, except for the post production, the image appears with the close of the shutter.

Many photo enthusiasts have found themselves in front of a great landscape with disappointing results in the final photo. Sometimes we just don't capture what originally inspired us, there are many reasons for this. An artists' eye must find something out of chaos, a landscape that is not necessarily extraordinary if not isolated and described in a unique creative way.

I have always thought shooting an amazing landscape is harder than shooting the smaller lesser image of objects or places. There is just so much expectation of the a place like the Grand Canyon or from my own experience Glacier National Park. 

It is difficult to improve on perfection. First, capturing the image in a unique way that the viewer will see it in a way that they wouldn't themselves. Second, improving on something that is perfect, we can only capture a glimpse, a next best thing to actually being there.

I enjoy shooting images that the viewer might walk by without ever noticing. The fact is that sometimes the eyes is aware and others it's not. After a long drive through dried foliage and unexceptional light I found my subject and it was beautiful in the fading light of sunset.

Colors of Autumn: The Light will Show You the Way

If you look at the landscape as a whole, it is a bit late in the season. Most of the reds have dropped off and much of the rich colors have already turned brown. I made it all this way and I'm concerned with what images I will end up with.

As the light faded in the western sky, I saw the light, literally it lit up the remaining glimmers of autumn's splendor. It isolated the rich reds and golds and made the yellows bold with transparent leaves against a dark backdrop of greens and blues.

I know the few people around the park must have been wondering what I was shooting. I was close to the leaves by the lake and suddenly the blues and greens of the lake became blurred complements to support the final reds and oranges of the sumacs and ivy.

I found images jumping out of the landscape and a disappointing drive turned into that moment of clarity. I realized why I came and the excitement of discovering the images suddenly replaced any of the melancholy that colored the long drive. I was home.


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