A few weeks back, I went out to a more distant, more in-town kind of park. It is in another city not too far from me. The weather that days was not the best. Dark, cloudy, and somewhat windy. It had snowed recently, then mostly thawed. I had missed peak color. We actually had snow on Halloween and several times after. Not good for any outdoor fall activity. I had to make compromises with ISO and shutter speed. Most of the photos are OK for the blog, but they wouldn’t do well as sizable prints.
Many of the trees along the river were bare.
Oddly enough, the geese cooperated.
The flag above the trees.
I found a stationary subject, so I walked back to the car and got my tripod. Worth it. I like the curve and the way the fungus is on it.
Happy Thanksgiving! Sort of a cultural farewell to fall, or more like the day when we temporarily extract our heads from our Santa hats to give thanks and eat turkey before plunging into Christmas for the next entire month. Naturally, I plan to do a Christmas post next month.
Some weeks ago, Dad and I ran away from the deck and other house projects to find the last traces of fall with our cameras. We had to go south a ways. Since it wasn’t the best day, we decided to make the trip double as a scouting expedition of Matthiessen State Park. We’d been to Starved Rock several times, but Matthiessen never got past “if we have time”.
It so happens lots of people wanted to enjoy the end of fall. There was also an enormous geology class field trip. However, both of us did manage to get a clear shot of the dells and some other photos of the scenery.
Next Time: Merry Christmas
My goal this year was to blog once a month. I’ve been a few hours late a couple of times, and I’ve used a good bit of “archive” shot in previous years, but I’m calling it close enough. One more blog in observance of Christmas is all I need.
Fall is a beautiful season. Unfortunately, it’s also crunch time for home improvement projects. I have not been out to shoot this year. Fortunately, I have a few photos left over from last year when I wasn’t blogging.
I’m still plotting to get out this year. I’ll have to run away and go south a bit, but I’m still plotting.
This month, I just wanted to have some fanciful fun with Photoshop. So I took some old pictures and experimented with filters, special brushes, layering, and the like. It’s been awhile since I’ve just let myself have fun, so I went a little overboard.
I also wanted to try a more subdued painting look on another photo.
I’ve always liked the winter fantasy land idea.
Now I can go back to normal editing for a few years.
I purchased some ornamental gourds when I went to the apple orchard about a month ago. Since they were pretty and I spent money on them, I photographed them. Fall is just about over. The gourds have rotted and been tossed. But at least I still have the photos.
Next Time: Christmas
I should be able to put together a Christmas post in two weeks. Decorating is in process.
I had these lovely plans for how I would spend October weekends this year: weekly walks in the woods with my camera, apple orchards and doughnuts, and maybe even a road trip to a distant park. But my front stairs happened. They are wooden with a deck-like landing area, and they needed to be repainted and repaired. Despite my parents very kindly giving lots of time and effort to the project, the three of us spent most of October on my stairs.
Last weekend would have been beautiful for photography: good lighting, nice temperatures, and just about the peak for fall color. But alas, you guessed it, stairs. This weekend was definitely past prime for fall color and quite dreary most of the time. However, I was free. The stairs were done, the parks were beckoning, and the temperatures were not bad at all. So I stubbornly decided to grab the month of October by the tail and try to cram all the things I’d wanted to do all month into one weekend. I needed to experience Fall before it was over: to see, hear, and smell it all around me.
Friday night, I visited a small, hard to find park in my city. It was almost dark, so not much luck there. Saturday morning, despite the dullness of the day, I took a two-hour walk in one of my favorite parks. Photographic prospects were better:
After a few more weekend activities, I headed out to the local apple orchard for my annual sugar encrusted doughnut and hot spiced cider. The sun finally peaked out a bit.
My takeaway from all of this is that should plan on spending some time in November raking leaves in my parent’s large lawn, and I should start the deck refinishing project in April next year. Procrastination has consequences. You can cram a lot into one weekend, but it’s not quite the same as planning things and scheduling them appropriately.
Several weeks ago, I went out for my last Fall shoot of the year. There wasn’t much left, but the colors were vibrant.
I went out for a hike and fall photography last weekend. I don’t think it was quite peak color. This is a hard thing to judge as the landscape often jumps abruptly from too green to all the leaves down. At least it was a nice day out.
Fall is here. It isn’t peak color yet, but I’m hoping to clear some time for that next weekend, if I’m not too late. Here are a few shots from our windy early fall. It’s interesting what moves and what stays still sometimes.
Overall, 2014 was a good year of photographic explorations and blogging. I did some archive posts because of other things I was involved with, and I didn’t finish my video essay (yet). However, I did have some memorable explorations: two new cities, a new park, and some foggy conditions. That and a new camera for higher resolution and video capabilities. I explored and learned a lot. Below are some highlights from 2014:
As usual, I plan to keep blogging every other week and spend a lot of time in nature – all four season are beautiful. I also want to get back into more table top (it’s a skill I need to work at and winter isn’t just beautiful, it’s cold!). Hopefully, I will finish the video, shoot macro, post more good cat photos, and have a few adventures. Only time will tell.
It’s been cold lately. Cold enough that I wanted to go check out the ice formation in a nearby park. I remembered that the ice on the stream winding through this park formed in all sorts of interesting patterns several years ago. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really formed yet this year. Instead, an array of fallen leaves and semi-frozen water presented me with other photographic possibilities. With nature and other things in life, there are times I have to find the best in what is there, even when it’s not what I was hoping for. What there is can be just as good.
This applies more to US readers because we celebrate Thanksgiving here on Thursday, but I wanted to take a moment to remind us all to be thankful. I worry that we are losing a valuable holiday to consumerism. Thankfulness and reflecting on the good we have in life is healthy. Right now, I am thankful for nature, creativity, the ability to express myself through photography and language, the internet, the ability to easily communicate with people from all over the country and the world, and a holiday to spend with family.
What are you thankful for this week? Please share in the comments.
Fall is about over where I live. Fortunately, I was able to get out and take photos a few weeks ago to remind me of the beauty and color of the season.
This fungi is from one of my old favorite places to go shoot. I photographed this the same day as the fog photos in my last post.
Later, I explored a new park recommended by members of the photo club.
The park featured this amazing old oak tree and lovely yellow bush.
Good bye for now Fall. I have a few more photos I might post, but I think it is time to move indoors for a while.
Next Time: More Fall or Still Life
Halloween is a traditional time for foggy scenery, but these photos aren’t creepy. This is more of a we had some light fog yesterday morning post than a Halloween post. I haven’t played with fog much, so I was excited to get out and experiment a bit yesterday morning.
Next Time: Fall Nature
It’s so lovely out that I’ve been compelled to spend more time than usual shooting.
A week after my lone, cloudy weather excursion, I returned to the same park in sunny weather and accompanied by my father. Dad shoots with a view camera and 4″x5″ film. He was lured by the promise of aspen trees in their fall grandeur. I really wanted to check out the south trails of the park, which are farther down the curvy two-lane highway from the north trails I visited the previous week. Unfortunately, hunting is permitted in south trails all fall, and Dad and I had no desire to get accidentally shot. However, we were able to explore the large rock formations by the river.
After lunch, we headed back to the north section of the park. Dad found his aspens, and since I joined him in surveying, I thought I’d take a photo as well.
Later in the day, I found this tree. I loved how dramatically the sun was hitting it and illuminating the leaves.
Jewelry or archive portrait.
My apologies for the late post. I was a little under the weather this weekend, and therefore got behind schedule a bit. Anyway, back on topic. A couple of weeks ago, I spent a nice Sunday afternoon exploring a new park not too far from home. It was a cloudy day, good for emphasizing color, but not much use for illuminating the fall foliage or keeping acceptable shutter speeds for the wind for that matter.
I couldn’t resist the shape of these bushes with the fringe of red leaves still clinging to the top. As far as the orientation, I went back and forth on that and decided that it’s sort of abstract, so it can be horizontal if I want it to be.
The form of this dead tree rising from the subtle fall foliage really drew me that day, but I hardly noticed it a week later in sunny “magic hour” conditions.
One of the unique features of this park is the many aspen trees on the trails.
There was an entire clearing of these bushes with almost nothing but red cones left on them.
I congratulate this park for having an overlook platform that actually looks out on a desirable view, rather than a mess of brush and trees right in front of the platform.
Despite my best attempts to stay wide for once rather than doing mostly close-up work, I couldn’t resist these two groups of fungi. They’re not what I typically see around here.
Next Time: Fall Scenic Part 2: Sun and the Rock
With fall upon us, I lament the lack of fall color this year. Maybe it’s because of the rain or the late warm temperatures we’ve had. However, a few trees did turn brilliant colors. Because of this select group, I decided to do a fall post similar to another post from several weeks ago (https://mycameramyfriend.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/vegitation-on-white/ ).
One maple in the front yard always turns and deep red.
The ash trees and the oak have also turned for the fall. Most of the maples are still green.
Pumpkins: fall just wouldn’t be so much fun without them.
Oak leaves and acorn.
Next Time: Late Fall Scenic
My father and I went out to explore and photograph a state park some distance from home. It featured steep trails, large limestone bluffs, and an unusually dry riverbed (wonderful drought we’ve had.)
Next Time: Archive Jewelry or Some Other Indoor Theme
Last week, I finally got out to the woods for a nice long walk. It just happened to be the peak weekend for fall color in my area. The trees were arrayed in brilliant red and yellow with the late afternoon sun highlighting them.
Next Time: More fall nature from a new (to me anyway) park.
Well, this isn’t Christmas decorations, but it’s not archive. I went on a spur of the moment photo hike today, and I thought it would be better to do the Christmas decorations next week and show you some of the ice and frost we’ve been having in my area this week. We’ve not had any real snow yet, and the frost melts off by midday. However, it’s enough whet my appetite for the visual landscape to come.
Here, the ice along the creek complements the leaf trapped in it.
The ice forms various patterns in different locations along the creek.
This leaf is covered in frost. It looks practically sugar-coated.
Next Week: Christmas Decor
I know I can find some archive at the very least. I will most likely finish what I started this week, or perhaps add some more.
Because of work and other obligations I had last week, this post is unfortunately late and archived. Exactly one year ago today, I went to visit an obscure park not so far from my home. My father found it driving home from work one day and suggested I check it out. The park was mostly pines and some drying prairie. Pretty much everything was sitting dormant waiting for the winter. I never got around to editing or posting these shots untill now.
Next Week: Archive or Controls
Controls as in dials, knobs, buttons, and thingamabobs.
It’s November, and it’s been windy out. In my area, that means most of the leaves are off the trees and blowing around the universe. You think you’ve raked, but there’s still more on the trees, and if your neighbors don’t bother, there’s no sense in doing it either. The last tree to drop leaves is the oak.
Way back when I was in kindergarten, I used to love collecting leaves. It was considered somewhat educational at that point in my life. Different species, basic plant parts, that kind of thing. The main concern of a leaf-collecting kindergarten kid? Pretty! I was always sad when they dried out and crumbled away.
Now, I enjoy photographing fall leaves in all their states, from still a bit green to all dried up. The variety is amazing.
This one is so pink on the back it looks artificial.
It’s narrow red counterpart wanted a darker background.
Next Week: The TV Experiment or My Adventures in Stock Photography
Several months ago, I saw a set of photographs someone took at the moment they turned off a CRT. I’d like to try it for myself.
After a week of unseasonably high temperatures, we were treated to several days of rain followed by cold, windy weather. This is not ultra conducive to photography, but I did manage to get a few shots that do a pretty good job of conveying the fall color in our area. Which, as of right now, is very little. The ash trees are mostly bare with a few yellow and brown leaves clinging to their branches.
On the other hand, our maple trees have hardly started turning color. Even the burning bush is in the beginning stages of its fall transformation. At least it has some brilliant red.
Patience, patience, I tell myself. It will come. It’s only a matter of time.
Next Week: Abstract
Yes, I’m feeling like it’s time for another of my weird abstract posts. This one will probably include natural objects, but I’m not sure yet.
I’m working on editing and posting some shoots from a few weeks back. These were taken about three weeks ago when there was still a bit of fall vegetation or remains thereof scattered about the yard. It was a bit dim, but there was light, interesting light. I’m a great believer in the idea that if you feel like taking pictures, you should. So I did, and this is the result.
P.S. I’m experimenting with different ways of displaying photos on my blog (galleries, slide shows) please let me know what you like best.
It was the perfect late Autumn day to go for a walk in the woods. So perfect that I was far from the only one out. As the weather grows colder, the colors and light in my part of the midwest take on the most curious hues. I’m just realizing how much I’ve missed this season while in college down south. If it existed, I didn’t have much time to enjoy it. (No offence to the South. I’ve not seen much of it, but I know it has its own charms.) Absence makes you appreciate what you have even more when you finally get it back. I went to a different part of the forest preserve this time. Both sides of the woods are beautiful in their own way. They can also be quite different if you look for variety, although I’m sure the change of seasons and different times of day help.