Fall is here, so are the colors of fall. I think! In many ways, it has been a late and slow arrival. The temperatures have been very comfortable, even uncomfortably warm at times. Some rain and, of course, the virus collectively limited our outings to rare car drives and more frequent walks in the neighborhood. That last bit is far more frequent for Jan and Karma of course!
Colors of Fall May Be On the Ground
So, enjoying the fall foliage has been somewhat limited this year. We took a ride to the Scituate Reservoir last week but even there the colors were muted. I was running out of ideas and photographic subjects. Then, I remembered several posts I wrote quite a while back on multiple exposures either in-camera or stacked in Photoshop to present colors, shapes, lines, etc. In other words, photographic abstraction. In case you may want to refer to them:
The camera I take with me when I go out for short walks is a Canon EOS M5 and it does not have multiple exposures on one frame capability. So, I resorted to slower shutter speeds and intentional camera movements to record the colors of fall. The results are or can be interesting if the camera movements were suitable for the selected frame area. I ended up with a large number of frames I enjoyed and selected the following collection to share with you.
It is all a matter of experimentation. There are patches of color waiting for you to aim your camera at them and swiftly move it. Try it, you may like it! I will be waiting to hear your thoughts. I have a few things that may help after the photo gallery.
What I Learned and Observed
There are no rules in photography, especially in this kind of photography. I hope you take the following as my observations rather than rules to follow.
- I looked for color or luminance contrast in the frame and nearby
- You will need shutter speeds between 1 – 5 seconds or thereabouts to have time to move the camera
- I set the ISO to the lowest setting 100, f-stop to around 32, shutter speed as above
- Strong vertical elements may benefit from the movement that follows them
- Any kind of camera movement is OK, whatever works
- Specular highlights against darker colors may help create strong lines
- Looking down is very much alright, colorful leaves against asphalt make good contrasts
- Smoky back sides of fallen leaves need contrasting elements when moving the camera. See #36 and #37 for instance, as what worked for me. Otherwise, I ended up with a dense fog!
- When editing, you will likely need to lower the blacks and increase the white as they will be mixed with other shades and get weaker
- Let your eyes and senses guide you as you move the sliders up and down
Let me know how you make out if you decide to add some motion to the colors of fall and capture them in your camera. Bill Clark is very good with this kind of photography, check out his site and work too.