Sunday color, revisited

Since I have no idea what I’m doing up this early, I’ll just throw up some colors. I should probably rephrase that…

late autumn leaves against red leaves and sky
On a recent outing, we attempted to find some prime autumn colors in a new location, but discovered that there, at least, they’d changed much earlier, and down along the river’s edge the trees were pretty much bare. So during a quick check in another locale, we could at least create some colorful compositions by being selective again, in this case finding two trees with contrasting colors and layering them against the clear sky. The foreground tree was still in the process of changing (which is what makes the concept of “peak colors” so misleading,) but because of this it was producing a nice variety of hues within a meter, all from the same tree and indeed, the same small branch.

In fact, one could even see a variety of color within just a single leaf. The backlighting helped a bit, of course.

single leaf in transition
Now, I would have liked to have gotten an image without the shadow on the right side, and tried. But in order to get it, I had to wait for the breeze to shift the surrounding branches in an appropriate way, and when they did, they also shifted the target leaf out of focus. Obviously, focus was a critical aspect of this particular shot.

It was also critical to the next one, though the effect didn’t quite meet my expectations.

green leaves against other colors
The idea was to have the green foreground leaves in sharp focus with all of the background leaves soft, but the situation wasn’t quite right for it. Here’s a little trick to achieving that. If your foreground subject is well inside the halfway point between your camera and the background (in other words, closer to you than it is to the background,) then you have a much better chance of getting good ‘focus isolation’ with a large aperture. In this case, cropped a little from the original, the green subject leaves were just a little too distant, and even f4 couldn’t blur out the background leaves enough. Ah, well, maybe later.

As I type this, we have frost conditions outside but it’s still quite dark, and about the time the light should be getting ideal, I have to be someplace. I might have a small window to work with, so maybe something will appear later, but there will still be plenty of opportunities to chase compositions of that nature later on. We’ll just see what happens.

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