Out chasing fall colors in a new, old location, about two-and-a-half years back (the same outing as this one,) I did a grab shot of leaves floating on a slow-moving section of creek, with the sun illuminating some trees in the reflections in the water, and upon returning home, I realized I really liked the shot, but should have done it better – better focus, for one, picking out individual distinct leaves, but also some playing around with the depth, and perhaps selecting focus on the reflections instead of the leaves themselves. But the appearance and colors and such were all pretty interesting, so a few days later I resolved to try again.
And I probably should have known better, because I can recognize how just about all of the elements in this image are dependent on conditions – most especially, the right light and angles and so on. There was probably, in fact, only a half-hour out of that day when I could have pulled this off, given the light angle and the trees and so on, but when I’d returned, the light wasn’t as bright anyway, being affected by scattered clouds, and the leaves were no longer falling upon the water. Too, had a stiff wind come up at any point in the intervening time, the background colors reflected in the water could all have changed as the leaves were stripped from the trees. I am left with kicking myself for not realizing the potential while I was there, and shooting a few more compositions with greater attention to detail.