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on Oct 29, 2012 in Landscape Photography

Fall Color Backlight

Our snow storm last week cleaned out a lot of the remaining fall color on the eastside. There are a couple of pockets of color though, those areas that were protected from our fierce winds. During our weekend workshop, we visited one such pocket of color and as you can see, it was bursting! Well, it was for about a block as on either end, it was just bare trees. Now how do you approach such a shooting opportunity? Normally fall color is captured at some distance and is just an element in a photograph. This calls for distance and long glass or up close with wide angle. But if in a scenario like this, if you ask yourself that all important question, “What’s the subject?” you might come up with a different answer in telling the story of the moment.

If in a canyon there is one small spot that is an explosion of color, how do you say explosion of color? Personally, I get in close physically and tight optically to start with. Shooting with the D4 & 70-200VR2 mostly at 200mm, I got right in on the color. To make that color even more explosive, I shot backlit and I mean, backlit! We were shooting right into the sun! Most were going blind because we were doing that and all were struggling with the sun coming basically right down the barrel. This created flare up the wazoo! That flare flattened the contrast and the contrast is essential in making the photo happen. Spent some time either shading lenses for folks or showing them how to hold their baseball cap on their lens to extend their shade. Then to finish the feel, in ACR, I dropped the Black slider just a tad and something I almost never do, took the Saturation slider to 15. I love this type of fall color shooting, it’s just happy photographs!