While spending a lovely autumn afternoon on the grounds of Cantigny, I saw this leaf on the ground and, naturally, having my camera at the ready I made an exposure. I was drawn to the way the purple of the leaf played off of the dark, rich dirt...and the juxtaposition of the life/vibrance in the leaf against the earth.
While on a photo walk in Wicker Park (Chicago), I couldn't help but pause and photograph this scene. I just loved the way the yellow leaf had landed on the chess table. That, combined with the overcast morning, really gave this scene a distinctive mood and feel. I know that my 85mm lens is a champ at capturing subtle colors and light, so I put that on, opened the aperture all the way, and shot.
Having an intimate knowledge of one's lenses--understanding their strengths as well as their limitations--opens up new creative worlds. It gives us the opportunity to make choices that with help to improve our work. It's just as much a part of the artistic process as composition and subject choice.
I love going on photo walks, particularly when there is no agenda. On a recent walk with a photographer friend of mine, we ambled through the Wicker Park neighborhood in Chicago. We shot whatever grabbed our eyes, and we walked where ever the damp wind blew us.
At one point, we found ourselves passing through an alley. I happened to look to my right and saw this scene just waiting to be photographed. First, the diffused light from the overcast day really made the scene special. But then the interesting interplay between the man-made and nature grabbed me. The fact that I could wrangle some fun word-play into the title was just a bonus.
I was wrapping up a photo walk and began heading to my car. On the way there, I happened to notice this scene on the other side of a little water way. I knew I couldn't pass it up so I made the photo. As it turned out, it was one of the ones I particularly liked from that afternoon.
[flickr id="6333164730" thumbnail="medium" overlay="true" size="small" group="" align="center"] I was walking along the banks of a river and noticed these leafs floating across the surface. I moved from side to side to find an interesting angle and, as I did so, the reflection of the bare trees on the far bank came into play. I couldn't help but notice the visual trick of replacing the fallen leafs back upon the trees. I made a few shots but wasn't very happy with the outcome. At that point, I deliberately underexposed and, voila, I was much happier.
[flickr id="6259872014" thumbnail="medium" overlay="true" size="small" group="" align="center"] Autumn is such a richly visual season. I love finding those quiet yet meaningful moments during a fall day. For this photograph, I pulled over into a forest preserve grove and just wandered around for a while with camera in hand. I eventually came upon this cluster of dead leafs lingering on the branch. I used my ultra-wide angle/fisheye lens to capture the tree in the background to add some context to the scene.
[flickr id="6242837404" thumbnail="medium" overlay="true" size="small" group="" align="center"] I am a big fan of the juxtaposition of nature and man-made. Here, the tendril spills over the side of a brick wall creating a color and texture bonanza.
[flickr id="6238622530" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="small" group="" align="center"] While on a photo walk, I came across this wooden grate across a little stream that led to the mill wheel at Graue Mill. I loved the way the leafs were randomly caught up. The light, too, was just gorgeous.
[flickr id="6060226440" thumbnail="medium" overlay="true" size="small" group="" align="center"] When I'm walking around and I see a leaf on a mosaic table, there is no way I am going to walk right past it and NOT make a photograph. So here it is.
I was driving along when I spotted an entrance to a forest preserve. On a whim, I pulled in and went for a little walk. I noticed this hefty branch that had fallen in the clearing, and particularly liked the way the trees behind it played off of it in a pleasing way. I put my Lensbaby on my camera with the notion of emphasizing the branch while adding a touch of visual interest to the background trees as they swept up toward the sky.
When my wife and I put up a new fence in our yard, a little corner where a bush used to be ended up being empty. We decided to make a little gnome village there, and so we are always on the lookout for gnomes. While in Spring Green, WI recently, we stopped at a roadside stand that sold statuary. We found this guy and the mushroom, and so he made it into this spot.
I was struck by the beautiful blanket of leaves in our yard, so naturally I got out my camera and made some photographs.
To read more about my on-going quest to make a photo-a-day, every day, in 2009--my Project 365--please take a moment to check out my post from December 30, 2008 appropriately titled, "Project 365" as well as my 50 day update, similarly appropriately titled, "50 Days? Already?" my more cryptically titled 100 day update, "Day 100...or The Last-Call, Whiskey-Soaked Plan That Didn't Die," the rather pedestrian-titled half-year update, "And in a Blink, a Half a Year is Gone…," and the verbosely titled, "A Hard Time Seeing the Trees for the Forest –or- What I’ve Been Learning these Past 300 Days."
It was one of those beautiful autumn days, and I made my way out into the yard for a quick session of making photos. Here the satellite cable, gutter, downspout, and brick wall all make for an interesting counterpart to the sky and changing tree.
Made with a Lensbaby Composer (with the Plastic Lens Optic insert) mounted on a Canon 5D Mark II.