Seeing Red, Chattanooga, TN 2009
Living in South Florida, one misses the seasons. I have wonderful childhood memories on Long Island, NY of raking autumn leaves into a pile and then jumping in with reckless abandon. Now, on those occasions that I have been able to head north during the fall season, I do my best to photograph the changing foliage in all its glory. A crucial consideration for success is scheduling your visit with the peak color change in any given year for any particular location. There are web sites and telephone numbers that provide information on the timing and intensity of the changing colors. The degree of cold and amount of rain are factors that effect when the leaves change and to what extent. Differing altitudes also factor into the equation. There is nothing worse than reaching a location past its peak and being stuck shooting bare trees (I’ve been there and you end up shooting a great deal of black and white).
When you do time your visit correctly, overcast skies and a polarizing filter bring out the best colors in most Autumn scenes. Compose the image by including something other than just the leaves, in this case a dark tree trunk on top and a gray rock on bottom and to the left. This provides both contrast and perspective in the frame.
Unfortunately for me, there will be no color this year. So for all of you who are actually enjoying the change of seasons, I wish I was there. Instead, I’m just …seeing red.