I thank you all for taking time to visit with me. I’m hoping to share with you my amazing journey through the beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes of the Western United States. Each time I gaze through my viewfinder, I am touched on a deep and personal level by the world I see. I hope you get to experience those very same emotions as you follow along with me. I also hope you find some usefulness in the tips I share with you. They were hard learned, but quite handy as I trudged across the many streams and sand dunes. I also want to introduce you to a few absolutely incredible people who are working hard right here in San Diego County to preserve this remarkable ecosystem. Lastly, as an avid runner, I’d like to share a few of the quirky, but awesome scenes I happen to come across on my early morning runs. I’m truly excited to begin this journey with you, and I’m hoping you begin to view the environment around you with the same loving eyes that I do. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I’d love to hear and see YOUR journeys – so please share!
“We all are bundles of electric waves or streams of particles – proton, neutron, and electrons. If a piece of metal can be transformed into electric or magnetic waves, so can a string of sound, a thought, and a desire.”
- Girdhar Joshi, Some Mistakes Have No Pardon.
"The past is like an anchor holding us back.
You have to let go of who you are to become who you will be."
Since it is officially fall (my favorite season to go out and shoot all the beautiful color nature is creating), I thought I would make a blog post about photographing the colors of autumn. I would like to share a few tricks that I have learned.
Admittedly, we are not living in the prime locations for foliage photography like the Northeast, or the Southeast, or the Midwest. Those are the regions that produce the most striking and vibrant colors. Locally, though, there is still a lot of beautiful color that will happen a little later in the season -- especially up in the Laguna Mountains you will see bracken fern which turns golden brown and creates a nice contrast against the green forest and in the Cuyamaca State Park you will mostly see black oak trees.
During the autumn months from September to November, the trees start to change in color. The green leaves turn into vibrant yellows, oranges, reds, and rich browns. Each type of tree has its own special color, and it can vary from year to year for each individual tree. When the leaves change color, the chlorophyll -- which gives leaves their green color -- begins to break down, allowing for the masked pigments to show up. Every leaf color derives from a unique pigmentation process and its color change varies wildly depending on the right conditions of light and temperature.The colors usually flow from North to South and in colder higher altitude regions, it starts sooner.The colors usually arrive at the coastlines toward the end of fall.
1. Shoot in Daylight white balance so the colors will not be neutralized as with AWB.
2. Use your RGB histogram instead of the luminosity histogram so you can see if specific channels are clipped and correct as necessary. Find complimentary colors such as reds and greens for example.
3. Good color isn’t enough. Try to find compositions that help the photograph. Look for dominant elements such as one colorful tree, on a plain or some sort of field, vegetation, or a single leaf isolated against a contrasting blue sky.
4.Experiment with a shallow depth of field.
5. Try more unusual and different angles. Go down low or climb up high.
6. Use a zoom or a longer lens and crop in tighter.
7. I especially love the morning light, just before the sun appears and a little while after it has risen, but the late afternoon and evening light is gorgeous as well. An overcast day will bring out the colors even more. These are probably the best times for me, but you can experiment with other types of light as in the middle of the day, or try to backlight your scene and create sunbursts with a small aperture while shooting directly into the sun. This can also add a lot of atmosphere to the shot especially when some sort of mist or haze is present.
8. Don’t let bad weather hold you back from photographing. Often times in autumn it will rain, storm, or even snow. Rain will bring out the colors even more in the foliage and clouds will add to the images. Take advantage of the atmospheric conditions of fall, such as the morning mists that can add mood and atmosphere to the photographs. In windy conditions, try to experiment with motion blur by putting your camera on a tripod and focus on something static such as a tree trunk. Then use a longer shutter speed and have the surrounding vegetation start to create a soft blurry veil around the focal point such as the static tree stumps. This is perfect for creating more impressionistic photographs.
I have given you some tips that hopefully will help you to go out there and capture some fall colors!
Most important for me, as always is to be present and connect fully with nature. Take a walk through the forest, notice the smell of the foliage, touch the fallen leaves, feel the the different textures of the vegetation, notice the array of colors…Or just sit still and observe for a moment, let the wind blow through your hair, let your eyes gaze softly and see where this takes you. Sometimes one of these moments captures me and that is the one I feel compelled to photograph. I think those are the moments that I connect on a deeper level with what is.
One of my photographs was selected for the APA San Diego "Untitled" show. The event takes place on October 25th from 7-10 pm at 3RDSPACE. It is a one night only exhibit including a print auction.
I see a road trip in my near future, even if its only for two days.
I'm longing to experience the beautiful fall colors!
"Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end"
- Scott Adams
I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone that came out to the photo show on Saturday. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves and had a great time. If any of you are interested in continuing to follow my project blog, "In my footsteps - A photographic journey through the natural world," I encourage you to please do so. I have some exciting adventures coming up, and I will be visiting more SDHC preserves and posting photos from my visits. Remember, many of these areas are not open to the public, so these photos are a sneak peak into the hidden natural world right here in San Diego! You can follow me by subscribing to my blog (click the orange RSS feed button in the right column), liking my Facebook Fan page if you haven't done so already, or following me on Twitter.
Photos from Saturday's event were taken by my friend, the very talented photographer, Albertine, of "Art of Albertine." They will be coming out soon, and I will share them with you. A few of the show pieces are still available and can be viewed at 3RDSPACE by making an appointment with me. Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (619) 392-2120 if you are interested in viewing them in person. I can send you the information sheet of what is still available along with a photo of the actual art work. The pieces are discounted and a percentage of the sales will benefit the San Diego Habitat Conservancy. Several people have also asked me if there is a way to purchase my work online. YES, there is: BUY PRINTS. In my online store, the photographs are available in a variety of sizes and finishing options, though at full price.
Overall, the event was a huge success with over 250 people coming together to support a great cause in an awesome space! This 3 hour show took months of planning and would not have been possible without support from the community and many of my best friends. I especially wanted to thank Peter McConnell, the owner of 3RDSPACE, for his incredible support and mentorship. 3RDSPACE Co-working and Club for the Creative is a beautiful place that is very supportive of both its members and the community. If you would like to learn more about it, sign up for the 3RD MONTHLY newsletter.
I would like to give a big thanks to the GreenGo Grilled Cheese Gastro Truck for coming out. The food was absolutely delicious! The musical performance by Lightning Starts Fire was fantastic and people kept asking me about Indio the entire night! What a talented and amazing young performer.
I also wanted to thank APA San Diego, Medium Festival, and MOPA for showing support for emerging local artists. APA has a photo show,"UNTITLED," coming up at 3RDSPACE on October 25, 2014. This is a very exciting event; the showcased photography will be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the Museum of Photographic Art. Please come on out if you have time. Also, the Medium Festival of Photography is happening right here in San Diego from October 23-26, 2014. I am really excited about attending this year's event! MOPA's current exhibit, "After Ansel Adams," is still on display until September 28, 2014, so make sure to check it out as well.
Again, THANK YOU all for coming out and making this event such a big success. I have some other exciting projects coming up, and I hope to share them with you when the time comes.
Success in running means to leaving your comfort zone, learn to love your discomfort zone!
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