One of the interesting things about photographing autumn scenes (or almost any landscape scenes, for that matter) is that, depending on the lighting and weather, they can produce a whole range of emotional responses. Scenes shot on misty or overcast days where the colors are saturated but muted have a soulful but very pensive and almost sad look to them. The same scenes shot on a sunny day with a bright blue sky are almost bursting with cheerfulness.
Of all the autumn photos I've shot recently, the ones that stand out the most to me are a few dozen that I shot of a small clump of ginko (also called maidenhair) trees in the center of town. I shot the pictures in a period of about 10 or 15 minutes and I get a happy feeling whenever I look at them. How can you look at the colors in this shot and not feel uplifted? The day after I shot this photo the clouds moved in for several days and I drove by those trees again; while their leaves were still in tact and their colors were rich, the scene was greatly dimmed, as if someone had pulled the plug on the tree, shutting off the glow. Had I seen those muted colors and the gray sky before I had seen the electric colors of the shot here, I never cold have imagined how luminescent the scene had been before.
Light and weather play profound roles in our emotional interpretation of a scene, as does the color of the sky. To get a wide range of emotional climates in your photos, it's worth exploring in all kinds of weather--especially when the autumn colors come to town.
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