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“The best way out is always through.”

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Photographing Autumn Foliage in Reflections

I love cruising around on a sunny autumn day looking for pretty scenes to shoot. One of my favorite local venues is a small pond just a mile up the road from my house. For whatever reason that pond seems to be surrounded by trees of many types (oak, maple, sycamore) that produce a beautiful assortment of colored leaves in autumn. I took this shot while standing on a small dock shooting scenes of the shore at the opposite side of the pond. As I was shooting, I noticed noticed how pretty the scene was if I eliminated the shore itself and just shot the reflection of the trees, so I ended up shooting a few dozen shots of various parts of the reflection.

I was shooting toward the end of the day (my favorite time to shoot almost any landscape) and as the sun got lower the colors on the trees and in the reflection got more and more intense.  In fact, I think the colors in the water were even brighter than in the trees themselves. The trees that are in the reflection face west, toward the setting sun, so that really helps bring out the colors, too. The water was very still--like a mirror--and I think that helped, but I also experimented with throwing pebbles into the pond to create ripples and I like some of those shots as well (and if they weren't buried somewhere in one of my six hard drives, I'd post one of them!). Make sure if you toss things into the water to make ripples that you use rocks so that they sink--otherwise you end up with something floating around in your shots.

If you're out shooting the autumn colors this year, see if you can't find a nice reflection in a pond or a stream. I think that one of the tricks to a good reflection shot is to completely eliminate the source of the reflection and just shoot its mirror image, though again, while working this scene I also shot a lot of photos that included the shore. Hey, digital is free, shoot lots!

My new travel blog. I've recently begun another blog, this one devoted to travel topics. The blog will be a collection of tips, news, ideas and photo tips all related to traveling. And please don't forget to check out my main site from time to time. And, as always, feel free to leave me comments!

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