Unlike some autumn landscapes I’ll be posting in the future, this collection is all about aspens! Oh, upcoming posts will include aspens too, along with mountains of course. Fall is very fleeting here and I have been getting out as much as possible to capture it, before some friends visit, and before its over. I’ve been a little absent from blogging for that reason. I fell early in the season and damaged my favorite lens, a 24-105mm. I’ve missed it but it probably has been good, since it has me getting even better acquainted with other lenses. Most of my shooting has been with my 70-200mm f/2.8 which is an excellent lens. For other shots I’ve used a wide 16-35mm, 50mm prime and sometimes the big 150-600mm for far away captures. No matter what lens I’m using it is always fun to photograph aspen tees. I love them and many people tell me they do too! I hope you enjoy this selection … thanks for visiting.
My previous post was about the first location a friend was kind enough to share, Mystic Falls. Here is the second location … an usual grouping of curved aspen trees! Once again it was a little tight sharing a small space with seven other photographers but taking turns, it worked out all the same. We were lucky to have some puffy clouds that diffused the sunlight that was fast becoming a bit harsh. Straying and swaying from the norm I love the character of these curvy aspen trees and tried as many different compositions as I could. To protect this fragile environment from too many visitors the location is semi-secret. Not wanting to be the one to ‘ruin it’ my friend asked that we not divulge it on the internet. We get a lot of photographers here, and especially in the fall so I can certainly agree with that request. This is another place that will look different in other seasons.
Speaking of Bears …
There’s been several bear sightings this spring in places where they are not normally seen. Last week there were sightings close to home, in the neighboring townships of Medford and Atco, New Jersey. Reactions seem mixed and I am not sure if they are trying to find and relocate the bear(s) or not. In the Smoky’s we were able to watch and photograph bears on a handful of occasions. As we went around the loop we would scour the forest for them. I kept a long lens on my older 40D so I would be ready if we saw one. It was difficult since the majority of the sightings were at dusk when they were grazing on the young vegetation along the Cades Cove loop road. It was dark, in the woods and our ISO’s had to go way up in order to let in enough light to maintain the fastest shutter speeds possible, which were still not quite fast enough. One mid-day we came upon a group of people and a ranger looking up to a distant tree where a bear was eating some bugs. My friend and I decided to go up a little further and walk across an adjacent field to get our own view. The bear was some distance away and we fired off some shots when all of a sudden it stopped, looked directly at us and scrambled down the tree. It disappeared into the stream and bushes below … and we backed out! Another time I was shooting a bear from no more than 12 feet away while leaning on the hood of the car. The bear stopped eating, looked at me, sniffed the air, looked at me again … and I backed up! On the last morning we saw a mother and cub but it was very dark with a bad storm ready to let loose. There was a ranger there allowing people to get quite close. Doing my best in the low light, here are a few photos that at least prove we saw bears, along with a couple of other creatures we met in The Cove.
Here’s another image from the Catskills that I thought I would share. I used a slow shutter speed and zoomed during the exposure. I was faced with a birch grove that was kind of cool but lacked that ‘certain something’. I decided to loosen up a little and play. (This is similar to another forest zoom image I posted under the title ‘Impressions’ back in March.)
In my last post, ‘Time to Play’ Terry commented that I should ‘post more nuggets’ from the workshop that she, Lou and I attended, so here it goes. Eddie Soloway spoke of creating images with limited focus and even out of focus. By doing this we achieve images with a more general feeling. For instance, a ‘feeling of forest’ rather than a specific forest. Below are 2 images I created while playing around with moving the lens during the exposure. Some photographers doing this type of work include Eddie Soloway, Tony Sweet, William Neill and Bruce Haley, just to name a few. (They all have websites easily found by googling.) The first image, ‘Forest Memories’ was created by zooming out during the exposure. And the second image, ‘Forest Dreams’ was created by panning vertically during the exposure. Another technique is to make multiple exposures with slight camera movement then put them together. And still another technique is to take one image in focus and one out of focus and then combine them, creating a halo affect. To me these images and others like them are impressions. I looked up the definition and it seems fitting: Impression – An indistinct notion or recollection.