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A Photo Gallery of Autumn In Southern California
Yes, We Have Fall Colors In Southern California..
Lights, Camera, Photo Shop, Please!
I am from Northern California, but spent ten years back east, where I attended College. The fall leaves in areas such as Ohio, Vermont, and Maine are legendary. Here in Southern California we do not have the immense scarlet, mauve and amber tones so beloved back east--but we do have our own unique colors. The important things to remember are color, composition and contrast when photographing nature (or anything else for that matter!)
Instead of just snapping a shot of a lovely autumn tree, take it from an interesting angle. Get down on your knees or squat and look up into the tree, capturing the light as it falls down through the leaves. This is a technique that has always worked for me. Instead of following the crowd as they take photos of a lake, for instance, find an intriguing side trail or footpath and capture your own personal viewpoint. Panoramic shots are awesome and wonderful, but the world has many such pictures to view...make your composition something interesting and different from the mainstream.
Some of the autumn photos in my gallery were taken at difficult, slippery angles while standing on wet rocks or banks. The shot may look as peaceful and pristine as a floating swan, but that is far from the truth of the experience. Often I will bend down a lovely branch of leaves and use it as a frame of sorts for the focus of the picture. Ragged, intriguing rocks and funny-looking tree stumps can also be counted on to add drama to the composition. Several of the creek shots were taken with me standing in the water itself, in an area so wild and rugged, bees, thorns and snakes were in the general vicinity. Of course, you do not need to run off to the national forest to find an intriguing autumn photo.
In the photo of the rusted truck, for example, I used something by the side of the road. It has appeal as the pumpkins in the truck give it some charm. I liked the contrast of the light, icy looking snow. For photographers in cities, statues, parks and even stalled cars can provide some drama. Contrast is very important in the artistic world, as without it, everything blends into everything else. A sharp, dark branch in the foreground of your photo will bring out the softness of the scenery you are shooting. Always look for dramatic, vibrant contrast of interest.
In my leaf photo, I found a wet, cold stretch of rock in Forest Falls, and placed the subject where I could create a contrast. I liked the way the fragile leaf looked against the unforgiving rocks, and entitled it Remembrance and Regret, as autumn is often a time of personal reflection. Never be afraid to move things around to get a good shot. Film directors and producers are very adept at this, and you can be too. By composing something original it becomes more and more your own personal statement on reality and beauty.
Photo Lab has given me a new world of color and light to explore..as a frustrated artist I found my abilities would only take me so far. I could sketch, but I rarely liked what I drew. I could paint, but never seemed able to capture the luminous world I wanted to possess. With my trusty Nikon digital camera and my photo lab programs, I can create art from the natural world. You can add shimmer and abstract colors and shapes at will--the important thing to be bold and experiment, and not strink back from exploring the options. If you apply too much vibrance and or color saturation, the worst that can happen is that you can decrease the amount or simply start over.The main point is to enjoy life, enjoy taking pictures and not worry about being too bold or too splashy...it's only a photograph, after all!