Every year at this time, I experience a photographic “high.” Why? Fall Color! With a heightened sensitivity for “seeing,” I notice color every place I go, in all shapes and forms. Here in Michigan, there are many cash crop farms and the soybeans turn a bright yellow at first and then drop their leaves to yield a toasty brown colored plant, ready for harvest. Formerly green cornstalks turn shades of yellow and gold. And the farm fields are spotted with the red, green and occasional yellow, orange and blue of farm implements. Elsewhere, in the Southwest, there are the bright colors of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, which is held the first week in October.
Every year at this time, I experience a photographic “high”
“Wait a minute,” you say. “That’s not ‘Fall color!'” It is to me, and is part of why I love this time of the year so much. O.k., I also see the changing foliage of Sumac, Maple, Ash, Beech and Oak trees. And there is a special quality of the light this time of year. As the days grow shorter, the angle of the sun is lower and the quality of light warmer. The atmospheric conditions often create high, puffy clouds, foggy conditions, and sometimes even more dramatic skies. And this quality of light phenomena generally extends the hours of shooting somewhat. So what’s not to love about Fall shooting?
Fall, in my view, creates the best conditions for images all around the U.S. (maybe even in the world). My own experience is not a broad as I would like, but I have made nice Fall color images in the Southwest, the Midwest, the Northeast and parts of the Middle Atlantic. I still need to go to the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast.
What’s not to love about Fall shooting?
New England is the place my prejudice is most strongly demonstrated. My favorite place in the world to photograph Fall color is Vermont, and I probably have more images of Vermont than any other place, all taken in a total of less than 4 weeks! I have made many images there and hope to make many more in the years to come. While I haven’t photographed New Hampshire, I know it holds similar image potential to Vermont. Upstate New York (the Adirondacks) holds its own special charm. I have not yet photographed there, but would heartily recommend it and will certainly be there one day myself.
Maine has to be a close second. My sole trip there yielded some nice images of a “different” New England than I knew, and merely whetted my appetite for future trips for photographs (not to mention, Lobster).
The Michigan (Upper Peninsula) deserves at least “honorable” mention (if not equal). It is perhaps the most geographically diverse of the colorful Fall foliage opportunities (rivaled perhaps by Maine), and its combination of soils and climate yields some pretty awesome fall foliage images. I blogged about Michigan last week and included some of my own images of the U.P.
My biggest regret about Fall is that is it so fleeting
Our West has its own kind of “color” which, while very different from the brilliant reds, oranges and bronzes of the Northeastern United States, are spectacular in their own right. The bright yellows, accented by more limited and muted oranges and reds, contrast very nicely against the substantial evergreen population, often in mountain settings. And the “colors” of the Southwest, especially, which are less traditional “Fall foliage,” are also fun to photograph and add wonderful accent and contrast. And we cannot forget Alaska. My own trip to Alaska was in the Spring, but others I know, including my friends, and talented photographers, Al Utzig and Mark Graf, have captured the spectacular, special kind of Fall foliage Alaska blesses us with.
My biggest regret about Fall is that is it so fleeting. I feel a sense of urgency and find myself stopping the car and yanking out the tripod more often during this time of the year.
For the next several weeks, I will be MIA. I travel to California the first week in October and West Virginia the second, meaning that I will be away, hopefully photographing, for the next 3 weekends. When I get back, I am even more hopeful to have new images and maybe even some new insights to share with you, as well as some of the images I have already made during the past couple weekends. Please enjoy the Fall photography season and for heaven’s sake get out there and shoot!
Filed under: MUSINGS, PHOTOGRAPHY | Tagged: American West, Bernard Maine, boats, chili ristra, chilis, color, fall, fall color, Fall Foliage, foliage, lobster, lobstering, Maine, Michigan, New England, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Northeast, U.P., Upper Peninsula, Vermont |