Nov 232009

Color swatch dark brown Color swtch medium brown Color swatch light brown [¹]

{click images to view large}

Reading the weather forecast last night I thought, “Oh goody, clouds! Maybe there will be a nice sunrise on the lakefront.”

This morning…nope. It was a flat, dull overcast with only tiny waves on the lake. Oh well. At least I showed up. 🙂

On to Plan B. Working with the same combination of lenses as yesterday—the 18-200mm VR zoom with a Canon 500D closeup filter—I discovered something new: getting as close to the subject as possible with the focal length set to wide angle both exaggerated the subject and enhanced depth. That’s similar to what the wide angle alone would do normally, but the closeup lens added a blur to the background while retaining a suggestion of detail. Cool!

The second image today is probably stronger, and it makes me smile so I couldn’t resist processing to share. The first, however, is interesting as a direction I’d like to explore further.

In both cases I added +2EV exposure compensation, letting the sky blow out in favor of the subject.

¹Colors of the day:

  • Dark brown R:100 G:73 B:51
  • Medium brown R:139 G:96 B:51
  • Light brown R:162 G:138 B:109

  12 Responses to “Autumn Meadow”

  1. “This morning…nope. It was a flat, dull overcast with only tiny waves on the lake. Oh well. At least I showed up.”

    April, be reassured, your picture is neither flat nor dull. On the contrary. The colors, golden yellow, grey and cyan, are so well matching together and giving the feeling of November mood.

    What retains my attention was the DOP into your picture.
    Foreground, “middle ground” and background are clearly divided. So, the eye is moving from each other. Your picture is not a static one.There is an alternate mouvement from golden yellow to grey to yellow and grey again. I love the haze in the background: vanishing trees.

    April, I have to go but will be back to comment the 2nd picture and the previous ones that I din’t have time to.

  2. April, I do love the first image. I know what you mean by using a close-up attachment with a wide angle lens – it can make a magic effect with lovely bokeh, which you have here.

    I also love the image of the squirrel eating those red berries.

  3. Pixelle, the time you take to visit and post such perceptive comments is very much appreciated!

    Flo, your energy to keep up with and support the work of so many photographers on different forums is simply astounding. And inspiring! Because it means a great deal; thank you, in both respects.

  4. Back as promised.
    I first thought it was a montage. The squirrel looks to have been added to the tree. For me the the big squirrel in the tiny tree does not work. A feeling of unbalanced proportions that is distracting. Both the squirrel and the tree are interesting and well shot, but separatly.

    April, I do not want to hurt your feelings . On the other hand, I prefer to be honest with you. It’s an opinion among others.

  5. Pixelle, interesting feedback! It doesn’t hurt my feelings at all, and honest critique is quite valuable. From that, I can learn. From “nice shot”, not so much. 🙂

  6. Micheline, believe it or not, squirrels are mostly fur – they really don’t weigh very much at all. If you’ve ever seen one that just got a dunking, you’ll know what I mean.

    That tree is sturdy, so is able to support the seemingly heavy squirrel almost to the tips of its branches.

    So I agree that seeing the “fat” squirrel up there in what looks to be a fragile tree and thinking the way you did when you saw the image, is really one of Mother Nature’s amazing illusions.

    How would you have approached making an image of a squirrel eating up in a tree? I’m wondering what you would use to help “ground” or give more substance to the tree? Now you really have me curious! 🙂

  7. “Micheline, believe it or not, squirrels are mostly fur – they really don’t weigh very much at all”.

    Flo, I know that. I was not talking about reality but visual effect.

  8. Micheline, sorry, I didn’t realize you meant visual effect. So, would you have placed the squirrel lower in the image, perhaps on the lower left third?

    For me, those two stronger, thicker branches that rise vertically from the bottom up to where they almost cross right under the squirrel, are what save the visual effect from being off balance.

    But here again, different people see in different ways. 🙂

  9. Discussion! What fun. 🙂

    What makes me smile is the incongruity[1] of that big, fat round squirrel happily surrounded by little round berries — high in the delicate branches of the tree. I also like that his little black eye echoes a berry, and that the tracery of the tree branches is reminiscent of oriental delicacy versus the weight of the squirrel.

    For me, it’s the play back and forth that creates a humorous juxtaposition. But, I can also appreciate it might create an uneasiness for other viewers.

    [1]: incongruous: lacking in harmony or compatibility or appropriateness

  10. April, squirrels are amusing and interesting critters. I’m constantly amazed at where they can go and what they can do when they get there. Those berries seem too small for a squirrel to bother with, yet apparently they like to eat them.

    I also didn’t remember to mention that I like the little bits of yellow scattered about – the leaves.

  11. Flo: This morning my husband brought his lounge chair in from our porch for winter, and discovered a squirrel had left a half-slice of bread between the folded seat — grocery bag! 🙂

    Thank you for mentioning those touches of yellow leaf. I questioned whether they were a distraction.

  12. I like both.

    As to the first image, it’s interesting. It never occurred to me that an 18-200 + closeup lens could get the same effect as a 20/1.8. Fascinating 🙂

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