Oct 07 2009

Backcountry Photography:
Color Sense for a Colorful Season

Photographers look forward to fall like kids counting the days to Christmas. With the passing of the autumnal equinox, every bend in the road, trail, or river discloses a new panel in an endless tapestry rich in primary colors. Each headland looming out of the fog dissolves into a brooding chiaroscuro. And the mountain pond you reached only after sweating over a long portage or by grinding up a rough road is magically transformed into a golden pool of light, perfectly framed by a dark surround of wood and rock. You can even discard the head net that’s been your constant companion since April. No longer do you have to view the world around you though a gauze curtain. In short, it’s almost impossible to shoot a bad picture at this time of year.

Or is it? If you’re anything like me, you’ve often returned from a fall trip to find that the photos that looked so good on your camera’s preview screen now seem a little less than perfect. The colors are there, to be sure. Yet something vital is missing. Sometimes you can recover what was lost with the help of a “digital darkroom,” and I’ll have more to say about this in a later column. But it’s much better to get everything just right in the first place. So let’s see how to shoot autumn photos that really rock the boat… Read more…


Fallen Leaves on the Gravel Bar

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