Sunday, October 11, 2009

Autumn Colors About To Burst Across Virginia

Make Plans Now For This Year's Parade Of Colors!

In previous years I have missed much of an incredible and inexpensive opportunity, and so I plan to do things differently this year. More than just a day trip! Virginia has endless possibilities for great fall photography. The Fall Foliage Network make it easy plan trips around the Mid-Atlantic, capturing great photographs with unusual compositions.   You can visit them online at . According to the Oct. 10 2009 report, there is little to see so far, but the good news is that there is still time to plan for the burst of color that is about to happen.

I try to capture images that show color in connection with known structures, or against architectural features common to colonial construction.  For me, it is a way explore, photograph and escape the office for a few days!  Here's one of my favorite images of a well known Virginia Landmark. Do you know what it is?

Hint: If you've ever been to C'Ville, you know!

Some of the prettiest and most colorful trees in autumn are the maples. That's what you are looking at here, at the University of Virginia. Other colleges have given me inspiration to capture other architectural gems. Virginia has dozens of colleges and hundreds, if not a thousand landmarks,  so a photographer could wonder around the Commonwealth and never run out of subjects. With the addition  of GPS the whole process became much easier, especially when it comes to parking, finding gas and food in the middle of nowhere!

In the early 1990's I visited Colonial Williamsburg and took a summertime photograph of the Wren Building at the College of William and Mary.  A few years later, I returned and captured a photograph of the same scene, from a similar angle of view. This time it was November, and the trees show a  remarkable array of natures color.

I already had a project in mind for the two images, that by repeating visits to Williamsburg I would create another "Seasons"  set.  In my studio, "Seasons" refers to a set of photos taken at different times of the year. A very popular series of the Nicolson Store, also in Williamsburg, can be viewed at our studio. 

The fall season is almost upon us, apparently delayed a bit this year. I expect October 20-29 to be the peak of color in the mountain areas of Virginia. Low lying areas a bit later east of the Blue Ridge, while western areas the leaf drop will have occurred by then. For a more relaxing tour this year, a few vineyards are on my list, a welcome respite from touring Virginia Beach again! Barboursville Vineyards in Central Virginia is close enough to visit on a day trip from Virginia Beach, as is The Williamsburg Winery. If you do go to Barboursville, be sure to check out the ruins!  This photograph is simple composition, the descending fence line helps to draw your eye into the scene, and provides some perspective to just how tall the trees are!

In 2000, I had just purchased my first Digital camera. As it was my first venture into digital photography, I didn't want to spend much, so I settled on a Fuji with a fixed lens (not SLR). The 3 MP camera produced remarkable 17 MB files that made pretty decent 16 x 20 images.  Out with this new toy on my last real autumn tour (until this year) I forced myself to continue a trip around the state, even though it was raining most of the time! Much to my surprise, I learned a lot about low even lighting and how to make the most of a bad situation!  After a day of misty weather, I came across Goshen Pass, near Roanoke. The scene stunned me at first, it was just what I had been searching for. On a bright day, this photograph would not look anything like this! The low light was perfect, allowing for well saturated colors.  The misting rain was creating foggy conditions and low cloud cover at the mountain top adds to this photographs appeal.

If you'd like to see more of my Autumn photographs, visit my website now, and then check back again in November for new images! 

BTW - For you William and Mary fans - here's another "Season" photo of the Wren Building, a rare heavy snow in 2000. Very different feel from the autumn photo. BRRRR!

No comments:

Post a Comment