Along the Trail
Late October (2018), I was hiking through the local state forest one morning, observing the fall color. The sky was quite cloudy, though giving an opening to the eastern morning sun periodically.
Though much of this trail is in the woods, a short section skirts an open field, which hosts a variety of trees sprinkled sporadically throughout.
Being late in the autumn season, many of the colorful leaves had already descended to the forest floor. In the field, a couple of maples still retained their fall color foliage.
On this morning, as I was close to walking out of the field, the sunshine danced across the trunk of the nearby maple. One tree further back in the field provided additional color, particularly against the grey sky.
I couldn’t just walk past this wonderful image.
On my early morning daily hikes, I often carry only one lens with me. It’s a way to challenge myself.
On this day, I had the 50mm f/1.2 L lens, without a tripod.
As I viewed the scene, I wanted to capture the colors of the second maple, but do so in a not-so-direct manner. It was also important to put this color against the grey sky.
With that thought, I then turned to the nearby maple. The sun was casting shadows across the trunk. This tree trunk became the primary element.
The soft morning light on the trunk first grabs the viewer’s attention. The shadows cause one to hesitate for a few seconds on that trunk, then follow the branch on the right to the fall color of the distant maple. The remaining branches frame this maple.
- File ID: PHP_IMG_14729
- 1Ds Mark III, Canon 50 mm f/1.2 L USM
- focal length 50 mm
- ISO 320, 1/8000 second, f/1.4
- spot metering, manual, hand-held
- developed in Lightroom
As a side note, I normally would use (and prefer to use) a tripod and shoot at ISO 50. On this morning, I did not have my tripod, and raised the ISO accordingly.
Pike Lake Unit, Kettle Moraine State Forest, Hartford, Wisconsin