There is something about woods and water that, when combined in a location, relaxes the mind and body, allowing me to be much more creative. This location is not well known to most people in the area and, therefore, is rarely photographed. The warm tones of the ferns have turned a wonderful shade of golden yellow and rusty brown and were illuminated by the low angle of the afternoon sun. This is what initially caught my eye.
The challenge in taking a photo in this spot is to try to keep the chaos to a minimum. Focusing instead on the textures of the grass, the tree trunks, and ferns while trying to resist the urge to photograph the entire tree canopy helped simplify the composition. The river was mirror-smooth, and the reflection of the trees was crystal clear, but including that feature just made the image too busy and distracting, so I cropped that portion out. The biggest challenge was finding the best grouping of trees along the river bank.
It's not a big area, and there are plenty of less photogenic trees with small twisted trunks that would create tension in the composition. Then, there is the decision of which angle to shoot from. Standing by the roadside, you look downstream. The view is pleasant enough, but the light directly behind you creates too much contrast. I chose to shoot from across the river where, from that viewpoint, the trees were side-lit, and the background forest was darker, which allowed the gray tree trunks to stand out and gave the image more depth.
Sure, autumn colours of bright yellows, oranges, and reds are pretty, but the warm golden hues of deep golden yellow and rusty browns should not be overlooked.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor