Quabbin Reservoir, Massachusetts, USA by Ed McGuirk

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Picture Story

New England is world famous for it’s brilliant fall colors. But in Springtime, the trees also put on a beautiful display of color that can rival it’s autumn cousin. Pigments from anthocyanins, the substance responsible for the brilliant hues of autumn, also create warm, rich colors in the buds, flowers and leaves of trees before they produce chlorophyll and turn green. Sometimes it is almost hard to believe that these warm hues are from springtime and not autumn.

This image was captured in late May on a rainy day in the Quabbin Reservoir region of central Massachusetts. I was attracted to the beautiful mosaic of spring colors present in this scene. I liked the contrast of the white blossoms of the flowering apple tree against the yellow, orange and green of the maple and beech trees. The rainy day created perfect conditions to showcase these spring colors. The overcast light was soft and even, and the low level of contrast allowed the foliage colors to stand out better. I used a polarizing filter to remove glare from the wet leaves and enhance their saturation, allowing the colors to be shown at their best. I also chose to use a 70 -200mm telephoto lens at 200mm to compress the perspective of the scene. This allowed me to juxtapose the flowering apple tree in the foreground against the lovely array of colors on the hillside behind it.


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