Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada by Barbara Levy

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Picture Story

As an artist, who enjoys pairing poetic images with poetic words, I love using my 300 mm prime lens to not only capture the incredible wildlife around me, but also to share a more intimate vision of the landscape here on the beautiful island where I live. For the “Macro and Close up” Assignment I felt that this close up photo would take viewers into a deeper experience of autumn. Here is the story of how I discovered the image I have shared with you.

In mid-October, I was down in Burgoyne Provincial Park in the south end of Salt Spring Island, to first, capture wide shots of the spectacular scene before me—one of the long, rust-coloured heritage barns nestled in these massive maples, ensconced in rich saffrons and burnt oranges, Mount Maxwell acting as the perfect backdrop as it rose to touch the clear, blue sky.

But then, I switched over to my telephoto lens hoping to capture portraits of our sweet songbirds in the autumn foliage. I followed a tiny Ruby-crowned kinglet until a different scene caught my attention — these exquisitely lit tendrils seeming to sing a soft lullaby to playful leaves. I was actually peering at "old man's beard” lichen (which I later learned, "...tends to only grow in those regions where the air is clean and of high quality…”) which had draped itself over the branches of one of the venerable Bigleaf maples. I was entranced by that warm, inviting glow and I wanted to convey this feeling, this calm settling over me like autumn leaves settling on the ground, being in the midst of this fiery crescendo.

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