Photo Specs: Nikon D200, Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 100, f/2.0 @ 1/2000. Developed with PSE8 & RadLab
Date taken: October 7, 2011
I was right on schedule with this project when I stopped at my parents’ house to pick up their mail while they were away for a weekend. This is the home where I grew up, so I was sure to find something interesting to photograph.
During this week, the fall colors were absolutely stunning. As I mentioned in the last 365 post, I didn’t want to take the typical calendar-worthy shot of the fields ready for harvest surrounded by beautiful fall trees. That’s when I looked, I mean really looked at this tree. This is the tree that has withstood decades of frigid, winter winds that howled around the house. This is the tree that faithfully announced the promise of spring; quietly budding as we rushed out the door. This is the tree that my brother and I climbed each summer as soon as we were tall enough to reach the bottom limbs. This is the tree that provided the piles of leaves for us to rake, romp in, and re-rake every autumn. With all these memories in mind, I wanted to do something more than just snap a picture. I wanted to make a photo that felt ethereal, other-worldly, or dreamy. So what I did was made the tree the secondary subject and focused more on the interplay between the light and shadow. I paid close attention to where these elements were falling in the frame. Then when developing, I was very careful to punch up the contrast so that the shapes of the shadows became more prominent, but also careful to not to lose the details of the leaves on the ground. This was a difficult balance to find. If you take time to notice, you may find my shadow in there. This is appropriate, I think. The placement of my shadow is no accident.