Fuji X-T1, EF18-135mm @ 135mm, f/5.6, 1/350 sec, ISO 800
I took a little walk in our backyard to capture a little remaining color and try out my new Fuji 18-135mm lens. The Heucheras in our flower beds are still holding on to their last color. So, I looked around to find something interesting to put in front of them. I found this wilted Japanese Maple branch as a candidate. There was quite a little breeze so I needed to use a high ISO to freeze the motion of the branch. I find there is always something interesting if I am patient and let the image appear.
I think I am going to like the 18-135 as my primary “walk around – go light” lens.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-55mm @ 55mm, f/8.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 400
Happy Thanksgiving to all! We have so very much to be thankful for including this beautiful fall day a couple of weeks ago. Each day is a gift to be lived and enjoyed to its fullest.
This was taken in our back yard in the early morning as the sun was breaking the horizon and shining on a little fresh frost on the ground. I liked how the sparkle from the sunlit frost made small globes of light. I then walked around to get something interesting to put in front. This backlit maple was just what I was looking for. It was a moment to be thankful for.
Yesterday was another beautiful fall day in Bucks County, PA. Late in the afternoon I saw some white billowy clouds coming across the sky. I rushed over to Fonthill Castle and caught about 15 minutes of late afternoon warm sunlight. What attracted me the most on this image were the long shadows casting themselves on the lawn and the castle walls. It was worth the jaunt for the 15 minutes of nice sunlight.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-55mm @ 55mm, f/20, 0.8 sec, ISO 400
Walking outside this time of year in Bucks County, Southeast Pennsylvania is always a real treat. The combination of old structures, interesting landscapes and fall color are abundant and are just waiting to be captured. Each day changes. Colors come and go, always changing. Something new is always just around the corner, or just standing in front of me. Such walks always help me balance the daily challenges and beauty life brings. Time to get out for another walk!
The trees around Fonthill Castle are turning toward their fall brilliance. For the last couple of days I have been going to the castle to catch late afternoon and early morning light as it illuminates the castle walls. This image is a combination of a 0, +1, and -1 exposure blended together. The normal exposure is the base. The +1 exposure was used to lighten the right side of the castle that was in the shade. The -1 exposure was used to tone down a few hot spots on the castle tower. These were blended together using layers and masks in Photoshop. A little tonal contrast in NIK Color EFEX pro was used to finish the image off. I first worked with HDR, but could not come up with a realistic looking image.
This was one of the last shots of the day. Sometimes they are some of the best, at least for me. The hay rake provided a strong near field compositional element. Most images of this bridge are taken from directly on or perpendicular to the bridge. I wanted to get something a little different and catch some of the fall color.
Fuji X-T1, FX18-55 @ 20mm. f/22, 1/10 sec, ISO 400
Knechts Covered Bridge is one of my favorites. It is somewhat hidden off the meandering country roads on what seems to be a single lane remote road. The simplicity of the structure is marred with bright caution and height limit signs. I took the liberty of removing them from the image with Photoshop. If you look close you can see the remnants on the left stone abutment and below the bridge name placard.
Fuji X-T1, EF18-55mm @ 18mm, f/22, 0.5 sec, ISO 400
I was not too creative and made several mistakes with this image. So there are several lessons here. First, as I was walking along the rocks, I hit a slippery area and tumbled down on my knees and elbows. I made sure the camera was safe. After the fall, I lost my focus and interest and only took a few images. Lesson 1: if something happens, take the time to regain composure and then start again. I knew that I had an extreme dynamic range between the sky and the shadows on the bridge and ground. I did not take enough exposures to generate a blended image or HDR. Lesson 2: Take my time to capture the image and lighting that I am looking for. I put on a cheap polarizer on my lens. It leaves a little flare from time to time. I had discovered this before and still put the filter on. Lesson 3: Don’t put anything but good filters over good optics. No filter is better than one that even degrades the image a little. Anyway, this post is a good example of what not to do.
Fuji X-T1, FX55-200mm @ 55mm, f/11, 1/9 sec, ISO 1600
Fall days are a wonderful time to drive around rural Bucks County, PA and enjoy the iconic covered bridges. During the last few days, a friend and I spent late afternoons exploring around the area. For this image of the Loux Covered Bridge, I focused on a composition that did not include bright road signs and caught some of the fall color.
Fuji XT-1, XF55-200mm @ 95mm, f/11, 0.6 sec, ISO 500
Gloomy grey days highlight great fall colors. Add a little artistic flair and voila … out comes an impressionistic painting. The colors here in eastern Pennsylvania are rapidly changing. One day makes a big difference. A great college friend and I took the opportunity to get a little damp and explore some of the countryside and covered bridges here in Bucks County. The colors were great, but most important, just being out with a good friend made the day.