On my recent trip to VT and NH for fall foliage, I was joined by fellow NPN member, @Alan_Kreyger and we had a very enjoyable and productive trip. Many of the days during the trip involved shooting in rainy, and/or foggy weather, and that was fine with us.
This pond in Crawford Notch, NH can be a dramatic place to photograph sunrise, it is located at the bottom of a valley surrounded by mountains. But on this morning there was no sunrise, just fog rising off the pond and drifting up the mountainsides. One of the things that I enjoy most about photographing autumn in northern VT and NH is that it is on the edge of the boreal forest, so you get an interesting mixture of spruce and maple/beech trees together. I think having the dark green of the spruce trees mixed in makes the colors of the deciduous trees even more interesting. I decided to make the spruce trees a prominent part of this composition, since I liked their shapes.
A long 3 second exposure created a dreamy look in the fog, and I was able to get away with it since there was no wind and the trees were still.
Specific Feedback Requested
Any critique or comments are welcome.
Is this a composite: No
Canon 5D MK4, Canon 70-200mm f4 lens, at 123mm, ISO 200, 3.2 sec at f16.
Yes, I think you have the feel you’re after. Very dreamy, lovely colours and overall the composition is very nice. The stand of spruce provide the visual mass necessary to balance the strong yellows on the left. However, for me, the image feels cramped. I would like to see more of that lovely golden yellow field on top (especially where the tops of the spruce edge towards the top of the frame) - and bottom - a little more of the reflections (I might also consider bringing the brighter yellow reflections, bottom left, down a tad).
Rising fog. I wish we had more of it here, or any for that matter. It’s a dreamy scene as many fog scenes are. I love the subdued colors and you’re right about those spruce trees. They do provide contrast and variability in such a scene. I don’t think I would change anything really. Just a wonderful image.
First, of all the ponds we visited this may be my favorite. To your point the mix of spruce and deciduous trees is really nice. Also, it it really nice for reflections and has other interesting trees, stumps and dead fall that offer interesting composition options as well. The setting is just idyllic.
IMO the scene you composed is the one that grabs the viewer as you stand on the edge of the pond and take in the sunrise. I have no suggestions for improvement. Also, I like your treatment of the colors and fog. Having shot this with you, I felt this was one of the more difficult fog scenes to get right in post.
Ed, very compelling image. I love the atmosphere and the color variations… Breathtaking. Were the furthest trees in the BG sunlit? Or is it just the effect from the fog? I love the separation. The only suggestion that I would make is to reduce the luminosity of the yellow reflection on the most lower left corner.
Lucky for you and @Alan_Kreyger to meet up. Hopefully we can arrange a get together on this side of the coast soon, too!
Yes, this was taken just after sunrise, when the trees on the mountainside were being lit up, while the spruce and pond below were still in shade. This alternate view of the scene gives you an idea of how this composition was extracted by zooming in.
I met Alan on a David Kingham workshop, and he was interested in doing New England autumn. So we planned a photo trip to VT and NH this year. Adhika, I know we originally discussed meeting at Death Valley in December 2020. I can’t do it this year, but maybe next winter (Dec 2022 or Jan 2023).
@Ed_McGuirk - As I say, lovely image but, yes, I do prefer the second with a little more room. But with the second one, I’d be tempted to pull down the brightness and perhaps saturation in the reflection lower left.
Luckily I’m a big believer in bracketing compositions, and have the luxury of having some choices. Sometimes the differences don’t become as apparent until I’m back on the computer. I’d rather shoot several comps on scene while the light is right, and sort it out later at home. I think all three of these comps have some merit in their own way.
As you already mentioned it is a good thing to have some different options to choose from. All of them are quite beautiful, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be your second post with a wider view of the pond as it just feels right to me. I do like the extra breathing room and I find that little island on the left to be a key element in the scene as it balances out the evergreens on the right side. Of course that fog doesn’t hurt either.