The Hunt for Red October

Autumn 2020 taken 9/28/20 in Crawford Notch, NH

I love red maple trees. They are one of my favorite parts of photographing autumn foliage, and every year I try to find new ways to shoot them. They are the first maples to both turn color and lose their leaves. This image illustrates how crazy early foliage was this year, the red maples in Crawford Notch had significant leaf drop on 9/28, when normally they would be in full color during the first week of October. My hunt ended in September this year instead.

Overall, I liked the pattern of the fallen red leaves and the pine needles. What I’d like input on are the overturned pink leaves. Are there too many of them in this scene ? Are they too distracting? Should they be burned down further than I already have ? I tried to find a comp that minimized the pink leaves, and this was the best that I could do.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any critique or comments are welcome, please have at it !!

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Canon 5D MKIV, Canon 70-200mm f4 lens at 200 mm, ISO 200, 1/13 sec at f16

Brighter pink leaves

Burned Down pink leaves

Rework showing crop eliminating the rock

Hunt for Red October Crop


Ed, a fine collection of autumn fallout here. I prefer the second with the leaves burned down a bit. Excellent name on the image too as a salute to the great Sean Connery.
One ping , one ping only Vasily.

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Ed: Great title :star_struck:! I love chaotic scenes like this that have so much to explore. I do think the burned version is a bit better but I don’t think any more is required. I kind of like the contrasting color palette. Top notch shot. >=))>

Great fall image. It illustrates the confusion on the forest floor. The colors are great and I do like the second image better. The overturned leaves don’t grab your attention like the first image. I don’t think anything more is needed.

Oh I love this color, very very pretty and definitely the second one, Ed. There is a little bit of wabi sabi feel to this: I am not quite sure about the role of the rocks (with pine needles) but it feels very natural.

The burned down version of the leaves works great for me. I am in agreement with @Adhika_Lie on the rock left. I would crop it out and make the scene all about the leaves. Great color and controlled chaos!

@Harley_Goldman @Adhika_Lie @Paul_Breitkreuz @Bill_Fach @Richard_Teller

Thank you all for your comments, I appreciate taking the time to review my image.
Immediately after posting the first image, I knew the bright pinks would not cut it, so I’m glad to see the consensus on the second image.

Paul, I did not think of a tribute to Sean Connery when I posted the image, but mostly likely my title choice was subconsciously influenced by recently reading about him. But either way 007 / Ramius deserves the tribute :+1: :+1:

Adhika, I was not familiar with the concept wabi sabi, but after looking it up I agree it does apply to my image (and many other intimate scenes posted here at NPN).

This scene is from a pool in a shallow river, which is why the rock is there. I think the image works either with or without the rock (there are actually 2 rocks). I thought it was less cliche with the rock included, But the leaf colors and patterns are strong enough that a pure abstract of the leaves works for me too. I have posted a rework above with the crop.

Ed, my initial impression was that the rock being that large and positioned in the ULC made the image seem a little out of balance. I’m really enjoying your repost without it.

This looks definitely better without the rock in my opinion.

I bow to the collective wisdom of the NPN critiquers, the rock is out !!!

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