Topic: Pix of Week
For the last couple of years, I have been longing to see some bright foliage. I remembered it from years past - even had a few photographs of it, but recent autumns in western Vermont have been a bit lackluster. Some of it was the weather and some of it was certain leaf molds that seemed to have discolored some of my favorite neighborhood trees.
There are three maple trees along a street near my house where I used to walk my dog most every morning. When we would go down that street between 9 and 10 in the morning, those three maple trees would glisten gold in the morning light - the yellows were just spectacular! The last two years, however, they just did not seem to shine like they once did. At first I thought it was the weather, then I thought it was my memory. But then I took a closer look at all the leaves. They were covered with brown splotches to such an extent that a bright yellow was no longer possible. There was just enough yellow left to remind you how magnificent they once were, but even this year, when other trees returned to their former glory, these favorites were still sadly dull!
And so this year I went in search of good color. It was predicted to be a reasonable year - wet spring, dry fall, cool nights. And sure enough if you went looking good color abounded. And enough afternoons were sunny to have given you multiple days on which to view it in all its glory.
This was a good year for family portraits with real Vermont foliage backdrops. The tricky part is getting the light and the babies in the families to coordinate their schedules. For ideal conditions, you would like to find some trees with great color with exposure to the late afternoon sun to make it pop. And you would like to find a spot where your subjects can stand or sit in shade with the brightly lit leaves behind them. With many locations this means you have a window of opportunity of limited length. Too early and the shade is not well developed enough or must be created artificially. Too late and the trees begin to be shaded as well and no longer as bright.
We were fortunate to be able to photograph several young families this fall foliage season. It is such a delightful time of year - not too hot, not too cold, and a warm natural color all around.
This couple had loved Indian Brook Reservoir in Essex Junction, Vermont, and so we hoped to catch it in good color. Because of the moderating effect of the water, the color at the water's edge was still in the earlier stages with lots of greens, even though the access road was at peak. As luck would have it the sun also disappeared behind a large cloud bank just as we reached the park and stayed there.
Even so, autumn was in clear evidence and the subdued oranges gave it a nice warmth.
We had scouted out some peak color in Westford, Vermont, only a few miles up the road, so we headed up there. There was a good wall of trees at near peak color, but unfortunately the sun refused to come out and play like it had when we scouted the location.
So we slowed the shutter down to catch as much ambient light as we could and then lit the subjects with off-camera speedlites diffused with an umbrella. In addition to leaves, we also found a small garden with some sunflowers and a few mums and other plants in nice fall hues.
Fall can be a great time for a family portrait, even if you do not have a new baby to show off.
If you would like a portrait made, give us a call. We would love to see you in our pictures!
Posted by Warren