I love all of the seasons, but fall is especially exciting in the northeast, and I’ve been out exploring and shooting almost daily for the past two weeks. Peak color is still about a week away, but this varies with terrain, altitude, and location. I find fall shooting quite challenging because it is easy to get seduced by all of the color and make images that don’t stand up if the color were to be removed. Although color can be a very strong element in a successful landscape photograph, I always look for a strong composition, and favorable light to really bring the color element to life. Colors are everywhere this time of year, but I enjoy taking the time to find unique viewpoints, and changing weather to show the season in a different way that is not as familiar.
This is one of the greatest challenges of landscape photography, and one that I will be discussing in great detail in my upcoming seminar. As I’ve said many times before, patience and perseverance are key hallmarks of a landscape photographer, and though frustration is inevitable when conditions just don’t match your expectations, there is always something to learn when you’re out with your camera.
Although I rarely talk about equipment, I just upgraded my tripod to a Gitzo 6X GT2530 carbon model, and I couldn’t be happier with it’s quality, construction, and performance. Compared to my previous tripod, a carbon Manfrotto 190MF3, which is a great tripod and has served me well for two years, the Gitzo is lighter, more stable, easier to open and extend the legs, and just feels better to me. Coupled with a Kirk BH-3 Ballhead, it feels solid with all of my lenses including my Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS, my heaviest lens. Of course, the price is a major obstacle, but being the most important pice of gear I use after my camera, and as someone who puts his gear through all sorts of conditions, it is well worth it.