The Print of the Month for October is “Autumn’s Play“, made last fall in Harriman State Park. The title came to me as I thought about how I found this image and what inspired me to try and capture the feel of the scene that particular autumn day.
I had been walking around a large lake for some time, surrounded by vibrant colors in every direction. As a photographer, it is so easy to get distracted by the color, and lose sight of other important elements so important to a successful photograph such as compositional interest, visual depth, texture, and mood. While I had already taken many photographs, I didn’t feel like I had captured anything really special.
Always looking in all directions, I often stop and turn around to see the same area from the opposite perspective. I turned one last time, and my eye was immediately drawn to a section of trees that had a simple dominant color backlit by soft overcast light. In addition, the branches created a strong graphic that I really enjoyed, and just beyond in the background were complimentary colors in a subtle hint of nature’s yearly performance.
It felt like autumn in the most perfect way, and I knew I had a chance to capture that feel in a print that I immediately saw in my mind’s eye. I know that when that happens, I have found something special, and the “craft” part of photography takes over. This is where I use the various tools available, whether a great lens or camera, my software of choice, and a great printer, to render the best possible interpretation of the image. But without the initial spark and inspiration, the rest is just an exercise in technique, all too common in landscape photography, including my own.