I’m back from a week long camping trip in the northern Adirondacks, and this is one of several photos I made during my stay. While driving around, I stopped at the Adirondack Interpretive Visitors Center in Paul Smiths, and after exploring some of the trails and enjoying the beautiful scenery, decided to return a few times after wards in better lighting conditions. This image was from my third visit and is probably one of my favorites.
Working with light in the forest is really exciting for me, and I waited close to two hours for the angle and intensity of light that I thought would make this composition really work. Often when I find a composition I like, I’ll set up my camera, then just wait for that special moment. I might walk around a bit and do some exploring, but I’m always keeping a close eye on the sun and as soon as I think the conditions are getting close to optimum, I won’t move from my tripod. I almost didn’t think the light would happen on this particular morning since clouds were building, but a few lucky minutes was all I needed to make a few exposures. Patience is such an important skill, and one I continue to work on each time I venture out into nature.
Because there was virtually no wind, I didn’t worry too much about movement, and set my camera to ISO 100 for maximum image quality. I also stopped down to f/16 for good depth of field since I wanted to keep the trail going off into the distance fairly sharp and together with the light, creates a very strong leading line from the ferns in the foreground. I knew this would mean a fairly long exposure (3 sec) which I normally try to avoid in this type of situation (foliage in the foreground) but a quick check on the LCD display confirmed that my green friends had remained perfectly still! While looking at the image in the LCD, I zoom in as far as possible and scroll around to the spots that need to be tack sharp. Processing was done in Lightroom 3 with a slight touch of dodging on the fern in front of the left tree and the moss on the large rock to make those areas stand out a little more. This is one image, no HDR or combined exposure.