Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Seeing Autumn in Simple Terms

Sometimes, I find myself getting too complicated with my photography.  Too much gear to see clearly. Too much weight to haul.  It can become a burden.  So, today, I am publishing seven photos taken with my simple iPhone 4.  No zoom, no filters, no tripod, no thirty pounds of gear.  Just the wide angle, fixed aperture lens and the editing apps on the phone.

I'll begin with a photo taken last Friday when I had ten minutes to spare before a program with some delightful ladies in a garden club.  Found this in the arboretum at Cornell Plantations.

Used an app called Photogene to trim a bit and add a frame. I don't recall ever seeing such tall asters.  Staying on the subject of asters, I found these on a short walk.  They clearly have not benefited from the attention the preceding asters received, but that is part of what attracted me.

Pretty nice, and only a short walk from my home.  Only had the iPhone along. 

On longer walk in the Steegee Hill preserve nearby, I found the even later blooming Witch Hazel.  It can be found blooming in January.  Really!

Again, edited in the iPhone using Photogene. 

Granted that Witch Hazel is not as spectacular as some, but can the others bloom after the killing freezes?

On the same walk, I came upon a demonstration of the randomness in nature.  This oak leaf somehow flew in the wind to catch itself on a tiny branch of Witch Hazel.  Somehow, it was caught by a small hole in the leaf.  What are the odds of that? So, I had to take a photo.

Edited in PhotoForge2 and colorized in Mobile Monet.

Often, I seem to see subjects in combination with their setting.  These small shelf fungi are not too unusual, but I saw something in the blanket of reddish oak leaves and grayness of a late autumn day.

The colors of the woods depends on the tree types, so nearby was a grove of maples.  They were a simple yellow in a surrounding sea of reddish oak leaves. One yellow maple leaf had been blown against a tree's trunk, and it stuck there.

Edited in Photogene and colorized in Mobile Monet.

Not all of my time this fall has been in the woods. Earlier this month I was in Cape May chasing birds. On a few instances, I pulled out the iPhone for a break from the heavy equipment.

I am sure that most of the settings for my photos at Cape May are unrecognizable today after the hurricane blew through there yesterday. I mostly wonder about the fate of the many migrating birds, and the people that live there.  But, I also wonder what this stretch of sand dunes looks like today.  On one October day, the sunrise looks like this with the Cape May lighthouse in the distance. It was lovely.

Photo taken with DMD Dermander HDR app.  HDR is high dynamic range; the app takes two photos, one over exposed and the other underexposed, in order to record the wide range of tones.  It  then combines them into one image.  Post processed using PhotoForge2.

So, the iPhone does not replace my high end camera and lenses.  But, its limitations do support them by demanding that I pay attention to more than complicated equipment. A simple camera is a great learning tool for both the neophyte and the advanced photographer.  The instantaneous review of your photo is arguably the greatest learning tool to come along in photography.   Give it a try.


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