Friday, October 11, 2013

Rickett's Glen at "Off Peak"

Made the two hour drive to Rickett's Glen State Park in Pennsylvania today with photographer friend Ray hoping for some peak autumn color.  The maple leaves were already on the ground for the most part and beech were mostly green and holding tight on the trees.  Seemed to be caught in the middle of two autumns.  Surely not peak colors.  So, what do you do?  Well, I grabbed onto any hint of autumn and let the wonderful moving water add some interest.

Above  Mohawk Falls, which I've been to at least a dozen times, I saw something I'd not noticed before. This decaying tree stump mimics the water's drop.

How could I miss that? This is actually two images with one presenting a sharp foreground and the other contributing a sharp middle ground.  So, it closely matches how our brain pieces together the scene as the eye explores the scene.  Your eye refocuses and the brain assembles the net result as above.

I spent a lot of time at the tree stump, but finally moved below Mohawk Falls for another view.

Further down the glen, I looked down at my feet to find a little of the lost maple leaves.

And yes, there were a few patches of color.

After a morning of photography on the rocky trail, we reached Waters Meet where a second glen spills into the stream.  As I devoured my peanut butter wrap, I watched a swirl of yellow leaves in the eddy below the last drop into the pool and hatched a plan for my final image. I made extremely long exposures through a dark filter to paint the swirl in the pool.

The 1.3 mile hike to the highway was thankfully downhill.  Reaching the car, I felt optimistic that I had done okay on a day when the fall colors were definitely "off-peak".  (Yes,  I've learned not to believe the state tourism reports of peak colors.  They all overstate conditions to bring business into their areas.)

Paul Schmitt

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