Secretly I disagree with everyone who says that the best shots of fall foliage are on cloudy days. There is supposedly more saturation of the colors. I like a bright sunny blue sky day. And if need be, give me a good polarizing filter. I also like white picket fences. So with the brilliant fall colors, I tried to get the fence and leaves but had to compromise with civilization. As I conclude this fall series, I look back and remember that 2008 was a magical fall season for me.
Wandering around the area I have some memories. The town was first on my radar when some dear friends’ daughter was married closeby some autumns ago. Second, the road past town leads to a lighthouse, that I like to visit. And third, this particular year was the second annual pumpkin boat festival. Don’t ask. But they take the championship prize winning 500 pound pumpkins that no one knows what to do with, they hollow them, and then race them around in the bay. The first year everyone fell into the water. The pumpkins were too unsteady. The second year, everyone caught on and stabilized their rigs. I’d have liked to have seen the sinkings. I would have to say that this vehicle is serviceable unlike many that I pass on the backroads. It’s just quintessential fall for this Maine scene.
For the lack of better identification, I shall call this heather. I left Camden and headed west toward home. The car pretty much ran into this field. It’s more or less classical – horizontal rows of pastel colors fading to the horizon. I wonder why I didn’t see it when I was driving west to east. You can miss a lot of things looking in only one direction.
There’s Rockland, which has lighthouse, and Rockport, which has a photo school. They are not far from one another. As I wandered the Camden area, I traveled through both. I parked the car to visit a craft show. And at my feet was this farmhouse tableau waiting for me. There was just enough color to avoid being black and white. It was faded enough that I didn’t have to think of using Photoshop to make it so. Julia thought enough of the image to make me enlarge it for her to frame and hang.
On a lot of levels this is a thoughtful emotional shot. I’ve got a bunch of shots in cemeteries at this time of year. It’s a gut thing that struck me when I took this shot. I have often said that there is a fine line between taste and tasteless. For me this was never more true here.
Yes I know he doesn’t have a pole. It’s why the title says ‘gone.’ The grandkids were racing around with poles. No one was catching anything. I sat to the right and was trying to read. The glare degraded the image. The kids are missing. The pipes in the background intrude. For me it’s still an image of serenity during a lazy fall afternoon at the pond with a book in hand. It’s a bright memory recalled in an instant by looking back at this picture.
Fall leaves are so quintessential autumn. Fall colors are so easy to recognize. So why do we need to focus up on the leaves to convey the message. I would say that this was probably Runaround Pond again. I liked to sit around and read a book on a warm autumn afternoon. With camera close by, I got this shot as the duck glided by. He scarcely noticed me as I just picked up the camera and got the image. Remember, I have that soft spot for water and reflection.
So I just got done a few posts ago and said that one color images tend to be boring. And to break my own rule, I keep coming back to this shot. I did it by the roadside while I was shooting something else. Looking down I noticed the fern. And I still keep coming back to this image whenever I edit. So here it is.
When you see an image, you shoot. Many times I don’t know what I have captured until I edit. But there are times when you click and know it’s a good shot right then and there. I mostly don’t peek at the LCD screen. It’s especially gratifying to get to Lightroom and see the image you shot look the way you had imagined when you pressed the shutter. I’ve been disappointed sometimes, but not on this occasion. This is another favorite shot Julia mentioned when she first saw this.
There are different ways to get the message across. I’m still seeking that vast panoramic view of brilliant fall colors stretching side to side and foreground to background. Meanwhile, it’s not that easy to find a good detail shot either. It can’t all be one color. That would get boring. Well, I follow the idea that I’ll know it when I see it. I got this in a parking lot behind a store at the roadside.
I’ve a soft spot for haystacks. Nowadays it’s all done mechanically. So the stacks are neat and tidy. But add a little fall color and I think it works alright. I don’t quite know the difference. Some stacks are feed and some are bedding. It all looks the same on my images.
There’s a crazy farm I pass on the road to and from my travels. I was going to call this ‘farmer from Hell’ but thought better of it. Things just aren’t quite right. I have never stopped nor have I really seen the owners. It’s just that as you take a glance things aren’t quite normal. I have seen wild turkeys here. The fence is an oddity. It looks slapped together. Even with poor carpentry skill, it seems to me that you could put together a better looking thing. It works. There are no cows on the road. For the purposes of a fall shot, the fence is a keeper.
You barely notice this place on a good map if you look hard. It’s in the middle of nowhere and I was not headed there but I was coming back from somewhere else. Ahh! Fog! Reflection! Water! Fall! All the elements were in place. The light was quickly fading to evening. There were a few other photographers lurking already. Don’t blow the shot! This is one in which there are so many ways in which to shoot a bad image. Clicking away as everyone cleared from the scene, I got a bunch of good images. You have to pick one… just one.
Carol made a request to leave the fishes and do autumn. After all it is that time of year. Ok, for a couple weeks, fall color. I fall back on a good year (2008) in which I shot a number of splendid images. I would wander with the car and go back and forth through Maine that year. I’m pretty sure it was some place around Portland where I passed this tree. It’s been an effort for me to zoom in on details. Too much and it’s micro and to little and there’s clutter in the image. And then the leaves need to be colorful without being past prime. Sunny day or rainy day for better color…hmmm, I’ve read all the theories. In the end, point the camera and shoot the picture. How do you know? You just do.
Here’s David at Camp Winnebago in Maine. And that is a real rifle and real bullets that her mother’s favorite son is about to fire. This is a mother who forbade weapons and banned violent TV in our house. When she relented and David got a sword at Disney, the kid was so happy, he threw the sword down and was running about waving the scabbard as the weapon. So here we are with Dave’s first and perhaps last encounter with a live fire weapon. We all change with the times.
After dropping Julia off in Camp Pinecliffe, Maine, we passed this house along an isolated road. Some many years later, I found this house again in my meandering through the backcountry roads. I probably couldn’t get back there again. I like the architecture especially the roofline, stonewall, and copper trim. The landscaping has become a bit overgrown and the house looks very different now. At some point I’ll come across the digital images from years later. For now this remains a great show house in the middle of nowhere. The memory is a should’ve, could’ve, might’ve kind of emotion… you know a ‘thousand words in a single slide.’
Well I suppose it’s turquoise really. Rockland, Maine, the Lobster Festival parade day. I was walking with my friend Bob to the Coast Guard store before the parade. I think he wanted to buy socks. Go figure. There was this wall with milkweed [it’s what I call it] asking me to photograph it. I don’t think I paused but for a mere instant. Sometimes you take a shot and know it’s a good one even as it transfers to the memory card. I didn’t take another shot or experiment. We were on a mission to the store. My daughter loved this enough to have it framed.
Looking at this image I keep thinking of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. As I said the balloons launch from a park. The balloon trailers are parked side by side but far enough apart not to get entangled. From a certain perspective it looks as though everyone is on top of one another. As the balloons begin to fill in the glow of sunset light it’s a feast of photo ops. Thank goodness for memory cards with large capacities. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I would not return to see this event again.
So the balloon pilots meet to discuss the weather conditions especially the wind. The winds are most favorable in the evening and at dawn. Once the winds are determined to be within safe limits, the signal for launch is given. For about 30 minutes there is a frenzy of activity, as everyone seems to race to launch before the winds change. It makes for a lot of interesting photos.
I only got one chance to photograph the annual balloon festival in Lewiston, Maine. But since I lived in the area I could get to the venue any time the balloons launched. I had left the launch park and was driving to work along the river. I could see a balloon drifting above the trees. Yes, I wasn’t looking where I was driving. But traffic was sparse. I jumped out of the car in time to catch this image. Morning fog was lifting off the mirror calm river and the basket just about to touch down. The balloon pilots liked to do this to impress. I was duly impressed and got the shot.
For a while when I lived in Maine I would keep an eye out for any photo ops. This was January 1, 2008. They have an annual Lobster Day dip in the ocean. It’s the Atlantic. It’s cold. No, I mean really freezing. I’m there in my North Face jacket, hood pulled up, hands in my pockets, camera warm against my chest, and freezing parts of my anatomy we won’t discuss. Folks were out in bikinis and all sorts of outfits as though it were a hot July day at the beach. I filmed them. They ran into the ocean and then ran out again. Crazy. Just remember it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
An old-fashioned country store is the setting. It’s just down the road from my daughter’s summer campground. I saw the happy kids with their ice cream and wondered whether my daughter would ever be stopping by during her camp days. No, everything is included in the camp fees. No off campus ride to the local country store for her – too bad.
Driving down the road heading east at sunrise. It could be that my wife was driving but in the corner of my memory, I don’t think so. Anyway, I say this because it’s easy to shoot going forward in a moving car. You can actually see where you’re going as you hold the camera to your eye. It’s a bit tougher shooting to the side. Of course with point and shoot, auto focus digital, this is not too much of a trick any more. Well, this shot is about sunrise, glare and powerlines. I shot through the windshield to avoid getting shot by my wife if I stopped once again.
I have been over many of the back roads again since our bike trip. I have not come across this image again. The woman is probably gone by now, ravaged by time and weather. But it was sure fun to pull up and get it during this particular bike trip. I can’t go back, but would if I knew where it was located.