Robert Atkins  

Glory of Fall by Robert Atkins

October 2020 - Glory of Fall

About the Image(s)

This image was captured in fall 2019 in the San Juan Mountain region of Colorado. It was shot in 4x5 format on Fuji Velvia 100 film using a 75mm Super Angulon lens (about 24mm equivalent in full frame), which provided a much wider view from which I have cropped to pick out the image shown here.

I was attracted to the amazing colors as well as the incredible repetitive pattern in the tree trunks. I shaped the light a bit in photoshop to give the image a little bit of a center of interest in the grandest of the trees, which is hopefully further increased by the choice of crop. I'd appreciate other's perspective on how well that works.

This image comes with a bit of a story. I had arrived at the location in early afternoon, planning to just scout it for a morning shot on a future day. But it seemed like it was set up better for sunset light, so I hung out, trying some compositions in among the trees around the water until setting up for this shot closer to sunset. As I waited alone for the light, I was eventually joined by another photographer, who turned out to be none other than Matt Payne, the host of the "F-Stop Collaborate and Listen" podcast, along with one of his regular guests, Kane Engelbert. Matt was engaging, but I was so star struck that I couldn't carry on an intelligent conversation for the life of me. Matt set up right next to me, and captured a similar image which you can see on his website. I'm sure his is better, but again I will blame my star struck status for my failure to expose things when the light was at its best!

5 comments posted

Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Robert, this is a gorgeous. Definitely don't sell yourself short. I love the reflections in the water, the bright colors of the leaves compared to the neutral tones of the tree trunks, and how the reflected trees are just nicely blurred compared to the crisp trees/leaves. Congrats on meeting a photography hero of yours. Since you both met randomly to photograph a beautiful yet likely more unknown spot (which I will have to explore more when I am back out in CO), I think the revised adage "great minds think similarly sometimes" is quite apropos. I am sure that other in the group have more effective feedback in terms of technical stuff. But, I think this is a great shot! Superb job!   Posted: 10/09/2020 09:25:57

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hi Robert, I agree with Emily. Absolutely, gorgeous. The reflection is terrific, but what really pulls me in is the blueish color tone of the tree trunks. They are exposed perfectly giving your image a nice pop. I also like the formal type composition where you have an even balance on both sides. That is an appealing approach to how you setup your shot.
The darkening on top is appropriate, but to my eyes, I would like to see just a little more space up there. It feels slightly cut off. this would also bring your "horizon" line down a bit closer to the lower third line.
Regardless of that small criticism, it's a fabulous image worthy of a large print, framed and hanging on a wall for all to see.   Posted: 10/14/2020 10:42:39

Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
There is beauty is here and I think the lighting and exposure and tonality and all those technical aspects are faultless.

I think there may be too much. I see two subjects: the leaves and the trunks - and I too prefer the trunks feeling that the foliage shouts over them. So to retain balance between these two elements I would, myself, deemphasize the leaves and cut closer: either lopping off top third of the trees of coming in as shown here.   Posted: 10/17/2020 10:43:25
Comment Image

Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
This is a gorgeous image. Love the fall colors and the reflection is perfect!

I too noticed the slightly blue tint of the tree trunks and I like it. It would be too stark if it were removed and the mood would be lost. The blue makes it a little moody for me.

I would like to see a little more room above the trees but not that much. About twice as much space as the narrowest part above the center trees.

I would also burn the shadows a little bit to increase the depth especially around the tree trunks to make it look more 3D.   Posted: 10/17/2020 19:47:35

Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Excellent Autumn image! The color management is great, especially the blue tone in the image. I also like the reflection in the water, which adds to the quality of the photo! The image overall is sharp with excellent contrast. My only critique is that I agree with the others that, if possible, a little more visible image above the trees should be considered. Nice work!!   Posted: 10/19/2020 15:24:26


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