Dale Yates  

Late Autumn Landscape by Dale Yates

January 2021 - Late Autumn Landscape

About the Image(s)

This is a landscape photo taken at a nearby lake. The swans at the lower center gives the viewer a point of interest to focus on. The photo is also purposely lower key due to the fallen autumn leaves and thus allows for a more serene late autumn scene, which is one of the main goals of the photo.

Post processing in Lightroom includes adjusting white balance, contrast, highlights and shadows, color adjustments, and overall sharpening. Photoshop clone tool was then utilized to remove some of the water glare not eliminated by the CPL filter.

This image was taken with the following: RAW format; Canon SL1 camera; Tamron 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens; aperture f/5.6; shutter speed 1/200; ISO 800; focal length 158mm. A CPL filter was utilized as well.

4 comments posted

Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Hi Dale. I believe this image indeed conveys the serene, peaceful feel that you were after. It brings to mind for me a relaxed weekend morning - the drama of fall is over and the landscape is restfully waiting for what is next. Similarly, the swans seem casual in their pose, enjoying the morning, free from an urgent need to accomplish whatever sort of weekend to-do list swans execute. And although the foliage is "done", I like the warm orange of the fully changed leaves, as well as the complementary contrast here and there with hints of green . I also like the potential which is there in the single white barked tree (birch?) in the center of the image as another center of interest beyond the swans. I think the composition of this tree, placed as it is directly behind the left of the swans could probably be improved. With landscape like this which include birds or animals as centers of focus, I find it is hard to plan compositions as the creatures move around (and having more than one just complicates that further), so it is often a matter of waiting, shooting a whole bunch of frames over whatever patience you have, and then looking for the most pleasing composition after the fact.

  Posted: 01/09/2021 12:08:16

Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
Dale, I am struck by the color harmony between the water and the trees - which I think helps towards the serenity you (we all) seek. The white of the swans and the birch highlights the autumn tones by the sharp contrast.
The birch bifurcates the image - and this time I would not applaud. You may remember it is one of my favourite compositions but here I think that the two halves are too similar. Thus I would re-crop and favour the right side (without those few human structures). Also I think the foliage has greater depth which I have tried to raise using the pro contrast button in my Nik software. anyhow - just some thoughts ...   Posted: 01/09/2021 15:49:05
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Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Hi Dale
I really love the color palette of this image. The colors are very calming and the scene is so serene. I really like the white tree which for me indicates a foretelling of a time soon to come when winter will arrive and all the trees will be bare and the cold will be upon us. The swans add to the serenity. I do find that the farthest swan is distracting. I like one swan alone which may give the image more solitary quiet feel. Like Gerard I find the white tree a little too centered so I would crop differently. The "human structures" are distracting to me as well so I would clone them out. I would also remove some of the debris from the water to make it look calmer. As a final step I would dodge and burn to add some depth and a vignette to make that white tree and the one swan stand out more as the focal point. Really just minor details though, beautiful image.   Posted: 01/09/2021 21:08:37
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Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Something I've noticed about your images, Dale, is that they don't scream at me. I'm not a name dropper but Jack Dykinga told me that the most powerful images are the ones that whisper, not scream. I only use his name because that statement - aimed directly at my photography - changed the way I see and capture photographs. It has so much wisdom that I feel it's worthwhile to pass along.

Personally, I need the peace that this image evokes. My emotional response is calming. It doesn't need a strong center of interest or high impact punch. It's taken from a place that I see myself sitting for a long time, simply watching the swans swim in a wonderful place bathed in Fall colors far away from the rush of an urban life.

I particularly like the Aspin, Alder or Birch in the center. I too wonder about how it's centered, but I'm not convinced that a crop which takes the tree off center improves the image. A crop sacrifices the visually pleasing left side trees. Does the tree as framed provide a compositional anchor against the changing colors of the other trees? Also, the lack of aggressive sharpening works in its favor too. I admire your restraint in this respect.

The only two things I would offer is to clone out the bench and sign and try to eliminate the fallen tree in the water that interferes with the swans. The cloning of the bench and sign is easy as Cheryl demonstrated, but the fallen tree in the water might be a challenge. Good luck, buddy.   Posted: 01/11/2021 19:21:38


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