We had a wonderful thick fog this morning and I went to Blendon Woods Metro Park to photograph it. Almost of of the big fall color is gone, but there’s still a lot of natural beauty to be found – it was a very fulfilling hike.
Walking along the Brookside Trail I saw some turkeys silhouetted in the fog up on the ridge. By the time I got the telephoto lens on the camera, they were gone. I decided to stick with the telephoto lens for awhile because it compresses distance making the fog seem closer and denser. Before the sun rose above the ridge line the light was very soft and diffuse.
Click images to enlarge.
My favorite spot in Blendon Woods is Ripple Rock Creek. It has changed significantly recently. A fallen tree that spanned the creek has collapsed and someone has built a drystone dam in a bend in the creek for no apparent reason. I tried a few compositions combining the fog and the water and this one ended up being my favorite. I like that the cascade lines up with the sun, but having the creek go out of frame on the left isn’t ideal.
I spotted a leaf dappled with dew drops and wanted to combine that with the fog too. Originally I was going to focus stack several shots so everything would be in focus, but editing the first shot I liked the blurred foggy background. Viewers are immediately drawn to one leaf among the hundreds and I liked the idea that it doesn’t take too much to stand out as an individual.
I found another dew covered leaf sitting on a mossy tree stump. The simplicity and color contrast caught my eye. This one is focus stacked using 8 photos. The first 5 photos focus from the closest part of the stump to the far edge. The last three focus on the background from just beyond the stump to infinity. To reign in the brightness of the fog I also ramped the exposure value (EV) down 1/3 of a stop for each of the last three. The mid ground was 1/3 under exposed, the base of the trees were 2/3 (0.7) stops under exposed and the last shot was a full stop under exposed. I might have been able to do this in post processing, but you can’t recover detail from overblown highlights so it was better to be safe.
You can see in this behind the scenes shot how shiny the leaf actually was and that there was a shiny spot on the stump. The circular polarizer filter eliminated the reflections and let me capture the full color and detail of the leaf and stump.
I was also able to redeem myself in regards to wildlife photography… sort of. The albino squirrel made another appearance and this time I was able to take a dozen or so shots of him. One of them turned out OK.
My telephoto lens is manual focus only and at 300mm the f-stop is limited to 5.6 or smaller. Most of the shots I took were either blurry, obscured or of his/her backside.