TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING FALL COLORS! The colors in the Saranac Lake region are at peakand the photographers will be out in force taking advantage of what looks like spectacular autumn colors this year. While exploring the Saranac Lake forests, lakes and mountains it will be interesting to notice the difference in various locales. The colors can vary a lot within as close as a half a mile - some places will be right at peak with brilliant colors and some places will still be short of the peak color - it will be important to check around to various locations.
A few thoughts about photographing the fall colors: first, don't ever put the camera away if the weather turns unpleasant - a rainy, drizzly day will render the best colors, often much more richly than a sunny day. When shooting on a sunny day it might be best to avoid mid-day - the light gives very harsh shadows and creates extreme contrast that doesn't seem nearly as rich in the image as what was remembered of the scene, although a polarizing filter will help that situation. The best time to shoot on sunny days is very early in the morning (get out there before the sun comes up so as to be ready for that first light) and very late afternoon. There is more "stuff" in the atmosphere late in the day and it filters the light in such a way as to give a very golden color. Early in the morning is almost the opposite - it is often very clear but the angle of the sun's rays renders a scene in a very crisp, rich way. This time of year also has warm waters but very cool air which creates some nice fog in the morning, until the air warms upa nice combination of fog and colors over water.
As I mentioned, heavily overcast, borderline drizzle, perhaps even a heavy misty "rain" makes for very rich colors so get the camera out when the weather turns lousy - low hanging clouds adds a "mystery" to the scene. Don't limit to shooting only the "grand landscape"...close, intimate details can create an image that the viewer may actually connect with more than that overly dramatic, "top of the mountain" photograph.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, take care to create interesting images - don't make it just about coloran alternative composition will make a much more interesting image than the same color pictures that the thousands of photographers will all be making this coming week. Take an alternative point of viewturn the camera at an odd anglethat log on the ground - can it be placed at an interesting angle within the frame?putting the center of interest at the edges of the frame creates visual tension and therefore a more dynamic image - the "rule of thirds", well, rules are meant to be broken. I don't follow them very often. As Ansel Adams said, "There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
Panoramic format, diverse landscapes ranging from the Adirondacks to Manhattan to Europe and the Southwest as well as works with the "Holga" camera; traditional processes (darkroom) and digital; commercial and editorial photography.