Fall Delight

I was headed home last weekend from hiking a trail just outside Watkins Glenn. I used a back road that I often travel. I have always wanted to photograph this small river on this highway because it has an interesting story which I tell below, but it just didn’t make an interesting composition. The fall colors changed that.

I have two streams in the back of my house that meet and flow into this small river. When we have heavy rains and the ground is saturated my streams and this small river become raging rivers. Not long ago, the county built a new bridge over this river to keep it from flooding the road. This small river flows into the Susquehanna River. The Susquehanna River is one of the oldest existing rivers in the world. At 444 miles long, it is the longest river on the East Coast. The river empties into the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay at Perryville and Havre de Grace, Maryland. Hard to believe where this little guy ends up.

Specific Feedback Requested

Sony a7riv 24-70mm @70mm hand held 5:33pm
ACR - Toning
Topaz - DeNoise & Sharpening
Photoshop - small amount of cleanup, small crop, D&B
Nik CEP5 - contrast and color

Technical Details

Any feedback appreciated.


Terrific composition, Donna. You have everything from rich greens to yellow and burnt orange in this image…everything you could possibly want in a fall colors image. Until I saw the larger version of this, I thought this was a small stream that curved and exited the frame on the right side. Not true. It’s just the reflections that make it appear so. I love the framing that you used here. The main tree in the middle of the scene with it’s reflection, anchors the image while the burnt oranges on both side of the image keep the eyes in the frame. The only small nit I have is along the bottom of the frame where you have very dark branches in the BRC and the fact the reflection doesn’t cover the BLC of the frame . Instead there is a green shrub there. A very small nit for sure and the only real thing I could come up with in an otherwise really nice image. Great story to go along with it as well. Thanks for that.

This is really good Donna. It struck me with a strong feeling of quiet peacefulness when I first saw it. Then when I look more closely, it just seems to draw me in. The detail in the foreground water ripples are lovely and I especially like the reflection of the tree trunks and the trunk overhanging the stream that seem to be where my eyes rest after exploring the scene.

I agree with David…it is indeed a great story to go with your image.

The only thing that distracts me a bit is that wee branch in the water that crosses the reflection of the tree trunks in the background. It is probably beyond what I could do, but maybe …somehow…if that was cloned (is that the correct term?) out it might allow the main body of the water to ‘breathe’ a bit more. Maybe. Cheers.

Donna,what a magic surrounding you live in. There is so much to see and to enjoy in your image and all those colors. No remarks , just so well made !

Donna, what a great image. The composition and colors are just amazing. Nothing important to improve here. Just one thought, if it is possible to do, you could try to let the colorless tree stand out moere from its background.

Donna, as others have said, this is a great view. The fall colors are very attractive. I’m drawn to the mix of reflected colors along the bottom and dark water in the lower center. At first glance that combination makes it look like trees along the bottom and a hidden pond. The actuality is good for a second look to truly see what is being shown.

Wow, that is beautiful, Donna. Nothing more to say, I’ll just sit here and enjoy the scene. Well done.

1 Like

Hi Donna,
I don’t have much to add, other to say that I really like the composition with the reflection lower on the frame, and I love that the reflection is not perfectly clear. In this case, the blurry/ambiguous reflection adds to the sense of mystery in the whole scene.
Well done.

I like this VERY much. Such a peaceful, tranquil image to view. Composition is great and keeps me wanting to view and explore. Really nice image.

@David_Haynes @Phil_G @Ben_van_der_Sande @Ola_Jovall @Mark_Seaver @David_Bostock @Marylynne_Diggs @Keith_Bauer I’m extremely happy that all my viewers liked this photo. How lucky was I to be passing by this river I’ve wanted to photograph for a while and see this scene. If I had pasted by 10 min. earlier, the reflection may not have been there. If I had passed by 10 min. later, the sun would have been behind the hills. It was almost as if the river was saying “Ok, I’ll give you the shot you want”. Thank all of you for your kind words. It wasn’t so much that I went to extremes to take this photo. The beauty was there. I just happened to pass by at the right time to capture it. :smiling_face:


Wow! This is simply gorgeous! Love everything about this. The natural framing of the vegetation and fall colors encircling the lovely body of water… is just wonderful.

This is always a matter of personal choice - and I think the colors are wonderful. Often times I look at the greens as my “canary in a coal mine” to give me a clue as to the saturation level. Quite trivial here actually, but the greens along the river seem a little too green. If I were to have any nits at all.

Who knew! Goes to show the state of most folks knowledge of geography… I never heard of this river! Thank you for sharing the backstory!

I LOVE this image. Great vision.


What they said :slight_smile:! I too am just going to sit back and sip my coffee as I enjoy this one.

A very compelling almost-symmetry here! That keeps me exploring the details. I’m betting that this river will pose for you again another day, with a very different but equally pleasing result.

Very enjoyable view. What an image. I like the dark branches for contrast, although there is something to be said about the darkness of the brc. Nevertheless it works great!

@Lon_Overacker @John_Williams @Diane_Miller @Pamela_Sherlock Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I’m a bit nervous now to post another image. Wondering how to come up with something that won’t be a let down. Guess that’s a photographer’s life - win some, lose some. Diane, I hope you’re right that it will pose for me again. Thanks all!!

Maybe, but you chose the exposure, focus and composition - and the result is superb! Well done.

Thank you Mike!!!