Two Weeks Early

The Autumn 2020 Photo Project - taken 9/28/28 at Franconia Notch, NH

Due to record cold in mid-September this year, autumn foliage in northern New England turned color 2 weeks earlier than normal. I shot peak color at this same location on 10/12/19, yet the color was at the same stage on 9/28 this year, the earliest I’ve ever seen.

What I like most about this image is that it displays the full range of autumn colors in one image, from yellow to orange to red to green. This image is a blend of two exposures for dynamic range, one for the sky, another for the land. I used a cooler WB for the sky layer, since in the exposure brackets the camera’s Auto WB used a warm WB overall that looked good for the land, but not the sky. Does the blend of two different WB’s work for you, does it look realistic overall? In real life, my eyes saw the sky as cool, and I was trying to recreate that.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any critique or comments are welcome. See above for question on sky WB.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Canon 5D MKIV, Canon 70-200mm f4 lens at 70mm, ISO 400, 1/4 sec at f11

Rework tweaking the sky


Yes, Ed it works very well in my eyes. I always like a combo of warm and cool tones in my images so this suits me just fine. After you told Ed and I that colors were at peak I made a two day trip to NH, but unfortunatly I waited a few days and most colors were past. There was some decent yellows in spots but no reds.

Ed, Great colors , great image. in my view the sky is to blue. I should have given it just a hint of the colors below. Now are only the clouds in the upper left corner tinted. I think there would be more harmony as the whole sky had a hint of color. I hope this makes sense .
I gave it a try.

You are on a roll with your Autumn 2020 Project as this is another beautifully conceived image, Ed. The blend looks great and those autumn colors in Franconia Notch look perfect. It looks to be at peak color. Originally I was going to suggest backing off the blues in the sky just a touch, but when I opened the larger version I changed my mind. The sky has some lovely drama that contrasts beautifully with the warmer toned trees.

This image puts me right there with the cooler brisk days of fall which I find so invigorating. Beautifully done!

The blend looks totally realistic, Ed. Maybe raise the darkest elements of the upper clouds. But I wouldn’t even do that. This is a nice layered composition with vibrant colors.

I just read Ben’s comment. Indeed the sky is not a uniform color. The top section is grayish and the one below is blue. I don’t know if that’s realistic in nature or not. I suppose it could be that way.

Quite nice, Ed. A great look at dynamic fall color. The blend looks quite natural, but I can see Ben’s point about bringing down the blue a bit. Extremely minor, though. Well done.

I love the richness of colors and dramatic sky. Wish I was there! I feel transition is very natural except in the most right. Maybe blurring/toning down the sharp edge of trees?

@Michael_Lowe @Ben_van_der_Sande @Ed_Lowe @Igor_Doncov @Harley_Goldman
thanks to you all for your comments and insights, I appreciate them.

Igor and Ben, I think I see what you are saying about the sky. I think part of this may be that the dark band near the “horizon” is not sky bu very distant mountains. However whether it is sky or mountains, it does create a visual oddity. And my blend may have darkened it more than I should have. I have posted a rework back up top to try to address this, let me know what you think.

Good point, I saw your comment after I did my rework, but I will do it in the final version of the image before I put it to bed.

Ed, yes, in your rework version all is more in balance. Glad I could now advise you for a change.

I like how the dark, dramatic sky saturates the beautiful autumn colors. Very natural lovely scene.