“Silver Maple” by Robin Conover Canon 5D Mark IV EF 100-300mm at 300mm, 3.5-5.6 L lens ISO 320, fl8 at 1/60th sec., Gitzo tripod
Walking along a lakeside road one late afternoon, the sound of gravel crunching beneath my boots, I noticed hints of fall color reflecting on the water’s surface. Searching for an unobstructed view of the lake, I couldn’t help but notice the cooler temperature and lower humidity of the day — both welcome changes from the sultry summer afternoons of previous weeks.
The crisp air seemed to both define and warm the scattered beams of sunlight filtering through the hardwood canopy. The combination of elements competing for my senses this particular afternoon invited my soul to pause for a few moments of my own reflection and quiet observation.
Setting up my camera and tripod in a small clearing, I began to wait for sunset. As the sun moved lower, it was obvious there wasn’t a cloud in the sky or on the horizon. The sunset shot I had pictured in my head for this evening was becoming much less likely.Fortunately, this abstract of leaves and branches just to the right of my tripod location kept drawing my attention. The bright reflection provided a simple but interesting background for the leaves. With the branch and leaves in the shade relative to the bright reflection, the backlighting created a translucent quality that highlighted each leaf’s structure and color variations.
To me, this simple composition and subject matter captured every aspect of my experience that day. It incorporated everything I had breathed in and captured the harmony of a beautiful fall afternoon.