The peak time for fall color is still a week or two away, but I had begun seeing some of the trees starting to change. I wanted to capture this early color, so I headed out to Lake Hickson located in the Dagmar Wildlife Management Area. I also wanted to take advantage of the last day of daylight saving time so I could sleep just a little bit later than I would have been able to otherwise.
The cloudy sky provided perfect lighting for shooting fall foliage – soft, even, and low contrast. Unfortunately, there wasn’t as much change in the leaves as I had thought there would be, so I began making my home. But, I was determined to find something interesting. So, I drove very, very slowly stopping at every campsite and driving down every side road as I headed toward the main highway.
As I drove, a pathway caught my eye as it meandered into the surrounding woods. I pulled over and walked a short distance down the path. Because of the overcast sky, the picture itself was pretty easy to get, and I took several shots using different focal lengths.
Reviewing the photographs, I began to have a clear vision of the type of image I wanted to create – an image that was dream-like and surreal. The shot I took at the long range of my lens, 105mm, had the perspective and look that would best create the picture I was trying to achieve.
After processing the photograph in Adobe Camera Raw, I opened it in Photoshop and applied the Glamour Glow filter in the Nik filter collection. This filter created an ethereal glow on the lighter parts of the image, darkened the rest of the photograph, and provided a softly focused effect. I then applied a second filter, Soft Focus, to enhance the softening of the picture. The result is an image that has a soft, surreal, painterly quality to it.
Settings: Canon 5D Mk IV, 105mm, 1.3 sec, f/22