From Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo:
“Most of us know that shorter days result in less chlorophyll and thus less green color in leaves. Unmasked by green, the yellows and oranges in leaves are more visible to us.”
This is the sixth post in my autumn series of new photos from Oakland Cemetery. In the previous one, Autumn in Atlanta: Photo Mash-Up #5, I mentioned that I had separated some of the remaining photos by color into two sets of galleries, one set where orange is the dominant color and one set where red dominates. I’m still working on the red photos; below are the orange galleries.
The last three photos in this first gallery aptly demonstrate what’s described in the quote above from Seeing Trees: the gradual decrease in chlorophyl that comes with shorter fall days, to reveal orange replacing green in the color of the leaves. I didn’t know until I researched it a bit, that autumn orange (and yellow) color variations are created by this different mechanism from reds — which require the production of a specific chemical (anthocyanin).
Orange color — leaning toward red — was especially intense in the first two photos in this gallery; the remaining photos show variations in yellow-to-orange on different days and in the shadows of several larger trees nearby.
These seven photos take advantage of backlighting on a very sunny day, which gives the leaves a glow but with a brightness level that tends to blow out detail in the camera and in the unprocessed RAW file. In Lightroom, I’m able to recover much of the detail by reducing highlights as far as possible using Lightroom’s basic develop settings, using a graduated filter across the entire image to reduce highlights a second time, then adjusting whites, blacks, and (especially) shadows to add color and brightness back without blowing out the highlights again. These changes help emphasize the foreground colors while keeping the sense that the leaves are glowing in the sun.
My previous autumn 2019 photo mash-ups, and a few other posts with new fall color photos, are here:
Autumn in Atlanta: Photo Mash-Up #1
Autumn in Atlanta: Photo Mash-Up #2
Autumn in Atlanta: Photo Mash-Up #3
Autumn in Atlanta: Photo Mash-Up #4
Autumn in Atlanta: Photo Mash-Up #5
Four Small Signs of Early Fall
More Small Signs of Early Fall
Even More Small Signs of Early Fall
Burnt Orange and Singed Pumpkin
Thanks for reading and taking a look!
This is December where you live? Still fall and oh so lovely. In central Maine, there is snow. Also lovely.
Thank you! These photos are from mid- to late-November, through the end of Thanksgiving week. I took so many I’m still catching up on processing and posting them.
As December rolled in, we had a couple days of strong, cold wind, so now most of the colorful leaves are on the ground, as they all fell at once … it was raining leaves! Fun to watch! Next I will be taking stick-pictures (lol) and, of course, raking, raking, raking … 🙂
Thanks for the comment!
Yup. Sooner or later all those beautiful leaves fall to the ground.
Dale, this is a beautiful album, a great job capturing the warm glowing effect. Man, I wish the autumn leaves were still on the trees. It was a short leaf-peeping season this year in Wisconsin.
Thank you! Even though it was a decent autumn here, I still wish the leaves had stayed on a bit longer, starting earlier maybe, as they’re mostly on the ground now. I spent a lot of time at Oakland, and some at Grant Park near my home (still working on a couple sets of photos from the park), but will need to wait till next year for a few other woodland areas I wanted to photograph. Or, maybe, I’ll head out with a macro lens and look for those remaining, hidden bits of color here and there!
Thanks for the comment!