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:
Thanks for reading and taking a look!