From Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo:
“Red leaves deserve special attention, because their color results from chemical changes a bit different from those coloring other leaves. 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. But there’s something else going on with reds and purples. The same pigment that puts the red in apples and cherries is produced under some conditions in the leaves of some trees, like maples. The pigment is anthocyanin, and its production depends on sunlight, rainfall, and weather, unlike the chemicals responsible for yellow, gold, and orange coloration, which remain more or less consistent from year to year. Cool (but not freezing) nights and sunny days favor anthocyanin production, so some years the fall foliage will be redder than in others.”
This is the seventh post in my autumn series of new photos from Oakland Cemetery. For the galleries below, I assembled images where red is the dominant color, including these nandina that had produced large clusters of orange and red berries. I took these in mid- or late-November; it seems that the berry clusters spraying from the center of each plant deepen in color as fall progresses, and the leaves — since we’ve had only a couple of days of below freezing weather — are still going strong.
Here are a few isolated red subjects. I only got a couple usable shots of the grasses in the second row — with tiny seedlings turning from light red toward burgundy — as the slightest breeze threw them out of focus. But I was glad to get these two since the plants aren’t very hardy and have since withered away with later fall.
These are all photos from the same maple tree, where I spent an hour or so trying out different combinations of lighting and backgrounds, including some backgrounds that were lit brightly enough to create a bit of dissonance between the way we normally see foregrounds versus backgrounds. I might try some more experiments like that; it’s a fun challenge to get the right levels of light and shadow in the image (they tend to look blown out in the camera) so that you can (sort of) reverse the relationships between front and back in Lightroom.
This is a somewhat random collection of reds, plants and trees on different parts of the cemetery property, with a few backlit subjects in the middle of the gallery. The last image is my favorite; the contrasting reds and greens reminded me of a poinsettia, and transitioning from autumn to the Christmas holidays.
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!