Single Frame: Autumn Close Up

From the essay “In Plato’s Cave” in On Photography by Susan Sontag:

“The photograph is a thin slice of space as well as time. In a world ruled by photographic images, all borders (“framing”) seem arbitrary. Anything can be separated from anything else: all that is necessary is to frame the subject differently…. Through photographs, the world becomes a series of unrelated, freestanding particles…. The camera makes reality atomic, manageable, and opaque.”

Below is a photograph of three isolated red leaves — an image I imagine many people would associate with autumn — taken in northern New York one October. You may see the image as having a certain 3D quality to it … that’s a bit of an illusion, an enhancement the brain makes because of the focused foreground and out-of-focus background, with the strong color contrasts emphasizing the illusion. If you close one eye (which eye you should close varies by person), the 3D effect may be strengthened depending on what kind of device you’re using to look at the photo. You may have never tried this before, but it’s often true that you can see this sort of 3D magic when viewing just about anything on a screen that displays in HD quality or better, by using only one eye. Apparently the brain’s not so crazy about seeing the world in two-dimensions, and the realistic image quality of modern screens cause it to over-compensate for the sense of “flatness” that ought to be created by closing one eye.

Here’s a before and after version of this same image; click the first one and page back and forth to compare the two. You can see the 3D quality is somewhat present in the original, and contrast and color enhancements jazz up the illusion: some of the Color Efex filters in the Nik Collection include settings for “perceptual saturation” that can be used for that purpose. You may also notice I removed some spots from the leaves … because, well, I can’t help it!! 🙂

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Autumn in New York (Set 3 of 3)

The gallery below contains the third of three sets of photos showing the transition to autumn in northern New York.

These photos were taken near Peru, Saranac, and Plattsburgh, New York, and are now part of my Flickr Reboot project.

My other photos from New York are here: New York state category.

The first set of photos in this series is here: Autumn in New York (Set 1 of 3), and the second set is here: Autumn in New York (Set 2 of 3).

Select any image to begin a slideshow. Thanks for taking a look!

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Autumn in New York (Set 2 of 3)

The gallery below contains the second of three sets of photos showing the transition to autumn in northern New York.

These photos were taken near Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, and are now part of my Flickr Reboot project.

My other photos from New York are here: New York state category.

The previous set of photos in this series is here: Autumn in New York (Set 1 of 3).

Select any image to begin a slideshow. Thanks for taking a look!

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Autumn in New York (Set 1 of 3)

To celebrate the transition to autumn and, hopefully, the shift to some weather in Atlanta that drops out of the hot and dry mid-nineties, here is the first of three sets of photos from a place where fall temperatures are guaranteed to happen: northern New York.

These were taken near Whiteface Mountain several years ago and are among some archived photos I’ve never done anything with that I’ve added to my Flickr Reboot project. My other photos from New York are here: New York state category.

Select any image to begin a slideshow. Thanks for taking a look, and enjoy the beginning of a new season!

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Autumn on the Horizon

By September in northern New York, evenings quickly shed their daytime heat and the sun casts long, deep shadows by the middle of the afternoon. Green, yellow, and gold in the landscape take on a rich saturation, the sky and the clouds look more intense and variable in color, and the first hints of fall reds and oranges start to appear. The photos below were taken between Plattsburgh and Lake Placid early in September a few years ago, the first five nearer to Plattsburgh and the last three nearer to Lake Placid. You can see in the photos what a difference the elevation makes: the Lake Placid region is about 1500 feet higher above sea level and the cooler temperatures encourage more leaves to change color sooner.

This is the first of a series of fall color photographs I’m working on for my Flickr Reboot project; I’m not sure yet how many I will end out recreating, but will certainly post more as my work progresses.

Select the first image to begin a slideshow if you would like to see larger versions. Thanks for reading and taking a look!

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