Single Frame: Autumn Close Up #2

From the essay “The Allegash and East Branch” in Walden and Other Writings by Henry David Thoreau:

“I was in just the frame of mind to see something wonderful … and it put me on the alert to see more like it…. I let science slide, and rejoiced in that light as if it had been a fellow-creature. I saw that it was excellent…. It suggested to me that there was something to be seen….”

Sometimes you have to take a closer look to see certain colors and textures of autumn, especially in their late stages. The photo below, taken at Point Au Roche State Park in northern New York, shows the red and orange leaves of a withering vine hanging from the branches of a tree and running into the ground — where the colors blended with the forest floor, making the leaves nearly invisible.

Select the image to view a larger version. Thanks for seeing!

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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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Wordless Wednesday: Yellow and Purple

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Brilliant Hibiscus: Four Views

Not just regular hibiscus, but brilliant ones!

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Rose of Sharon: Three Views

Below are three views of a Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) growing in a large pot in my garden, that just produced a cluster of flower buds at the end of July. I took the first image last night, as the sun was setting; the other two are from this morning, when clouds from an incoming storm produced some soft shadows and a bit of luminous backlighting. If the remaining buds withstand August heat for a few days, I’ll post a few more shots after the rest of the flowers emerge.

Click the first image to see larger versions; thanks for taking a look!

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