Sunday, October 19, 2014

Photo Manipulation

Tom Branch Falls
Today I took a hike down along the trails in the Deep Creek area of the Smokies with a good friend and Best Man from our wedding .   It's a place I've only been one other time and the first time I've been there in the fall.   The colors in the southern Smokies around Bryson City, NC were more muted and a little behind where they are on the north and western slopes this year.

As you can see from the photo of Tom Branch Falls, there was still a lot of green in the trees.  We didn't see a lot of golds or reds.  A few more cold nights and sunny days are sure to bring out those colors.

Even when we don't get the colors, light, or other conditions we are hoping for, there are always other ways to manipulate the photo.

I'm not talking about editing the photo and changing the green leaves to gold.  I'm talking about using compositions  that manipulate what the photo says.

Juney Whank Falls

The Park Service has built a nice bridge right next to Juney Whank Falls that allows the hiker or photographer to get close to the falls.  The yellow and red leaves stuck to the rock face caught my attention. Instead of taking a picture of the entire falls, I chose to zoom in on a small section with those leaves and some white water.  I think this photo has an autumn feel with the little color that there is.

Another opportunity to manipulate the mood through composition is the picture of this small rock in a stream.
Streams of Gold
I got this color by getting down low on the edge of the creek and getting in the right position to get the reflections I wanted.  In this case the reflections in the stream were of trees on the opposite bank that were lit by the early morning sunlight, giving it a golden tint.

No need to manipulate a photo in software.  You can change the story the photo tells by paying trying compositions that are different from the obvious, getting the right angle, paying attention to the light and getting a bit creative.  

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