THE THINGS YOU SEE - 10 October 2013
Fall Leaves at Dusk - Acadia National Park: File # 1312221
Orignal image is linked here:
I was just recently in Acadia National Park. I happened to be there the same time as the United States was going through a partial government closure. Unlike some of the parks, Acadia was still reasonably accessible if you were willing to walk. While no cars were allowed on park roads, you could still walk within its boundaries. At least, that seemed to be the policy at Acadia.
The benefit of this was the park was essentially deserted. There weren't many people on its trails and roads. If you were willing to hoof it--i.e. walk--you could practically have the park to yourself. At dusk, this makes the environment very inviting to those who could allow their minds to wander, which is exactly what I was doing when I shot this image.
I was walking along the carriage trail surrounding Eagle Lake in the middle of the park. I was thinking of lots of different thing, most of which had one gigantic issue or another. It was slightly frustrating not being able to resolve whatever I was thinking about. I walked this trail with my camera with the hopes of taking an image or two. I'd been out there an hour without shooting a single image which added to the frustration. Things were made worse when I knew there was good quality imagery in there. I just couldn't "see" it despite the gorgeous leaves and subtle shading everywhere.
I was on my way back totally accepting I wouldn't be able to shoot a single image when a thought came to me; "instead of trying to solve everything, just keep breathing." The message was about not stressing about not being able to resolve the issues cluttering my brain. Things usually work themselves out if you just let them. I smiled thinking of the simple advice. A weight seemed to lift from my shoulders. I thought about the trail and thought how awesome it was to be out there as I was.
Not a hundred steps later I saw this scene. Just off the trail there were these yellow leaves among the very dark green trunks and other plants. The contrast was obvious. I knew I wanted to get the picture of the contrast. That was the objective. What I wasn't sure was if I could capture the subtle relationship between the colorful leaves and the dark background without making it look too contrasty.
I shot the image. Later I tried to process it as a color image and wasn't happy with the results. Eventually I turned it into a black and white, the image you see here. My thinking was the whole scene was a study in contrasts so why not eliminate distracting color which there was plenty.
I am very fortunate to have this image. I wouldn't have seen it unless my mind was less cluttered. Then, I knew there was a picture in there even though the color version wasn't what I imagined. I'm not sure where I got the idea of the B&W treatment but it definitely worked. Sometimes you can see things that after the fact make you wonder how you did. That's what happened here.