Tag Archives: Fall Photography in Ohio

The Tripod and Fall Nature Photography

I’ve noticed in many of my introduction to DSLR photography workshops that many beginner level photographers start thinking about their next lens purchase before considering what I think is the second most important piece of photo gear, the first being the actual camera. Never underestimate the value of a good, pro-level tripod and ball head for optimal results in nature and landscape photography. I use both an older Bogen 3021 and a newer carbon fiber Giottos tripod for just about 90% of my work with nature and landscape photography. I also use a Kirk ball head and L-brackets as well as the Canon cable release. The Kirk head has served me well for over 10 years now.

By using a stable platform and tripod I am able to do so much more in the creative zones with my photography. I often prefer the slower shutter speeds and higher quality raw files inherent to low ISO settings when shooting in low light situations, which I often prefer for nature and landscape subjects. This is especially true this time of year – autumn – when I’m in the field shooting in the magic light hours of pre-sunrise and post-sunset. Also, multiple exposures for high dynamic range, which must match elements exactly, could not be possible in most situations when just hand-holding the camera.

I will be demonstrating these advantages and my field techniques in working with camera and tripod at my upcoming Day of Photography Workshop on November 6, 2010 at Cox Arboretum in Dayton, Ohio. The morning session, which is near full with over 20 registered attendees, will be in an introductory program on the basics of photography and camera settings with those new to the DSLR camera. The afternoon session, which is just half-full, will be on my step-by-step approach, from capture to digital workflow, for high dynamic range photography as well as marketing nature photographs and the business of nature photography.

Included with this post are some recent images I captured during an October outing to Hocking Hills State Park in southeastern Ohio. All of these images were taken in either early morning or early evening. Light was low, which is what I prefer, so the use of my tripod for longer exposures was essential in obtaining these pleasing results.

Find Your Fall | Much More Than Just Color In The Trees

Seasonal Symbolism – Avia Venefica. Avia’s article on the meaning of the seasons brought to mind what moves me to photograph nature and landscape subjects with a bit more enthusiasm and excitement during the transitional seasons of fall and spring. In the change of the seasons experienced externally comes also an inward shift for the artist. Avia describes with a high degree of intuitiveness on how seasons exist both internally and externally.

The light comes calling and the creative spirit responds. For me, as a photographer and an artist, autumn has always been much more than just color in the trees. As the sun slips southward balance is regained – at least momentarily – between day and night. Lengthening shadows return to the landscape and air and sky clear for brilliant sunrises and sunsets.

I’m fortunate to live in a place where there are four very distinct seasons. The cycle of life and light through each has established much of the internal rhythm that either pulls me outward or inward with the desire to capture and create with my camera.

I see so many photographers and other artists respond to this cycle of seasons and it always seems that it’s this time of year – autumn in October – that generates the most interest and excitement. To the casual observer the reason must be simple and obvious – the beautiful display of color on the hillsides and in the woodlands. But for the serious nature photographer it is much more. It’s the quality of the light and the texture of old wood at sunrise. The crisp outline of veins in freshly fallen leaves and the ethereal mist that moves through the hollow on cool morning air. The clarity and color of a falling sun slipping between clouds and a westward hilltop and the deep shadows cast by the rising harvest moon. The final dance of light on the landscape before the arrival of winter’s solitude.

More often than not autumn’s true beauty is found in the details – the often overlooked – presented before the photographer only when something more than just his or her eyes is finally opened.

The overwhelming need of the artist photographer to outwardly place him or herself in that seasonal dance, from the place felt within, is inherent to the mystery of the creative process.

In my photography of the autumn landscape I strive to go beyond the “pretty postcard” shot of a hillside covered in red, gold and purple. Sure, I continue to capture those types of images, but almost always it’s what I wasn’t looking for on a fall outing through nature and landscape that becomes the photograph that forges the strongest connected between spirit, artist and viewer. What I discover on the autumn landscape, and how I decide to photograph it, has just as much to do with my internal seasons of fall, winter, spring and summer. Love lost, peace gained, darkness made light and memory that lingers.

Fall Texture 1 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Fall Texture 1 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Ohio November Sky by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Ohio November Sky by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

October Stream by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
October Stream by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Cedar Falls Waterfall by Jim Crotty
Cedar Falls Waterfall by Jim Crotty

Fall Texture 2 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Fall Texture 2 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

3V1200SunsetSkybyJimCrottyFW by Jim Crotty
3V1200SunsetSkybyJimCrottyFW by Jim Crotty

November Moon by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
November Moon by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

jcro_3V598UpperFallsatOldMansCavebyJimCrottyFW by Jim Crotty
jcro_3V598UpperFallsatOldMansCavebyJimCrottyFW by Jim Crotty

3H045NovemberNightfallbyJimCrottyhighres by Jim Crotty
3H045NovemberNightfallbyJimCrottyhighres by Jim Crotty

1H89highres by Jim Crotty
1H89highres by Jim Crotty

October Sunrise in Hocking Hills by Jim Crotty 5 by Jim Crotty
October Sunrise in Hocking Hills by Jim Crotty 5 by Jim Crotty