KY - It's a Beautiful Thing

November 13, 2013  •  2 Comments

Kentucky is known for horses and whiskey and when you get a bunch of drunk horses horsing around you don't hear much about the state's scenic splendor.  But Kentucky can hold it's own with the best when it comes to fall colors and the Red River Gorge is a great place to drink it in, not to mention pop off a bunch of cliche fall color shots.  So for your amusement:


The Red River Gorge itself from Chimney Top Rock overlook.


Fall color shooting tip - make sure your camera's LCD display is showing the separate red, green and blue channels, not a single overall combined RGB graph.  The reds are particularly prone to blowing out, especially if you take a matrix metered exposure, then "expose to the right."  Make sure the red curve is close to but not melting into the right end of the histogram.  This may give an exposure that is 1/3 to 1 stop under the matrix meter's recommendation.


A slight breeze can wreak havoc on focusing when trying to utilize a shallow depth of field.  For this shot I handheld (a fast enough shutter speed to handhold my 105mm, ~1/125 sec, is also good for stopping the leaf motion) which also helped in keeping the composition I wanted.  Using "C" continuous focus mode I placed the focus point on the leaf tip and took multiple shots to ensure one would be in focus.


Reds, oranges and yellows aren't the only fall colors.  I like the browns.  I also like how stinkin' sharp my 105mm macro is. 


I like the vine crawling up the tree here.


Rain muted the tones here, making for a pleasing background in this pseudo-abstract.


Looks like hard backlight, but actually this was done with a burst from the camera's pop-up flash, to allow me to underexpose the background.


Ah, the intimate landscape, or "landscape within a landscape".  I was quite amused examining the forest floor looking for just the right juxtaposition of leaves.  I could have just arranged some myself, but that would be a different game and one I don't care for outside a studio setting.  This is just how nature laid them down.


I had to get lower than my tripod would allow for this, so I shot at ISO 2000, rested the camera on my backpack, engaged the VR and shot many exposures at 1/25 sec, f/11 to make sure one was sharp.  What looks like a horizontal scratch through the lower shroom's gills is a thread of spider web.


Barfus maximus - WTF is this?  One shot out of a bracketed sequence I took in hopes of doing an HDR, But...


first, instead of going HDR, I thought I'd try maxing out the shadow and highlight sliders in Lightroom (plus some other hokey pokey - graduated filters, etc) and out popped this version.  Pretty good dynamic range on that D600, eh?


Straight out of the box on this one - poor neglected Lightroom sliders.


Abstract of a Big-leafed Magnolia leaf. 


Why they are called Big-leafed Magnolia.  DKish models the latest in forest fashion. 


400mm for this fog study.


This leaf was a long way from any tree, just floating through the rain way out over the gorge.  Auto-focusing on such a small target as this leaf is near impossible, so I manually-focused and ripped off multiple shots to be sure I nailed the focus on at least one.


and by the last floating red leaf, absolute poetry.
never saw such a BIG leaf---or did dKish shrink?
Julie Frederick(non-registered)
KY looks a lot like the Vienna woods in October -- except for the big magnolia leaf. John, your shots continue to amaze. Your WTF shot -- that's likely better than I can take on a good day.
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