Every fall I drive hundreds of miles looking for colorful foliage. The last several years have been hit or miss, the colors not that vibrant, and within short distances, there were pockets of nice color then trees that had already dropped their leaves. Mother Nature does what she wants.
Towards the end of the season, I look for waterfalls where leaves have fallen and are scattered throughout the scene. Earlier this month I visited the Christman Sanctuary in Delanson, NY. There are several waterfalls and cascades along the Bozen Kill giving a variety of compositions.
A recent heavy rain storm caused the flow here to be much stronger than normal for this time of year. This particular falls had some nice motion to the water and I shot a number of frames as long exposures capturing the moving bubbles. I noticed on the far side that some leaves in the water made a nice swirl over the course of the six second exposure. But on the right side, there were only bubbles making a white circular shape. I wished there was more color there…
I recalled a comment that Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon said in one of his tutorial videos – “Make the picture, don’t just take the picture.” I looked off to the side of the creek at all the fallen leaves and thought, why not? Scooping up several handfuls, then tossing them in the stream on the right side of my composition gave me what I was looking for – swirls and streaks of rust color.
I made the picture. Mother Nature did not give me this complete scene. I’m okay with that, to me it’s art, and I just gave Mother Nature a helping hand to make it even better that what it was.
Canon 5D Mark IV, 24-105L at 24mm, f/18, ISO 50 for 6 seconds with Lee CPL.