"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

The Chase

By on September 27, 2017 in Outdoor Fun with 1 Comment

A reflection of an orange vine maple in the Icicle River, by photographer Marc Dilley.

By Marc Dilley

The encore before winter sleep, October is nature’s Month of Color.

There is always something new to see outside, but October is special. For outdoor photographers it all comes together: the annual botanic color explosion before winter, beautiful sunrises/sets, the gentle rhythm of slow moving water trickling through rivers and streams.

Perhaps my favorite month with the camera, it is certainly the time with the greatest variability of subjects of techniques. Sunsets, golden larch, autumn broadleaf trees and shrubs, stone detail, water detail and this image.

This is a reflection of an orange vine maple in the Icicle River up in the canyon. The bright blue is of course the intense blue sky that one sees that time of the year.

To achieve this brilliant look, there must be as much in-camera contrast between the water and plant color as possible. The water must be in complete shade and the plant must be in complete sun and preferably filtered by a polarizer.

The most dependable time of day to find these conditions is early morning/late evening. There are a couple of other things: these cool swirls tend to be small and best seen at an angle of about 30 degrees. And mostly in deeper water.

You will want to have a telephoto lens on a rock solid tripod to get close.

Oh… much of these mountain streams have thick, riparian shrubs along the banks, so you will be standing in the water to get past them. I use old approach shoes because the sticky rubber is dependable on the slick stones.

The question of shutter speed: it is very difficult to judge on the LCD camera back if you captured the motion the way you wanted. Besides, your creative ideas might change once you get back to your computer.

Always bracket the shutter speed like crazy. Bracket to where the water looks like cut crystal then to where it looks like fine silk.

For this image I used a shutter speed of 1/15 second, stopped way down to f/32 to insure the entire scene would be in focus, and an ISO of 800. I had to do some heavy noise removal because of the high ISO.

If your camera has the capability, shoot in Camera Raw. Raw files have a ton more information than a jpg and are more “exposure mistake proof.”

You expose a raw for the highlights unlike a jpg, which you expose for the middle tones.

On the cover

Kim Anderson took this photo of his hiking buddy Mark Henson finishing another section of cliff ladders on the West Coast Trail of Vancouver Island.

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  1. Tony Hadley says:

    Wonderful

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