Early Fall Color Gallery
Fujichrome Velvia 50
Film is my main photographic medium year-round, but especially in the autumn. It's all about the colors, the tones... and the tangible pictures.
Here's a gallery of photos, mostly from 2014. I have much newer slide-film pics of autumn foliage and have to post them.
This page happens to be mostly blackgum trees, because that's one of the best early-autumn sources of color.
Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica) leaves turn beautiful shades of deep red in early autumn. These trees, also known as pepperidge or black tupelo, tend to grow in and near damp areas such as bogs, and they favor acidic soils. They're pretty hardy trees, though; I've seen them growing in soil that was not really damp at all. This species ranges from east Texas to the Ozarks to the Appalachians to the coastal regions of Florida and northward. In other words, it's all over the place!
One of the keys to identification is the elongated, almost waxy leaves that sometimes appear to grow in disorganized bunches at the end of each little branch.
Shots into the sun like this are tough with any camera. Clouds near the sun tend to blow out to white. However, with film, it's more of a gentle wash-out, rather than the nasty shelf-like blowout that you get with digital. (The digital scan is going to introduce some of that, though.)
This one shows that jumbled sort of quality that blackgum leaves can have. Bright colors, yet this was only the second day of autumn 2014. There were actually some stands of trees that that seemed to think it was much later in the season.
Now that's what I'm talking about. Pure color, done the way it should be... Fujichrome RVP. The 50 is good for its finer grain and slightly better color rendition, but the 100 is also nice for its extra stop of light sensitivity.
This is another blackgum tree, Nyssa sylvatica. It's one of the first trees to put on an autumn display. Blackgum doesn't grow so much in the very far-north regions, but it's found in the southern part of lower Michigan and much of southern New England.
An Autumn Wall of Color
Yep, I know it's a rather busy scene. It can be difficult to get multiple trees in one scene while preserving a good composition.
Also, the direction of sunlight makes a big difference in the photo.
That One Tree
Here's another photo of Nyssa sylvatica, the tree which early settlers were said to have passed over because the wood is so difficult to split. For a long time I didn't know what this tree was, except that it was usually the first one to assume bright colors in autumn. In many landscapes, yellows and oranges are much more abundant than scarlet; that makes the blackgum all the more worth seeking out on a photo hike.
That concludes Page Three of the Pre-October Fall Color gallery. If you've found this website helpful or entertaining, please help me keep it going by using the links to purchase any of your gear... cameras, lenses, outdoor gear, pretty much anything.
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