September 27, 2014: Kebler Pass, Gunnison County, Colorado

By: Cameron M. Redwine

Oct 08 2014

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Aperture:f/4.5
Focal Length:200mm
ISO:125
Shutter:1/640 sec
Camera:NIKON D800

Gusts of wind bring down a flurry of yellow and gold Aspen leaves on Kebler Pass west of Crested Butte, Colorado on September 27, 2014.

I’m a big fan of broad, sweeping autumn landscapes, but sometimes it’s nice to shoot a photo that captures the feeling of moment. I remember a photo similar to this from a few years ago shot by a Denver Post photojournalist. I’ve been looking for the right light conditions ever since (shady with a beam of soft light in the foreground), and I finally found it. The scene was not as dark as it appears.  As photographers know, working within the physical restraints of the medium is part of the fun. By that, I mean that when a photographer exposes for highlights in a lower light situation, the shadows in the rest of the frame are very dark.

My goal was to expose for the yellow leaves falling in the foreground while still being able to see the trees in the distance. I shot this long at 200mm with a relatively low (large) aperture @ F/4.5 to separate the leaves from the background. Because I can’t focus on single leaves, I chose to focus on the bush at the bottom of the frame, knowing leaves were falling through light at about that point. And finally, I wanted a shutter speed faster than 1/500 of a second to freeze the leaves midair.

Check out more autumn landscapes on my Instagram @cameronredwine

© Cameron M. Redwine, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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