Mike Smeen's picture

Fall foliage in Bear Mountain, NY

Went for a hike up Bear Mountain NY in the Hudson Valley last weekend. Took plenty of shots but overall I'm relatively new to landscape/nature photography.

First one was my first attempt ever at using an ND filter. Dropped 10 stops and took a 15" exposure with the Fujinon 56mm f1.2. My two self-critiques here are that the ISO is too high and the composition leaves a little to be desired with that tree in the way (it was very crowded and I didn't have a ton of room).

The second one was from near the top of the mountain. I thought instead of just taking a standard landscape shot that I'd give it the feeling that I was "peeking out" from the trees. Not sure if it had its intended effect but I do like it.

Any thoughts or CC? Thanks!

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"less of the mess" like Nick Page says. You need to crop even more to focus on a subject, especially in woodlands. Woodlands are probably the most difficult thing to shoot. For the second picture, the idea is good, but the frame is barely there, don't hesitate to include it more, it can take a lot of the photo. And I'd have removed the top right part of the landscape with the bright lake which is in the haze anyway. Hope this helps.

Mike Smeen's picture

Excellent feedback, thank you.

The second I'm going to try for a re-edit and a new crop. I might also try to post-process that hazy side to see if I can de-haze and recover detail. If not I'll crop it.

David Russell's picture

I'm with Nick B on the cropping for number 2. I think taking out the top with the lake will make the forest appear more 'endless' as it will then extend to the limits of the image in all directions.

Love the colour in image number 1. Don't think you need that long an exposure though. You can still capture the motion of the water with a faster shutter but have less risk of losing definition in the trees. Any breeze and they'll move and spoil the sharpness. Some of the leaves on the left look a bit blurred, but maybe it's just me.

joseph cole's picture

beautiful location there are some simple things you can do when you revisit sometimes you don't need to take in the whole scene sometimes the scene around the jewel isn't interesting so focus in in the best part and you will find better content to shoot like this one i did below (not a professional mind you but gives you an idea)

Jordan McChesney's picture

The first photo seems blurry to me, did you use a remote shutter or a timer?
Also, for the composition, you can lose pretty much the whole left side as it doesn't add anything, and it's only going to further complicate the focus (you'll likely have to focus stack). I'd recommend a vertical shot focusing more on the waterfall itself, you can still fit some of the colour in there, though.

The second one is a nice idea, but it seems like the light just wasn't there to make it dynamic. The view is nice, but the light is kind of flat throughout the image.

I hope you're able to go back before the leaves fall!

Ian Fraser's picture

The images have a lot going on in them. It looks like a great location, just try to be mindful of the details you want to bring out. The waterfall in the first image grabs my attenion right away. when you go back, try to get a shot of just the fall. If you can move in a few feet and and composed the line that you see as the whole image it would be fantastic. There is so much definition and drama with the rock.