The switch back from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time (about time!) helped us get a good night's sleep Saturday night. Maybe not big shakes to you but we, and especially I, have been sleep deprived for the past several days and it felt great to wake rested! After a quiet morning around the house and lunch at home we headed back again to the Summit County Metro Parks and their Sand Run park, an area of 992 acres adjoining the Metro Park we visited one week ago. What an experience it was! Skies were partly cloudy, temperatures were cool to mild, and the park lands were hilly and gorgeous in what is now the declining period of fall color.
We chose the 3.3-mile Mingo Trail for its distance; we usually skip the really short walks. We found the unpaved, earthen trail a welcome challenge with a good amount hill climbing that really warmed us up and got our heart rates climbing as well. All along the way there was natural beauty to behold and, of course, photograph.
For me the day's shooting was a continuing exercise in re-learning my skills in photography with all manner of subjects available. This day I was also able to give my newer Canon EF 50mm Macro lens a good shake-down. Walks in dense wooded areas lend themselves well to finding subjects suited to close-up views and I really love viewing things close-up… have loved it ever since I started doing photography many years ago. As a kid I used a lens –objective lens off an old binocular, if I remember correctly– as an improvised macro adapter. Worked pretty well, too! I still own a really good 50mm macro from my Minolta film SLRs but, because of the auto-focus revolution and my migration to Canon's system, it now sits unused. When I was doing fine art photography I loved using black & white and, in the darkroom, made excellent prints from my shots. I still find certain subjects lend themselves best to the strong graphical qualities of black & white. In one case we happened across a large tree that had toppled. Where the trunk had broken, splintered and bent fibers of wood posed in subdued light. Even standing there recording the view I was seeing the broken tree not in shades of light brown but in monochrome. So, back at my desk, I used Photoshop to remove all of the color from the shot to show viewers what my eye had already seen.
Then again, I like some images better in color. Of course I select different techniques for different subjects. The gray of the rotting wood embedded in colorful fallen leaves is an interesting study in contrasts. The small fungi are the only white in the shot.
While I was experimenting with the macro lens on non-"macro" subjects I also tried out a longer exposure on the small waterfall we encountered. Very nice effect. Yes, I know, it's been done many times and by many others. I still like the shot and the macro, while not ideal for a larger scene, did an acceptable job.