Wednesday, November 5, 2014

New York - Central Park in Fall colors

Last week I was in New York to speak at B&H and for the Photo Plus trade show. Last Tuesday afternoon, after doing my "How to shoot great senior portraits" talk at B&H, I went out to Central Park with the goal of photographing fall colors. I was armed with my Canon 5D Mark III, Black Rapid strap (which I love!), and a Tamron 28-300mm lens (which is a nice light walk-around lens). It was not the peak of color, but still provided some really nice photo opportunities. Come on...let me take you through the park...

I have photographed Bow Bridge many times in the past, but never with fall colors. I went to the far side of the bridge and climbed up on a rock to get this perspective. I love shooting this bridge at an extreme angle to emphasize the architecture. There were many boaters that came into the frame, but I waited for only one boat, with someone wearing good colors, that would fit the scene and reflect off the water.

After shooting this shot, I ventured over to the flowers that you see on the bridge.

I was looking to see if there was a good shot of the flowers, when I noticed this butterfly. I quickly reframed my shot, focusing on the butterfly, but also using the fall colors in the background. I took numerous photos of the monarch butterfly on the yellow flowers, and then he took off. I fired off a couple of frames and got lucky to have a nice sharp image.

While strolling along one of the walking paths, I saw this tree on the edge of a lake. I really liked the way that the orange leaves created a nice pattern in front of the bright yellow tree in the background. I shot this at f/5.6 to make sure that the focus was only on the foreground tree.

This photo shows a different view of the season. Instead of showing a whole tree, I isolated this one branch to show the turning of the leaves. Nature's pallet is so awesome!

For any of you lucky enough to visit Central Park, you will recognize these light posts which are everywhere. I decided to photograph one of these lights in front of a magnificent tree. Once again, I used a fairly wide aperture of f/6.3 with my zoom lens at 300mm to compress the background and draw the viewer's eye to the light.

I saw this reflection and could not help myself. So cool!

At one point, I came across an area with these beautiful flowers. I composed this shot numerous ways, but really liked this one photo the best.

After hours of walking the park, I came around a corner of this lake and saw the late afternoon sun hitting these trees across from me. I took many photos of this scene before the light dissipated, and grabbed this one with the boater in a red shirt (again adding to the scene) and the goose heading towards me. romantic. I had to grab this shot!

The direct sunlight had come and gone, but the flat light helped me get these shots.

I saw this break in the trees and was shooting photos of the distant trees through the larger hole to the right of the frame, when I noticed these boaters through another smaller break in the tree. I quickly refocused on the boaters and zoomed out to include them in the photo. (Photographer's tip: Whenever you are taking photos, be aware of everything around you, as many times you will find more interesting subjects that were not initially focusing on. Look behind you, above you and really dissect a scene to find something beyond the obvious.)

I saw these trees through a small break in the bushes to my left. I could not help myself, so I hopped a small fence, walked through the trees to a clearing, and shot this. (Don't worry - I was very careful and didn't trample anything.) It was just too amazing to pass up!

It was just before sunset when I grabbed this shot near the Bethesda Fountain.

And if you know me, you know that I just can't stop shooting when I am in the zone. The light had dropped and most people had put their cameras away, but I saw this as another opportunity to shoot some motion blur of the passing carriages. I lowered the ISO to 250 and changed the shutter speed to 1/2 second and panned along with the horse and carriages.

I hope you enjoyed our little walk through Central Park!


If you are interested in purchasing any camera equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. I would really appreciate that.


Unknown said...

Nice photos! I especially like the one of the lake and the goose coming towards you.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing these. I really like how you explained your settings in each photo.

Dave W said...

I see that goose heading toward you and hear the Jaws music in my head...

Thanks for sharing..

Anonymous said...

Love your photos of the park in fall. By the way, I believe your butterfly is an American Lady and not a Monarch.

KG2V said...

Being picky, but as my dad had one of the most complete butterfly collections of east cost butterflies, not a Monarch - it appears to be a Painted Lady, one of the Brushfoots. That said, it is a great photo, in a great series