The dull day - bright colors paradox

Discuss Fall Foliage in Vermont, when to come, where to stay, where to take a tour etc. Note: You must be registered in order to post. If you have trouble registering, use the contact us form on Scenes of Vermont's home page.

Moderators: Andy, pwt54, admin, ctyanky

Post Reply
pwt54
Moderator
Posts: 2749
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2002 12:01 am
Location: johnson,vermont,usa

The dull day - bright colors paradox

Post: # 2126Post pwt54
Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:15 pm

I took the same route today that I did yesterday. Yesterday it was bright and sunny, but the colors looked dull except for a very narrow and specific viewing direction. Today it is cloudy and the colors in the same areas are bright and rich. The bright sun tends to wash out the bright colors. For ride around viewing you want a lightly cloudy day. If you take photos you want a bright sunny day. A photgrapher will get out and walk around until they find the specific viewing area ( usually about 45 degrees from the direction of the sun). If you are riding on a sunny day try to put the sun behind you and look at a 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock postion. If you are facing the sun you have to look at a 4 o'clock or 8 o'clock position. On a cloudy day is doesn't matter were you look. It's all good. A stong wind is also a problem. It turns the leaves bottom side up and the bottom of a leaf is duller than the top. For this conditon, you need roads where the trees are right up next to the road and sheltered valleys. And you thought that looking at the "purty" leaves was easy!


ixl
Posts: 938
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 12:01 am
Location: Southern VT
Contact:

Re: The dull day - bright colors paradox

Post: # 2127Post ixl
Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:38 pm

Good advice.

What you are noticing is a saturation effect that is caused by the character of the light. Cloudy days create diffused light which is perfect for high-saturation shots like leaf abstracts and streams -- which do poorly with direct sun. The problem is that these days feature dull gray skies which most people don't like. So I just avoid including the skies on these days.

If you do go on a cloudy day and include the sky in shots you may find the foliage is underexposed.

Photographers often prefer to shoot within the first few hours of sunrise or sunset to avoid the harsh rays of the noontime sun. This is more of a problem further south in summer than it is in northern VT in October. I still prefer shooting between 7 and 10 am and 2 and 5 pm, plus sunrise/sunset (which are a different beast altogether.)

One last thing: a polarizer helps a LOT with the glare off foliage when the sun is out. --c
Charles Kozierok - DesktopScenes.com

View Autumn Scenes from Southern Vermont (2003), my free, 75-image foliage gallery!

pwt54
Moderator
Posts: 2749
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2002 12:01 am
Location: johnson,vermont,usa

Re: The dull day - bright colors paradox

Post: # 2128Post pwt54
Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:45 pm

I talked to a photographer last Sunday at the floating bridge and he said that a polarizer worked best at a 90% angle to the sun. Usually I use a neutral density filter on a bright with mixed results. Right now I'm just playing with control buttons. I take about 5 pictures of the same scene and see which looks the best. I gotta do something. I'm to lazy to get up at sunrise after a nightshift and I'm driving to work on the dayshift.

ixl
Posts: 938
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 12:01 am
Location: Southern VT
Contact:

Re: The dull day - bright colors paradox

Post: # 2129Post ixl
Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:50 pm

That's correct about the polarizer.

Not sure why you'd need a neutral density unless you are trying to slow your shutter speed for waterfalls or some such. Polarizers are also very useful for waterfalls, cutting glare off the water.

You don't have to shoot right at sunset. Even 4:30 or 5 pm instead of 12:30 or 1 pm makes a noticeable difference.

Here's an image I processed today, for your enjoyment. Can you guess where it was taken? :) --c

<img src="http://www.pcguide.com/pers/vt04f/035609.jpg" alt=" - " />
Charles Kozierok - DesktopScenes.com

View Autumn Scenes from Southern Vermont (2003), my free, 75-image foliage gallery!

pwt54
Moderator
Posts: 2749
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2002 12:01 am
Location: johnson,vermont,usa

Re: The dull day - bright colors paradox

Post: # 2130Post pwt54
Sat Oct 09, 2004 7:34 pm

Just experimenting with the ND filter, thats all. No, I just can't figure out where that is right now. That hill side looks like the one at Tildy's Pond but the stream looks different.


Susan2004
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 12:01 am
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: The dull day - bright colors paradox

Post: # 2131Post Susan2004
Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:07 pm

Dumb question - I thought I'd upload a couple of shots I took this weekend, but I'm not sure how. Just cutting and pasting doesn't seem to work. If anyone's interested in seeing them, maybe you could clue me in as to how to get them on here! :)

Bellavance
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:01 am
Location: Longueuil, QC Canada

Re: The dull day - bright colors paradox

Post: # 2132Post Bellavance
Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:27 am

This site doesn't accept images, so you have to upload them to a website on which you are allowed to upload images. Then, when you compose your message on this board, you press the button "Image" and enter the URL of where the image is on your website.

As an example, I've uploaded three photos taken last Friday, that you can see at: The colors of Automn.

findkeys
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 12:01 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: The dull day - bright colors paradox

Post: # 2133Post findkeys
Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:44 am

yes, just back from there, terrific scences! The route 125 and 30 are my favorite, two different visions. I didnot get excited in Equinox Mt and Killington peak, that's the reason why I don't like the cloudy weather, even feel cold in killington peak, nothing can be seen from the top.

I would think this week will be the foliage peak in Arlington area, you can take some pictures in Howell's camping site during sunset. Also the Scholfield place around Bridgewater corners ia worthy a try.


Post Reply