Hoyt Arboretum, Fall 2023

Over the past two years, I’ve spent most of my photography learning time trying to capture better photos of birds. I enjoy the whole process of getting myself out to where the birds are, anticipating where they might be hanging out and watching and listening, timing the light and weather, and of course fiddling with all the settings and controls on the camera. These places are almost always beautiful — or at least interesting — besides the birds, and lately I’ve been less than thrilled by some of my landscape photography. In anticipation for the onset of fall colors, I started experimenting with different approaches.

Here are two galleries, from visits to the Hoyt Arboretum in mid-October and the beginning of November. For the first, I was playing with different approaches to ISO and aperture, and inadvertently had the camera set to do some HDR processing. The effect was interesting, and color adds a lot of interest to any photo; but the photos didn’t have the clarity I was going for. The second gallery is from the Ginkgo section of the Arboretum, taken two weeks later on the same day as my visit to the Japanese Garden at peak color. These used the settings I ended up using as my “landscape pre-set”. I’ll continue to experiment as I notice things that I like or dislike in the resulting photos. But for the most part my learning pattern has been to pick the settings that seem to work and make sense, and then stop messing with buttons and use my feet and eyes to create the photos.

October 18, 2023

November 1, 2023

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