I drove up to Wareham Forest with my camera at the weekend in search of an autumn scene. From a photography point of view, autumn is my favourite season. The sun is getting lower in the sky (not scientifically accurate but you know what I mean!) which makes for some great shooting opportunities. Shadows from trees for example get longer which is a great way to create drama in a photo. But what really clicks my shutter is the changing colours in the trees. If you can find an elevated viewpoint to look down over the trees, the variety of colours takes my breath away.
No such thing as a wasted trip
Unfortunately I don't know Wareham Forest very well so I was unable to find a viewpoint to fit the image in my head that I wanted to capture. I always try to keep an open mind though so I can keep an eye out for any other opportunities that may present themselves. I had shot from 2 separate locations before heading back to my car. I wasn't over the moon with what I'd captured but I never think of it as wasted time. If nothing else it was a good scouting opportunity and an enjoyable walk. Yes, with modern technology you can plan any trip down to nth degree but where's the fun in that? Wouldn't you rather be out shooting? I do plan my trips but I try not to over do it.
Keep looking around
On my way back to the car I looked over my shoulder and back down the path I had walked along which led my eye to a glorious orange sky where the sun was setting just over the trees. What followed was one of the quickest set ups I'd ever done as I mounted my camera on my tripod and reached for my filters and shutter release cable. The first shot was composed with the puddle giving reflections from the trees creating foreground interest while the path I'd walked along was a great lead in line, guiding the viewers eye in to the photo. I focused to get the scene sharp from front to back and started shooting. But something didn't feel quite right. I wasn't entirely comfortable with what I was looking at on the back of my camera. (seen below, post edit)
I stopped and thought to myself 'what is this shot about? what made me want to capture this scene?'. The puddle had nothing to do with my initial feeling for the photo, it was the long stretching path guiding my eyes to the resting point where the sun was setting. So I raised my tripod up a level, changed orientation to portrait, zoomed in from 24mm to 70mm and instantly felt better about what I was presented with. It's amazing how much a change of perspective can alter your view of the world!
This was my final shot but I'd like to hear opinions of which shot you prefer. Please comment below.