My best planning is no planning

I headed out to a nearby park to attempt some photography of details of nature. The bulk of the fall color had already passed peak and I wasn’t expecting much in the way of color, so I had black and white on my mind. Maybe some textures of dead leaves or a nice bare tree. Probably the one drawback was that it was a nice sunny day – not the kind of lighting I like for detail shots. But by the time I arrived at the park it was late afternoon so at least the sun was at a nice lower angle.

As I started to walk around I noticed there were still some colorful leaves hanging around and what I wasn’t seeing were the textures I came there for. Mind you I do tend to focus on pretty small areas for textures but what immediately caught my eye were the bright red berries. The sunlight was backlighting them, and they really seemed to glow. “But I’m here for black and white”, I thought. “Oh well no harm in taking a couple snaps”.

Fujifilm X-T3, XF 55-200

“Well, that was fun, now onto some monochrome!”

As I continued looking around and heading into the woods I just wasn’t seeing anything to make an interesting black and white image. The textures were there but everything seemed one dimensional and didn’t offer enough contrast to make an interesting mono image. So I took a few photos with my Fujifilm X-T3 set to monochrome to hopefully previsualize how the images would look in black and white and what I was seeing wasn’t thrilling me. I decided to pack it in.

On the way out of the park I glanced into a wooded area as the sun was getting lower in the sky I noticed a lone small tree the still had some red leaves being backlit by the sun. The leaves seemed to glow in the shadows of the larger trees. I had to try a few shots of the leaves before leaving. I shot a number of images of first the whole tree followed by some closeups of the leaves. Figuring I had enough shots I headed home.

During processing of the photos I found one photo of the backlit leaves that looked interesting. After my usual straightforward processing it did indeed look pretty good. But after staring at the photo for a while I decided to try something I haven’t done much of lately – adding some texture layers. I wanted to keep the image darker and the textures a little less obvious, so I experimented until I ended up with this result:

Fujifilm X-T3, XF 55-200

So, that’s it! A colorful day in a black and white mind!

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