Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fall in Oregon

Water Collection
Fall Flowers
Oregon is a pretty special place, not too many people can argue that. This is especially true in the Willamette Valley. One of the unique features of a Willamette Valley Fall is that as the trees change their colors, flowers are still bloom. This is pretty unique. Most of the rest of the nation is experiencing vibrant colors uniformly in the trees while Oregon's trees struggle through their color change. One tree will be in full color while the tree next to it, a mere ten feet away, will still be green. Then the when the unchanged tree starts changing the tree next to it is bare, it's leaves laying dead and brown on the ground.

This is due to the unique nature of our weather. Our uneven weather patters of cool to warm to cool to warm leave our trees confused. But this weather pattern also allows some flowers to hang on longer than others. The rest of the country gets their cold snap and it remains cold hence Vermont's hillside's of colors.

Extended Work Season for Bees
With the extended blooming season for flowers comes an extended work season for bees.

Bees are busy harvesting all of the nectar they can before fall sets in hard and fast and they are forced to spend the rest of their lives in their hive.

This time of year allows for some of the best photographic opportunities for flowers because the backgrounds are not polluted with color from other flowers. This allows for simple backgrounds and better isolation of the subject.

Now, this is not a proclamation that flowers are everywhere. You will need to look at specific locations, like private gardens, like the one behind the Sparks Center at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

If the garden is privately owned, make sure to get permission before entering the garden.

Water Drop
Non-Uniform Water Collection

Due to the nature of Oregon's trees, specifically trees in the Willamette Valley, to not typically change colors uniformly, it makes it difficult to find those Vermont like landscapes.

Now you can head into the mountains to find those scenes. I have seen many amazing fall color photographs from my friends who make an annual trip up to Clear Lake in the Cascade Mountains, but this isn't all that local. The other choice is to figure out how to make due with what is available.

This leads me to stop looking up, and turn my eyes down.

I began noticing an odd pattern in the nature of things. Rain drops were collecting on a sporadic few leaves while the other leaves were simply, evenly, wet. This fascinated me. I am currently on a quest to figure out why this happens which might mean I have to learn about fallen leaves and the properties of their textures, hydrodynamics and possibly magic. I wonder if David Copperfield is available for a consult.

Black and White Fall
Muted Fall
Water Drops
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year for a photographer. Understanding how to get the most out of your region, is the key to being successful in your photographic quest. I hope your fall provides you all the great opportunities you are looking for.


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