Friday, November 04, 2011

Autumn leaves

click photo to enlarge
Flowering cherries must have more cameras pointed at them than any other species of tree. It's not difficult to see why. In spring the trees are covered in showy blossom. In autumn their leaves flicker with fiery colours - red, orange, yellow and purple replacing the lingering greens. Cherries are often planted in avenues or groups, but single specimens abound among plainer trees too, and in these circumstances the oriental species attracts the eye with colours that outshine virtually all its companions. I think I'm probably an exception to the photographic rule that I am proposing because this blog attests to my liking for a wide variety of trees. However, I have photographed my share of flowering cherries, not least because my garden has five examples. Two of them are about as big as they get - approximately twenty five feet high. One is an old, gnarled, very Japanese-looking example with pink blossom like candy floss. The other two are younger trees. None were planted by me.

Last year the autumnal colours of the flowering cherries were the best I have seen. This year I remarked to my wife that they seemed more subdued. But, a few days after I uttered those words, as if to prove me wrong, a couple of the trees produced leaves of very deep and intense hues, such that I had to go in and get my camera. I generally find that flower and leaf colours in photographs are truest when the shot is taken in bright, overcast conditions; there is less reflection from the surfaces of the plants. On this occasion, however, it was the sunlit leaves that outshone those taken under cloud cover. The particular group of leaves I focused on were in dappled light with the background leaves more strongly lit and the colours shown above are those that came out of the camera.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 300mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On