Now that the leaves are starting to crackle under our feet more than sparkle on the trees, I thought it was time for a retrospective of some of the photos I've taken in the parks so far this season. Since we'll be posting snow photos before you know it, I'm having fun looking back at a lovely fall.
(In other photo news, you can now purchase a 2011 calendar at our online store featuring some of my favorite park photos that I've taken this year. And since the holiday season is coming up, I'd love some feedback on what types of items you think would make good gifts. If you ask--or comment on this post--we'll try to accommodate with some new items in the store!)
We'll get started back in September, when a lot of the brightness has faded from the summer landscape and sometimes I have to look very closely for something interesting to photograph. This one is from the meadow behind the Frick Environmental Center, where I found a black swallowtail caterpillar lounging on some Queen Anne's Lace.
Another early-fall pleasure every year is the wildflowers that grow under the Panther Hollow Bridge in Schenley Park. The bees and I are big fans.
During a morning volunteer day in Schenley Park, I noticed how lovely the pattern of horse chestnut leaves was against the sky.
This shot of Nine Mile Run was taken after a sudden, violent thunderstorm in September. The clouds parted and left such a beautiful mist behind.
You might recall I spent a good part of springtime in love with the redbuds. They're no less fun in the fall.
Phil's plan to install Japanese stewartia trees around the Mellon Park Walled Garden yielded pretty blooming flowers in a season where most trees are just green. In the fall these trees produce blue berries. I was lucky enough to catch one on a rainbow-leaf type of day.
On particularly gray days, I try to liven things up by doing something a little different. For a walk in Highland Park, I used my Lensbaby to shoot this graceful, sprawling tree near the Super Playground. The Lensbaby bends according to where you point it and blurs out all but a "sweet spot" of focus. In this case I made the sweet spot the trunk and blurred out the crown, but it's fun to experiment and see which effect you like best.
There wasn't much light left after work one night, but I headed over to the Reynolds Street gatehouse in Frick Park anyway because I figured I should catch these trees before they drop all their leaves.
I do get a little obsessed with both lens flare and putting the camera in a leaf pile.
One Friday I went to lunch and the light outside was uncommonly gorgeous. So I decided to spend the afternoon in Highland Park, where a gathering thundershower provided some beautiful backdrops for the shining yellow leaves. I had three lenses with me, so I photographed this tree three ways. First, with a 20mm wide angle lens:
Then, with a 100mm macro:
And then with the Lensbaby.
Lake Carnegie was also looking quite lovely that day.
I made it up to my car from the lake right as the rain began to pour. I sat for a while and just enjoyed it from the comfort of my car, and then drove back around to Memorial Grove, where the leaves were too pretty to pass up.
Then I headed over to Nine Mile Run in Frick Park to end the day. The leaves were still covered in droplets over there too (and yeah, I did arrange the pic on the left, although I'm sure such a leaf pile probably existed somewhere in the vicinity.)
The sumacs were practically glowing.
Later that weekend, post-Steelers game, I made a visit to Riverview Park and found a lovely study in color contrast.
This one is from an evening walk in Schenley where I just happened to have an actual zoom lens to capture the moon.
I walked over the Panther Hollow Bridge and took an aerial shot down into the park. It certainly is a busy canvas from above.
Frick Park had a golden moment when I visited the Braddock Trail. People were out all over, riding bikes, walking, and chatting by the tennis courts.
Another obvious "hey, leaves look great against a blue sky" shot.
Our Schenley Park Master Plan Update meeting fell on a beautiful, warm Saturday. These are both from about the same spot near Phipps Conservatory.
Another post-Steeler Sunday shot, from a stunning afternoon in Highland Park. If I had to pick the most perfect day of fall, I'd say this was probably it.
I couldn't quit staring at this leaf pile from all the way across the park. I came back a couple of days later and it was gone.
Walking around the reservoir and the entry garden.
Early-morning meeting about signage in Schenley Park.
I went up to the Schenley Park Overlook to check out how Phil's elm trees were doing, and got another rainy-leaf shot with the city in the background.
This is one of my consistent favorite fall places to shoot--through the ginkgoes to the blue building behind them in Highland Park.
Lake Carnegie again, this time full of happy ducks.
Memorial Grove was once again soaked, so this time I hovered the camera over the pool of water.
And finally, a little trip to Riverview Park's dog run, where this adorable Sheltie was chasing squirrels.
Hope you've been enjoying the fall! If you've got some great photos, post them to our Flickr group!