10.29.17: Fence and shadows

Shadows of a split rail fence darken a trail in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio. 


Technical information

Nov. 15, 2015,
10:27 a.m.

40°4’23” N,
82°52'51" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L  (35mm) 


1/100th second


When the weather turns cool and colorful leaves start falling I’m often drawn to the woods to add some autumn landscape photos to my files.

The woods are a wonderful place when fall leaves are at peak color, but my experience here in Central Ohio has taught me that peak color is fleeting at best. We seem to have a lot of years where leaves go from green to gone, skipping the colorful transition. A sudden cold rain at just the right (or wrong) time can clear the trees. 

Even when we get color we often have overcast skies. The lack of sunshine reflecting off the leaves tends to mute the color in photographs.

That’s the problem I was having on this November morning in 2015 when I was hiking through Blendon Woods Metro Park east of Columbus. A thick cloud cover reduced the fall scenery to a boring, low-contrast landscape. 

But that changed as I walked around a turn on the trail and began moving up a hill. 

The sun suddenly broke through, casting shadows of a rail fence on a leaf-covered trail winding up the hill. It created such a tranquil autumn scene that I immediately grabbed my camera to get some shots.

There are a number of things I like about this photo. The curve of the shadows along the trail creates a sense of motion. The green algae growing on the fence adds color to contrast with the brown and orange tones that dominate the scene. The angle of the fence draws the viewer into the scene, pulling the eye to the point where the fence line and shadows converge in the upper left of the photo. When combined it creates a sense of being alone in the woods on a fall morning, as I was.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.