Season of change

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Cool evenings, old mornings and a tinge of color on the trees around town mark a change in the season. Autumn is upon us, the time has slipped away some how and I have missed some of the changes on the trail. I decided for a hike to look at some of the colors of fall with a trip to the lonely stretches of trail at Morgan Territory’s Old Finley Road.

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Nestled on the park’s far west border it is a road seemingly rarely traveled. Abandoned buildings, stretches of wizened trees and a deserted trail lend an air of bleakness to my hike. I was looking for color, the first signs of change on the way as the summer months loosen their grip and the trees fade into a blaze of color.

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I know I will never the splash of vibrant colors that are reserved for the eastern states, but even so the trails in the rugged hills will show their fall colors. My hiking has been sporadic lately and I haven’t been to chart the progress as the seasons change. I decided on a two-lens hike, carrying a 10-22 mm wide angle and 70-200 mm zoom for the nearly 11 mile hike.

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Entering Finley Road just after sunrise the trail was lit with a diffused light, casting a blue-gray hue on the road. The first signs of color changing on the trees shone against the gray cast on the side of the trail.   Shooting with the 70 -200 mm lens I framed the colorful leaves carefully against a dark background of trees and shadows to make sure their colors were standing out.

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The drought has left vast swaths of the Morgan Territory a parched landscape of yellow and tan and I had to choose my camera angles carefully to take advantage of whatever background that would help isolate the colors. Shooting at 200 mm with t a large lens aperture helped maintain a shallow depth of field to emphasize the subject and the colors.

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Near the halfway point of my loop fallen leaves in a myriad of shapes and sizes gave a jumble of colors and textures to photograph. Cropping in close helped highlight the shapes and how and the colors piled on top each other.

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Soon the days will be shorter and the shadows will stretch longer as the colors creep the season. I will make a few more hikes this year to see the last colors fade into the days winter.