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last of the 2014 fall leaves

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last of the 2014 fall leaves

Postby SSSdave » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:35 pm

The below was the only fall leaf photography I managed this droughty year and made only 3 images but one turned out to be a winner.

So a week ago Saturday November 15, was back working on a close-up project down along the San Mateo coastline. There were considerable high clouds above which made for excellent diffuse light mid afternoon so on the return stopped off at Butano State Park looking for situations of big leaf maple with fall yellow leaves and coast redwoods.

This summer to make large prints began using a Sony A6000 with a Gigapan Epic robotic head and Kolor Autopan software to stitch frames instead of my usual large format 4x5. This new system has been productive though requires careful work in the field then a lot of post processing work. The link below shows an image captured the full size of which is 12400 x 9600 pixels from a 3x3 panel of 4000x6000 image frames. That is enough for a sharp 32x41.3 inch image at 300 ppi. This first link shows the image downsized 6:1 which is still rather impressive.


The next two links are small 50% pixel crops with the first at center foreground and the second a crop a bit left of upper center showing ferns growing atop the mossy branches and small second growth redwoods behind.



A key to this kind of leaf subject is to find a tree where many leaves have dropped within about a day as they otherwise quickly turn to a less aesthetic reddish brown. However the many fallen leaves brighten the scene versus the dark streambed with dull rocks one would capture most times of year so I learned that situation improves the aesthetic in such redwood groves. Below the area of the upper crop one can see tanbark oak and below that sword ferns. Looking at the 6:1 image, a bit right of the foreground crop one can make out a banana slug.

Most of the frames had 2 to 4 captures made with my Sigma DN 30mm at f11 at different focus points which in Photoshop CS6 were focus stack blended. Thus there were actually a total of 27 images used to make the 9 panel frames. The result has more resolution and sharpness throughout and better dynamic range than I could have made with my view camera.

David Senesac

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