Well, I am back home from Alabama, but on Thursday, Jessica's mother came over so I ran some errands and did a couple of fun things out and about. I was able to visit Green Mountain where there is a nature walk and a covered bridge.
I have mentioned before that certain scenes are better in the morning, some in the middle of the day and some in the afternoon. Mount Rushmore, for instance, is better in the afternoon. This is determined by the direction the subject is facing or what is around it to shield the sun. When I arrived at the Madison County Nature Walk, the bridge was beginning to be covered by shade. By the time I walked the circle, it was covered and was somewhat hidden in the shadows. This means that some places will need to be visited again to get the best light. Many books on photography such as a photographer's guide to waterfalls in a specific area will include the best time of day to visit. Just something to keep in mind.
Sometimes there is a problem with contrast of lights such as in this chapel that was on the walk. The inside of the chapel is dark and the fall foliage becomes somewhat washed out. A flash would help in cases like this, providing fill light, provided you are close enough to the shaded area. It always makes me laugh at a football game when you see all the flashes of cameras going off. They would be much better off to put the camera on program and use the light available as there is no way the flash will travel all the way to the football field.
Notice how the tree on the left gives a stability to the composition. Diagonal lines will show action, but vertical or horizontal lines offer stability. Since this scene is a quiet peaceful one, I wanted a sense of calm and the tree gives an anchor for the photo as well as providing a foreground.
I love benches and walks in the woods such as this one. When you have a subject that faces in one direction, have that subject coming into the photo, not leaving. While the bench takes up most of this photo, if I had it to one side, I would want it looking into the photo rather than out of the photo.
This lake scene is a good example of the rule of thirds. Notice how the lake line is along the upper third and the dogs and tree limbs are in that area where the lines would intersect for the rule of thirds. Your eye is drawn to that area.