• Paul

Visiting a "secret" location

This year has been spectacular in the South Okanagan. True, that's the case in most years, but this year has outdone itself with displays of yellows, oranges and reds.


Fall colors are like catnip to landscape photographers, so for the past few weeks I've been getting out as often as I can to capture some of the beauty before it is gone.


It was on one of these outings that I discovered a gem hidden in a small corner just a little off the beaten track. There, on a rocky hillside above a vineyard, stood a tree that was positively on fire with yellow leaves. Not another living being was on hand to witness this beauty.

Although it was midday, and much too sunny for landscape photography, I stopped and climbed the hill to take a few shots. Predictably, when I sat down later to process the images, the harsh light made the task challenging. It was a beautiful composition, but it was hard to do the fall colors justice.


A week later, I visited again, hoping the colors would still be intact. This time, however, I came in the late afternoon, hoping to take advantage of the soft light near sunset. Upon arriving, I was surprised to find most of the leaves fallen.

The tree was still gorgeous, but half of its former glory lay in piles below. I captured the moment again, and this time was rewarded with a more manageable image.


Two weeks later, nearly a full month after first finding the tree, I returned to see what was left. Not much, it turned out. October had made way for November, and there was not a single yellow leaf left on the tree. Or in the vineyard across the road. All that remained were the skeletal limbs of the tree and the vines. Still, the composition was good and I committed the moment to photo.


It was later, looking over the three images I had captured in the space of a few weeks, that the full extent of the change became apparent. From a bright, sunny day and a tree full of yellow leaves to a dull, cloudy day with no leaves. Such is the pain brought by autumn, the price we pay for the fleeting, stunning displays of color.


As a landscape photographer, however, I can savor the images as often as I like. I hope you will enjoy them as well.


If you are interested in watching a short video of my last trip to this secret location, visit our Youtube channel.

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