My previous post featured mostly images that combined fall color with the moss- and lichen-draped branches that Olympic National Park is known for. I like those juxtapositions, as they’re so characteristic of that area. But we found lots of other interesting juxtapositions as well.
One thing I kept looking for was groves of alders. Alders often form great patterns, with leaning, criss-crossing, light-colored trunks spotted with patches of moss or lichen. But while alders are deciduous trees, their leaves don’t turn color in the fall. Alders just drop their leaves while they’re still green. Even without that color, however, their patterns and structure make them worth photographing, and sometimes (like in the photo above) I was able to juxtapose maples with alder trunks. (Why don’t alder leaves turn color? No one really knows, but here’s one possible explanation.)
And I also looked for color along creeks and riverbanks. Of course in the Pacific Northwest the creeks and riverbanks are usually choked with vegetation, making it hard to even get near them. And when I did manage to work my way down to the water’s edge, the view of a tree-lined river I was hoping to find was usually blocked by… trees. But I did find a few good vantages.
So here’s another collection of fall-color photos from the Olympic Peninsula. Most of these include either alder trunks or water. And as I mentioned in my previous post, I’m always looking for patterns and focal points in my compositions – especially with complex forest scenes. See if you can spot them!
— Michael Frye
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.