Photography 101: Mystery

Path dappled in sunlight winding through autumn-colored woods until it disappears around the bend. Autumn Trail

Being a photographer is dangerous to my driving habits! It was 4:30 in the afternoon as I was driving down a winding, two-lane street that passes through heavy woods and by running streams. The golden hour was in full force and I found myself looking left and right, envisioning the pictures I would take if I could stop. Scene after scene whizzed by. My frustration mounted.

Finally, the pull became too strong. There’s a wooded path off the street that I’ve been wanting to photograph before all the autumn colors were gone.  Making a split-second decision, I literally pulled off on two wheels, parked, and sprinted down the path hoping to find beautiful dappled sunlight as the sun made its descent in the sky. I chose my vantage point, sat down on the path, waited a few minutes for a passing cloud to clear, and lo and behold, the scene I pictured in my mind unfolded before me. The colors weren’t the bright oranges and reds that I would have liked, but for me, the beautiful light made up for that.

Where does this path lead? Ah, that’s the mystery.

Photography 101 Assignment: Some photos are significant not because of what’s depicted, but because of the mood they create. They communicate an idea that transcends the actual subject of the image. Share an image that creates a sense of mystery, and manipulate light around you to enhance the mood of your image.

21 thoughts on “Photography 101: Mystery

  1. Great image Stacy. But it seems as if, with a little bit of your Lightroom expertise, you could have gotten closer to the image in your mind. Maybe no bright reds, but you could have easily gotten the right oranges!

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  2. Stacy, clearly you’ve struck a chord with photonuts everywhere who can relate to pulling over to shoot … stopping in the middle of the road, turning around and being late work, and showing up with mud on my heels 🙂
    I do love this image … the curve just makes us all want to walk on down and see what we can see.
    Thanks for stopping!

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    • Hahaha – yes, being late because you just had to get that shot. Done that too 🙂 We photographers are definitely a fun breed! Thanks for your kind comment, Laurie. And you just keep getting mud on those heels and taking your shots!

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    • Awww, thanks, Hugh 🙂 As for forgetting your iPhone, I feel naked without it in my pocket for more reasons than photography 😉 So I can honestly say I’ve never left home without it! Now that I’ve said that though, it’s going to happen ….

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  3. I’ve had the same pull to stop and take pictures of antelope along a segment of highway when I go home from Prescott AZ. Every time we are in the work truck heading home and the camera is packed away. I know one day I will take a special trip to photograph them.

    Fall colors are so wonderful. I don’t really see them in AZ unless it’s a special trip too. Always enjoy the moment as you’ve done with your picture!

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    • Karen, I’ve taken to carrying shoulder bags large enough to handle my camera so that I have it with me wherever I go 🙂

      As for the fall colors, because we had a warm fall, they’re not nearly as vibrant as they sometimes are … and they’re never as vibrant as they are up north in New England. But I’ll take what I can get – I do love the changing of the seasons (though ask me about that tomorrow after Alaska-like temperatures hit DC. Brrrrr…)

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  4. This Autumn Trail was worth stopping the car for. Funny how you had to wait for a few clouds to clear…I sometimes find that just when I found the ideal POV, the clouds are exactly right yet.

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