Fall, by the Wayside


RoadsideTreeOr, autumn by the roadside.

Photographs made from a moving car (I wasn’t driving, obviously). I found the intense colour a bit bothersome in these particular compositions so I converted them to sepia and adjusted the levels of some of the tones to bring out contrast.

These are made using a slow shutter speed and by panning the camera (following the subject) as the car moves along. I like employing this technique as it can result in some unusual photographs with some parts of the frame relatively in focus and other parts quite blurred, sometimes resulting in what appears to be opposing movement.

I like, too, not knowing what to expect when I look at the image. It’s always a bit of a surprise, with many failures and a few frames having a bit of interest. Well, and it is an alternative for those times when you see potential photographs speeding past your window but you are just unable to stop.

© Karen McRae, 2013

76 thoughts on “Fall, by the Wayside

    1. I am very absorbed when I’m making photographs, Emilio. I think driving at the same time would be living dangerously. And I could get a pricey ticket if I tried that here! Maybe a camera mounted on the dash with a remote control…?
      Thanks very much.

      1. No, no, all wrong! You drive with one hand, and you turn on the screen on the back of the camera so you can see where you are going.

        When shooting something on the side, you wait for a break in the traffic, make sure you program your brain not to twitch, and you look to the side secure the car will, in fact, continue on its way.

        I don’t suggest doing that for more than 20-30 seconds unless one drives a big vehicle like I do.

  1. Karen, I love these, they are great & I love the fact that they were done from a moving car – I really think [I did not used to] that it is a fine way of photographing because so much of our world is seen from a moving vehicle.

    1. Hi Christian, thanks for your comments. I think of being in the car as a photographic opportunity! Especially since it’s not possible to continuously pull over …
      I’m glad you like these!

  2. A wonderful sense of energy and movement. In the second, the static tree trunks intensify the swirl of the leaves. The monochrome treatment contributes too – it removes the unnecessary distraction of fuzzy colours.

  3. Hi Karen, I love these photographs also but since you mentioned “intense colors,” of the originals, I’d be curious to see those too. Yellows? Browns? Reds? My mind’s wondering!

  4. Wonderful shots Karen. Like how you have captured the motion in the main subject and background yet still kept each on it’s own plane; at the same time keeping parts of the scene reasonably sharp.

  5. Great effect.
    These images have great emotional impact. One almost feels that one’s insides are caught up in a whirlwind.

  6. Very effective images, Karen, and I know exactly what you mean about not knowing what you’re going to see in the image – which almost parallels the curiosity and excitement involved in waiting for a film to be developed. Its also very useful and interesting to hear about your photographic techniques – thank you! Adrian

  7. Wonderful!! Journey of a Photograph was good for me in that it took my paintings in a new direction. I wonder if maybe in the back of your mind somewhere was Emily’s image, saying hey, why don’t you try this. I know you have been making imaes of movement – just a thought I had when I looked at these. Love the tree.

  8. I really really like these photos and how you have handled them (the sepia). Sometimes, I find fall’s colours a bit intense as well, so it was refreshing to see your sepia magic. I appreciate you sharing your camera technique, and I may try something similar one day, but I suspect my results will not be as beautiful. I always enjoy stopping by your site, though I have not commented recently. It is good to see your blog’s much deserved success. Best Wishes!

  9. Now, there’s the dynamics, the movement, the dance, the pure expression in form rather than color. I like them very much for their purity. Very inspiring shots. Thank you!

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