The colors of autumn are a sight to behold. And while there are many wonderful locations from which to enjoy the annual "show," I'm partial to northern New England. Having lived in New Hampshire for more than 20 years, and having traveled to quite a few other prime foliage destinations as well, I can honestly say I have never seen a more spectacular display than what was served up every year right in my own backyard.
Now based in Southeastern Idaho, I made it a point to get back to my adoptive home this autumn - scheduling a shoot for the first part of October, right on the heels of my local foliage shoot in Grand Teton National Park. I began and ended in New Hampshire's White Mountains with a few days at Acadia National Park along Maine's coast in between.
In spite of a very dry summer, the color was excellent. What's more, my timing was nearly perfect. The trees had just begun to pop a few days prior to my arrival, and were nearing peak by the end of my trip. Given the capriciousness of Mother Nature, of course it's nearly impossible to "time" anything like peak foliage in a given location - so this was indeed a fortunate turn of events.
With the temperatures projected to dip down to the freezing mark one night, I knew exactly where I wanted to work the following morning at daybreak: Chocoura Lake. I expected fog would be hanging over the water, and wanted to see what kind of images I could make once it began to burn off.
Fog can be tricky. (Talk about capricious!) It's impossible to know how it's going to behave: how thick it'll be, how long it'll take to burn off, and how it will dissipate. It can be a challenge to expose correctly, and you have to be prepared to react very quickly. Still, I like those types of conditions. Fog can deliver a special result.
That morning at the lake, I was hoping I might be able to work with a part of the shoreline featuring a line of maples which turn intensely red. Unfortunately, they were completely shrouded. That said, the opposite shore danced in and out of sight for more than 30 minutes. The lines of the mountain began to peek through, and then hide themselves again.
By now, the sun had been up for a while. Though it hadn't yet been able to burn all the fog from the lake, the colorful trees on the nearest shoreline were quite clear, the landscape beyond was completely lit, the water droplets were tinted pink, and some of the blue sky began to show through. Beautiful! I had my image.