Sunday, November 26, 2017

Spring Creek Forest Preserve

The local NANPA group sent out a Meetup invitation a while ago to shoot fall foliage at the Spring Creek Forest Preserve yesterday. I accepted the invitation, then promptly forgot all about it until receiving an email reminder on Friday. Which is pretty much why I accepted the invitation in the first place.  Left to my own devices, I've been terrible about making time to get out and shoot lately. Here was a time and place already locked down. All I had to do was show up!

So I did. :)

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
It was my first visit to the preserve, so I had no real idea what to expect.  The foliage was spotty, which was pretty predictable.  But I was struck right away by the limestone cliffs. 

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
My circular polarizer may be my favorite tool.  I love that I was able to get some transparency in the water closest to me to reveal the leaves on the bottom, then also pick up the reflection from the bright blue sky and the trees on the opposite shore.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
Something else that struck me was the amount of trash littering the area.  On the one hand, I found it pretty disappointing and upsetting.  On the other hand, I've never volunteered to come out to a clean-up day to do anything about it.  So I can't complain too much.

Red-Shouldered Hawk, Spring Creek Forest Preserve
A red-shouldered hawk perched in a barren tree let me approach closer than I expected, then was kind enough to also turn its head so I could capture some catchlight on the eye.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
I'm still a sucker for backlit leaves, especially when they're isolated from their background.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
I estimate we had about 15 photographers crawling around the preserve.  Another visitor asked me whether there was some special reason we were all there, like a rare bird sighting.  I just smiled and replied that we were mainly there because someone had taken the trouble to organize it!

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
The obligatory shot looking straight up into a tree full of turning leaves.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
The slow-moving creek did provide many opportunities for crisp reflections.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
A merge of three bracketed shots provided my favorite image from the trip.  The creek provides a nice leading line, and the even contrast from the blend provides a painterly feel.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
I took some long exposure shots of leaves and bubbles being carried along by the current.  Interesting combination of motion on the surface and stillness on the bottom.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
I'd like this shot a little more if there was more blue in the sky (and therefore, the reflection).  But I'm still happy with the foreground, midground, and background elements.

Spent about two hours meandering, shooting, and chatting with other photographers in great conditions.  Very glad I went!