IT MAKES ME WANT TO BUY SCHOOL SUPPLIES

“Don’t you just love New York in the fall?  It makes me want to go out and buy school supplies…”  –Joe Fox, “You’ve Got Mail”

I do love the fall.  But in Southern California, fall is different from anywhere I’ve ever been.  Growing up in Iowa, I can well remember nights becoming so crisp with the arrival of September.  It was as if all of nature was watching the calendar!  But here, it’s not that way at all.  September comes and goes with little change in the weather.  In fact, this weekend it will in the 70’s at the beaches and well into the 100’s in the valleys.  Does that sound like fall to you?  Not the fall I experienced as a child.

The Southern California fall usually begins in late November.  That seems to be when things begin to change.  The terribly hot valley temperatures are happily replaced with temperatures in the high 70’s for the next 7-8 months.  That’s fall where I live.

But, something strange is happening in some isolated locations near my home.  While driving to my office earlier this week, I noticed a few maple trees surrendering to the calendar without giving any attention to their particular Southern California locale!  Yes, they had determined to provide an unexpected, rare showing of fall color! 

With my camera in the backseat, I quickly decided to delay my office arrival for some much-needed fall reflection.  And so, I share these surprisingly early fall beauties with you today!  Enjoy.

I loved the variegation in these leaves.  The red mixed with green seems to remind us that Christmas will not be far behind.

This shot seemed to display one particular leaf as its focal point.

It presented such a focal point that I decided to experiment a bit to create even further focus.  Sometimes my editing abilities leave so much to be desired.  But, I keep experimenting and hopefully improving.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Don’t forget, tomorrow is Friday Favorite.  I hope you’ll stop by to view all the shots from this past week and place your vote for your favorite.  I’ll see you then!

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~ by photographyfree4all on September 23, 2010.

27 Responses to “IT MAKES ME WANT TO BUY SCHOOL SUPPLIES”

  1. Early – but beautiful! The second one is my favorite, I love the contrast between the tree trunk, the red leaves and the blurry green background. So that must be my friday-favorite 😉

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  2. These are gorgeous photos, my favourite is also the second photo. ‘Fall’ or Autumn as we call in Ireland, is such a beautiful season. Thanks for the photos 🙂

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  3. I really like your second shot — the red leaves with green edges — lovely crispy image!

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  4. Me, too, on the 2nd one, although all of they are great. Well done!
    Where I live, there’s really not much difference showing yet. As it gets colder the Bermuda grass turns brpwmer. to match everything else that is brown all te year. The temps drop a bit but not much until maybe late November or early December. Then we can get much colder, with our coldest months in Januay and February. Maybe a touch of snow that may last a few hours. Then if the wind blows we might get a snowdrift up to one inch. I think real winter fell on a Thursday last year.

    But I really love this western part of Texas. I like the desert clime and the mountains I can get to in a few hours travel. Not much in trees though, like you have in your pictures. Between here and El Paso, I don’t think anything grows higher than six feet off the ground. But that makes for a huge Texas sky.

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  5. Very early for Southern California, Truels! I’m so glad you stopped by, today! Now, you just have to stop by tomorrow and vote for that favorite you mentioned! Have a great day.

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  6. I like the term Autumn too, Clicksey! i think it lends itself to more character and interest. I’m glad you stopped by and left this comment. I hope you’ll come by tomorrow and cast your vote for your favorite! I’ll see you then.

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  7. Thank you for this kind comment, Gillian. I really liked the second shot as well. There seems to be some great detail in the tree bark and the contrast between that and the leaves. I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow and vote for your Friday Favorite!

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  8. I LOVE THESE COLORS!!! The contrast between the bark and the vibrant leaves in the first shot is especially beautiful. A Midwesterner myself, I can appreciate a good change of season and have been waiting for the colors to arrive in the Pacific Northwest.

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  9. Well, I agree with Jolene Hanson. The first shot is my favorite, but coming in a close second is the last shot using the cut-out technique, for which this shot is well suited. I have used it a few times, but only when the subject I want to remain colored is a relatively simple form. Nice work, as usual.

    Your photojournal is documenting a wonderful journey who are sharing with your readers. Bravo!

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  10. You’re starting to gain some competition as some are choosing the first shot as their favorite. Hey Bob, watch out for those 1″ snow drifts. I would hate to see your car stuck in one of those things! 🙂 I have a shot of the most beautiful sunrise I took while traveling through the panhandle of Texas early one morning a few years ago! It was beautiful! thanks for stopping by, Bob!

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  11. These colors are somewhat rare here in So Cal, Jolene. Most of the time the leaves tend to go straight to brown and then fall off. But, even that doesn’t usually happen until November/December. thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll come by tomorrow and vote for your favorite.

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  12. The reason I snapped that first shot was because of the contrast I saw between the red leaves and the whitish knot and tree bark they were resting against! Thank you for this comment, Kate. This is my first attempt at this technique. I’m not even sure I was doing it the best way. But, I thought it was OK for my first attempt. I like the way the texture of that leaf still comes through, though. Let me invite you to stop by tomorrow and vote for your Friday Favorite from all the shots of this past week. Thanks, Kate!

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  13. Very pretty! I didn’t realize the leaves changed color in southern California.

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  14. This is extremely rare, especially this soon into the fall season. I can’t remember ever seeing this type of color here. It as if I’m on the east coast instead of the west! Thanks for stoppingby, Robin. I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow and vote for your weekly favorite. It only takes a second.

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  15. As I said before, I really like all of them, but the 2nd one is the one that caught my eye. What I really would like to know is how to do that cutout procedure that you used on that last photo. It is very unique and would work on some of bird shots.

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  16. P.S. I’d like to see that Texas sunstt picture, too. I bet it’s gorgeous.

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  17. I don’t blame you, Bob! Stick to your guns! 🙂 As far as the cut out technique, I’ll have to get back to you on that one. I can tell you that I used PS Elements 8 and I followed step-by-step procedures from the “Dummies” (Their word, not mine)book that I bought to go with it. Now, I don’t know what it says when you buy a book any “Dummy” (again their word, not mine) is supposed to be able to understand, and yet you still have to reread each step several times before you finally get it. I know I first converted to B&W, then I created a layer to apply the color, and then I chose a matching color and a brush (I used the artistic dry brush, I believe) and I just started dry brushing that leaf. But, you have to stay within the lines, Bob! 🙂 That’s the rough of it. I don’t have the book with me, but I may do a tip on it next week. I think it would be very creative with some of your shots, Bob!

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  18. You know Bob, there was a time when I almost chose that shot to use as my header. Maybe I’ll put in on my header for a week and see if anyone notices. They may think they’ve landed on the wrong blog. 🙂

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  19. Thanks a bunch for the info, Steve. Hey, I use “Dummies” books all the time. I do have Elements 8 for Dummies. I guess I had better dig deeper into it. Of course, I never had a reason to check out the cutout technique. I’ll see what I can do. Maybe in the near future you can see some of the procedure on some bird pictures. Stay tuned………Bob

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  20. The color is definitely showing up early this year. I will need to begrudgingly get out there and start shooting it before it is gone. I say begrudgingly because I hate letting summer go, despite the beauty available in autumn. I like #2 up there for the composition; I like how you included the texture of the tree along with the splash of leaves.

    By the way, if your kids were still in school, you wouldn’t want to be buying school supplies – crazy expensive these days! 😉

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  21. May I please ask you a question, about how you are able to put on each photograph, your copyrights? Do you have a graphic, and if so, how did you make it? Or do you actually go through each photograph, and either by paint, or other means of software, add your text. I have been able to put my copyrights, individually, on a photograph, but I would love a graphic, that has that in a transparent form like yours. It would be faster and easier. Your thoughts, are appreciated. I love your autumn foliage. Elena

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  22. I’ve been thinking about this process, Bob, and I don’t think what I did will work for what you want to do. I used a one color artistic brush to stroke in the color. You will want a process that will take the focal element (such as a bird) and leave it in its original format, but cast the rest of the shot in B&W. I’m going to dig deeper, too. I know it can be done. I’ll let you know what I learn.

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  23. Thanks for stopping by, Karma! Living here, I may be saying goodbye to summer but the rest of the year is pretty pleasant. So, it’s hard to complain. but, you better get out there and shoot some of that beautiful color because it doesn’t last very long. When I lived in Colorado and the midwest, the color would usually only last for about 2 weeks. Then it would lose its vibrancy and begin to slide into brown. I always appreciate your kind words. Thank you. I do hope you’ll stop by tomorrow and vote for your favorite! It only takes a second. 🙂

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  24. I’m glad you asked this question, Elena, because it reminds me that I need to do it another way. Currently, I have a layer in Photoshop Elements 8 that I used to create my graphic. Once I created it, I adjusted the opacity to a level that would not be too distracting to the shot. I think I’m around 20%, but I’m not sure. Now unfortunately, I manually place that onto each photograph that I use online. I believe there is a way to have that placed onto every photo you download, but I haven’t taken the time to create that process. Your comment reminds me that I need to do just that. I’m so glad you stopped by today. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow and vote for your favorite. It really only takes a second or two.

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  25. Knowing Jolene, I can totally see why she likes the first image. Personally, I really like the second image myself. I love how the “fall” colours are in focus with a hint of winter colours (the tree) and yet…the greens reflecting the summer leaving. A little sappy (lame tree humour)? Perhaps, but I really like the image! 😀

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  26. I see your humor coming out, David! I’ll say one thing, the consensus seems to be either the first or the second – fairly evenly divided. Thanks for stopping by and leaving this comment. I hope you’ll vote a little later today.

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  27. […] by the leaves in a post last week, I thought I’d search for the first signs of fall here.  This was unsuccessful, but […]

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