A Bucolic Stroll Through the Autumn Woods with my Wife and my Mistress

Bristolero

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May 15, 2017
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Location
Alaska/New Zealand
My wife and I had been helping our daughter and family settle in their new home in Michigan. Knowing well what awaited us back in Alaska, we decided to spend our last hours surrounded by the spectacular fall scenery. We'd enjoyed the Leelanau Peninsula by auto, but the way to really experience a place is by shanks mare and so we set off down an inviting forest path.
I'm more of a wildlife shooter, not as good at scenery shots. I had the 12-40 mounted on my EM1, but I felt I really wasn't capturing the true splendor of all the forest colors--my fault, not the equipment. I was capturing a lot of shots like this:
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My wife seemed to be doing better with her iPhone, not an uncommon occurrence for us as we often pair up with me doing close-ups and her the environmental shots.
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Feeling a bit redundant, I did what I usually do--and grabbed the 300 Pro. What a difference in perspective!
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This was probably my favorite shot of the day. I began looking for other opportunities, and found a couple more.

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We strolled slowly through the woods, just immersed in the color and sounds, and occasionally e-snapping.
The 300 Pro--and my wife--make me a much better portrait guy than I really am.
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Along the way we spotted some fungi with some interesting bands and I snuck up on one...
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As we sauntered along a sudden movement in the leaves caught our attention. Wildlife at last!
We froze and after a wait, the leaves again rustled and out popped this little guy.
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Cautious, this one never fully emerged. Probably a good thing, as I'm assuming its' more careless brethren had already relocated to a more gastric locale.

The fallen leaves had made travel noisy. We had been walking sedately, but after this, we really slowed down. And as usual, things began to emerge.
I'd packed the 300 Pro to Michigan to photograph waterfowl. Word has it there's a couple big lakes around here, but if there is a bird in Michigan in early November it must be in a different county. Sitting Bull once famously remarked that "When the buffalo are gone, we will hunt mice" so I guess chipmunks would do fine for me. Actually having almost never seen one, I quite enjoyed photographing them. And no one could fault the gorgeous autumn backgrounds.
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The most important advice I soaked up from Petr Bambousek's wildlife tutorial (sulasula.com --watch it!) was that mostly photographs boil down to three basic things: a bird, a branch, and a background. Or in this case a rodent, a log, and those awesome autumn leaves.
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And a last one for the day:
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Eventually we emerged and re-entered the rest of the world: cars and highways and strip malls, and airline flights and hotels, and the long drive and boat ride home. In my approximately 21,900 days on this spinning orb, there are a lot of days that I have no recollection of at all. But I will remember this one in the forests of Leelanau with fondness.
 

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