Fall Leaves with a Telephoto Lens

After the time change, it’s very dark after work.  So this is the second lunch break shoot I’ve done.  There is a Japanese garden just down the street from my office, and before all the leaves turn to mush in the rain, I thought I’d try to capture some using my EF 70-200mm f/4L lens.  Only the photo of the vine was shot with my EF 35mm f/2 IS.

If you’re still reading, here are some of my observations (I always try to learn something from every photo outing).

  1. The strongest compositions are often the most simple.  I knew this, but it’s reinforced here.  The photos that really draw my eye have the fewest leaves.
  2. The EF 70-200mm f/4L is a great lens for the price, but it has its weaknesses.  The bokeh, especially in nearly-in-focus areas, is really not very pleasing at all.  An f/2.8 lens would do much better, but cost 2 or 3 times the price. And I may have a bad copy, but mine seems to focus rather inconsistently. It also requires a heavy “Auto Focus Adjustment” with my camera to prevent it from focusing behind the focal point.
  3. Using a telephoto lens is great way to simplify your shots without rolling on the ground or climbing a tree.  It gets you close to the subject in the easiest way.
  4. Color contrast always makes photos pop more.  Warm colors in front of a cool color in the background makes a photo more striking and interesting. At least half of these photos illustrate that.

I may continue taking my camera to the office this winter and use the lunch hour for some photography close to work.

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