Readers Photo Challenge: Rites of fall

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

The latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment is “fall.” Fall is the time of vibrantly colored foliage, migrating birds and cool, crisp days. It was up to each photographer to decide what epitomized fall and then find a way to illustrated it in pictures. Eighty-nine photos were sent in by 16 readers. Here are some of the best examples.

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In the Central Valley, sandhill cranes are a good indicator of the autumn season. Dave Skinner of Stockton, armed with Nikon D7000 DSLR equipped with a 55-300mm lens, set out to the Isenberg Sandhill Crane reserve near Woodbridge as the cranes were flying in during the evening. He captured the graceful beauty of the birds bathed in the subtly cool tones of dusk.

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Ron Wetherell of Linden went hunting for some fall color in the Yosemite Valley and learned to be ready for the unexpected. He was setting up his Canon EOS 5D Mk III DSLR with a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens on a tripod at Cook’s Meadow when he heard some rustling behind him. He turned and saw a doe running towards him about 20 feet away. The doe ran past him, over an embankment and down to a river. A few moments later he turned again and saw that a young buck, apparently smitten by the doe, was chasing her. The buck ran past Wetherell and down to the river to join the doe who didn’t seem to be too interested. Both deer came back up from the river and Wetherell managed to get a shot of the buck with some of the bright yellow fall foliage behind it.

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There are some great fall photos that show forests full of fall leaves while others come down to just one leaf. Carolyn Silva of Jackson saw a single oak leaf floating on the waters of the Stanislaus River while visiting Big Trees Sate Park near the town of Arnold in the Mother Lode. The leaf was in the shallows of the river and cast its shadow on its sandy bottom. It made for a nice repetitive composition and gave a nice visual twist to the photo.

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Teresa Mahnken of Morada made a short trip to Micke Grove Park in Lodi on a slightly foggy morning. With her Nikon D3200 DSLR camera she captured the streams of early morning light as they filtered through the light mist. Looking at this picture, one can almost feel a slight cold nip in the air and feel the dew cover our shoes while walking through the wet grass.

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Fall is also the season of many moons. Harvest moons, hunter’s moons, beaver moons, etc. With the shortening of days and seasonal ending of daylight savings time, evening comes earlier in the day and with it the rising of the moon. Rick Wilmot of Lodi used a Canon EOS 7D Mk II with a 100-400mm lens and a 1.4 tele-extender to photograph the moon through a persimmon tree in his backyard. He managed to capture the early evening moon and the fall color of the tree’s leaves at the same shot.

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Also due to those aforementioned early evenings, sunsets are also more accessible. Mike Ratekin of French Camp used a Canon Rebel t5i DSLR camera to photograph a tractor in a field during sunset in French Camp. He used a flash to help get detail in the farm equipment while capturing the pinks and purples of a waning sunset.

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Steven Rapaport of Stockton used a Canon Power Shot SX 40 point-and-shoot digital camera to photograph a curious red fox at Swenson Golf Course in Stockton. It was one of several Rapaport says coexists with golfers on the course in the middle of the Lincoln Village neighborhood of Stockton.

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All of the photos sent in can bee seen in a photo gallery at Recordnet.com. A new Readers Photo Challenge assignment will be issued next week on Dec. 1.

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