My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Almost deleted Fall foliage photos

I went to Palmer Park this morning, specifically to shoot photos of the fall foliage before it is gone. I arrived at the park right at sunrise and started shooting. During the course of the day, I shot just over 100 photos, many were duplicates as I bracketed the exposure to make sure that I got good ones. However, when I downloaded them to my computer, I wasn’t happy with any of them, and considered deleting them all.

I changed my mind after reading another blogger’s post, then going back and looking at my photos again. These aren’t as bad as I first thought that they were, I am my harshest critic. There’s really no reason for further words on my part, the photos are of the fall foliage, so here they are.

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan


Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

Palmer Park, Wyoming, Michigan

I learned a few things today. One, I should have gotten to the park before actual sunrise and been shooting even earlier than I was. Pre-dawn light worked much better than the light right after the sun rose over the trees, until later in the day when there was some sunshine and blue skies to work with.

Two, after getting up at 5:30 AM, hiking 6 miles, and coming home tired and hungry, that a good meal and a long nap makes my photos look a lot better. πŸ˜‰

Three, I have to stop judging my own photos so harshly. They may not be the best in the world, but these aren’t bad, and there’s a couple that are actually good.

Four, you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. I can’t control the amount of color that there is to the leaves, nor the lighting on a given day. All I can do is give it my best and hope that it’s good enough.

Five, I have to learn that what I see in the small LCD display of my camera is not what the full size photos are going to look like. That’s what led to my disappointment in the photos themselves, these looked super good on the camera display.

I hope that you have found a least of couple of these that you like.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!


47 responses

  1. Beautiful images of a wonderful day !

    October 27, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    • Thank you Karen!

      October 27, 2013 at 7:54 pm

  2. I agree.
    Never delete your photos…
    especially when you are tired and hungry.
    They look great. I especially like the one with the water, and the one with the bridge.

    October 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    • Thanks Mary, I wanted more than what there really was in both photos.

      October 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm

  3. I’m glad you didn’t delete your photos, and I like and agree with your list of “lessons learned.” And I’m still chuckling over “hawk surfing.”

    October 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    • Thank you, it was my brother who coined that term.

      October 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      • You’re welcome. And about squirrels, have you ever seen a squirrel swimming? It just looks wrong.

        October 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      • I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen a squirrel swimming, I have seen chipmunks swimming though, and you’re right, it doesn’t look right.

        October 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm

  4. Guess that’s why there’s that sometime infernal “Do you really want to delete?” Yes. OMG NO!

    October 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    • Thanks, but I seldom pay any attention to that. The only reason that I didn’t delete these was that I wanted something for the day.

      October 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm

  5. I can so relate. I’ve done the same thing; download photos, disliked but a few days later I think ‘not as bad as I thought’. You did capture some beautiful fall foliage.

    October 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    • Thanks Ingrid, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one.

      October 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

  6. Lovely fall colors in your photos. I especially liked the leaves in the pool of water. πŸ™‚

    October 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    • Thank you!

      October 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm

  7. For what it’s worth, I prefer these photos over those “perfect” shots that you see from some photographers. A lot of them just don’t seem real. Nature is a balance between perfect and imperfect, which is what makes it so beautiful and amazing. These shots capture that, well… perfectly! Glad you didn’t delete them!

    October 27, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    • Thanks Jan! I hope that I never get to the point where I post photos that I’ve “juiced” the colors in, but I still wish that these had come out a tad crisper for lack of a better term.

      October 27, 2013 at 10:11 pm

  8. I’m with Ingrid on this one. It’s why I end up posting from the archives quite often. Perhaps it’s that separation for what your hopes were to what turns out pretty darn good on its own merit after a second or third look.

    October 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    • Thank you, that’s a very good point!

      October 27, 2013 at 10:29 pm

  9. Glad you saved your photos. They are always calming and peaceful. You have such a great eye.

    October 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    • Thank you Judy!

      October 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

  10. I’m with the rest of the commenters, it’s good you didn’t delete these. If I may, what equipment did you use this day? Camera body, lenses, filters, etc. Just curious.

    Beautiful photos!

    October 28, 2013 at 1:48 am

    • Thanks Joel! I used two Canon 60D bodies, one with an EFS 15-85 mm lens, the other with a Sigma 150-500 mm lens. The body with the short lens was on aperture mode and the lens stopped down as far as it would go for all shots, the ISO set to 100, and I used a tripod for all of the shots with that, no filters. Even some of the photos taken in the afternoon required shutter speeds of around one second, much longer earlier in the day. On the body with the Sigma lens, I use program mode, and take all the shots with it handheld, the ISO is set by the camera to a max of 1600, no filters. The numbers I see most often with the second set up are a shutter speed of 1/640 and an aperture of f/10, then the camera changes the ISO first to get the shot.

      October 28, 2013 at 9:19 am

      • Thanks. I enjoy hearing how other photographers shoot and what they use. Do you have an opinion on using a circular polarizing filter when photographing foliage and/or the sky?

        October 28, 2013 at 9:34 am

      • I use a polarizer, not as often as I should. I could have used one for the photo with the pond in the foreground, it would have helped the bland sky, but I forgot. Most of the day, I was trying to keep the sky out of my photos, because it was so bland most of the day. Besides, I had left the filter in my vehicle, as I had started shooting before sunrise.

        October 28, 2013 at 9:55 am

      • Thanks. Again, nice work.

        October 28, 2013 at 9:57 am

  11. There are some really nice pictures there – glad you didn’t delete them. I’m sure we have all experienced that feeling when we first see pictures on the monitor. To be honest I never delete any pictures and always review them after a day or so

    October 28, 2013 at 3:20 am

    • Thanks Simon! I don’t delete many any longer since I’ve purchased better cameras and lenses. It’s typically the duplicates when I used different exposure settings, or empty branches where a bird had been until I was about to press the shutter release. But, for some reason, none of the photos I shot yesterday looked good to me, not even the birds, I was tempted to delete them all.

      October 28, 2013 at 9:22 am

  12. I rarely delete any photos because even if they don’t appear in a blog they are a record of what I saw that day at that place. Two years down the road it’s hard to remember a lot of details about a place at a certain time of year and it helps to be able to go back and take a look. Then you kind of know what to expect. I’m glad you didn’t delete these because there are some great colors in them.

    October 28, 2013 at 6:35 am

    • Thanks, I know what you mean about keeping a record, I keep a lot of bad photos that never make to the blog for that reason, but I was quite disgusted with my photos from yesterday the first time I went through them. The ones that I posted are less than 1/3 of the scenes that I shot. I am almost tempted to undelete the others and give them a second look, but it isn’t worth the time.

      October 28, 2013 at 9:34 am

  13. Third pic from the end, very nice!

    October 28, 2013 at 6:48 am

  14. Correction, fourth pic from the end!

    October 28, 2013 at 6:51 am

    • Thank you!

      October 28, 2013 at 9:34 am

  15. Kim

    I enjoyed all of these photos, and I’m glad you started the conversation about not being too hasty to delete pics from the computer. Now I’m wondering how many gems went in my recycle bin too soon. I’m going to put Palmer Park on my list for my next trip to the west side of the state…very pretty!

    October 28, 2013 at 9:58 am

    • Thanks Kim! If you’re coming for the birds, spring is best for Palmer Park. The fall colors are good for someplace close to home, but on many weekends, there will be photographers covering the park using the foliage for background for senior picture photos and such. The park was jammed when I left yesterday afternoon.

      October 28, 2013 at 10:02 am

  16. This looks like such a beautiful and serene place to spend a day. Lovely photos! I feel this fall has been particularly blessed with wonderful color and weather and it seems to be lasting longer. The past couple of years, fall has been a disappointment with lousy weather, lousy color, and then over in a blink. I am thoroughly enjoying this year. We’ve had such gorgeous color and pretty fair weather (even though here we are averaging about 20 degrees below normal!) and it seems to be lasting extra-long. I’m grateful!

    October 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    • Thanks again! The leaves are staying on the trees very well this year. We had strong thunderstorms two weeks ago, the leaves held on, and a windstorm this past week, and there are still many leaves on the trees, it is a great fall.

      October 29, 2013 at 1:58 am

  17. It’s hard to beat a bot of autumn colour with some water in front of it. I am especially glad that you kept that one.

    October 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    • Thanks Tom! I wish no that I hadn’t deleted all the rest of the pond photos without looking at them, even better would have been to have remembered to take and use my polarizing filter to have added some zing to the sky.

      October 29, 2013 at 2:00 am

  18. I think these are fabulous ! What a great forest you have to explore, and the colors are spectacular. Indeed, I agree – my photos look much better from an expedition after a late lunch and a nap. πŸ™‚

    October 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    • Thanks Emily! I’ll do better next fall, I learned a lot on that day.

      October 29, 2013 at 2:01 am

  19. Glad u saved them! Don’t delete–buy more storage!

    October 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    • Thanks, I should.

      October 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm

  20. They are absolutely beautiful and wonderfully composed!

    October 31, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    • Thank you Cynthia!

      November 1, 2013 at 1:16 am

  21. Pingback: My Week | Quiet Solo Pursuits

  22. Beautiful images. I wish fall lasted all year long!

    November 7, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    • Thank you, I like fall, but I’m not sure that I would want it to last all year round. I’d miss the spring green up and flowers.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:45 am