A Strange October Fall Foliage Result

For sure, the search for early to mid-October foliage produced this unexpected result. We drove into Vermont from our Massachusetts home thinking the odds of getting more color were better. They were, too, but it was overcast and we kept going mostly to enjoy one another’s company. We ended up in Grafton, VT and my brother noticed some kids splashing in what was a pond. We couldn’t actually see it from the road, but what else could it be?

So, we drove into a parking lot nearby. There were people with kids and dogs and tennis balls and a small dock and lots and lots of energy. My brother set up his camera to shoot video and I just watched. I did have my camera, but it was too much fun seeing the activities in what must have been still-warm-from-summer water. At one point, after seeing both dogs retrieving over and over again and learning their pattern, I decided to make a couple shots…

boy-throwing-ball-and-dog-at-pond-1-grafton-vt-2016100   boy-throwing-ball-and-dog-at-pond-2-grafton-vt-2016100

…and I got these. In the first, the boy’s throwing motion is interesting. In the second, the dog’s reaction is interesting. I knew a composite and some black and white effects were in order.

The first problem was image alignment. I wasn’t using a tripod and my camera position shifted slightly. The images needed to be in layers and one needed to be shifted and rotated slightly.

I chose the shot with the boy throwing as the bottom layer. I knew I could mask the upper layer and both paint him as he watched out of the upper layer and in throwing from the bottom. Also, I painted in the ball in mid-air. I could have done this cloning, but masking was so much easier.

Next, the position of the ball was wrong. It had to match up with where both dogs were looking. In the bottom layer watching photo, the ball is actually out of the photograph on the left. But, I chose to position it as if it were still in mid-air, but in line with the dogs’ eyesight. I did this after the B&W conversion using, yet again, layers and masks. There’s even a faint reflection in the water of the ball which is a mask that was flipped vertically and shifted.


So, no real fall foliage here, but more like a late-Summer scene on a cool Fall day in southern Vermont. Go figure.


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