Fall Serenity – fall foliage along a stream in Santa Fe

This is only my second full summer here in Santa Fe, New Mexico and I have recently found a new photo playground – up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

I first scouted the area the other week, then brought our photography workshop students up there for a sunrise shoot. A few days following the photo workshop I returned to spend more time photographing.

Fall foliage and aspen trees in the Santa Fe National Forest

This was photographed on my third visit this fall. The more time we spend up there, the more we find these little hidden gems. I was following the stream up the mountain a little ways and found this wonderful spot with a mini waterfall.

I spent about 15 minutes photographing this scene with my Canon 5DmkII camera and 24-70mm f2.8 lens attached to my tripod right along the waters edge. A 1.3s exposure at f22 allowed me to blur the running water and retain focus from the foreground to the background. I spent some time re-arranging the leaves, and adding the red leaves to the upper left corner helped nail down the composition.

Photographing "Fall Serenity"

Photographing “Fall Serenity”

I used Capture One Pro 7 to process and enhance the RAW file, then used Perfect Photo Suite 7.5 to further enhance the color – especially the greens. A quick stop in Photoshop for some dodging & burning, including a subtle vignette, and this photo was finished.

You can purchase “Fall Serenity” in numerous print sizes and styles online here.