Monday, November 9, 2015


For nature photography in the Midwest, we are firmly into the "brown" season: Too early for the whites of winter; too late for the greens of spring and summer or the yellows and reds of early fall.  It is the drabbest time of the year.  But for some reason on a recent weekday afternoon I found myself at Riveredge Nature Center, a lovely preserve located in the northwest portion of Ozaukee County near the town of Newburg.  I hadn't been there in at least 25 years.  It was pleasant, if, well, drab.  Making matters even more challenging, a weather system was approaching and the sun was in and out of the increasing cloud cover.

Like I said . . . brown.  I shot this at f/10, in an effort to preserve focus on the grass as well as the line of trees behind.

Not everything was brown, as I did catch some late color with this clump of birch.

And I did spot this one reddish leaf among the otherwise unrelenting brown of the ash and maple leaves on the floor of some woods.  Let's just say it was easy to spot.

My walk also took me past a stand of pines.  But the colors were so subdued that I decided to convert the one image I kept to a black & white.

The shot does have some depth at least.

My last shot is of a stand of birch off the highway that runs south of the preserve.

This was another instance where I intentionally used a longer exposure, in this case 1/8 second, and panned vertically while the shutter was open.  To get a longer exposure I reduced the aperture to f/36 at 100 ISO.  I wound up cropping this shot horizontally because the ghosting against the sky at the top of the image looked a little funky.



  1. Lovely photos. May I download and use the one of brown grass in front of a brown treeline, posted Monday, November 9, 2015 at Riveredge? With photo credit to you, of course. I'm putting together a program for the Leopold Restoration Awards. I'd like to use that photo as a backdrop to a photo of Andy Larsen, longtime director of the Riveredge Nature Center, who will be honored at the event. The program will be printed b&w (and this photo is almost only one color), and distributed to about 100 people. Please let me know if you are willing.

    1. Karen, You are welcome to download and use the photo for the purpose you have indicated.