How the Art Happens - Autumn Gold

January 24, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Autumn Gold

Autumn GoldAutumn GoldDelicate golden aspen leaves decorate small snow-covered trees of a Colorado aspen forest.

After watching the aspen leaves change color for more than 30 autumns here around Crested Butte I can say without argument that the fall colors are happening 3-4 weeks later than they did when I moved here in the late 1980s.


One benefit to this later color change is that the chance of getting snow while the leaves are still on the trees has gone up a bit. It used to be a rarity to get snow and colorful leaves at the same time. Now we can usually count on at least one snowfall during our brief experience of fall colors.


Sometimes it only takes a dusting of the white stuff to create a unique image. "Autumn Gold" was found on one of those mornings which left us with just a touch of snow and no wind to take it out of the trees. I think the delicate nature of the scene with just a little snow and just a few yellow leaves was what invited me to explore this aspen grove. I liked the subtle contrast and bright forest gifted to me on this chilly morning. The scene seems almost monochrome except for the leaves. It's almost minimalist at least in its color palette.


I used a long 300mm telephoto lens to compress the space and throw the background a little out of focus. I did this to try and keep your eyes focused on the leaves in the front of the scene. This allows the out-of-focus aspen trunks to support the tonality and shapes in the photograph without competing with the actual subjects. At least, that was the idea. You get to decide whether it worked or not.


I love finding these softer, delicate scenes in nature and feel like they bring a calming influence to our busy lives. This one may have to find a space over my bed next time I redecorate!


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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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