70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

As I was thinking about how to respond to this week’s photo challenge, serenity, it occurred to me that I would say serenity is an idea that shows up a lot in my photography.  For this week, I chose this image:

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

The image itself was taken this past fall.  I stopped, looked up, and saw this lovely pattern of light that I thought would turn out well in a photograph.  This final edited version is actually a fusion of two identical images shot using different exposures and then edited in Photomatix Pro.   Here are the two originals:

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

I felt that creating an HDR image would bring out the jewel tones in the leaves and the bokeh effect in the background of the image.  When I took the original photos, it was a bright day so I had lowered my ISO to 100.  It was also a bit breezy, and in this case I wanted the leaves to be still, so that is the reason for the fast shutter speed.  I settled on an f-stop of 5.6 after a couple of other tries, because I felt like that was the right balance of bokeh in the background and clarity in the leaves.

As for serenity, it’s been a bit elusive in my life lately.  I’ve missed the last few photo challenges.  It’s nice to be back, and I’m looking forward to getting caught up on my comments and visits to other blogs.  As for serenity in a photo, this particular image works for me but what do you think? your comments are welcome below.



33 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

  1. Peripatetic Eric says:

    Just my two cents worth but I like the lower photo the best. The leaves seem to stand out more than in the HDR and to me is more visually appealing. Beautiful photo!


  2. poppytump says:

    Lovely to see you back Amy . The combination of the two exposures work very well to make your final image … subtly carried out and very nice too !


  3. I love the final photo. The autumnal colors stand out just nice and the photo has a dreamy feel to it. The leaves were probably enjoying the last of the sunshine in autumn. Serene indeed. Hope all has been well with you 🙂


      • Making the most of the day right there 😀 Very nice to see you got a steady shot of the leaves despite the breeze…always hard to get the shutter speed right, at least for me.

        Good hear. Things could be better here, but am enjoying what I have at the moment 🙂


  4. I’ve have been thinking about this challenge for two days. I added the word “serenity” to my phone’s lock screen, because I haven’t had a lot of serenity in my life lately. I feel like I have been so busy – go, go, go! To feel serenity, I need a pause. For the challenge, I have thought about flowers, snow, the ocean, the sky, my reading space, my yoga mat and eye pillow, and my bed. Hahaha. Those last two are all about relaxing. I can’t make up my mind. The week will probably be up before I do.

    I like your choice of fall leaves for the photo challenge. It is my favorite time of year, and most things in nature, except for predators, remind me of serenity. The editing from the original photos to the finished one is really nice. It does bring out the rich colors of the leaves. There is a nice play of light and shadow. The background is cool. I really like it. It allows all of the attention to focus on the leaves – it highlights them.

    Thanks for stopping by my new blog and following me. It is so nice to reconnect 🙂 Now I am going to walk away from my laptop and continue my blogging break.


  5. welcome back! happy new year! the serenity photo has one of the prettiest greens I have seen in a while. the b effect has a jewel tone feel to it and the mix of the two pics with your edits is eloquent (that is the word that comes to mind) – and even tho I know it is a fall pic – it feels like a spring pic (and it is welcome at this time of year for me too – I read the above comment on that) – but really more than a seasonal feel it has a jewel toned rich depth to it – two thumbs up and 👊


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