Cattle Portraits and Fall Foliage / by Leslie

It was an overcast day and still a bit wet from all the rain we've been getting but I was inspired to take some pictures of these local Warwick cattle, on Pine Island Turnpike at the intersection where Foley road turns into Jessup Road. I think I may have parked in the spot that the farmer regularly does, because when they saw my car they started mooing at me and walked over to greet me. They were pretty excited and curious about me being there and I really felt like they were posing for me. However, once they realized I wasn't coming to feed them, they lost interest in me and began to show me their bums instead of their faces. It was really funny. I particularly love the hairy guys with the horns, I think they are Highland Cattle.

I also ventured further down Jessup Road, looking for some good spots to shoot the beautiful Fall scenery around here. There were gorgeous colors on the trees and even though I wished the sun had been shining a little more, I kind of like the moody, wistful shots that I got with the light being more subdued. I also found two cool buildings, the Doll Lumber and Veneer Co. building and an abandoned storage building that was missing it's roof (scroll down to the last picture.) I might have to go back and take some more pictures of that place. 

I've been reading a wonderful photography book lately, David DuChemin's Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision and it's really helping me to think about what I want to capture and communicate with my pictures. These are sights that I see everyday and I was really excited to get out there and try to capture some of it thoughtfully. When it got to actually doing it though, I was a bit nervous trying to figure out where to park, wondering if I was trespassing and what I would say if I bumped into anyone. I was surprised to find that I had to actually talk myself into getting out of the car. (The cows mooing at me helped, I asked if they wanted me to take their picture and they mooed affirmatively, so that settled it.) Once I got going it was fine, but each time I stopped the car I had to push myself. The wind even scared me once when I was shooting the abandoned building. Ha! Of course nothing happened and it was a joy to drive around searching for a picture rather than waiting for it to appear before me. You've just got to get out there and do it! DuChemin's book Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is also guiding me in the post-processing stage. Before I start working on an image, I've been trying to set in my head what I would like the image to look like in the end and then choosing adjustments that further that vision. It's been a wonderful way to work.

What have you been doing lately to push yourself out of your comfort zone?