One of my favorite recent photo essays is Fred R. Conrad’s Capturing Camaraderie in a Minor League Baseball Team, part of the New York Times’ excellent Lens blog. Conrad is a New York Times photographer who, drawing on the example of early 20th century sports photographer Charles Conlon, shadowed the Rockland Boulders, a minor league team based in Pomona, N.Y. Instead of using a digital camera, Conrad used an old Graflex 4×5 film camera to capture the intimacy and grace of the players in a fantastic collection of portraits and players in their environment. The 19 photos in the group are lovely, and worth your time, especially if you’re interested in portrait photography or baseball, or both. (You can find more of Conrad’s work on fredrconrad.com.)
There must be a million websites devoted to photography (Google says as much), ranging from gear coverage to portfolios, photo news, opinions, business, learning, and more. Given the nature of this (yet another) photo site, I have to pay attention to more than I probably should, but most of you probably have a few that you check from time to time. If you work within the Photoshop and Lightroom post-production world, I have one that you should add: Julieanne Kost’s blog over at Adobe.com. Julieanne is an evangelist for Adobe, and her 2006 book, Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography & Creative Thinking, is a beautiful, thoughtful meditation on creativity, and one of the books I always have close to me for inspiration. It is unfortunately out of print, but you can still find used copies here and there, and, if you have an iPad (or Mac), you can purchase an ebook version for under $5. (She also recently published Passenger Seat, a tutorial-based book designed to help you develop your own photographic project.)
Autumn is one of the best times to be a landscape photographer, with cooler weather, transitional light, and, of course, the amazing technicolor changes of the trees. The challenge is always in trying to time things so you’re in the right place at the peak of the foliage.
Luckily, the Internet is your friend: for the past few years, we’ve seen a few time-based “heat maps” that show the expected peak foliage colors across the US; the best and most reliable has been SmokyMountains.com’s Fall Foliage Map. It has a great map of the US, with a date slider that shows the anticipated foliage gradient (from minimal to past peak) across the country.
If you live in New England, the Disneyland of fall foliage, check out New England Today’s Peak Fall Foliage Map; it’s not as cool as SmokyMountains.com’s, but it does the trick.