“I first textured the board with a gel medium,” explained Cummings. “After letting it dry, I painted the board a fall color, generally a lighter color. Then I lay the leaf on the board as a stencil. While painting another layer of a different fall color over the whole board, the area under the leaf remains untouched.” Repeating the layers and stenciling, the final result contains leaves of many fall colors, true to life.
Amy Lowell, circa 1919, penned in “Pictures of the Floating World”:
Flung out of a pale green stalk,
Round, ripe gold
Meticulously frilled and flaming,
A fire-ball of proclamation:
Fecundity decked in staring yellow
For all the world to see.
All day I have watched the purple vine leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.
Only in the last century have photographers been able to capture fall colors. “Back in the 1980s, I had to start a business offering wedding photography to pay for my nature shooting habit,” said Mike Stuligross of Walton, who has fall color photography hanging on the walls at the family home. “Before the advent of digital cameras, paying for film and developing got expensive.”
Stuligross took photography classes when he was a kid. “I also took a black-and-white (photography) class at Hartwick College after I got married in 1987.” Now, he teaches photography to 4-H members and tells them, “Take many, many pictures. Digital shooting allows for you to take many pictures and then select the best.”
“Taking pictures of the beautiful hillsides is generally accessible to anyone,” Stuligross said. “You can find a vista point or stop on the road and take pictures. Avoid telephone lines and poles.”
Besides landscapes painted with many different colors, Stuligross also experiments with close-up shots of leaves.