In a Fall Wood

Went for a good long walk in the woods out at Oxley Nature Center. I go there every so often, one because its so close and two its nice. On the particular visit I spent several hours taking my time, deliberately moving slowly down the trail through the woods. Trying to be present, and soak as much of it in as possible. The day was overcast with a slight breeze, you could really smell the damp leaves and feel the coolness on your cheeks and your lungs when you breathed deeply.

I was mainly wanting to pay attention to the colors and textures of the woods, to try and capture almost portrait like images. By using a shallow depth of field to isolate the detail, it helps you to create a dynamic composition.


One of the things that come to mind when I think of fall is of course, leaves. Color and texture, either individually or on mass. The second of the two images does include soil, instead of the frame being completely full of leaves, I think adds to the nature of the where you are and the conditions of the environment.


When I first decided to go for a walk, my intention as I stated earlier was not to capture images of wildlife, however when I came upon this Blue Herring I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.


By the time Mr. Herring moved on, it was around 4:15’ish, with the parking lot at Oxley closing at 5 I decided to start moving back towards the parking lot. With camera and tripod on my shoulder I began the walk back. Hikers will know what I’m talking about, but on the way back I ended up just looking down at the trail in a quick pace. However, halfway along “Bob’s Trail” I heard a snort, I froze and looked up and all I saw, was a white furry tail sprinting through the woods away from me. keeping my eye on the deer I quickly positioned my tripod and camera. The deer’s movement stopped, I trained my camera on where and tried to fire off some shots, adjusting the ISO to help with the exposure and to keep my shutter speed up. The buck just happened to stop in a spot where some light was coming through the trees, highlighting his head in the darkened woods.

“Ghost Deer” in the darkened woods. ©Billy Sauerland


There is a quote by NatGeo photographer Jim Richardson, “you are not done, until you are done.”

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