The In-Between Time
There is a time between the last blush of autumn and the first real snowfall when the world is mostly yellows, browns and the occasional green. Right now, Glen Rouge Park on the border of Durham Region in is this phase. I took the opportunity to go shooting with my best friend, Tom. The pandemic has kept us from hanging together, so it was good to finally chat and catch up. We both needed to get out and stretch our legs and eyes.  
The shorter days means the light changes earlier, giving some excellent shooting opportunities. The filtered late day sunlight and the subtle variations of earth tones.
Soon after we started our walk, we came to a fork in the path; the main trail and the "unsafe" trail that bordered the river. Frankly, the main trail was exceptionally busy, and because Tom and I are who we are, we naturally chose the unsafe trail. Fewer people, more nature, only maintained through foot traffic.
Moving water during the day is always an opportunity to attach my ND250 filter to my lens. A 6-second exposure in broad daylight reveals lines and patterns I would not have noticed otherwise.
A few feet further along the trail and I pulled out my iPhone, and set my Lightroom Mobile camera to Long Exposure mode. This "3 second" exposure is actually an example of computational photography, where 90 frames (30 per second) are captured (in DNG format), analysed and blended together to form the appearance of a long exposure image, without the need of a tripod for stabilization. Although, a tripod certainly can't hurt, as it will reduce the micro movements you make over time. This image was captured handheld.
The natural banding of tones - nature's gradient - is visually intriguing to me. Physical depth enhances this, so in lieu of that 3rd dimension, I worked with local adjustments to help provide a better sense of the banding my eyes saw.
Shades of Grey
This time of year lends itself well to black and white and monochrome images.There is something special about black and white images - beyond the obvious total lack of color. You perceive things differently. This first image below, in color, is just a mass of branches. While the trunk in the foreground is the obvious centre of interest, in color, your eyes don't stay there long. In black and white, I find myself climbing the tree, mentally. In color, my brain tries (unsuccessfully) to discern detail in the evergreens in the background.
Good guidance when shooting natural scenes: always look down. I noticed the above arrangement as I hopped down from a fallen log after capturing the landscape below. 
I hope you enjoyed this brief walk in the woods. I know the current global situation with the pandemic is on everyone's minds, often weighing heavily. I encourage you all to take the time to get outside and go for a walk in your nearby woods or parks. Even without a camera to capture images, it will do you a world of good. Bring (or meet, as I did) a friend or family member; you can be socially distant but still together.

Take care of yourselves. As hard as it can be, try to stay positive and grateful for what you have.

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