Fall in Central Park

Wow, there is some great color in Central Park!!

I had a business trip to NYC recently, and since my meetings were scheduled for parts of two weeks, my wife and daughter came and we ended up in the city for a full 7 nights, which obviously included a full weekend.  Oh darn.  :-)

Of course I had plenty of work meetings to conduct during business hours, but that left evenings and a full weekend wide open to explore the city with my family.  It was awesome.  I've been several times before, but really got to shoot a LOT this time since I was there much longer than previous trips.  Plus it was the first time for my girls, so that was awesome for them.  We all enjoyed it very much.

My prior experience in New York always left me feeling so-so about the city.  I didn't dislike it, but I never really felt very excited about being there or very connected to it.  But this time was different.  Perhaps it was that I got out and shot more (and was able to see a lot of the city), or maybe that I had the whole family there, but I really enjoyed it this time.  Like, seriously enjoyed it.  Hopefully we can go back.  There's just so much to see and do.

Like everyone does when in New York, we made a point of going to Central Park a couple of times.  It's always great to get away from the traffic and noise and just wander without fear of getting run over.  Considering the wonderful temperatures and weather we had, being outside was pretty much our favorite thing all week.  Plus, I was hoping that I could find some nice Fall color among the many trees in the park, and I sure did!

So on one afternoon while wandering in the park, I captured the pics you see here today.  Living in Texas, we don't quite get the full Fall experience that other parts of the country get to enjoy, which means I never get to photograph the colors of Fall.  The color here in Texas is still green - it's barely even gotten chilly yet.  But in New York, I found the color in some of the trees to be just fabulous.  It wasn't like what I think of New England being like, but it was way better than Texas, that's for sure.  And yeah, it's quite enjoyable to photograph!

Plus, Central Park is pretty any time of year, right?  I found it amazingly beautiful this time, and it certainly contributed to me "warming up" to spending time in the Big Apple.  More photos to come when I find the time!  I have quite a few to get to, believe me!  Not to mention quite a few more from Central Park.

All of these are 3 exposure HDR photos, merged to HDR in Photomatix with some filters applied in Color Efex Pro (generally, I use Pro Contrast, Brilliance/Warmth, Skylight and a few others here and there, all done selectively with their control points).  Final touch-up was done in Lightroom.

Oh yeah, and everything was taken with my wonderfully amazing new Sony A7II.  Due to it being a family trip, I opted to travel very light this time - I skipped the wide angle lens, the zoom lens, and even the tripod.  I just brought a single lens, the 28mm f/2 prime and shot everything handheld.  It was my first outing with that lens and I am very impressed.  It performed very well in all conditions, and the camera works remarkably well even low light with higher ISO settings.  I will be sharing some more details about this lens when I have the time, but suffice it to say it is well worth the money!  Plus, it's quite fun to just have one lens.  You have to zoom in and out with your feet since it's a fixed focal length, and that always causes me to spend more time thinking about my shots, compositionally-speaking.  It's a good exercise if you haven't tried it.  It really gets your brain thinking creatively!