Learning to Slow Down on a Fall Color Photo Hike

 Learning to Slow Down on a Fall Color Photo Hike

One of the nice things about the small motorhome lifestyle is how well it fits in with other hobbies and favorite pastimes. Take photography, for example.

This weekend, as Southeastern Michigan temperatures dropped below freezing and we experienced out first frost of the year, I drove our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL to a nearby park and took a photo hike, joining a dozen other photographers trying to capture the beauty of fall colors.

The colors just pop when the sun comes out
The colors just pop when the sun comes out

Organized by expert photographer Robert DiTommaso, who runs a photography studio and instruction center in Rochester, Michigan, the session was geared towards landscape photography with lots of hands on tips on filters, composition, exposure, tripod use and learning to slow down and see the world around you.

Hard to believe I used to hunt ducks. No more. These mallards were spotlighted in the sun in the middle of a pond deep in the woods
Hard to believe I used to hunt ducks. No more. These mallards were spotlighted in the sun as they perched on a log in the middle of a pond deep in the woods

I drove the Roadtrek there, using it as my home base. I made coffee while waiting for everything to start, had my own bathroom on board, room for all my gear and a sort of mobile studio where, thanks to my onboard WiFi, I could even process the photos and post them here.

The concept of slowing down is one I am working on, not just in creating images with my camera but with my life in general. Bob talked about composing a shot, taking time to see, in both a macro and micro sense, the world in front of the camera and to observe just what was happening before taking the shot. Sometimes, just changing our perspective by moving a few inches in the viewfinder reveals even greater vistas, he told us.

How true that is. It’s sort of a metaphor for life, isn’t it? And especially RV travel where, if we are not careful, life goes by in a blur if we don’t slow down and look around.

Ca you see the first frost of the year still on this wild daisy?
The first frost of the year can be seen on the tip of this wild Black Eyed Susan

So off we trudged in the woods, spending three hours immersed in nature.

The beauty was that this walk was just a couple miles from my house. I didn’t have to travel half way across the continent. And, yes, there are prettier places. Yes, the color has not quite peaked here.

Blue sky, white clouds, a pond just beckon you to sit and stay for a while, being still and breathing the beauty in
Blue sky, white clouds and a pond just beckon you to sit and stay for a while, being still and breathing the beauty in.

But… a bigger Yes to the idea of slowing down and looking around. It’s a beautiful world and having my RV as a home base somehow made the morning even more special.

Go look around your world and see what you can see.

Falle multicolored leaves make for a soft carpet on a forest trail that parallels the Clinton River near my house
Fallen multicolored leaves make for a soft carpet on a forest trail that parallels the Clinton River near my house
Crouched in the weeds capturing the last of the wildflowers after the morning frost, one of the photographers in our group goes for a cloesup.
Crouched in the weeds capturing the last of the wildflowers after the morning frost, one of the photographers in our group goes for a closeup.
Fall Color Photography
The fall beauty is all around the woods and water.

Mike Wendland

Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, kayaking, video editing, and all things dealing with technology and the outdoors. See and subscribe to his RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube, where he has hundreds of RV and travel related videos. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations.