Yesterday I stood under this tree looking for a pattern in the gold leaves and dark branches. I must have spent an hour looking up leaves against the sky, in the Cathedral of the Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii.

Oak trees in autumn on Pinheiro Fire Road, Rush Creek Open Space, Marin County

Gold leaves of California Black Oak silhouette against white sky.

I have learned to see in two dimensions, fine for photography, but the camera image sometimes frustrates me in that it is so sharp and detailed, much finer than a brush.  My camera is great at capturing fine lines and detail, but what I really like is its ability to capture subtle colors that I can manipulate in the Adobe Camera Raw. It is far, far superior to the JPEG’s I get from my camera phone, and well worth lugging when I have any intention at all of creating art, such as yesterday when I set off on my morning walk, inspired by the change of season and first rains to study the Oaks.

So, knowing I have some great filters that I can use in Photoshop in my post production, that can change those fine lines into brushstrokes, I studied the images I saw in front of me as I walked on Pinheiro Ridge in Rush Creek Open Space across the street.

I found myself staring intently at the leaves against the sky wondering what Jackson Pollock would see. I think I came away with something more like David Hockney, and once I got back into the office, down off the ridge back in civilization, I played the whole rest of the day yesterday and into the evening with these: Oak Leaves After the First Rain.

Before and After Slider

 Can’t wait to see this enlarged as a large print.

Longer post, Oaks after First Rain, is available to members of the Learning Center with many more photos of the Oaks.  Login or Join.