20 November 2008

Yellownary and Rednary of Autumn

Yellow LaneAutumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. A famous quote by a french philosopher sums up the treat to the eyes one experiences when trees are abundant with yellow, red and other unusual color leaves.

Where to find trees with yellow and red leaves trees in large numbers at Seoul. Google search gave us a few links about some locations. The most prominent search result was a link of Korea.net, it had a list of - Best places to walk under autumnal leaves in Seoul.

Samcheong-dong Road
Very first weekend of autumn I had been to Samcheong-dong Road (the road adjacent to Gyeongbukhang palace) with Rollei, Suma and Sudhamshu. The array ginko trees on either side of the road make an everlasting impression to the eyes, especially for people like us who were witnessing the autumn for first time. A km down the road led us to a location brimming cafes and restaurants. It had a feel of an european city. Chilly weather tempted us to have a cup of coffee at one of the cafes. The major deterrent of the outing was that the defective battery of my new baby(DLSR) as it got exhausted very fast and I could capture all the moments.

Stadium Near my hotel.
Autumn FoliageSubsequent weekend I had been for a casual walk to a athletic stadium near my hotel. There too were sufficient amount of autumn foliage. Especially the trees in the parking lot turned out to be a perfect candidate as a subject of my experimental photography.

Namsan Park.
Yellow CarpetFinal weekend of autumn I had been to Namsan Park to witness autumn foliage. Since it had rained previous day many of yellow leaves had fallen and created a bed of yellow leaves, certainly a exceptional experience. I ascended the hill by steps and reached the base of Seoul tower capturing many snaps on the way. Being at the base of the tower, I captured a few snaps of the tower with autumn foliage as perspective. Seoul TowerI was planning to see LASER show which is scheduled every hour after 7 pm. But at 5 pm itself it became very cold and without any proper winter clothing I gave up my plans of seeing the show.

Scientific Reason:
Now after capturing all the snaps I had one curious questions why the leaves of trees in temperate region turn yellow or read unlike trees in tropical region which directly turn brown. A link of NewYork Photo institute link How to Photograph Autumn Color had the basic reasoning about yellow, red and orange foliage.
Basically, all you need are hardwood trees and enough cold weather to go with the short days to make for bright fall colors. Remember, the shorter days signal trees that it's time to go into rest mode. All summer long, the leaves have been making food via photosynthesis. It's chlorophyll in the cells of leaves that absorbs energy from sunlight and makes photosynthesis occur. Chlorophyll is also what gives leaves their green coloration. During the summer, trees make more glucose than they use, so some is stored for the winter. When fall approaches, the production of glucose slows and then stops. Moisture stops flowing into the leaves, and the chlorophyll breaks down. When the green of the chlorophyll disappears, we see the other colors caused by various pigments – carotene (orange), xanthophyll (yellow), and anthocyanin (red and purple).

Some useful links:
- Beyond Megapixels: 5 ways to shoot autumn leaves.