First day of autumn? I was there.

I had some spare time – okay, I didn’t, but I took the time anyway – to finally get out with my cameras for a while in search of this year’s autumn photos. I’m glad I had a nice, cloudy day to work with; photographing autumn leaves works so much better in the diffused light of a cloudy day. Normally the clouds are my nemesis, but not today!

I started at Fort Lincoln, and what better place to start than at this old abandoned car? Yes, it’s out there…if you’ve never found it, you haven’t wandered around the park enough yet.

I’m actually a little late; that golden tree behind the car would have looked fantastic a few days earlier, before it dropped most of its leaves. Even so, the car looks pretty cool with that hint of color behind it.

I wandered to the north end of the park road to check out some of the stone staircases, and this one definitely came through for me. If you want to do the same, the lower staircases still have green leaves on all sides. There’s still time…I doubt it’ll be too long before all those leaves turn gold. The trick is getting there before they drop, like the tree behind that car I mentioned earlier.

The top of the hill looks pretty spectacular, as do the trees lining the road up to the blockhouses. It’s not easy to get an angle of both, by the way. I didn’t bring a drone, as I don’t have one that’s waterproof. The rain was off and on all day today.

But this is my favorite shot of my Fort Lincoln visit. It took a lot of adjusting to get this just right: I wanted to get the earth lodge positioned just right beneath the tree, avoid the other lodges to the left and right, include a bunch of the texture of the clouds, and show a little of the grasses between me and my subjects. It was a matter of scooting a foot or two this way, another foot or two that way, constantly adjusting my position in two dimensions until I got what I wanted. And it worked!

I have some additional photos from the day, too, after I left the park and meandered around Morton County. Those will be posted next.

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