Friday, October 03, 2008

Times of transition

click photo to enlarge
The seasons of spring and autumn are times of transition. In the case of spring, it's from the seeming death of winter to the bursting bounty of summer, whilst autumn takes us from leafy fullness back to the cold, bony hardness of winter. Birdwatchers prefer these seasons because migration is at its peak, and a greater variety of species can be seen. And, if you ask a photographer which is their favourite season the chances are that they too will vote for either spring or autumn. Why is that?

Well, photographer's aren't blind to the fresh, newness of spring, with its changing landscapes. But it's more than that which attracts them. The days' cold edge often makes the light sparklingly clear, the clouds are frequently at their most interesting, and the surface of the earth has a vivid greenness that just invites looking. Autumn, on the other hand, presents us with days that are misty and indistinct, making big shapes out of clusters of detail, throwing unlikely colours before us, and then surprising us with deep blue skies and dark shadows. The high sun of summer and the dull, flat light of winter can't compete with our seasons of transition.

I was thinking about this as I walked round my garden, looking at the fading plants. Round the pond the hostas were dying back, the tips of their limp leaves ragged and brown, the centres yellow, and the part near the stalk still fresh-looking green. The low afternoon sun was shining through some contorted leaves that had their edges faced skyward, so I got down on my stomach to take shots of these glowing surfaces with their emphasised veins.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/320
ISO: 200
Exposure Compensation: -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On