Thursday, September 02, 2010

Victoria plums and natural light

click photo to enlarge
If, in a simplistic kind of way, we divide the year into four equal length seasons, and we assign three months to each of them, then technically the arrival of September brings autumn. Yet early September, especially when, as recently, the days are warm and sunny, not only feels like summer, it IS summer (albeit the tail-end). Consequently we are not yet into Keats' "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness". Except, in terms of fruit trees, we are. Most confusing.

We've had a few calls recently - in person and by phone - asking if we'd like some plums. This year's harvest is exceptional, and anyone with a plum tree seems to have more than they can manage. We've got one, and consequently the kind offers have had to be declined, and we have spent some time furnishing friends and neighbours with our own surplus fruit.

Today's photograph shows part of a basket of our Victoria plums in the utility room. Some of them were given to visitors, the rest turned into puddings or frozen. I saw the plums illuminated by the early morning sun filtering through the Venetian blinds, and the deep colour and lustrous surfaces simply cried out for a photograph. As I've said elsewhere in this blog, though I possess three flash guns, my strong preference whenever possible, is to use natural light. There are those who are sufficiently skilled with artificial lighting that they can simulate (or almost simulate) natural light. I'm not one of those: I have neither the technique nor the desire. Moreover, natural light is often so wonderfully captivating, one of life's pleasures in fact, that I can't see the point in trying to replicate it with a flash or other lights. Perhaps if I made my living by photography and was subject to external pressures to deliver I'd see it differently. But fortunately I don't, and I can point my camera at whatever takes my fancy - including these plums of late summer. Or is it early autumn?

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On