Sunday, September 30, 2012

Seasonal colour

click photo to enlarge
Recently, as I was looking through my 2012 collection of photographs, I got to thinking about basic natural, seasonal colours. It seems to me that in a country such as ours green, blue, grey and white are colours that are constants throughout the year. Grass, sky, clouds and snow provide those. To these three staples winter adds the black of wet trees and the brown of dead vegetation. Spring injects the yellow and yellow-green of new growth into the mix. Autumn adds the tints of yellow, brown, orange and red of turning leaves. But it is summer when nature deploys the fullest colour palette. To all of the colours of the other seasons are added every other colour that nature offers. But more than that, it offers them in deeper hues. Consequently when in September autumn makes its presence first felt in subdued tones, longer shadows and the first chill in the air, I look at the colours around me with a sense of what I'm about to lose.

On a walk in mid-September at Market Deeping I stopped on the bridge over the River Welland and looked downstream at the trees overhanging the shallow water. The sun was shining and the light was bright and clear revealing every detail.  The colours were deep and glowing with a touch of autumnal brown in some of the leaves. The view offered little in the way of a main subject but the mix of colours was beautiful and evocative of the summer that was beginning to pass out of reach. So I tried to hang on to it through the photograph I took.

A week earlier we'd been in Grantham and I took another photograph. It offered a nice contrast between the sharp angularity of the building and the irregularity of the planting. But it too offered that memory of summer. Here the flowers were starting to turn and the first fallen leaves of a silver birch were littering the grass. In a few short weeks the leaves would be gone and the flowers too. But the scene retained the essence of summer whilst at the same time prefiguring the autumn to come.

photographs and text © Tony Boughen

Photo 1
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 24mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/60
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On