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Autumn fading into winter

Autumn is an amazing tine of year for photography. The wonderful colours, the low light, and the variety in the shadows all work together to evoke that feeling of awe at nature's beauty. This is accompanied by the appreciation that these autumn glories are fleeting, we have to take every opportunity we can to capture them before the winter storms come.

Today I went to a local park in Torbay to do just that. A calm, still day after last week's torrential downpours. A chill in the air that foretells what is to come.

I sat for a while and looked for possibilities to photograph. I noted the way that the light was playing on these tree trunks and on the remaining leaves as the people walked past along the path. I used ICM to diffuse the textures and catch the movement in the scene. I liked the way that the autumn leaves appear to sparkle by their feet.

The orangey-yellow colours of some of the leaves are like flames and they warm the soul. I sat for a while and just immersed myself in the view.

Another way to catch the autumn hues is when they are reflected in water. Walking around the ponds, I enjoyed capturing the different patterns and colours in the reflections, which changed each time a duck or moorhen swam across!

And reflections are great for playing with reality as in this image of an autumn tree.

Despite the joy of being outside, and the range of possibilities for photographs, something was not quite working. I have been listening to Beth Kempton's podcasts recently, and today she talked about 'flow' ( Her ideas resonated with me, perhaps because of the links with play. She writes in her book The Way of the Fearless Writer: "..writing is a way to express our truth. In order to get to the truth, we have to loosen up and let go of what we think we should write" (p111). I think that the same applies to photography.

I realise that today I had been trying too hard to catch 'Autumn', without pausing first to properly notice what was around me. And when I did, my eye was caught by the puddles on the path, which had gone unnoticed so far.

Same puddle, different perspectives. In the first image, I put the focus on the reflection of some branches leading to the leaves on the ground being blurred and giving the impression of the puddle rising above the path. The second image captures the light dancing in the autumn leaves on those branches, but because the path is in focus, the puddle seems to be sinking into the ground. These conscious choices shape the stories that these images convey. In the first one, I am lifted high into the treetops like a bird, while in the second I am immersed in a golden glow.

And Beth's words came to mind again as I was processing the images this evening. She talks about being a fearless writer and I am taking some of her practices into my photography, the idea that the fearless writing path is a path of waking up.

"Shedding our fixed identity. Letting go of our desire and our need for control. Honouring the formlessness of our creative potential. Sensing the interconnectedness of everything. And practising, Always practising to express the human condition and this strange and beautiful experience of existence." (p221)

to be continued.....

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