Colours of autumn

October 21, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

It is the 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness', as the poet John Keats wrote in late September 1819 in his ode 'To Autumn'. It is also arguably the photographer's favourite time of year, for many reasons, including those Keats captured fifteen years before Fox Talbot's now famous achievements with silver chloride. Keats wrote of 'the maturing sun', the budding of 'later flowers for the bees' and clouds 'that bloom the soft-dying day and touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue'.

 

From a more prosaic point of view (who could compete with Keats?) we might add that  the air is clearer, sharper (less dust in the atmosphere) bringing greater visibility and definition. The landscape blazes with colour, even under dull skies but especially when the sun shines.  Warm colours attract and autumn is full of them.  Red is the rarest primary colour in nature for most of the year but in autumn reds are everywhere.  With the sun now lower in the sky, shooting landscapes even at midday at our northern latitude is very possible and the side lighting makes trees, hedges, walls, ridges even distant mountains stand out in sharp relief. Mist frequently gathers on the waterways and in the valleys. Dew gathers on cobwebs (in this bumper year for spiders!) making even the humblest twig or blade of grass sparkle with diamond tracery.  And for those who love their sleep, dawn comes later! 

I came across the beech trees (left) on the Knockahollet Road, near our new home. The maple (below) is in a housing development in Armagh.


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