“i would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
― henry david thoreau
if you live or have lived in the usa ( it may have played in other countries but i wouldn’t know that), you may remember a commercial for mazda automobiles back in the first decade of 2000. a little boy in a suit and tie says, “zoom, zoom” as a mazda speeds by. the consensus that little boys (maybe little girls too!) want to be firemen or spacemen or ________ (fill in your childhood dream) was kicked to the curb by this boy who seems to want to be the driver of that speedy vision of a car.
that’s kind of what the season of fall or autumn felt like for me this year. it was warm for a lot of it; cool for very little of it. then, one morning - zoom! - i woke up and it was snowing. it was gone the next day - zoom, zoom! - as the temperature soared to unseasonably warm numbers once again. seemingly as quick as a gunslinger’s draw, the temperature dropped - zoom, zoom, zoom! - and we’ve had a stretch of colder weather. it looks like we might get another day or two of warmer weather in the 60’s before, literally overnight, we settle down into the 30’s again. isn’t minnesota just a hoot 🙄?
in my previous blog, i shared a couple of images from a road trip that was not burgeoning with fall colors at that time. one of them was an image with some of the rare fall color i saw that was not dull and dry during my expedition through southeastern minnesota. the other was an image of an abandoned farmstead. if you have not had the chance to read that blog and would like to, here is the direct link to it…
i thought i’d share a couple other images made from this “blink and you’ll miss it” fall season.
the first image came about as i was driving along the mississippi river on west river parkway in minneapolis. i’ve been back here in minnesota about seven and a half years. during that time, i’ve never driven down that road. man, have i been missing out! the road is a rather gorgeous drive for an urban setting. i still haven’t done the whole stretch as it goes for several miles along the river.
close to a road called franklin avenue, i came to a long and narrow stretch of land that had a gorgeous kaleidoscope of yellows, oranges and reds. yellow was the dominant color but what orange and red there was punched through sharply to leave their imprint. leaves were already littering the ground as it had been a dry fall season overall but the colors on the trees were surprisingly vibrant! as i drove by, i found myself fascinated by all the dark limbs protruding through the colors. i had to make a stop and see what i could come up with for an image.
i drove back and forth on west river parkway a couple of times trying to find a close location to park with no success. i finally drove onto a residential street that was just as close. sometimes i amaze myself. i was so fixated on trying to find a parking spot on the road i was driving on that i couldn’t see there was parking on the other side of that stretch of land. i got out, grabbed my gear and made a short trek to the other side.
i finally settled on this spot in the image for two reasons. i love the profusion of yellow billowing above and all around me creating a canopy. i also love the dark limbs and trunks of the trees interpreted throughout the scene. it fosters a great contrast to the lighter fall colors. it also adds a sense of depth in the image. the rough bark of the tree in the right foreground appealed to me as a foreground object. the gnarly branches of the tree in the foreground on the right add a sense of emotional contrast (a sort of brooding mystery) that plays off the lighter dancing mood of the fall leaves.
the second image was made at one of my favorite local parks as of late. located in blaine, the park is lochness park. it is adjacent to the infinite campus which is a software company for the education field. i actually thought the park was a part of the infinite campus but that is not so. it is part of the blaine park system. i’ve made some images at that park in all seasons and have even shared some images in a previous blog. Here’s that link if you’d like to read it…
i had arrived at the park a bit before golden hour to set up my camera. i was hoping for some good fall colors along the lakeshore across from the boardwalk. it actually was just a little past the peak of fall colors. i alternated between watching and making images of the crane in the middle left of the image and making panoramas of the overall scene before me. as the sun continued its descent below the horizon, i realized it was starting to enhance the already burnt orange/red foliage of the trees across the lake. as the sun sank ever lower, the foliage became even more vivid, almost a fiery orange/red.
it was time for me to make the image. i had to work quickly to get this panorama made. the sun waits for no one. it is very methodical whether rising or setting. it doesn’t say, “oh steve, did you miss the gorgeous display i just put on for you? here…let me back up.” nope. if you missed it, you missed it. by the time i got to the last image that made up the right side of this panorama, the sun’s setting glow was barely hitting the top of the trees on the left side. the hint of pink in the clouds and orange in the sky low on the horizon was gone.
this panorama is comprised of 8 vertical images. it’s my favorite image from lochness park to date. there are two aspects of this overall image that are my favorite. first is the crane to the middle left. even though i had to zoom back out on my lens to capture this panorama, the crane is still discernible. because i used a higher ISO, i was able to set a faster shutter speed which kept the crane relatively sharp even as it was walking. i’m particularly pleased that it was captured in the shadow reflection of the tree line off camera before it walked onto the wet, shiny shoreline. it made it stand out that much more.
the second is the backdrop of the burnt color to the right of the railing. this shock of warmth plays off nicely against the cool of the surrounding shadowy landscape and the boardwalk. a small detail that can easily be missed is the reflection of the burnt color in the water on the right. normal the lake is on that side of the boardwalk as well but it was almost dried up. patches of water here and there were all that was left. as luck would have it, this patch of water was caught by the camera lens as well!
as i sit here writing this blog, the temperature outside is in a big decline from the 60’s earlier today to the 20’s tonight. a bit of wistful feeling overcomes me as i know fall is ever setting like the sun. winter already has its foot in the door and soon will completely enter. as i get older, i’m less and less a fan of winter due to the length it stays. but the one bright spot is a new season of photographic memories to be made!
i’d love to hear from you (maybe even share a picture if you have one) of a favorite fall color experience whether from this year or previous years. if you don’t live in an area where fall colors are experienced, that’s ok. share a favorite fall experience you’ve had. it doesn’t have to just be about the colors of fall. i’d love to hear about it!
as i continue to work behind the scenes updating my website, you can still order either of these images or other images from my blogs as well as from my current online galleries on my website. simply send a message to me on my facebook page or use the contact form found on every page of my website toward the bottom. photo art pieces are a unique and creative gift that would make great gifts especially during the coming holiday season.
speaking of the holiday season, i will be at the 44th annual holiday bazaar at the landmark center in st. paul. i will be there with many other artists showcasing their art at this juried show. i’d love to see you there if you will be in the area. it starts december 1st and ends december 3rd. it is open from 10 am to 7 pm on thursday and friday. the last 3 hours of those two days will also feature complimentary refreshments. it is open from 10 am to 5 pm on sunday. again, i hope to see quite a few of you there!
thanks for your continued support of reading my blogs and checking out my images. i’ll see you next time with more “images from a quiet world”!