As the leaves come tumbling down.

Things change.

Life changes. Seasons change, but they are cyclical. For sure, there are four seasons. Our winter usually isn’t very cold. Our summers are unbearably hot. The transition seasons, spring and fall, do what they are supposed to do. They just come earlier and later than most places.

Once you understand that, things get easier. I suppose that’s about like other of life’s changes. Trying to act and do things you did them when you were young often doesn’t work out so well. You adjust. You carry on. Supposedly, as you get older wisdom overtakes knowledge. I haven’t seen that yet. With me.

Of course, we live in dangerous times. What was wise once doesn’t hold now. Maybe things will revert closer to normal, but we all know that even if a sense of calm returns, it will be different than it was in the past. That’s okay. We made a lot of mistakes getting here. If we learn from those mistakes we’ll come out a little ahead.

The picture. The coolest thing about the digital world of photography are the LCDs. You can rotate them. You can turn them. You can use them to see what you couldn’t see in the past when you just pushed the shutter release button hoping for a good outcome.

That’s how I made this picture. The camera was almost on the ground. But, I could see what I was doing.

The post production was interesting. I worked the picture for longer than normal. It got brighter and the color was turning electric. That wasn’t what I wanted. I used another approach and almost flipped the color over making the picture look like a negative.  I brought back some of the color and made sure that everything was in sharp focus.

Viola!

No, no, no. Not walla.

 


Cold weather days.

Finally.

Autumn looks like it is suppose to look. Leaves falling. Bushes turning. Flowers dying.

After months of complaining about the heat, cool and cold weather finally arrived. How cool? How cold? The last cold front brought us into the 40s and highs in the 50s. We will warm up a little into the high 60s over the weekend. Cold front number two blows in. This time the lows are predicted tp be in the 30s and the highs in the mid-40s.

For some of you that’s nothing. But, I can’t remember weather this cold in November since I’ve lived in this state. I don’t know what that means for the real winter months, but there’s an old southern saying that is along the lines of “when it’s cold in November, winter remembers in December.” I heard that for the first time today.

That’s a chilling thought.


Winter color.

More cold.

The few blooming flowers are no more. They don’t like the cold temperatures. They pass into another world. The world of compost. The world of endings. This happens before their seeds are passed from flower to flower. There are no flying insects to do that job.

They do another job. They catch my eye. I’m not that important. They catch everybody’s eye. That’s more important. They give us all a break from the winter drabness. I can’t imagine living where some of you live. Where you have a five month winter of cold and snow.

I complain about our hot, humid summers. At least they are bright and colorful. Until the end, when even the greenest of leaves look washed out and faded.

They say that cold winters are better than hot summers. That you can pile on the clothes. I’m not sure about that. Even with our mild cold, it takes me ten minutes to prepare. I suppose that I’m used to it, but I’d rather change my clothes and take more showers than prepare to take a walk.

Anyway.

The picture. At this time a year my eyes are drawn to bright spots, whether they are blooming or dying. I try to make a picture that reflects a flower’s life. In this case, it’s almost a macro picture so that you can see the state of the flower.

It took a little work in post, mostly to hyper-sharpen the details without making the picture go crazy with a sharpening rim. The best method is to darken the picture, increase the contrast to way more than normal and work backwards from there in small steps. It may not look it, but this image is the result of about 15 tiny steps. One of the markers that I look for is in the shadows. They are light enough to give you a hint of what is lurking there.

At the end of the day, I am balancing deep shadows with bright highlights after making the picture too dark and too contrasty in the first place. There is probably a more efficient way of getting there, but what would be the fun in that?


Leaves Passing
Leaves Passing

To everything there is a season. A Biblical passage. A song that Bob Dylan wrote. A song that The Byrds made famous.

Right now, I just call the season fall. Autumn. It’s my favorite time of year to work away from an urban environment, which in this case, just means working in a park. I decided to take a long walk this morning. I’ve been hanging out inside for the past couple of days nursing something like stomach flu. No. Not Ebola. Stomach flu. I was depressing myself. I knew that the cure for my mood, if my head cleared, was to take a walk. I did that. An almost  three hour walk. I know what you’re thinking. Too much. Too soon. Nah. I sort of sauntered along, stopping to take pictures when the picture struck me. Or, the mood struck me.

These are the resulting pictures.

Not much to say about them except that I’m testing some new processing software call Capture One, which is made by Phase One. The company is very, very high-end. Usually, their software is used for tethering a camera to a computer while a photographer is taking pictures for some company like Tiffany. Most people know the name, Photoshop. They don’t know Phase One. It’s not ubiquitous. When people ask about photo manipulation they say something like, “Is it Photoshopped?” They don’t ask, “Is it Phase Oned?” The basic software makes images that are processed about as well as they can be. The highlights are creamy. The shadows are charcoal-like. The mid-tones are nice and full.

Ooooooh.

At The End
At The End
Coming Apart
Coming Apart