Fall brings interesting changes to the garden. (John Enman photo)

Fall photography requires imagination

In spite of the chokingly thick, monochromatic, overpowering smoke that was pushing its way up from California, Oregon and Washington, I could still see that the colours are changing with the coming of fall here in B.C.

It has been so hot and dry for the last month that most of the plants are looking rather water-starved. I decided this morning was the time to take my camera out in the garden before everything changes again. The first day of fall being Sept. 22.

I grabbed my camera, mounted my 70-180mm macro lens on it, placed an off-camera flash trigger on top and put my flash in my jacket pocket.

Even with the murky grey haze, there was enough sunlight hacking its way through to take pictures without my having to increase my camera’s ISO over 400.

I usually like to have a tripod and a stand for my light, but this time I thought a leisurely stroll around the yard would be fun.

The fall garden is so different to photograph than the spring garden. Spring is so easy with its fresh deep colours and new growth that leaves nothing to the imagination, whereas the fall garden demands so much of a photographer’s imagination.

It’s the colour and shape that I look for, well… maybe more the shape.

English Renaissance statesman and philosopher Sir Francis Bacon wrote, “There ought to be gardens for all months in the year, in which, severally, things of beauty may be then in season.”

I like that quote as his words fit in with how I see my garden. It always is, in every season, a place that I like to walk through and photograph.

Sometimes I get out my backdrop, tripod, lights and light stands. But this time I just wanted to see what I could find. It had been a lazy morning and I suppose I wasn’t as serious about getting creative images, and I know hand- holding a camera for macro photos rarely produces images as sharp as when one uses a tripod.

Nevertheless, I thought I should at least photograph some of the yellow leaves and, as long as I could keep my shutter speed up, I would reduce camera shake.

I had been working in my garden for the last several days and kept thinking that I should spend some time with my camera. I actually haven’t been working “on my garden” just in it. I have the first 20 of about 30 boards on sawhorses that I brushed sealer on. I decided this would be the summer to put a roof on the last part of my deck. I cut down a couple of trees to use as posts and built the roof, now I just have the 14X14 foot ceiling to finish. Then I will be able to sit comfortably rain or shine and enjoy the cool Autumn days.

The days are changing fast and this may be the last chance I get to photograph the garden before its next seasonal change. The weather report predicted much-needed rain and as I write, I think I can hear it starting, and if it keeps up most of the night I think it might be worth my time to go out with my camera again in the morning. There is always another opportunity for photos in that ever-changing garden.

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week. Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net.

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