Autumn is reaching its peak right about now in central Indiana. Is it just me, or did the leaves start to change later than normal? Isn’t peak normally past by now?
Photographing autumn color helps me appreciate a season I historically have not enjoyed because its arrival means winter is coming. I do not enjoy winter.
This year my time is short. I forced open a small window of time last Saturday to photograph some color, even though peak had not yet arrived.
The refrigerator in the garage died. I kept my film in there. Dealing with it made me realize that I’ve stockpiled a lot of film. Now I’m trying to shoot it all up, including a roll of Fuji Velvia, the original RVP emulsion, expired since 2006 but always kept frozen. I took it and my Yashica-12 out last Saturday, and I put the film in the mail for processing only on Wednesday. It could be a couple weeks before I, and therefore you, see the results.
But man have the colors gotten much nicer since Saturday. It makes me want to post autumn photos now! So I’ve spelunked my archives. These images will have to tide you, I mean me, over.
Once in a while I’ll take a day off work just to go out into the world and be alone. I usually do it after a particularly stressful period. Exploring the world distracts me for a while, and being alone recharges me.
This particular day I chose to stay close to home. I took my old Kodak digital camera over to Holliday Park for a hike through the woods to take in the autumn color.
Bug on a leaf Nikon F3, 55mm f/3.5 Micro-Nikkor Fujifilm Superia 100 2017
My yard provides endless photographic opportunity. The property is about a third of an acre, and all sorts of plant life covers it. I forget what plant this leaf is from, but I was fast enough to catch this little bug as it scurried across.
It happens that I follow some photobloggers in the UK. They’ve been sharing rainy autumn photos lately, while here in the great Midwest it’s been mostly sunny, as usual. So consider this post a counterpoint: autumn in brilliant sunshine.
I like to give my Nikon F2AS regular exercise, so a few weeks ago I filled it with Kodak Ektar 100 and mounted my 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor lens. That film is great for bold color, and that lens would let me get super close if I wanted to. It turns out I didn’t want to get super close, but no matter: that lens is a fine prime.
I drove down to Crown Hill Cemetery, the largest non-government cemetery in the United States. It’s just a few miles from my home, right on the old Michigan Road.
Fall colors were becoming established, but plenty of trees had not yet begun to turn. I would have liked to wait for that brief sweet spot when all trees were showing their colors, but few of them had yet gone bare. That day doesn’t come every autumn, and when it does, I can’t count on being able to get out that day. Maybe I have to work; maybe it rains. Yes, it does rain. It’s not all sunny days. But it’s not all rain, which the English bloggers I read suggest is the norm where they live. At any rate, it was a sunny day off and I had to capitalize on it.
An extensive, overlapping road network snakes through Crown Hill, making it easy to see by car. For several of these photos, I drove until I saw an interesting scene, and exited the car just long enough to frame, focus, set exposure, and press the shutter button.
For other photos, I shut off the car and walked a little. I love how the gravestones in this photo look like they come from a black-and-white photograph, in sharp juxtaposition to the trees’ colors and the blue sky.
I’m not sure why I enjoy cemeteries so much. I don’t want to be buried in one. What a waste of land! Cremate my body after I’m gone. Let the ashes fertilize a garden. I no longer inhabit those molecules; might as well put them to productive use.
Maybe it’s because I once lived on cemetery grounds. While I waited for my divorce to be final, I lived in the parsonage at my church. The church building was just up the hill, and it was surrounded by a cemetery in which members had been buried since 1837. My sons and I used to run and play among the gravestones.
It’s sure handy having Crown Hill so close by. I’ve taken my old film cameras there for years.
I ended up taking almost nothing but wide shots. This is as close as I got, and I could have easily made this shot with my 50mm f/2 prime. But no matter; this 55mm f/2.8 macro lens is plenty capable.