The Turning

Every season has something new for the photographer, especially those of us who most enjoying wandering out in nature, camera in hand.

But my favourite season is autumn.

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There’s always that day sometime during August where the dew appears across the fields in the early mornings, delicately lacing the occasional spider web, and the air has a slightly crisper edge.

Then you know, autumn’s fingers are beginning to gently unfurl across the land.

Last year I shot most of autumn (along with every other season) in black and white.

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But this year, since rediscovering the fabulous 6MP CCD sensor in certain Pentax DSLRs, like the K100D I recently bought, along with the very similar 10MP CCD sensor in cameras like the K-m/K2000 (which I also just found a bargain example of), I’m back in love with colour.

Which means this year I’ve been anticipating autumn’s colours even more than usual.

So this post features a few of the images I’ve taken so far, at this early stage of what we might call “The Turning”.

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Which is your favourite season for photography, and why?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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18 thoughts on “The Turning”

  1. I’m very much a spring person. I struggle through the cold of winter. Spring feels like the return of freedom.

    This translates to my photography. So many of my old cameras don’t like the cold. I get them out again in the spring.

  2. Definitely fall. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get incredible fall colors. My favorite spots are along Washington Highway 2 where I get beautiful colors along the Wenatchee river and its adjacent ponds and creeks.

    I can speak to what Jim is saying. A lot of old cameras used lubricants that aren’t temperature stable and tend to lose lubrication in the cold, or cameras that use Alkaline or Silver Oxide batteries where the cold dramatically shortens battery life. Lithium batteries are OK for some of these, but in most, they’re not recommended.

    I’m still looking for the pocket battery packs for my Contax SLRs that don’t cost a ridiculous amount of money…

    1. Rob, thanks for your thoughts. The Wenatchee River sounds beautiful, do you have any photos online you took around there?

      I don’t think we’ve ever had it cold enough here (in the UK) for a camera not to work. The coldest it drops to is about -5°, but some years the temperature only drops below freezing a handful of days throughout the winter.

      1. Yeh I remember we’d discussed it more than once before. The Yashica’s are great cameras too, probably better than anything else I’ve tried that isn’t Contax or Pentax.

        Shame my last remaining Contax, also a 139 Quartz, is in storage so to speak. I haven’t shot film since early 2017.

  3. I like your color work Dan. For me it’s the early spring before the trees leaf out. But here in New England fall is not too shabby and my next favorite.

  4. Living in a state the size of Texas means it depends on where you live. I live in the DFW region,oft times referred to as North Texas. Don’t let the north part fool you. The most distinct season is summer and that isn’t really a time I want to be out shooting under normal conditions. The problem with seasons here is that there are no certain or specific boundaries. I’ve seen green leaves still on the trees at Christmas and snow as early as the first week of October and as late as April. I’ve seen(photographed) the trees budding out with thick ice layered on them after a norther blew in. So the best season to photograph in is the one you are presently experiencing.

    If I had to choose though my favorite is spring. We have a wonderful array of wildflowers in the state. The Texas Hill Country in spring is truly a wonder of color and shapes of wildflowers. Bluebonnets(not bluebells, that’s the unofficial state ice cream) are the state flower and one of the rights of passage for families with young children is to go out to a thick patch of bluebonnets and photograph them standing,sitting,laying or playing in them(watch out for fire ants though). Secondly is fall but you can’t count on fall color every year. Many times you just get the leaves turning ugly dead brown and falling off the trees and that can be right before they bud out for spring.

    I lived in West Texas, also known as the South Plains (near Lubbock) in my younger days and spring meant sand storms,summer was hot and dry,fall was cotton harvest and winter was bleak. Once you got out of the city limits all there was were cotton fields for as far as you could see. Even then though a cotton field ready for harvest can look like a snow covered ground. It’s a beautiful sight to behold and the harvest machinery is amazing. Fall is my favorite time there.

    1. Oh, have the seasons always blurred together like that, or has it changed through global warming? They are rather more defined where I am, but still we can have very early or late snow, and sudden heatwaves in autumn or spring (yesterday afternoon peaked at around 27°, far too hot for me, today it’s back to a more season typical 17 or 18°).

      I love meadows. We have wildflower meadows here that must have hundreds of varieties of plant and insect life within them. It’s a very satisfying sight, if one that’s tricky to do justice in a photograph (trying to capture so many varieties in one scene rarely works for me, so I go close on one or two at a time, which can yield lovely pictures, but doesn’t capture that overall feel of a wildflower meadow).

      Do you have any photographs of those cotton fields?

  5. The weather has been unpredictable as long as I’ve lived here(since the 60’s). We have a saying that goes”If you don’t like the weather just wait a few minutes”. The hottest summer on record here in DFW was 1980. I believe it was something like 65 days 100 or hotter. There were t-shirts selling that said I survived the summer of 1980. I’ve seen it in the 90’s in the morning and by evening we had a norther blow in and it was in the teens. Something like a 70+ degree temperature change. During our summers it’s not unusual for the temps to still be well into the 90’sF at 10 at night. When we had that record setting summer it never dropped out of the 80’s at night.

    I do have photos of the cotton fields just before harvest. Both color and b&w.

  6. It’s no contest, my favorite season is autumn. It’s my springtime! After the hot, dry malaise of August (northern hemisphere dweller here in a place which may be quite notorious for rain but which is far more Mediterranean-like in the summertime than most realize) which often includes that weird, in-between space of early to mid-September, part of me comes alive with the crisper days or rejuvenating rains. And sure, the days may be getting shorter…. but the sun’s lower angle opens up other opportunities and more time of the day. And the newfound accessibility of the good light in the late afternoon and saner nighttime photography for us sleepy people and the list goes on and on…..

    1. Yes we are currently in that period of the year that’s highly conducive to photography. It’s still warm enough to not need to wrap up, and the sunlight early morning and late evening is becoming more interesting, with the afternoon golden hour at a more accessible time (currently perhaps 6-7pm). Plus the mornings are damp and dewy, again more interesting than in summer where it can be constantly dry for days, and the hours of the day look much the same from dawn to dusk.

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