Autumnal Transitions

24/09/2014 - 13:18


The changing hues of autumn seem rather early this year; probably it is due to the very long spell of dry weather and some rather cool nights. The sight of the fiery tones emerging as the mask of chlorophyll diminishes, is a sweet lament for the loss of summer and brings joy before the barren branches of the deciduous trees take on their rather sombre winter guise.


The variant hues of early autumn on the mossy banks of the River Aune, at Avonwick

in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.



In this transitional zone of early autumn when the colours are most mixed in the woods, it can be a fine time to explore’ inner landscape’ abstracts.



“Each work of art excludes the world, concentrates attention on itself. For the time it is the only thing worth doing…"

 Ralph Waldo Emerson



If you are lucky enough to live near wooded steep river valleys - the mixture of rocks; exposed tree roots; rapids and swirling eddy currents, circulating leaves in the water - such things can add extra interest to the explorations of the mixture of green & fiery toned leaves.



Autumn leaves swirl on and beneath the surface of slowly swirling eddy currents on the River Aune at Avonwick, in the South Devon AONB.






A tripod as always will be necessary for sustaining sharp long exposures in the shady woods. Look ideally for days of overcast skies, mist or hazy sunlight (early to mid-morning or mid-afternoon to the golden hour, ideally).




A polarizer fitted to your lens will help in reducing surface glare on rivers, puddles or pools of water within your composition and in doing so will give rich natural tones. This is particularly noticeable when the leaves are wet after misty mornings, drizzle or rain – the colours will look glorious.



The waters of the Aune trundling through Avonwick on an early autumn evening



For inner landscapes think about - the textures; form; detail; colour variations; creating a sense of flow and of the interplay of light & shadows. Try and leave a sense of mystery and intrigue to the intimate scene, one that stands confidently as an expression of being a significant ‘part of something bigger’. If we leave something for the viewer to consider beyond what we have included in the frame, then that intrigue will hopefully give the photo some longevity in the viewer’s mind.




“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

 Marcel Proust




Fallen leaves of various hues alongside the Aune at Didsworthy Bottom Woods

Dartmoor National Park



Hope you find the time to get and relish in the fanfare of autumn.







jon stein
25/09/2014 - 13:37
A thoughtful, inspiring ode to autumn - thanks Phil. I went out for a couple of hours this morning for a walk by the Dart at Staverton and saw - in addition to some lovely landscape - a dipper, heron, grey wagtail and longtailed tit. Thanks for continuing to inspire my reconnection with nature!

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