With or without a camera, we find peace communing with nature.
Nature replenishes our spirits, putting back what everyday stresses steal from us. When we breathe the aromas of the forest and listen to often-missed songs and the chatter of birds and animals, we feel the calm—or we simply listen to the silence.
Just as a colorful butterfly emerging from a cocoon stirs our hearts and imaginations of a human resurrection, a palette of fall color from dying leaves can be a comforting metaphor for our lives—a beautiful reminder that even in death, there is unmatched beauty.
While every season offers its unique light and color, fall is a favorite, with crisp blue skies, sharp and penetrating sun rays slicing through walls of morning fog on lake water and filtering through tall forests.
When we think of fall, red, brown and yellow foliage against ocean blue skies and white church steeples come to mind. But many of my favorite fall landscapes are made near water.
When the temperatures change, so do the opportunities to capture fleeting, unique moments. Changing landscapes are nature’s performing arts. Monochromatic water can explode in surreal color in seconds, once sun rays penetrate walls of fog.
Scenes change quickly. No two fleeting masterpieces are identical. Unless we are prepared for the visual metamorphosis, our cameras will miss the magic. There are no do-overs with nature photography. We must anticipate the magic.
Small, subtle differences in shapes and colors make photographing our natural world challenging and wonderful.
Though the best scenic photographs are often made 30 minutes either side of sunrise or sunset, when photographing bodies of water or dense forests, the optimal time to capture shafts of golden sunlight can be between 9 a.m. and noon—or even later, when rays are able to penetrate fog or shadows, and when the climbing sun directly above the forest spirals downward with long vertical shafts of magical luminance.
Pick a favorite spot using water—such as an ocean of a lake—as a fall theme. Arrive before sunrise to make pictures as the light changes. Try to capture images that represent your feelings as you observe the birth of another day. Be mindful of the enchanting pictures born of changing temperatures when warm water meets cold air.
Warning: I slipped and fell hard on a grassy hillside frost and tore the tendons in my shoulder, requiring surgery and a long recovery. I couldn’t lift a camera for five months. Watch your steps as closely as the objects of your visual affection.
Email your best image with caption information and explain how it affects you to GPH@pur.coop. We may share the best submissions on our website and social media channels.