Saturday, January 25, 2014

An ode to autumn - Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

John Keates (31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821) would surely have loved the photograph above which was taken on a journey in the vicinity of Lexington/Irmo, South Carolina last autumn.

Perhaps John Keates would not have physically seen a scene like this though his brother George undoubtedly would have notwithstanding that in the early 1800s there would likely not have been a rusty corrugated iron roof to be seen.

I love taking photos in the autumn. It is probably my favorite times of year. My two favorite times are spring and autumn. Spring because everything is very brightly colored and autumn for the same reason. Summer, particularly in the South tends to be rather hot and sticky. Winter tends to be quite miserably cold. When the summers peak at 100F and the winters drop to 10F and below, I tend to find the winters a little unbearably cold. Indeed, I went home to Britain in March after having been here and almost froze. Everybody there was in shirt sleeves and I was wrapped up in many layers. That had one of my old school friends commenting "It must be hot where you come from".

My main trick to all kinds of photography is not to carry a massive amount of gear. Some people want to carry everything including the kitchen sink. What an utter waste of time that is. I have to admit that this photograph was taken from right beside my car with a 17-85 lens. I am rarely ever seen using any lens other than a 17-85. It covers all the focal lengths that interest me. Certainly longer and wider would be useful at times but one misses so much when one lugs around every conceivable focal length in existence and every piece of equipment possible. Look at the truly great photographers - most of them used one camera body and one lens.

The most hateful individual is the know-it-all gear-head. These are the people that Feininger couldn't stand. They know every setting on every camera and how to do everything with their cameras and never set foot outside with them in case they get dirty. I used to get so infuriated by people at camera clubs that thought that buying more gear was their perfect answer to everything. It's not - the answer is to get out and take photos.

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