December 2018
December 2018 - Autumn Leaves

The autumn colours lingered for a short while last month before the winds stripped the trees bare. With predictions of ever increasing rain and wind caused by global warming, I wonder whether the period to enjoy the autumn colours will shorten as foliage is ripped from the canopy by ever frequent storms?

November is always a busy month with other interests competing for photographic time; honey extracting and cider making occupy weekends while the darker mornings and evenings restrict opportunities to exploit daylight. Consequently most of my photography has been reduced to short bursts to gather the odd picture here and there. When needing to find a picture, the Water of Leith is my ‘go to’ place. I find there are countless possibilities for images on the river, be it a wide angle shot of a weir or something more intimate and close up such as a leaf on a rock. The seasons and rainfall alter the colours and water level from one visit to the next so there is rarely any repetition in the photographs.

During autumn, fallen leaves gently flow down the river. I’m always amazed how they can stack up behind a rock as if forming a queue. On quiet stretches of calm water - often in the deeper parts of the river - they gently float past creating opportunities to isolate a single leaf. The key thereafter is to wait for it to flow through a reflection on the water’s surface to provide some background texture (see image). Needless to say, when shooting a moving target most pictures end in blurry outcomes but perseverance usually pays off with one or two worthy of keeping.

I also had some fun in our garden photographing the tit mice and finches sitting in the crab apple tree awaiting their turn to strike out for the sunflower seed feeder. The leaves had turned a gorgeous golden colour - as had the apples - and I was delighted to catch a goldfinch amongst them to complete the scene of complementary colours. The blue tits, great tits and bullfinches also stood out beautifully against the golden surroundings.

With bees put to bed for the winter, cider fermented and Christmas card chosen, it is probably time to think about reinvigorating my picture library with a few more snowy scenes for potential seasonal cards in the future. With the first snow having already fallen in the highlands, gathering pictures is not without its difficulties as roads can be closed, lay-bys filled with snow and temperatures close to freezing. I guess it all forms part of the outdoor photography experience!

With the festive season now in full flow providing the perfect opportunity to enjoy the colours of the seasonal light shows around our towns, the splendour of some of winter’s finest foods and the comforting warmth that alcohol can provide in its many forms, may I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.