The annual Bear Mountain hike was a once a year outing that was juggled around school and homework. As the kids got older it was harder to find time to go. We always had a good time. Sometimes we did things that would leave you wondering, “What were you thinking?” No one got wet. And the forest did not burn down. And I don’t know how Julia got stranded out on that rock. And if she got wet getting back, I’ll never tell.
When I look back on my collected images it often appears that my memory was more vivid than the colors on the film. I think it’s my memory, not the film fading. Hmmm… maybe a little of both is in play. I’m a sucker for reflections. About the only time I use a polarizer is to pull out the sky and intensify the leaves. So even as my memory fades, there are some good slides lurking in the collection that are worth showing.
I always insist on taking at least two shots of any group… more if they will tolerate me. It’s because someone always blinks… A blink is measured in thousandths of a second. So how is it that my wife got us all blinking simultaneously? It’s a skill. She won’t stay still to take more than a couple shots. So that’s what you get.
In the fall we would go pumpkin picking. You get the right one because carving was another project for Halloween. And out on Long Island there was usually a corn maze set up to try to go through. Along the way you got ears of corn and threw the kernels at one another when you could find them. Yeah, that was a fond memory also.
Another thought on raking leaves as an activity is presented here. Those high piles were great to hide in or to jump upon. We got kind of elaborate. The kids started by simply winding up and running into the pile. Then they jumped from the fence. Naturally the big ladder was a grand idea. And finally they began jumping from the tree. Yeah, it was a crazy family activity. Nellie, our dog could attest to the crazy things humans sometimes do.
We had another family activity – raking leaves. The kids were little and they borrowed rakes while we stayed at an inn in the Berkshires. When we had leaves to rake in the autumn on Long Island, the kids would wait till the time was right. Large piles would be made. Once they made a hideout.
One of Julia’s best friends is about to be married in a few weeks. They have known each other since kindergarten. This is one of those Bear Mountain trips and both girls ran around the lake and we started a camp fire and everyone had a good ‘ole time. Wow! Time flew by. Laura will be married soon. Everyone’s a grown up now. I can’t say that I’m quite ready. If you’re not sure what I mean, so am I.
We visited Alex and MaryAnne in Ashburnham and stayed at their house on the lake. The early morning was still and there was a wonderful opportunity to get a fall reflection. Of course when you develop and mount your own slides abstraction is more obvious. Hence the turned slide that makes an entirely different statement.
We were about to embark on the annual Bear Mountain trip. My brother Eric decided that we should go fishing first. So off to the industrial park with fishing gear and bait we went. Hence the wool hat, football, and the hiking boots an outfit that would otherwise seem mismatched. They had just been throwing the football. It was going to be a bit chilly in Bear Mountain. And you need hiking boots to hike. Of course catching a fish… priceless.
When my kids were little we would go up to Bear Mountain in the fall to see the leaves. I don’t think the kids much cared about the leaves as much as it was an opportunity to run around the woods by the lake. I went for the photo ops. This dock was off the highway and was always there waiting for me to take a shot. Some years were better than others. There’s some luck in getting there at the right time. Mostly I would go about the time of the second game of the World Series. A lot of years after the kids got too old to want to go, I would pass by on my own and continue to visit this site and take a couple shots. As luck would have it, I came across this old slide today. Yesterday I called David and he asked for directions to Bear Mountain. He and his friend Mike were planning to go. David would take Sarah his current girlfriend. So, a new tradition is starting. I had taken both boys up a number of times to hang by the lake. And now they are doing it on their own. I’m glad they remember it as fondly as I do.
Secretly I disagree with everyone who says that the best shots of fall foliage are on cloudy days. There is supposedly more saturation of the colors. I like a bright sunny blue sky day. And if need be, give me a good polarizing filter. I also like white picket fences. So with the brilliant fall colors, I tried to get the fence and leaves but had to compromise with civilization. As I conclude this fall series, I look back and remember that 2008 was a magical fall season for me.
Wandering around the area I have some memories. The town was first on my radar when some dear friends’ daughter was married closeby some autumns ago. Second, the road past town leads to a lighthouse, that I like to visit. And third, this particular year was the second annual pumpkin boat festival. Don’t ask. But they take the championship prize winning 500 pound pumpkins that no one knows what to do with, they hollow them, and then race them around in the bay. The first year everyone fell into the water. The pumpkins were too unsteady. The second year, everyone caught on and stabilized their rigs. I’d have liked to have seen the sinkings. I would have to say that this vehicle is serviceable unlike many that I pass on the backroads. It’s just quintessential fall for this Maine scene.
For the lack of better identification, I shall call this heather. I left Camden and headed west toward home. The car pretty much ran into this field. It’s more or less classical – horizontal rows of pastel colors fading to the horizon. I wonder why I didn’t see it when I was driving west to east. You can miss a lot of things looking in only one direction.
There’s Rockland, which has lighthouse, and Rockport, which has a photo school. They are not far from one another. As I wandered the Camden area, I traveled through both. I parked the car to visit a craft show. And at my feet was this farmhouse tableau waiting for me. There was just enough color to avoid being black and white. It was faded enough that I didn’t have to think of using Photoshop to make it so. Julia thought enough of the image to make me enlarge it for her to frame and hang.
On a lot of levels this is a thoughtful emotional shot. I’ve got a bunch of shots in cemeteries at this time of year. It’s a gut thing that struck me when I took this shot. I have often said that there is a fine line between taste and tasteless. For me this was never more true here.
Yes I know he doesn’t have a pole. It’s why the title says ‘gone.’ The grandkids were racing around with poles. No one was catching anything. I sat to the right and was trying to read. The glare degraded the image. The kids are missing. The pipes in the background intrude. For me it’s still an image of serenity during a lazy fall afternoon at the pond with a book in hand. It’s a bright memory recalled in an instant by looking back at this picture.
Fall leaves are so quintessential autumn. Fall colors are so easy to recognize. So why do we need to focus up on the leaves to convey the message. I would say that this was probably Runaround Pond again. I liked to sit around and read a book on a warm autumn afternoon. With camera close by, I got this shot as the duck glided by. He scarcely noticed me as I just picked up the camera and got the image. Remember, I have that soft spot for water and reflection.
So I just got done a few posts ago and said that one color images tend to be boring. And to break my own rule, I keep coming back to this shot. I did it by the roadside while I was shooting something else. Looking down I noticed the fern. And I still keep coming back to this image whenever I edit. So here it is.
When you see an image, you shoot. Many times I don’t know what I have captured until I edit. But there are times when you click and know it’s a good shot right then and there. I mostly don’t peek at the LCD screen. It’s especially gratifying to get to Lightroom and see the image you shot look the way you had imagined when you pressed the shutter. I’ve been disappointed sometimes, but not on this occasion. This is another favorite shot Julia mentioned when she first saw this.
There are different ways to get the message across. I’m still seeking that vast panoramic view of brilliant fall colors stretching side to side and foreground to background. Meanwhile, it’s not that easy to find a good detail shot either. It can’t all be one color. That would get boring. Well, I follow the idea that I’ll know it when I see it. I got this in a parking lot behind a store at the roadside.
I’ve a soft spot for haystacks. Nowadays it’s all done mechanically. So the stacks are neat and tidy. But add a little fall color and I think it works alright. I don’t quite know the difference. Some stacks are feed and some are bedding. It all looks the same on my images.
There’s a crazy farm I pass on the road to and from my travels. I was going to call this ‘farmer from Hell’ but thought better of it. Things just aren’t quite right. I have never stopped nor have I really seen the owners. It’s just that as you take a glance things aren’t quite normal. I have seen wild turkeys here. The fence is an oddity. It looks slapped together. Even with poor carpentry skill, it seems to me that you could put together a better looking thing. It works. There are no cows on the road. For the purposes of a fall shot, the fence is a keeper.
You barely notice this place on a good map if you look hard. It’s in the middle of nowhere and I was not headed there but I was coming back from somewhere else. Ahh! Fog! Reflection! Water! Fall! All the elements were in place. The light was quickly fading to evening. There were a few other photographers lurking already. Don’t blow the shot! This is one in which there are so many ways in which to shoot a bad image. Clicking away as everyone cleared from the scene, I got a bunch of good images. You have to pick one… just one.
Carol made a request to leave the fishes and do autumn. After all it is that time of year. Ok, for a couple weeks, fall color. I fall back on a good year (2008) in which I shot a number of splendid images. I would wander with the car and go back and forth through Maine that year. I’m pretty sure it was some place around Portland where I passed this tree. It’s been an effort for me to zoom in on details. Too much and it’s micro and to little and there’s clutter in the image. And then the leaves need to be colorful without being past prime. Sunny day or rainy day for better color…hmmm, I’ve read all the theories. In the end, point the camera and shoot the picture. How do you know? You just do.