Travel Photography: Fall Foliage
You will not be seeing any epic fall foliage photos in this post. While our attempts to visit Vermont and do the whole "leaf peeping" thing was with good intentions, the Weather Channel was a bunch of liars. We were mislead into thinking Southern Vermont was at this peak for foliage, which it is not. We took a late afternoon drive from Mass up into Vermont. We took the high way for a small portion and navigated the back roads up for the remaining portion. We would repeat almost the same route to return.
The following photographs were made using my Canon 5d mark ii, imported and edited o my iPad. Pardon hurts dust spots and artifacts in some of the photos.
Along the way I was thinking about this post. I was examining the idea that the best practice would be to literally just get in the car and wander. That is how I spent my formal years with photogrpahy. It was that practice of just getting in hype car and driving that has lead me to realize that I love to travel and that when you try not to, you will see. See things, objects, places, and people that become photographs. A great photographer can compose an image and tell a story in doing so. A great photographer can also create visual relationships. Not just between photographs, but between the elements of a single photograph.
For example, the following photograph is of a lumber yard that we passed by. The road split the yard into two sections. Quite literally the before and after. What was unique about the location is that the landscape landed to the metaphor even more so. Composed in a fashion that creates a story in a single image, you can see, "before and after" by reason the elements I have placed within the lens. The background is the "before" while the foreground is the "after." The distant landscape is a mountainous scene, almost seen in every corner of Vermont. The foreground is fresh cut timber stacked and laid in the yard. Through this photograph I wanted to convey the sense of the before and after by framing up these emergents for the viewer to discern.
While I did wish we were able to see some epi autum landscape, I am not let down that we didn't. My goal today was not to spend hours in search of the he right image to make, rather to enjoy the day and if I used my camera, great, if not no big deal. We made our way as far as Putney, Vermont. We spent a short time in Brattleboro. Both I looking for a bathroom and just to meander. We close on our first house this week and we were looking for a few things to add. I will report happily that we found some restrooms to use, but nothing for the house.
People fascinate me to death. We are all in some ways voyeristic, nosy, curious. Photography allows me to explore both culture and social activity. I spend a lot of time watching people through the lens. Not in a stalker, private eye kind of way, but through the events I attend, the places I travel, and images I make. I form connections with people that I have photographed. Every portrait photographer knows what it is like to on next to theirs subjects, but for me it's more than that. I am still working on trying to contextualize my thoughts on the subject. I was motivated to make some portraits today because the light was ideal to do so. A bit harsh, but sometimes harsh can cause some shadows that are favored.
The following photograph is of a girl that was writing poetry on the spot for anyone who would indulge her. I noticed the scene when I turned and left a retail store front. As I moved my lens around I observed her mannerisms and noticed the light on her. She became more visually interesting as she allowed the sun to bathe her. While I stood watching and moving about no one entertained her offers of words and emotions. In passing I made a comment to Sue about having a spontaneous poem written for us. That didn't go over well. But I was able to document what I saw.
Brattleboro is an interesting town. I've been there a hand full of times. It is comparable to other small New England towns. There is some art, little bit of culture, and a little bit of tourism. I am not super drawn to visit Brattleboro like I am other Vermont towns an locations. Most of the time I stop it is in passing, such as today. This was the first time I really used a camera to capture any sort of vignette of the town. That's not to say don't visit, but merely I am stating that after having been a few times, redundancy equals boredom.
If you are like me and have a need to see, then you have a need to make photographs and travel to some extent. Over the next year I aim to travel more. I want to visit areas that I have not seen both near and far. Vermont happens to be next door and there is. Almost no bad time to visit, except mud season. Before we know it the ground will be blanked in white powder. By that time I will share some photos from last years post Christmas trip to Vermont. Hopefully we will duplicate last year up there.. Go visit Vermont.