September is a transitional month as we move (in the northern hemisphere) from summer to autumn, and the weather has certainly taken a turn for the cooler these past couple of days.
Time to look ahead then to leaves changing colour, falling from their trees; crisp mornings and often-still-pleasant days.
As the new month begins, I thought I’d have a look at my Lightroom collection of images waiting to be published and narrow them down to just those taken in September, over the years. What I found was evidence of that transitional period: a mix of bright sunshine and much more autumnal scenes; clear days in Florence and cloudy days in Valencia; beautiful calm mornings at the coast and murky, glowering rainstorms in the Lake District.
As the summer nears its end, I recently realised I’d missed my chance to get out and photograph the best of the heather season here in Northumberland. I’ll have to wait another year to try again.
With autumn approaching then, perhaps time to plan some objectives for the kinds of photographs I want to capture.
Autumn and woodlands go together beautifully, and there are some woodland scenes I’d love to try and capture this year. I’m still upset that a glorious woodland up by Simonside got felled by the Forestry Commission a couple of years ago, but have since found some other promising locations to compensate.
The National Trust has some beautiful locations, not least among them Cragside which I want to try and visit on my own this autumn to give myself the freedom to properly walk and explore the huge estate. I always visit with family and young kids tend to restrict range somewhat.
Fretting over fret
We got a couple of really good days of fret (coastal fog) here in June, but haven’t had much else so far this year. Hopefully we can get some fog roll in to go with good light as a last hurrah of summer.
While the phrase ‘changeable conditions’ could really describe almost any month of the year in the UK, interesting photography gets made a lot easier when the conditions do change quickly and this time of year is all about change.
As the days shorten, autumn brings with it some lovely quality of light.
One thing I miss since moving house is how my home office window no longer points in an interesting direction. In our old house, I’d often catch the stunning skies that can happen around sunset while working on my computer in the evening.
On the other hand, that house was just a little too far from the beach to then run out the door and catch a proper scene, while here I’m a 3–4 minute walk away in a hurry.
It’ll take more active vigilance in checking the skies, but I hope to jump on any opportunities I do spot before the days get so short that sunset happens while we’re still doing dinner and bedtime with the kids.
A bit of street photography?
Far less seasonal, but I am also really missing the amount of street photography I used to do when we lived in London. Newcastle really isn’t that far away (a 15-minute drive) but finding and using the opportunity to head in alone, with the chance to wander, has proven elusive so far.
We’ll see how much, if any, of this I manage over the next month or three. We have a family trip to the Lakes planned at the end of October, so I have high hopes for some good photography then at least.