Sunday, October 31, 2010

Short Days

I like autumn and the change of seasons. The sunlight quality in October/November is different -- while the weather may be warm at times, the sun is low in the sky, and there can be a lot of haze from dust/leaf debris in the air. The light is definitely more "golden." Sunsets can be spectacular, as well as sunrise, and with the sun rising so much later than mid-summer, it's not hard to get out there and catch it on camera. Of course, this also means short days until after most of the winter has passed, and a change in what I photograph, and when. Weekends will be more likely to be my only outdoor photography opportunities, and lunch hours during the week. Cold weather is hard on camera batteries and fingers, too. I'll carry a spare battery in my pocket for the camera if it might require one. As the landscape become more monochromatic, I'll probably shoot more b&w film, too. Of course, short days also means longer nights, so more darkroom time is a good possibility.

For those of you looking to try something different -- fall/winter is a great time to photograph the subtleties of nature in these more northern parts. The chaos of summer is muted to a few themes in winter. Colors are more like tones, except for those times when a single leaf or the red of sumac berries stands out amongst the grays and browns. The tiny details seen in a frosted leaf may be as dramatic as a fall landscape. The are many great things to see, but you have to look. Street photography changes, too. Look for those days of chilly wet weather when people are bundled up and more anonymous. Monochrome works well, and use an all-manual camera to avoid battery problems if you are planning to be out for a day. Try using a toy camera with C-41 b&w film such as Ilford XP-2 -- you'll be pleased with the results.

I took the photo below last year, and just posted it on Flickr last night. Sometimes the delay from shooting to developing can be a while, and now is the time to show it. I used my Hasselblad with Kodak Ektar100 film. The farm is in Emmet Co., MI, and is on my way to Wilderness State Park.
Just A Plain Farm


Katie Gill said...

This is lovely the color is great. I was wondering since you work with film and color if you knew of anywhere to get smaller precut color paper?
Thanks. Your work is great!

mfophotos said...

Katie - thank you. I only print on b&w paper, and the smallest size there is postcard size followed by 5x7. As for color, I guess you should check out Freestyle Photo or ask on

Anonymous said...

Ektar is one of those films I need to start using more. Such a great film.