A shaft of light

We’ve reached that time of the year when the Greens look tired and shabby. That wonderful palette of greens that we enjoyed a few short months ago has gone, to be replaced by a homogenous tone.

I was in the woods on the Ashridge Estate a few days ago. The sky was 90% cloud and the few blue breaks had passed me by. I was searching for an image. Eventually I found one – it was the spread of the foliage at low level that appealed. The light was poor, the wood was predominantly dark. I cranked the ISO up to 1250 and took a shot. And it turned out better than I thought it would.

_DS80839I walked on and a minute later (I’ve checked the timing), suddenly the light was switched on. And… Wow! Instantly the wood came alive and I had just reached an attractive tree. I spent the next few minutes shooting, busily searching for the right image. I knew what I wanted and eventually I found it. Just a spray of a few leaves, diseased, but alive. I shot, aiming up into the canopy, through leaves that despite their age still possessed that quality of translucency that I find so appealing. The light went, I knew it wouldn’t last, but I was happy. I had an image.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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13 Responses to A shaft of light

  1. These are great images Andy….very vibrant and it just proves the point that the light can make (or break) a photograph.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks James. As you well know, and show, in your own work light is everything. It’s still capable of stopping me in my tracks when the light is ‘switched’ on suddenly and a scene somehow explodes into life.

  2. oneowner says:

    Sometimes all it takes is a very short burst of light to make a great photo. The key is to recognize it when it happens, as in this case.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. This was one of those transformational moments when the wood burst into light. You would have to be a hard and insensitive person not to be excited by that moment and its potential.

  3. Len says:

    Great color that you have found looking for the light Andy.

  4. Long live translucence!

  5. Lisa Gordon says:

    Wonderful images of late summer.
    I am not sure that our leaves are going to be on the trees long enough to be shabby. They are already falling! 😦 Way too early for that, and I don’t remember it ever happening this early.

    • LensScaper says:

      It’s been a very strange summer. Apples falling off the trees are withered and diseased, the plums are shriveled like prunes, and the leaves on many trees are looking like it is October. And it’s darned cold! Many thanks for your comment Lisa.

  6. shoreacres says:

    “Tired…shabby…diseased, but alive.” I think all of us feel a natural sympathy with nature in such a state. Perhaps that feeling is what tinges autumn with a sense of nostalgia, and makes photos like this so deeply appealing. Your leaves remind me of these words from Annie Dillard, which I’m always dragging out to share.

    “I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them…”

  7. Meanderer says:

    Beautiful! That change in light transforms everything!

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