"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag

Autumn Yellow, Autumn Orange (1 of 2)

From October, or Autumnal Tints by Henry David Thoreau:

“As I go across a meadow directly towards a low rising ground this bright afternoon, I see, some fifty rods off toward the sun the top of a Maple swamp just appearing over the sheeny russet edge of the hill, a stripe apparently twenty rods long by ten feet deep, of the most intensely brilliant scarlet, orange and yellow equal to any flowers or fruits, or any tints ever painted….

“As I advance, lowering the edge of the hill which makes the firm foreground or lower frame of the picture, the depth of the brilliant grove revealed steadily increases, suggesting that the whole of the enclosed valley is filled with such color.”


This is the first of a pair of posts featuring yellow and orange fall colors. They tend to be my favorite colors to photograph and post-process this time of year, as both are bright in shade or sun, and both create nice sharp contrasts with the backgrounds they appear in. More muted than the reds that also fill the autumn landscape, my eye or my camera or both always seem drawn to these color variations. With the reds it always seems harder to isolate individual leaves and branches and produce colors I’m satisfied with in Lightroom, but the yellows and oranges — woohoo!


If you would like to see my previous fall color posts for this year, they’re all organized under this tag:

Autumn 2021

Thanks for taking a look!

Painted Leaves and Branches

From “The Sugar Maple” in October, or Autumnal Tints by Henry David Thoreau:

“Think how much the eyes of painters of all kinds, and of manufacturers of cloth and paper, and paper-stainers, and countless others, are to be educated by these autumnal colors….

“The stationer’s envelopes may be of very various tints, yet not so various as those of the leaves of a single tree. If you want a different shade or tint of a particular color, you have only to look further within or without the tree or the wood. These leaves are not many dipped in one dye, as at the dye-house, but they are dyed in light of infinitely various degrees of strength, and left to set and dry there.”

Continuing with some autumn-color photography … here’s a collection featuring images of isolated leaves that turned early, mostly at the tips of branches, still hanging on in mid-November … but probably not for long.


If you would like to see my previous fall color posts for this year (you might have missed one!), they’re all organized under the same tag, this one:

Autumn 2021

Thanks for taking a look!

Autumn Vines on Old Stone

From “Tom’s Garden” by Margie Ruddick in Architecture of the Everyday by Steven Harris and Deborah Berke:

“When I was small, the straight dirt roads had a wild character despite their layout: a tangle of trees, shrubs, vines, and native grasses screened the houses that nestled in the growth….

“Many people … had carved small gardens out of their back yards, and you could catch a glimpse, around the corners of the houses, of small emerald green patches, proper gardens with wisteria, hydrangea, and daylilies. While the face toward the road was often unkempt and chaotic, the small private world behind the house was often lush and well groomed; each of these gardens was different from the next.”

From “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers” in The Complete Works of Henry David Thoreau by Henry David Thoreau:

“The wind in the woods sounded like an incessant waterfall dashing and roaring amid rocks, and we even felt encouraged by the unusual activity of the elements. He who hears the rippling of rivers in these degenerate days will not utterly despair….

“That night was the turning-point in the season. We had gone to bed in summer, and we awoke in autumn; for summer passes into autumn in some unimaginable point of time, like the turning of a leaf.”

The Thoreau quote above pretty much captures the seasonal change to instant autumn here in the southeast: suddenly temperatures drop from the seventies into the forties and thirties for a couple of days, and many recently green things seem to turn yellow, orange, and red over night. As I was working through a couple of batches of new fall-color photos, I pulled out these few of vines climbing among the statues at Oakland Cemetery’s gardens — the last leaves still hanging from their stems, sometimes suspended in midair as they stretched from their attachment points.

The last image below is a minimalist variation of the one just above it, where I let Lightroom select the subject and it chose only the central vine and the single leaf on it. Then I converted the background to white and added some yellow and orange saturation, to emphasize the leaf and give the vine a little extra punch.

Thanks for taking a look!

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