Visual Transience: Fall Photography

Fall Photography

There’s something about the transience of Fall that lends itself to captivating photographic opportunities. Fall photography is preferred because it’s where all nature’s magic is hidden.

Winter’s chill deters a lot of people from picking up their cameras. The layering, the preparation and the uncertainty of the season is why many people use the winter months to clean their gear and edit photos from warmer days of seasons past.

A good friend of mine Nick Fitzhardinge once shared a story of his journey into the bitter cold to capture a lunar eclipse. Undeterred at -40 degrees he ventured onto an ice field and waited patiently as the eclipsed moon made its transit across the night sky.

Upon returning home he realized his pinky was frostbitten, an injury that would take months to heal. All for a photo — one that I admittedly would risk frost bite for as well.

Most people, in fact, the vast majority of people would not attempt such a trip. Fall, is the perfect blend of comfort and discomfort. Daring and Caution. New & Old.

sagehen summit fall

You can get some amazing compositions if you use a telephoto lens and isolate trees

There’s something about fall that attracts all. The accessibility of fall, the colors of fall, the crisp air, the opportunities for new beginnings and ultimately the opportunity to let things go.

My favorite thing to photograph in Autumn are aspen trees. Boring most of the season they dawn a golden coat at the hint of frost and just like that they’re gone — spread out across the floor. Until next year.

Fall photography is also preferred because of the brilliant moods that transience brings. Fog photography is arguably the most stunning thing shoot — just ask any seasoned photographer. The collision of warm air and cold fronts means fog is in abundance in Autumn.

This year I ventured off the beaten path of the High Sierra and headed to Utah instead… the Mighty Wasatch range. An early frost and great timing lent itself to the most beautiful display of colors I’ve ever laid my eyes on.

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day,

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

Words cannot describe the cacophony of color I encountered, so enjoy:

A cabin in the woods surrounded by fall foliage

Roads dotted with fall colors

A moment to appreciate the bounty of fall

Fall colors in Utah

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