Often early on a morning like this, I will pull up an image, put it against a white screen, and simply stare, waiting on its message. If there was a point to taking the image in the first place (and I'd like to think at least most of my pictures have a raison d'etre) then something else, something more, may come from a picture pondered and not merely taken.
Why do I like this image? What story does it tell? What doesn't work about it? What can I see on close examination of the two-dimensional rendering that I could not see in the context of standing at that vantage point and pressing the shutter? What part of being there at that moment is lost when the scene is reduced to pixels of light and color?
This morning, from the several I thought I might post, the barn scene seemed best for the day and season. It is a slice of time. Taken before the last hurricane and its floods, the creek bank between the base of the big walnut and the bottom of the image is gone now, missing all the way to the little cleft you see that marks our foot crossing on the pine plank (now also on its way to the Atlantic.) The world has changed since I took this picture two weeks ago, and not just the contour of the creek bank. Everything in the image is different--every leaf, every tree. Even the barn is victim to time. We can't always see it, but time flows through every object frozen in these eye-blinks that become digital moments. An image catches an instant in a world that will never be exactly that way again. And this passing of the now seems especially evident to me in the fall.
It is fall-ness that comes to me from this picture, and the essence of it is not in the color in the leaves. It is the light itself. It In mid-October, more striking and vivid colors than this are everywhere. It is the light here in this treatment of the image, the soft rendering as if from a haze of memory and nostalgia that seems right to me. Fall is a time of looking back. What speaks to me of fall here is the angle in the light--so different from summer--diffused, just striking the top of the barn roof as the sun rises, finally, over the eastern ridge. But even in the middle of the day now, the pitch of light is different, and of course, it would be, the sun rising less and less in the southern sky, casting longer shadows across the dulling color of dying leaves. There are hints of the passing of a thousand different greens, the coming of browns and grays.
What do you see here? Your eyes are different from mine. Your memories of fall tell another story. Can you tell it?