Autumn – yet another year

Door County colors were variable this year – you really had to wander around the peninsula and look for the spots of gold and red.  Seemed the leaves were changing quickly.  So much so that the edges would be brown while the interior was green.  Trees had a rusted appearance to them rather than iridescence.  Fortunately the sun cooperated while I was there so there was no lack of light.

The last subject caught my attention.  There are bluffs along parts of the peninsula, edges of the Niagara Escarpment broken off by winter, waves and erosion.  Crumbling limestone cracked and falls toward the lake.  Looks like this tree got caught between rock and soil, successfully struggling against both to keep moving upward.  Strength through struggle.

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Just a little fall

Colors in Wisconsin seem pretty variable this year, probably due to the unusual weather through summer very early fall.  I did make it up to the northern part of the state, though, and found some nice scenery.  Here’s a few autumn images for those of you missing the changing season.

Color comes around again

Nice hike this weekend, taking in a couple of new trails.  Surprising how cool it was for Labor Day weekend but the trees are starting to feel it as they shed summer colors for fall.  Feels like this seasonal change is going to come fast.

Devil’s Lake from the south bluff trail

Lichens turning quartzite into sand

Early autumn portrait

Someone has to be first

Standing out from the crowd

What is the story of autumn?

Door County Panoramic

Door County Panoramic

I’m still working through the images from fall color hunting but as feared, not really finding any outstanding shots.  This was a grove of trees on the edge of a field on one of the few days with actual sunshine.  Casually driving around and looking at scenery would have convince the average person there was lots of great scenes this fall but taking time to find something to compose was a different story.

Speaking of which, what is the story for fall colors?  Is it the brilliant end of a growing season?  A nostalgic memory of earlier autumns?  The slight chill in the air accompanying the changing colors that reminds us of the season to come (and its associated holidays for family and friendship)?  If one had the perfect photograph of fall colors, what story would it tell?  What memory would it elicit?  What emotion would it stimulate?

Never really thought about it.  Photographing the changing colors just seems like the thing to do in and of itself.  But there must be some basic, primary essence of why we enjoy such images.  And linger our gaze on some while passing by others.  Perhaps figuring that out will enable me to see even the least autumn in a new way.

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Great slice of America

A colleague of mine recently asked if Door County has become my go-to place.  Hadn’t really thought of it that way but did realize we’ve visited there several times since moving here.  There does seem to be quite a bit of photo-material there, changing with the seasons.

Door County is that narrow thumb sticking out eastward from Wisconsin into Lake Michigan.  Because trade via the Great Lakes was such an important route prior to railroads this part of the state was site of many small ports and supporting villages.  From mining to forestry to farming the area has seen much change as different ethnic groups settled and thrived there.

Overall the county is pretty thinly populated, once the tourists go home.  Weekends are crowded but during the week things settle down a bit.  There are still many natural areas in the county, including an actual wilderness area in the northern part.  With water, rocks and trees abounding there is usually a good view somewhere.

Ephram, WI from Peninsula State Park

Ephraim, WI from Peninsula State Park

There is an overlook in the state park that has a clear view across to the town.  This was just right for the position of sun and moon, enough light to make the houses visible as the moon rose over the ridge behind them.

Cave Point State Park, Door County, WI

Cave Point State Park, Door County, WI

Sunrise with a strong wind coming ashore, driving waves at least 5-6′ high.  Fortunately the rocks are immune to the breeze even as the trees sway.

What is probably the most photographed section of road in Wisconsin.  South of Northport in Door County.

What is probably the most photographed section of road in Wisconsin. South of Northport in Door County.

I have no idea why the highway engineers laid out the road this way but it certainly attracts photographers.  Just about every gift shop in the county has some image of this hanging for sale.  I’m standing with a crowd of probably a dozen people, all waiting their turn for this spot and for all the cars to clear out.

Fading colors

Finally got around to having all the 4×5 slide film in the freezer developed.  A mix of last fall and this fall, so there were a few nicely colored images.  Lab manager told me the E-6 chemistry from Kodak is done – no more available.  Slide film will now only be processed with Fuji chemistry.  I do so little anymore it’s hard for me to know if there’s a difference in using Fuji chemistry on Kodak film.  Not much of an issue soon, though, since Kodak quit making slide film anyway.  Just have to enjoy it while it lasts.

Here’s the best of a couple years’ large format slides.

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