I spent four days on the road this week, traveling anywhere from four to eight hours each day. There were many moments of light, but I collected those images in my memory banks, rather than with the camera -- interactions of clouds and light, and of light and shadow on rolling hills and fall scenes, as well as many good conversations with my traveling companions.
One day we traveled during the “golden hour,” that hour loved by photographers when the sun’s rays are low across the landscape. Our golden hour lit the golden leaves still on many trees.
Other days were cloudier, with the sun’s rays breaking through open patches in the clouds, rimming the edges with light, and sending shafts down to earth. When the cloud bank thickened, we were left with rolling Pennsylvania hills, covered with a gray-brown afghan of bare trees, interspersed with an occasional bright yellow or red tree, still proudly displaying its leaves.
Yesterday it rained all morning as I traveled between Columbus and Fort Wayne. The clouds were soggy and leaking, but there was a golden undertone – russet fields of drying soybeans, tawny cornfields, thickets of trees with wet black trunks vivid against a backdrop of yellow leaves.
After Fort Wayne, the cloud cover began breaking up, so there were dramatic cloud configurations mixed with sun highlighting fields and woods. It reminded me of travels in Big Sky country in Alberta, with majestic clouds rather than our more usual gray blanket.
I tried to capture a bit of the drama at a stoplight, and by pulling off a time or two – this only hints at the beauty, because it proved quite challenging to find a good combination of dramatic clouds, shafts of sunshine hitting fall colors and a safe place to pull off the road. Perhaps it can remind you of your own dramatic memories of cloud and light.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"