An Ode to Autumn

So first thing's first:  when did I start calling this time of year "autumn"? These British ways have a funny way of making themselves at home in my American self. When I go back to America ('the States') and start talking about the bin ('trash can') and the garden ('yard') and various bits and bobs ('things'), I know I'm going to come across as an affected American who spent a few too many years abroad. So I'm offering up my apologies now to all those who will roll their eyes at me in the not-so-distant future: it was all just too charming not to pick up.

But, back to autumn ('fall').  I absolutely love this time of year.  When September rolls around, I start eyeing my boots and my sweaters (haven't quite made the leap to calling them 'jumpers' yet) and start checking the status of the leaves.  It's always a bit premature, though, because September is that transition period when the Pumpkin Spice Latte may be on the menu, but it's not cold enough to order it yet.  But then October arrives, and, my friends, October may just be the greatest month of the year.  It's crisp, but not cold.  There's a carpet of yellow, gold and red on the ground but the trees are not bare.  The light starts to soften, but the daylight isn't limited.  And then the fog and mist start to roll in.  All together, you have the ingredients for the perfect month.

We were spoiled in England this October.  To say the weather cooperated would be an understatement. And when the weather is fair in England, you must take full advantage.  So we did by visiting Rye and the Cotswolds and even by staying local to pick our own pumpkins.  We topped the month off travel-wise with a visit to Stourhead, a National Trust site in Wiltshire that features one of the most beautiful landscape gardens that I have ever seen.  It is like something straight out of a painting.

We first visited the gardens at Stourhead in the early spring, and on first sight, I knew I wanted to return to see the colors change in autumn.  Given our rather hectic schedule in October, we went earlier than I would have liked, and while most of the garden wasn't at it's peak, it was still breathtaking, and there were certainly a few autumnal standouts.

But, as I wrote earlier, it's not only about the colors for me. In autumn, the light loses a bit of that harshness it sports during the summer months, and in England, with its varied (and moody) weather patterns, that can make for some fun - and dramatic - photographic moments.

And speaking of moody and dramatic:

Misty, milky, foggy country lanes ....

The fog. I cannot get enough of these foggy October mornings. Can you blame me?

Autumn or fall?  It doesn't matter, because whatever you call it, it's simply the best. 

Knock, knock ....

Beyond Travel Photography

I am obsessed with lifestyle photography lately. I could scroll through portrait, street, and editorial photographers' feeds all day long. The composition, the lighting, the editing style .... there's so much thought and creativity that goes into it. I find it all incredibly inspiring.  And as much as I love travel photography - it will always be my go-to photographic style - I think the next challenge for me is to master my editorial style. All this to say that, occasionally, you may see a little bit more of this kind of thing on the blog and in my Instagram feed:

My daughter and I had the chance to visit an honest-to-goodness pumpkin patch at a local Pick Your Own farm this past week, and it was a great opportunity to test out my lifestyle lens. My favorite part, of course, was chasing after this little pumpkin (and trying to get her to look at the camera).

We passed by rows of fruit and vegetables, many lying dormant, waiting for their season to come again, but a few ripe stragglers remained.

The pumpkin patch was at the far end of the fields, and it was wonderfully wild and unkempt.

We set to work, both of us looking for "the one" (plus one for Daddy, of course).

What a fantastic place this was.  There weren't perfect rows of perfectly scrubbed pumpkins in the perfect shade of orange to select and take home, but rather pumpkins of all shapes and colors and varieties, still clinging to their vines, waiting for someone to get their fingernails dirty in the quest for the right one.  So get dirty we did.  And that beautiful bright orange one?  That one was all mine.

So am I ready to push my limits when it comes to my style? Yes. Do I have a lot to learn? More than I can even wrap my head around. But I'm always game for a good challenge. Let's do this.