I recently took 3 of my 4 kids out to the park, it was fresh and cool, but very clear. The sky was an amazing pure blue. As the season was heading toward winter the sun hangs low in the sky all day, meaning you get a kind of ‘golden hour‘ light most of the time – most of the time it’s not grey or raining of course.
My current youngest (we are awaiting our 5th daughter) was happily climbing about on quite a high platform, giving a great perspective from below. The vibrant colour of her coat was a great complement to the vibrant blue sky. The yellow bars of the slide that she was attempting sets it off nicely.
She’s a cheeky thing. She has these looks that indicate mischief being on her mind. Although it looks like she is about to go down the slide, I’d often be there encouraging – and ready to take a photo – and then she would run off and giggle, definitely her own personality.
I again ‘developed’ this in the Adobe Lightroom Beta, which I’m enjoying more as it stops you fiddling with the image like you might in photoshop. Limiting what you can do (and yet making it easier) actually makes you think more about what you’re doing. I didn’t do a lot to this photo, bit of a vignette, slight increase in saturation and contrast. I very slightly increased the exposure on the left eye, just a subtle change really helped.
This post is long overdue as the last one pictured rain and in reality we are having a very dry Autumn. Dry weather makes for great foraging. I’ve attached a few pictures to this post, mainly because I really enjoyed the time we spent foraging for sweet chestnuts!
This first picture is actually after about half an hour of collecting the sweet chestnuts. My youngest daughter couldn’t really help collect them as they’re so very very sharp! She would not let anyone else carry the tub though!
The spikes on these things are incredible. The shell is completely covered and they’re really spiney, they don’t bend at all. I started off trying to prise them open by hand, but my resourceful son (typical boy) discovered actually smashing them with the heal of your boot was the most effective, and surprisingly didn’t damage the actual nut inside at all!
The photo below was of an open one still on the tree – these were few and far between though and mostly they were covering the floor like an incredibly spikey carpet.
I love the colours and gloss of the newly extracted chestnut. They’re a little like highly polished walnut, like you would find in some stately home.
We collected loads, the tub you see my daughter holding was literally overflowing.
We’ve not tasted them yet. Some have been blanched and frozen to make into a stuffing for Christmas and the rest we have hung in nets with the aim to roast them in the oven.
What really amazed us is that we found walnuts in the same park! That’s not something you see everyday in the UK, but they were in the local park and we didn’t even know it. Foraging is great family fun. We definitely want to do it more – unfortunately we discovered the fun a little late in the season, but we’re going to gear up to collect a lot more in future.
As a matter of technical interest I graded these in the Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta it’s free to use until early next year. I really like it. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles (Layers!) of Photoshop, but in a way that’s good as you concentrate on the photo – more like darkroom development. The only problem is it’s not cheap, once the beta runs out it’ll be back to Photoshop only for me then.
Strangely this Autumn has been very very dry. It’s not very English at all. Much more normal is the kind damp and drizzle that I went out to capture this photo in. I got quite wet without realising it – what our family call ‘Cornish rain’. The kind of rain that just seems to hang there, almost like a heavy mist – but you get absolutely soaked.
The Sumac leaves amaze me. In the Summer it is a deep green, but come Autumn they gradually change to a deep red, with hints of yellows, oranges and greens in between. I love the drops of rain hanging like crystals beautifully finishing off the leaf apex. However, this is the first time I have noticed that the leaves on the branches form a shape somewhat like a dinosaurs rib cage!
I love Autumn – this is turning out to be a gorgeous one. An update with the results of our chestnut foraging soon!
(Btw Loving Spotify, in particular listening to Hans Zimmer, inspiring music)