ILove the autumn, I love the colours, the scent in the air and the visual representation of the cycle of life going through one of its many metamorphoses. The autumn for me personally though is the most exciting time to be out and about taking photographs. Every day from late September to mid-November, the colour change; green to red, red to brown & brown to gold. The trees become bare of their abundant offspring and the ground below becomes a dance of tone, shade and illuminance. How wonderful to witness such beauty.
I spend 8 months working in Spain in 2007, mostly on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, the name translates as “Strong Fortune” but in this modern sense, it means strong winds. And it is a pretty windy island. It’s also barren of seasonal change, so there is no spring or autumn. Just the same summer’s day, every day.
One thing is for sure, it soon gets boring, it soon makes you feel like it’s groundhog day as far as the weather is concerned. But after a while, one gets to miss a rain shower and a thunderstorm.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing place to visit! Fuerteventura has some amazing landscapes. Yes, it does look like a distant planet, almost like Mars in some areas, but it still has a wow factor. But 4 solid months of it…. that’s more than enough.
My work was done in Fuerteventura, so, in early November afternoon, took a flight back to the UK. It was dark when I landed, so, didn’t get to see anything other than the lights and reflections on wet roads on the drive back to Brighton.
I was off to my sister-in-law Christine’s house. I got there, went to bed and got up early the next day. Christine’s house has those old-fashioned wooden shutters and I could see a glint of light peeking through, I opened the shutter (in a Life of Brian sort of way). And low and behold if the vision I was met with didn’t blow me away.
I think all that time in Fuerteventura had made me somewhat colour-blind, as what I was looking at seemed to be as if a painting of heaven had been stolen and placed in the garden.
I’d never seen such depth of colour. The ambience of the red, the shimmering golds, greens and yellows. The amber light flickered in small puddles of the previous night’s rain.
It was like an overture of saturated colours had come to life and become an animated reality. It was spectacular and it was wonderful. My heart filled with awe and amazement, I was, for the first time in my life, utterly speechless.
There were no words to truly express my feelings that morning other than to say I was incredibly happy to be back. But then again, had I not spent four months on the island of Fuerteventura, I’d never have lost the colour recognition in my day-to-day life and would never have experienced such a significant and heartfelt moment. I was truly blessed that day! Something so simple as opening shutters in the morning had such a profound effect on me, and it still does to this day.
I used to live in central Warwick, in Old Square to be precise. The area was very familiar to me on my first visit back after many years. There are a few shortcuts and alleyways around St Mary’s church that I’d used to cut through to my mate Charlie’s house when I was younger. They are not on the tourist trail and if you didn’t know about them, you’d never find them.
I headed to the old-old cemetery! I mean the really ancient one that is even more off the beaten track and at the back of the, just old cemetery. Even this one was ancient and the gravestones had dates up to 200 years old on them, and lots so old that the dates were eroded off.
A very old archway, as you can see in the photograph connects both graveyards, and it was here that I saw once again a representation of the opening-the-shutters moment. It was perfect? With the colours, the lighting and the sun shining bright behind me, I walked backwards taking in the scene and could see how the sun behind the tree in the other graveyard was penetrating through the gaps in the branches and through the archway.
Camera out, snap snap-grin grin. I was a happy man. Shame I didn’t take a photo of Christine’s garden but this composition is basically what I saw that day. It’s not that often one gets presented with such beauty, so, make the most of it when you experience it.
One never remembers the nights I stayed home.
Do you ever remember that night a few years ago when you stayed home and watched the tele, went to bed and got up the next morning? No? Neither do I! But I do remember that morning I was presented with the most awesome sight. And I will also remember the day I took this picture.
Fill your life with wonderful visions, and make new memories every day. Take risks, take opportunities, and make the nights and days you live now memorable so that in 15 years time, your heart fills with joy every time you recollect that special moment.
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Printed on Hahnemühle Printing Paper
Hahnemühle’s authentic Fine Art paper is regarded as top-of-the-line. It is often used for exhibitions and limited-edition art prints. All Hahnemühle papers have been certified by independent institutes to be highly resistant to ageing and are vegan, in order to meet the highest requirements.
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