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Monday, October 24, 2016

Skylands Photos by a Camera-Phobe from Not the Best Autumn

Photo by Carolyn Messina, a much better photographer than I, taken the same day.
You can see how much better the exact same scene looks when it is photographed
by someone who knows what she is doing. 

Another shot by Carolyn Messina. See caption to above photo. 
I'm learning disabled. I was never diagnosed; rather nuns told me I was possessed, and secular teachers told me I am retarded. I am dyslexic, have trouble with left and right and sequential order. Human brains split and lump. That is, the brain does two things: it creates categories of related things, and it divides things up into discrete units. My brain is good at lumping, not so good at splitting. I can see all the letters in the word; I just have trouble figuring out which letter comes first, which second, and so on.

Also I'm cheap and poor and a luddite. So I shy away from anything technology-related. I don't own a TV. And I'm very intimidated by cameras.

2016 was the hottest year in history. Except for the days getting shorter, when it comes to weather, September was just another summer month. October has also been hot. I'm sure bed-and-breakfast proprietors in Vermont gazed at the sugar maples and wondered if they'd ever light up. This autumn has been worrying for those of us who are concerned about climate change.

And northern New Jersey is under near drought conditions. In hot, dry years, leaves tend to just go brown and drop, rather than sing and dance their way to the grave.

But the other day I went to Garret Mountain and it was as if all the trees had gotten together over night and agreed to put on a show. And I wished I had a camera.

Then it rained, and we had a wind storm. I wondered if there were any leaves left. No pun intended.

I went to Skylands yesterday, camera in tow.

I don't really know how to operate this camera. It has some buttons and I press them randomly and sometimes I like what happens and sometimes I don't.

Skylands is north of here and many trees were leafless. Those leaves that did remain were largely subdued brown. I reminded myself that Andrew Wyeth can take just some grey, some black, and some brown and create a memorable image.

So here are some inept photos of Skylands on a fall day in not the best foliage year.

Believe it or not, as unremarkable as these photos are, many of them capture exactly what I was trying to capture: sun on leaves, clouds in sky.

The last two photos are by Carolyn Messina, a much better photographer than I. You can see how much better the same scene looks when it is captured by a proficient photographer. 

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