“As the winter winds down with dull skies, I fondly reflect back on the memories of bright autumn days, filled with colour, cheer, and times spent among the trees.” – Ed Lehming
I believe I like this time of year (late winter) the least. There are hints of warmer days ahead, but between overcast skies, flurry filled mornings, icy trails, and the grimey looking banks of snow I find my thoughts drifting back to memories of autumn and the joy of taking in nature’s bright canvass.
As a photographer, I’m blessed to be able to carry those memories with me through my photos. There are days when I scroll back through photos of the recent and distant past, enjoying the images of those moments. As an artist, I brings me the greatest of joy to be able to reshape those images into something more than a snapshot. In allowing myself the freedom of re-interpreting my photos into digital art, I’m able to extract more of the essence of those experinces.
The image above was made in October of 2021, when my wife and I took a quick tip to Ontario’s Algonquin Park. This vast provincial park is only an hour north of our camper and we wanted to spend some time enjoying the fall weather. A highway cuts through the park from east to west and the autumn colour bring hordes of tourists from all over and most don’t venture too far off the road, usually taking in the trails and interpretive stations close to the road.
I really don’t like crowds, especially in nature, so we stopped along the roadside and climbed to the top of a rock to have our lunch and enjoy the view of a beaver pond tucked away behind the rock. It offered us a flat surface to sit and a view of the peaceful landscape around us. Near the top of the rock stood a gnarly, lichen covered pine tree, by no accounts ancient, but much bigger than the surrounding trees. This red pine and the interesting textures of its bark became the subject of the photo. I’ve edited it to a more painterly look, which I think enhances the ‘feel’ of that moment, more so than the original photo. Through the process, I left a lot of the fine details of the pine needles, leaves, and grasses at the base of the tree. For me, it just works and left me looking back to the exact moment that I snapped the shutter.
iPhone 12 Pro @ 26 mm
1/493 sec, f/1.6, ISO 32