This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he always thought the garden was his. Even though I do all the work, he always stood by me. I'm located near Boston (in USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and try to grow all of my family's vegetables.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

fall thoughts

Copy of BVG
my marigolds Copy of my ripening pumpkin

Fall often surprises me with how fast it comes. Of course, I'd never be ready to finish with summer. But it does seem that in one day, all of a sudden, the summer garden turns into a fall garden. Whether I'm ready or not.

Its mostly something to do with the lighting I think. I'm trying to figure it out. When I take a photo in the summer, the colors are warm and yellow highlighted, but now shadows are too dark, highlights too bright, blues and yellows tend to be missing. When I look around, the sun is glaring in my eyes and I can't see into the shadows.

Of course the angle of the sun is lower, accounting for the glare in my eyes and the deeper shadows. Probably less moisture in the air since its a bit cooler, which may account for some changes in light quality. And the light now travels through more atmosphere, attenuating shorter wavelengths: UV, blues, some green. Some mammalian seasonal clocks respond to these wavelengths. Plants are very sensitive to these changes. The garden rapidly changes its character as the fall light quality changes.

Someone used the word pallet. The fall pallet in the garden is unique. The greens of chlorophyll are fading, replaced by reds, oranges, golds. The dry air helps to fade the greens. My pumpkins are now bright orange, the gardens are full to bursting with tall yellow sunflowers.

I read somewhere that perception of fall relates back to our hunter-gatherer ancestry. Back when we had to anticipate winter with instincts and stock up on food. I can't say I feel an urgency to go hunting, more of a sadness. Another garden is winding down. Another winter is between us and the next garden.

fall wild asters blue fall berries


Blogger Dan said...

I might be able to help you figuring out fall photos but I am also no expert so just keep that in mind. Whats happening is the camera is over exposing the bight area so it can expose the dark area. There is a few ways of fixing this:

-Try using aperture priority which is Av mode on a Canon. It is like an auto mode that gives you some control over the settings. A tutorial can be found online about how to use this setting or in your camera book. Basically you set the aperture and the camera selects the shutter speed.

-for example you could try Av setting, set your aperture to f/5.6 and put the ISO at 200. Take your photo and look at it on the back of the camera. If it is bright in spots you can then adjust the exposure compensation for the shutter speed by pressing the "+/-" button and setting that to -0.7 to darken the image and retake your shot. If the image is to dark you can then go through the same process but set the exposure compensation to +0.7 to bright the image and retake the shot.

-I usually take numerous shots of each subject at different compensations as well so I can select the best one on the computer. For example you could take the subject at f/5.6, ISO 200 with a compensations of -0.3, -0.7, -1.0, -1.3 & -1.7. You can always brighten a darker image but you can not darken a bright one.

-It may seem a little confusing at fist but if you just play with the settings for a few weeks you will start to remember what settings work best for particular lighting conditions.

September 25, 2009 11:22 AM

Blogger kathy said...


Often I can do the same with editing software. I usually adjust with photoshop using auto settings, adjust shadows/highlights, and color adjusts occasionally. But you're right that it doesn't work well to lower highlights more than a little bit. I'm looking forward to experimenting with the camera settings and comparing. I haven't been playing with them recently as I had things working well for summer.

I vaguely remember going through the same thing in past falls. I have this sense I go through it every year. Maybe I remove all memories of summer ending.

September 25, 2009 11:44 AM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

I just had something happen when I clicked on your comments link that happened for the first time within the last few days. It brought up an ad popup.

I can't remember if the first time was your site or not.

Is this me (and so probably my pc is infected) or a new feature of blogspot comments?

(This time I'm writing down where it happened :-) to reduce my confusion.

September 25, 2009 1:08 PM

Anonymous Marian(LondonUK) said...

Having had our first year with the lottie and picking and eating tastey things, I appreciate the feelings you are having. I am desparately trying to extend the growing season using cloches for winter lettuce etc. Plus I find myself feeling really resentful at having to purchase beans if I want them from the supermarket, they are rubbish.

Thankfully there are some cabbage, roots and potatoes to look forward to using in the weeks ahead. I have to say that I have always liked the colours and changing airs of Autumn, walking on crispy leaves, sparkling dew, it does have a beauty to lift us from the change from Summer to the rest that the plot/garden needs.
Marian (LondonUK)

September 25, 2009 5:09 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Karen Anne,

Sorry you got a pop-up. They are annoying. I tried to find information on blogger comment pop-up ads, but can't find anything. I did read that the New York Times has been having trouble with spam pop-ups that say you have a virus. I've been trying out my comments buttons and don't see any problems.

The last gadget I installed was the recent comments sidebar listing. From Beautiful Beta.

My site is generally ad-free. Only have one ad right now. That's the patio furniture link halfway down the sidebar. I get paid by time not clicks in. It looks like a nice store to me.

What did the pop-up advertise? Do you get it every time you click? Is anyone else getting these?

September 25, 2009 6:04 PM

Anonymous teresa said...

I know just what you mean about the light. It is not in pictures that I notice it though. The air seems a bit different. Even if it gets warm out, there is a different quality around everything. I can't put my finger on it either. It just feels like autumn.

September 25, 2009 11:35 PM


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