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T.S. Elliot may have thought that April is the cruelest month, but my vote goes to November. The days are short and dark, and each one is shorter and darker than the one before. The trees have lost their leaves – except perhaps for a few lingering glimmers of fall color. Here in Michigan wind, rain, and later wet snow are the norm.
This can be a time of year when there are slim pickings for outdoor photography.
Once the snow falls, things will be better. Early spring is a lot like late fall, except that the progression of the days in much more positive. Each day brings a chance to find more. The challenge of finding the first green shoots, the first wildflower, the first dragonfly is much more uplifting than counting off the last time these things were seen…
But still, you have to get up and do something…
Last week I went to the beach at South Haven. As usual, the weather was variable and the forecast was wrong – which in this case was not a bad thing. Instead of cold rain and a gale rolling in, the morning started with mild temperatures and still breezes.
There wasn’t much happening on the beach. Once the pier and lighthouse were interesting to shoot. But nowadays I look at it and feel that all of my shots have been taken. But the beach itself always holds out some opportunities – a resin chair with a 40 oz beer bottle, some buried metal pilings.
After wandering the beach for a while I visited the Northpoint Conservation area, where I saw the difference that a week can make. The shots I took the week before caught the last of the fall leaves on the trees. Now virtually all of the leaves were on the ground, and those that had been bright yellow just a week before are just a shade of brown – like everything else this time of year.
Well, you have to march through the dark to get back to the light. I shot my second to the last roll of Konica Impressa ISO 50 film at Northpoint – well, shot about half of it. It really was pretty bare.
I was through shooting by 10:30, and by noon the weather had tipped and dark clouds were rolling in. Ah – November in Michigan…
Out-takes from the morning’s shoot can be found in the Image Stream.