The spot on earth where I live, rolls through a glorious procession of four clear seasons. We are far enough North here in the UK for the light to change a little every single day. I say lucky because it prevents boredom and encourages the idea of impermanence, both of which can increase happiness. As a photographer I love the constant change, and this time of year sees me drawn down close to the earth and into the lengthening shadows.
The shadows have become so wonderfully long because of that angle of 23.5 degrees. It’s the angle the earth is tilted, and it means that as we roll through autumn the sun peeps lower and lower over the horizon. At midday it is now still so low that it dazzles the eye, and days become so short that the trees can no longer produce enough energy from its light. They close down, releasing their leaves and sealing their pores until the days begin lengthen again in Spring. Those glorious piles of scrunchy leaves are a result of that angle of tilt.
I find that the angles I’m drawn to shoot from change with the seasons, and in autumns shrinking light I’m shooting very low to match the angle of the light. The leaves which gather along paths and in corners give lovely texture and colour to the foregrounds, pulling us on into the picture. So you could say that as the sun sinks you will find me on my knees often.
The other wonderful result of this angle of tilt, is that sunrise and sunset can be easily captured without having to resort to rising at some horribly unsocial hour. It also gives us lots of opportunity for night shots, as we wander around in what would have been the middle of the day just a few months ago.
Because of the angle of tilt, we can easily see that we live in a world where the only permanence is change. The lesson is all around us if we open our eyes and look…..