The pyrotechnics of a new autumn…

Everything was resplendent with the pyrotechnics of a new autumn.

Thomas Ligotti

leaf and bokeh

Bokeh leaf

ICM abstract

ICM abstract

Dreamlike walk in the woods

How many ways are there to capture autumn? Double exposures, ICM, reflections, macros, film, polaroids…I don’t know but as many as there are photographers, I guess.

What I am sure about is that for me the joy is in trying  to express my abiding love for this season through my images. And to interpret its many moods — its energy, its stillness, its melancholy, its whimsy. I’m crazy for all of it.

When I want to feast on the lovely and unique visions of others, I delight in the images of my sister photographers in the Focusing on Life Flickr pool.

I know I am in the company of kindred spirits when I soak up the beauty of their photographs and gasp at their oh-so-particular ways of seeing their world.

One of the FOL collective, Leigh Love, shares a glorious Ode to October in words and images that you won’t want to miss. While you’re there, why not enter their giveaway? It’s on until October 4.

If you’re an autumn enthusiast like me, do you have a favorite fall feeling or activity? Or do you just love it all?

Double, double, anyone?


In my continuing quest to expand my repertoire of photographic techniques to help me better express my creative vision, I returned to playing with in-camera double exposures. I did a few back in the spring, but never fully explored their potential.

I had a quick trip to Toronto in the last week and something inspired me to try a few more double exposures. Here is the pink dahlia again. In this image I think it has  a completely different mood (I also added a magic texture by Kim Klassen.)


Double exposures really lend themselves to surreal, dreamlike, impressionistic effects — and make for great abstracts — which I’m drawn to in photography. Sometimes you just don’t want your view of the world to be too real and too literal!

This technique can, of course, be done easily with layers in Photoshop, but the joy of doing them in camera is the element of surprise when you create something unexpected. You never know quite what you’re going to get. You don’t have anywhere near the same control, but you do have some control, especially as you refine your process.

One great way to use double exposures is with creative portraits. Here are a couple I tried with my beautiful sister. (She may even use one for her Facebook profile pic!)

We were in a sweet tearoom in a little town north of Toronto. I shot her silhouette against the big window and blew out the background. Then I ran around the tearoom looking for content to fill in the underexposed areas. It takes just seconds and the results can be interesting. Of course you can combine this technique with textures or other processing techniques to get the feeling and meaning that you’re striving for to your heart’s delight.

elena double2-1000-2

elena double1-1000

If this appeals to you at all and you have this feature on your DSLR, I urge you to give it a go…and share your creations!

Sharing with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesdays.