Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.
Rilke- Herbsttag (includes translation into English)
The Autumn is again upon us on the West coast of the USA. Photographers cluster around the patches of Aspen trees in the mountains in October. In November, we chase the Cottonwood trees in the valley, and the ornamental trees at the city parks, producing a sheer number of similar, clone-like, vivid pictures that get many likes on social media, but nobody really cares about.
Although the season is short for photography, the running around, crowds, traffic jams, and shortage of places to park alongside the aspen tree clusters with yellow leaves can make it very long. Last year I took four days off to chase fall colors in the Eastern Sierras. Every day, my friend and I set out with the crack of dawn and we would not rest until the last sunray disappeared behind the mountains. This year, I may pass. I am tired, which probably comes with age, and with having been there so many times before. Furthermore, the wildfires have caused quite a destruction around the Tahoe area and the famous Hope Valley. Interstate highway 50 has just opened for residents. Maybe I’ll leave the area to those who live there this one time.
Given that this is a photography blog, I did not want to let the season pass without any notice. The featured photograph above is Martis’ Creek Cabin, near Tahoe. I photographed it about this time last year. The shallow depth of field, achieved with f/4, a relatively long lens (70-200 mm at 70mm), and focus on the foreground, invite the viewer’s eyes to follow the abandoned wood to the old, decaying cabin immersed in a cluster of Aspen trees with yellow leaves, then to the bright spot beside the roof, on its right. This photograph was only possible after the sun set behind the mountains and was my last, before retiring for the day and for the season.