AUTUMN & AMBER LIGHT …
BUT WHAT DOES THE STUFF ON MY CAMERA’S MENU MEAN?
Text: Marilyn Armstrong – Photography: Garry Armstrong
I have always loved the fall. I remember being a child on my way back to school. I was wearing new shoes. Leather shoes with leather soles, so I could hear and feel the crunch of leaves underfoot. Mostly, though, I remember the color of the autumn. The glow of the sun coming through the gold of the maple trees. The color of the sunshine is amber in the fall. Everyone looks beautiful in that light. Whatever natural skin color you have, it looks better swathed in amber light. Real amber light, not the plastic they use on theatrical lights, but the real sun being really amber.
I once did a PR pamphlet for my college football team in October. Most of them were brown or browner, but in that light, they glowed. They were beautiful and so was the pamphlet. It was all about that beautiful light. And a really good camera, which was (as I recall), an Olympus SLR. There was no D because it wasn’t digital. Cameras were mechanical and by today’s standards, relatively simple.
It didn’t mean they didn’t take amazing pictures because the truth is, all those dozens of options in your camera’s menu are mostly of no real use to your photography. In the end, four things matter: (1) the quality of the lens, (2) the accuracy of the shutter, (3) using the correct film, and the really big one, (4) your eye, your ability to see a great photograph. frame it and make it beautiful. None of those setting on your digital camera can help you take a beautiful picture if your eye can’t see one, and your lens is not sharp enough to grab the moment.
In the end, photography is about your special gift to “see” something beautiful and unique. Meanwhile, it’s the end of September and as we fade into October, I’m all in it. For the color of the leaves, the color of the sun. The incredible beauty of this brief time of year.