The October Challenge was purposely designed to make it easy for everyone to participate. Interestingly, Fall Color brings to mind the changing hues of leaves and landscape, and most of us submitted pictures with that in mind. But really, Fall Color can be any color we see in the fall, including kids, sunsets, objects and people. So we can still send a photo of Uncle Al picking his red nose and it would qualify. I know I'm stretching a bit there, but you'll see why. The Pets part of the challenge was meant to encourage those of you who were extremely lazy and didn't want to get out of the house for a picture. Did I just say that? Sorry if I offended the lazy crowd.
Harbinger of winter, our fall season is pretty shocking when you think about it. All that was lush and green we enjoyed through the long spring and summer is suddenly transformed by a lack of nutrients and chlorophyll. Here in the San Joaquin Valley, the indigenous trees don't put on much of a show compared to the aspen in the Sierra or mountain states. Cottonwood, California black oak, California sycamore, California grape, and a few others can't compare to the aspen and maples from other parts of the country (or state for that matter). Most of us enjoy fall colors in our cities, where all sorts of colorful trees have been planted, though.
Don's first entry captures the bright blushing reds of the season. Emily Bronte penned, "Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree." I don't think I'd go that far in my definition. There is also a death theme that must be considered. "There is no season in all the year so beautiful, so radiant with glory, as the early autumn. There is no time when the human soul drinks in so fully the glory and beauty of nature. All objects of beauty are more beautiful while passing away from us. The closing up of a beautiful life—the fading of the holy stars in the dim light of morning—the ending of a quiet summer day and the passing away of the bright summer glory, are all more sweet and lovely as they are lost to us." - The Northern Advocate
Don's second picture qualifies for both the Pet and Fall Color challenges. Pretty sneaky, Don! This is Miss Cali, Ruler of the House, dressed in her perennial fall color fur coat.
Megen visited the local Chesebrough pumpkin farm near Templeton. Pumpkins join fall's colorful leaves as signature icons for the season. Note the vertical format, textural feel and bright colors. Nothing extraneous - perfectly thematic - memorable. Thanks, Meg.
Megen didn't enter the next photo, but it qualifies as Fall Color anyway. Great shot of two great kids!
Your challenge host forgot to add this photo to Meg's submissions. Sorry, Meg. Here's your second pumpkin/gourd pic. This photo declares that even the most unattractive things and people in the world have their own unique and special value and place in God's creation.
Linda procrastinated in last month's Self-Portrait assignment, but finally submitted a photo, which is being added to this month's collection just for fun. Here's looking at YOU, kid.
On the serious side, Linda sent this still life for all of us persimmon lovers. Bright sunlight streams through the window and renders sharp contrasts of color and form. Speaking of persimmons, did you ever read my old poem about these delightful fruits? Sorry, but you will right now! My apologies to all poetry haters out there.
My Persimmon - 1983
Orange orb, seasoned - sweet.
Baby soft - my treasured treat.
I confess that I enjoy
Thy jellied juices as a boy
Would love his corner candy store.
Maybe even much, much more!
Am I too cold in baring thee?
Am I too bold in paring thee?
And if appetite offends,
Would heartless nibbling make amends?
I hate to watch thee go to waste,
And so my tongue desires to taste
Thy blushing best
With avid zest!
We also have Linda's kitty picture that fits both themes for October. Looks like a Giants fan to me with that orange stripe going on. Now, I doubt if the photographer was laying on the floor while coaxing her subject to pose for her. This is a stoop-and-grab shot, one of the best ways to enter the world of pets and little short people. This is a FUN photo. Unfortunately, the model is both unappreciative and unimpressed.
Dave traveled all the way to San Simeon on Hwy 1 to get this fall sky color photo. He and Don were photo trekking, following a bank of clouds as they drove south from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park farther north. Dave told Don to pull over at one spot. The clouds were ominous and flowing, but no color. "Keep going - maybe we can make it to San Simeon before the sun sets." Well, we DID make it and were rewarded with one of the most striking sunset skies to grace the shoreline. Lots of fun trying not to get wet while getting as much reflected sky in the receding water, running back and forth to stay out of the incoming waves. This shot was taken before we got on the beach. It's a vertically taken panorama of three separate photos. The sky kept getting pink/yellow, then red/yellow. Glad we didn't have to pay for film and processing like in the old days or we'd both be in the poor house after taking so many pictures.
Dave's second shot is a macro of a wild California grape leaf at Cosumnes River Wildlife Preserve between Sacramento and Stockton. Early morning. No direct sunlight that causes areas to be blown out. Just a few colors. This photo is more about abstract composition than anything else.
Ginnie's submissions include this one of reflections on a lake. She says, "Our painting group was invited to the Chimney Rock Ranch a few weeks ago. Nice, cool and foggy morning. The cows were on the way in, the pasture was truly a bright gold. The lake was as still as could be with everything very gray, but since the Challenge is 'color' I went crazy on the computer. I need to start packing the good Nikon for these outings. Quality just isn't as good on the little Canon."
Very nice, Ginnie. Post-processing can be a plus when you're transforming a picture into something more artful.
Ginnie's third photo is an October look at her backyard bloom bonanza. Cosmos, Mexican sage, California fuschia, and New Zealand flax - all still sporting their summer colors in Paso Robles. Thanks, Gin.
Robert didn't send in any photos, but I'm stealing this one (from Facebook) that he took on South River Road near Sacramento. He and Becky love driving here and his camera is always with him. Nice shot, cousin.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our easiest challenge yet. Hard to believe this is the 16th challenge we've enjoyed. Time is flying by for sure. Hopefully, we've learned more about our camera and the world around us during our journey. The assignment for November is "Thanksgiving." Take pictures of what you're thankful for. This opens the opportunity door pretty wide for all of us. And, please write a little blurb to say WHY you're thankful for something/someone in the pictures when you send them. Should be another easy month since we have so much to be grateful for.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy shooting to all.
Snap Happy Dave