I’m still trying to get a handle on autumn 2010, from the viewpoint of a nature photographer in Ohio. There’s been areas of good color, but overall it’s been just “okay.” The biggest disappointment comes from the fact that conditions have been so dry. In fact southern Ohio has not experienced any significant periods of rainfall since early summer. This is the time of year that I enjoy photographing the flowing streams and waterfalls in Hocking Hills State Park. During a recent visit earlier this month I didn’t even bother to get down into Cedar Falls or Old Man’s Cave. The area needs at least two to three days of saturating rainfall before the water starts flowing again.
I also look for cool, rainy days as providing the best light for capturing fall color. The reds, golds and purples are more saturated in wet weather. Instead this year we’ve experienced unusually warm, dry, windy weather. Just not the best for nature and landscape photography.
The upside has been some very colorful sunrises and sunsets, and when the air goes still and cool at nightfall we are blessed with an almost purple hue on the edges of the horizon. Every season here in Ohio is unique and different, from year to year, and as a close follower of the patterns and cycles of light and nature I’ve learned to appreciate the distinct “personality” of each. Where’s there a downside there is always a positive, and it’s the job of the nature artist to recognize and accentuate the gifts of each day and the wonderful opportunity to actively engage light and subject.