Autumn 2018 immediately stroke me as…different.
It somewhat looked like autumn as I remembered, but…those colors!
Who pushed that color slider to the right? Who kicked that paint bucket?
The colors didn’t overwhelm me….. they overpowered me! Like a bunch of savage warriors, rushing along on an indomitable color stream. I was dragged into the forest, completely defenseless against that much color.
A row of larches passed. Usually somewhat unremarkable trees. But this year the yellow was so bright… This was not just your average yellow, this was beyond yellow. And this was only the edge of the forest … … what would be waiting inside? Even the usually so modest birches were transformed into professional crowd pullers. Their leaves seemed disconnected from the trunk, scattered as if the entire forest was littered with yellow confetti.
Once in the forest, the pines, in all their gloomy darkness, could have provided some peace, hadn’t they offered the perfect stage for the American oak to rise and shine. Its red glory absorbed my last bit of attention. Still bravely trying to handle this color overdose, a harmlessly looking beech lane was the death blow. An orange haze took over. Had I been a computer, a ‘Color Overload’ warning would have been blinking on my screen.
This autumn was like an orchestra; a medley of dark blue basses, orange violins, dark green piano play, bright yellow trumpets and a red cello ensemble…. My eyes were chattering! Without any conductor-skills, I had no clue how to organize this cacophony of colors. So I closed my eyes and it finally became quiet…
All of a sudden this brilliant idea came up: What if I would use my camera, which happened to be idle in my hand? Maybe I could click some order into this chaos? To capture this amount of beauty in just 22 million pixels was quite a challenge, but I could at least try!
The essence of autumn
During my awkward attempt to regain some grip on my autumn, a woman walked by, excitedly chattering: “I am SO curious what you captured!” One thing I knew for sure: “Not what you think… “, but I dutifully showed her my screen. She did not quite succeed in concealing her disappointment and I heard myself explain semi-apologetically: “The forest is beautiful, but I am a little overwhelmed. So I try to capture the colors in particular, without being distracted by trivialities such as shape or sharpness …. “ From the corner of my eye I witnessed the woman turning into a big question-mark and shaking her head, walking back to her sharp forest, while I was sucked back into my blurred color-mixture. ‘So that was what I was doing … looking for the essence of autumn …!’
And to me, the essence was perfectly clear; the color! Why recording what’s already there, if it’s already there? Why not capturing an experience, an impression? And so I released myself from the grip of the forest; goodbye rules and clear-cut goal; free at last!