Shadows Deepen, Colors Proliferate…

and the process of peeling off the layers of extravagant growth –

bit by bit,

leaf by leaf,

begins anew.

1. Wildflower seeds are released into the wind.

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2. A Bracken fern frond huddles in the embrace of a tree skeleton.

*

3. Just one boat remains in the bay.

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4. Rain studs fallen leaves with galaxies of little lenses that magnify surface detail and reflect the sky above.

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5. Up in the mountains rocks and plants weave subtle autumnal tapestries.

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6. Face a different direction and the colors change. Soon it will all be under snow.

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7. Harsh mountain weather carves wood and rock into singular forms.

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8. A poisonous but beautiful Amanita mushroom emerges from mountain heather at 5600 feet (1707m).

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9. Orange safety fencing nabs errant leaves by the roadside.

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10. This human blends in with the mellow colors on the street.

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11. The final sunset of September glows gently over the bay .

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12. Empty flower pots gather Katsura leaves at a public garden, creating an unintentionally picturesque scene.

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13. Lace lichen sparkles like tinsel in the angled autumn light.

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14. Rose hips are ripening.

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15. Runners ignore the rain on a chilly October afternoon.

***

Six of these photographs were made using a vintage Takumar lens with an adapter (#1,3,4,11,13,14,15). This lens is about 50 years old. It’s not as sharp as lenses made today and it has its own look – a little warmer and perhaps less clinical than current lenses. It’s harder to use because aperture and focus distance have to be set manually. The lens can flare and in high contrast situations it may produce purple or green fringing. In spite of these eccentricities there’s always the possibility for interesting surprises with this old lens, like the moody look of the first photograph. My version of the lens has a slight gold tint, which in my mind makes it particularly well suited for fall. The Takumar tends to sit in a cabinet for months at a time, then I take it out and get excited about it, shooting for a while until I tire of the limitations and go back to newer lenses that are more predictable.

A few of these photos were made with an older Android phone (#9,10,12) and for the others I used Olympus lenses. Whatever you use to make photographs and express your connection to the world around you, I hope you are enjoying your tools.


70 comments

  1. A wonderful autumnal series, Lynn. I’m fascinated by the golden touch you add with the old Takumar lens. Photos really seem a little bit softer, but not out of focus.
    The wooden form in No.7 looks like a monument, there is no clue to size relationships given, it could be huge or tiny, I’m surprised how irritating I find the feeling.
    You were lucky to find such a perfect example of an Amanita mushroom, often they are quite flat and damaged already.
    Funny that No.6 is already so winterly bluish, only a shade of autumn’s red brown on a distant slope.
    All in all a real fine set of photos to enjoy for your friens here, thank you for taking us on your walk, Lynn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard to put your finger on what’s different about that lens, but in almost all cases I can tell which photos I took with it before checking my Lightroom tags. It wasn’t expensive, and I’m very glad I bought it. Your thought about #7 is interesting because having been there and having the experience cemented in my mind, the possibility of size ambiguity didn’t occur to me. Thank you for your thoughtful comment – too bad I coudln’t take you up to that mountain in person! Enjoy your weekend. πŸ™‚

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  2. The first shot is amazing! That lens has a great bokeh; smooth; but a bit ‘nervous’.. in stead of soft. Nr3 and 4 I would not have recognized as being taken with the Takumar. From the non-Takumars the nr2-embracment is my fav. And I could spend days in 5 and 6.. Fine post; enjoy the weekend and see you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, the bokeh is a bit nervous, but the overall effect is smooth – it’s odd, right? #5 and #6 are about a two-hour drive away and we hadn’t been there since 2017, when I broke my arm there. This time everything went really well, and as you can see, it was a beautiful day. Now the road to that place (called Artists Point at Mount Baker) is closed for the season. Maybe we’ll get back there next year – there’s nothing like being in the mountians. Enjoy your weekend too (I was just scrolling through Europe photos and came across a few of you πŸ™‚ )

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  3. Lynn, I don’t want you to get a swelled head, but you keep outdoing yourself, these are just wonderful. That first one, a wild little scene of conjuring and necromancy, and then the next one is perfectly companionable and charming, the fern tucked so warmly into the crook of a tree. And then #12 is just unexpectedly cheerful, somehow, colored childhood circles and pots and a leaf collection-in-progress, a nice bit of chaos. That leaf in #4 has a great color and shape to it, doesn’t it. Very successful album!

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    • What a pleasure to read your comment, once again. Conjuring, yes, that’s it. πŸ™‚ I like to keep the yin and yang of life in mind so it’s good to know you found them both in the first two photos. I’m so pleased you picked up on #12 – it was a really delightful scene, exactly the way you describe it – and far more interesting than the rest of what was going on at that garden, at least on that day. Thank you, Robert – I hope you’ve recovered by now from your whirlwind trip.

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    • You can usually pick one up on ebay at a reasonable price. If you delve into it you’ll find people discussing the merits of the different versions of this lens, which was made for years. I wouldn’t worry about not being able to find the fabled 8-element version – I think it was the first one. Mine isn’t that one, and it’s still a great lens. People say they’re radioactive too, but that’s just more talk, and if they are, it’s very, very little. Flickr has a group for the lens that’s fun to check out too. If it snows, I hope it’s a gentle one! I was thinking of you when I put this together, and how green and almost summery these scenes must look. πŸ˜‰

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  4. Your opening poem bears rereading and rereading. What a lovely little thing. Your opening photograph bears magnifying the page for the bokeh alone, and the way that the two seed pods on the front plant match the light on the further-away plant and move the brightness to the right is really nice. If all that is because of the lens (added to your magical eye), then I say yay vintage Takumar lens. I love β€œhuddles in the embrace of a tree skeleton.” I like the swooping lines in this photograph. I like how the angle from which you took #7 isolates the snag and how the back lighting illuminates the reddish plants to the left of the tree remnant. Number 11 appeals to me because of the bokeh, the stripiness, the arrangement of plants, andβ€”I have to admit itβ€”the sunset colors. You have blue and orange together in this one, perhaps my favorite color combination, and it’s unusual to see blue in a sunset photograph at all. The runners and their setting are wonderful. I like the subtle color in this one, too. And who cares about sharpness here; the blurriness just adds to the mood. Another great post!

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    • The lens had a LOT to do with the look of the first photo, but I also have learned to look for certain kinds of scenes when I use it, and that was one of them. I guess the blue in #11 is there becasue of the water. It’s a really pretty place – in fact, #3 was taken in the same general area. I did think about black and white for the runners and realized that “subtle color” readdy adds something. I’m glad you like it, and the rest, and thanks for taking the time, Linda. (Glad you liked the little opening too!).

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  5. I believe that more than the photographic material we have and use to capture images, the important is the sensitivity and pleasure that this act makes us feel.
    It’s very interesting you keep and shoot with such an old lens at a time that our relationship with objects is increasingly ephemeral. The photos of this “old lady” have a special aura! And our look is more “affective”! (I don’t know if this is the correct expression…)
    But they are all beautiful and a nice tribute to autumn!

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    • Yes, I agree, the tools and equipment are always secondary to the person. What you say about using an old lens in these days of the “throw-away economy” is very interesting. Information and objects – and people, I guess – pass in and out of our lives so quickly these days. I think people long for a connection to something older or more grounded. Thinking of the lens as an “old lady” is interesting, too. And “affective” works for me – that’s a good way to describe what’s going on with the images from this lens. Of course, it has an effect on the photographer too, and I am probably looking for more affectively-charged scenes when I use that lens, at least to a degree. Thank you for another lovely comment. Enjoy your weekend!

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  6. A wonderful homage to the changing season, Lynn. Your bracken ferns framed, the raindrop studded leaf, the glorious snow-capped mountains with trees, the final sunset and your abstract runners…so many fantastic images. I let them seep in – a very enjoyable photo essay. πŸ™‚

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    • I put the camera up very quickly for that one and couldn’t focus because I had the old Takumar, manual focus lens on the camera. I clicked anyway, and the result was worth it. πŸ™‚ Thank you, Sylvia, glad you liked these!

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    • That IS interesting – maybe you should consider picking up a vintage lens to play with some time – as if you didn’t have enough going on. Thank you so much – you’re too kind but I do appreciate it. πŸ™‚

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  7. Another fine set of images, Lynn. Especially #10. It contains many of the elements I look for in my daily walks. I’ve been shooting manhole covers (excuse me, maintenance access covers) for years. Some are beautifully executed. Combine them with a foot and you have a perfect photo.

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    • So you look for your feet when you’re out walking? Me too! πŸ˜‰ Seriously, I get it – I have noticed interesting patterns and writing on “maintenance access covers” over the years. Sidewalk and street environments have a lot to offer, don’t they? Thank you – enjoy your week!

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  8. I’ll put another vote in for #1 and also #11. πŸ˜‰ I tried to adapt my old 50mm Takumar to one of my cameras after I saw your images; I didn’t have much success. In your hands, through your patience and persistence with that lens, it is still making beautiful images. (You may detect a little envy. πŸ™‚)

    The image of the runners is a good reminder to push the button when you see a quickly changing scene. In this case the” out of focus” is a perfect compliment to the rainy day. Best wishes for the upcoming week, Lynn!

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    • I’m surprised that you had trouble – maybe the adapter isn’t quite right? At first I found it really difficult to work with that lens. Now, I keep reading glasses handy if I’m using it and that really helps. I check the image on the LCD screen and slowly dial the focus ring back and forth Such a nice feeling, that old metal. Looking through the viewfinder is useless on my camera with that lens. I also learned that f1.4 on that lens doesn’t yield much that’s usable. I wish I knew what apertures I used for any given picture but I don’t have the patience to write that down as I shoot – no way! You’re right though, it has taken patience and persistence. I bought the lens 5 yrs ago. Thanks for your careful attention and comments Mic, I appreciate it. I hope your week is pleasant – you must be busy these days! πŸ˜‰

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      • I should try again…when I get time. It has been a busy year. I have always like the old Takumar lenses for their solid feel. I have a 135 mm too. There is a problem adapting lenses to Nikon F mounts having to do with the flange focal distance. The only way to get it to focus to infinity is to add another lens in the adaptor; I think that’s the story. I think there was also a concern about crashing the mirror into the adaptor if it extended inside the camera although it seemed to work fine in the camera I used. I have lots of excuses. πŸ₯Ί I really do like the images you get with the lens.

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    • You must have Bracken fern growing in the fields or along the roadsides – at least I would guess that you do. This time of year I think it’s at its best, turning gold and brown and shriveling up in all sorts of interesting ways. It’s not my favorite fern, being so ubiquitous in waste places, but paying attention to it this time of year has deepened my respect for it. Thank Louis!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful observations Lynn. I especially like the ethereal quality of 1, 11 & 13 and together as a set. You probably have several more you could add to make a series. I could see them as anything from an exhibit to a set of notecards or, the images in a calendar.

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  10. That first shot is surreal. When I saw that I was “How does she see these things?” Now I can see it’s with special glasses, a vintage Takumar lens. I suspect using it must be akin to using a Lensbaby – give your perspective a little twist, and off you go. The effect on 11 and 13 is also very cool.

    When I saw the mountain shots I was wondering where that was. I’d forgotten about Mount Baker and the North Cascades. I really need to get up there one of these years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not so much like a lens baby in that the lens doesn’t “intentionally” distort things. After you use it a while you learn that under certain circumstances, like shooting into the light wide open, you can get unusual effects. It’s very hard to see what you’re going to get before it’s on the monitor but it’s absolutely worth playing with.
      Living where you do I can see how you’d forget about Baker and the N. Cascades. One of these days, right?

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  11. There is something about the subtleties of the later autumn colours that I find very attractive. Again you have captured some lovely images. And I think it’s cool that you are experimenting with unusual techniques such as using a vintage Takumar lens.

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    • I agree, the subtle colors late in the season, and the whole look of nature as everything falls apart is compelling. That particular lens always produces something interesting so I enjoy using it. Thank you Otto, enjoy your weekend!

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  12. I love all of them! I am not the technical type, but I like the tender soft tones you created in 1 and 11 and some others. The plant looks like Brassica napus to me. Can that be? Or a kind of mustard? Wonderful! The last picture is so different, but I love this fuzziness very much! It makes the foto kind of mystical and it appeals the phantasy. The motive creates stories in your mind πŸ™‚

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    • I’m not the technical type either but I do like seeing the effects of different lenses, especially when the difference is as dramatic as the Takumar lens’ effect sometimes is.. I’m not sure what those plants are but you could be right. It would be good if I remember to check next year, but chances are I’ll forget. πŸ˜‰ The Takumar is manual focus and I saw the couple run past me and just grabbed the camera, put it up quickly and snapped without focusing or anything. I got lucky, it was a nice effect. This is one of those things we probably could not repeat if we tried and tried, right? πŸ˜‰

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      • You are right, trying different lenses is a great thing to do and you don’t need too much technical knowledge. Unfortunately I can’t change any lenses with my camera! I used to did with my old analog camera and it was fun! Do you use automatic or do you choose adjustments? – The last picture was a great moment and you used and saw! it πŸ™‚

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        • I use aperture priority almost all the time, choosing the aperture. Autofocus, and then I can adjust more or check. Auto ISO and white balance. Spot metering usually, instead of center metering, because I like what happens when the camera meters the light from a certain spot that I choose. When I use a vintage lens the main difference is that all focusing is manual. πŸ™‚ Still no email 😦

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        • The outcome is terrific! And what a fun thing that you can use different lenses. I think I have to work on the manual focusing. I think it could lead to much more possibilities, but I have to admit that I forgot so many things…

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