Sometimes you just have to color outside of the lines

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Fall, as many of you know, is my favorite season. I love the warm golden tones that Ma Nature celebrates for just a few short weeks each year. Maybe that is why it is so special, it is like a limited engagement or cameo appearance – short but oh so sweet. Or maybe it’s the orange pumpkins and golden squash that I start to see in the grocery stores – there’s just something about this time of year that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy not to mention, happy. Maybe it’s that I survived yet another sizzling summer in Arizona or that now it’s time to put the flip flops away and get my jeans and favorite Lucchese cowboy boots out or that I can dine on creamy butternut squash soup until I can’t stand it anymore – or maybe it’s a combo of all of those things.


SmOctober Gold


Each year as fall approaches in Arizona, I watch the calendar and check the numerous websites that “kind of” keep track of this stuff to see when the perfect time will be to head up to the high country and shoot the golden goodness. As hard as it is to just sit at my desk and work when I know there is fall color somewhere, I patiently wait for the perfect time. Luckily, I have eyes and ears all over not only Arizona but most of the west so I can get a true status on the color, not some outdated one that many websites have. It’s like gambling this time of year – if you are too early you go home empty handed, if you are too late, well, you also go home empty handed. This year, once again, I timed it right but I wanted to do something different than I usually do. Normally, I get in the car, drive a few hours, rush into the forest, camera on tripod, ooohh and ahhh, snap, snap, shoot the brilliance and go home. Ok, maybe not that simplistic, but this year I thought a lot about it before I got in the car and knew I wanted to experiment a little bit more this year. I am more of a “color outside of the lines” than a “paint by numbers” kind of girl anyway – so experiment I did.


SmAspens and Blue Sky


Of course, I always have to do my “I’ve fallen and can’t get up shot”. I usually lay on the soft leafy ground and shoot up into the towering aspens, although this year I found a nice comfy log to recline on and shoot a few photos with my iPhone. Of course, I followed that up with some photos with my “big girl” camera too. Who knew the forest had such cozy furniture!


Chey on log

As the sun moved through the afternoon sky I tried a few other things, one of which I am kind of liking. I have always wanted to be a painter, but that scary blank canvas and my huge lack of talent in the department has kept the camera firmly placed in my hand. I know, I know, I am a painter of sorts since I paint with light as a photographer. I mean like a painter with a brush in my hand and a beret on my head…oh wait, that would mean I was in Paris painting…ok…yea, I could do that. Oh wait, back to the aspen forest – I sure can get distracted quickly can’t I?!?! Anyway, I had my camera on the tripod and thought, “Why don’t I just move the camera and see what happens?” So I set it at a slower speed and as I clicked the shutter with my cable release I moved the camera up and down and then I did some panning, moving it back and forth. And VIOLA, I am instantly an impressionist painter. Monet was my Grandmother’s favorite impressionist painter and she would be so proud of me now! Or maybe my “work of art” is more of a modernistic approach? Who knows, but I love how my “painting” made the golden aspen trees and leaves seem like dreamy, colorful lines and shapes painted on a canvas.

SmAspen abstract

I love coloring, or in this instance, painting outside of the lines – give it a try next time you are out shooting photos. Don that beret and draw that silly little “monsieur mustache” above your top lip and “paint” your little heart out. Just don’t let anyone see you or they will call those guys with the white jacket to come haul you away……have fun creating!

To see more of my Autumn Landscapes visit the Landscape Gallery on my website.

Happy Fall – Cheyenne

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