Autumn is always a busy time for me. Not only does autumn produce a rich palette of colours, it is my last chance to enjoy the outdoors in comfortable temperatures and reasonable daylight hours, before the short, dreich days of winter. This year's locations include Friston Forest, a small woodland on the Sussex/Kent border and a private estate on the High Weald, which is adjacent to one of my favourite forests in Sussex.

I enjoyed watching Fallow deer from afar, while they were taking part in the rut. The deep, belching groans from bucks could be heard from all parts of the estate. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any photos worthy of being shown. The estate is a hive of activity, as the owners are building a country house in the grounds. My week off coincided with half term and deer in the neighbouring forest were frightened off by incoherent sounds from dogs, children and adults who are several decades from reaching maturity. I like to photograph a particular woodland glade every autumn, but I shed a tear at the weather forecast. The location only works during a narrow period between 20th October and 5th November, when the sun is out in late afternoon. Happily, the weather unexpectedly brightened up and I returned another shot of this magical scene. 

Autumn lasts quite a long time here in England compared to parts of the USA and Canada, as there are rarely any hard frosts to hasten the fall of leaves. Leaf changes and mushrooms can start to appear in September. Peak colour usually occurs in late October, but good displays can still be seen until about November 10th. I've chosen to illustrate the colour progressively, with relatively summery greens in September giving way to intense orange and yellow hues later in October. I was asked how I created the impressionistic image of Friston Forest. I mounted the camera on a tripod, opened the shutter and kept the camera still for 1 ½ seconds and then jolted it to create the blur. No other effects were applied and the image was minimally processed in Photoshop.

Autumn Joy


The Falling

Fallen Oak Leaves

Autumn Forest Glade

Autumn Maple Leaves

Autumn Leaf Fall

Autumn Forest Impression


Martin Lower said…
Wonderful. I often remind myself how lucky I am to live in this part of the world. Your images reinforce that, so thank you for your skill and patience.
Several decades from maturity? I laughed out loud at that; I know exactly what you mean.
Alan MacKenzie said…
The South Downs is a beautiful place, but a little lacking in biodiversity, because many plants, trees and mushrooms dislike the thin, alkaline soils. The South Downs supports a narrower, less populous range of fauna. The High Weald is an absolute goldmine of wildlife, because the acidic soils support of greater range of plants and thus a greater range of feeding animals. I am thrilled by the autumn, but also sad to see nature retreating.

Many people lack the self-control to observe and take in natural environments and instead begin shouting and screaming like children who have just discovered toys and sweeties. I feel the same level of excitement, but I channel it into creative expression. Maybe if people got out more, they would learn to calm down and observe.

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