The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Photography, Woodlands, Sunset and the First Taste of Autumn

When I've not been photographing for a few days, my fingers get itchy, twitchy, restless, fidgety...

Sometimes I can grab one of my children and stick a hat on them and go click, but this has become increasingly rare as they get older. These days I think even if I offered my 19 year old son money, he would still refuse.

On occasions such as these I've started going for walks in the woods, particularly around sunset. As the last rays streak through gaps in the trees and hit leaves, twigs or ferns in a deep golden, almost bronze light, it can sometimes be truly magical.

Big zoom lens. Really wide aperture. Sunset back-lighting. Great combination.

Here are some pics I've taken this month. Click on them for slightly larger versions.

This last one has a sense of the first taste of autumn.

Which is what we are experiencing in Scotland.

Having spent my formative years about 400 miles south of where I currently live, I have never really come to terms with the fact that by mid August, the air has a distinct chill in the morning and evening, the brambles are starting to turn a deep purple and the kids start back at school. Meg started the new term today. She's now in S5.

Every year it catches me out.

Every year it feels at least a month too early.


Ms Scarlet said...

The top one has a calligraphic feel... they all say autumn to me.
Er... it's flipping cold in North Devon. I have the heating on.

Kim Ayres said...

Scarlet - we lit a fire the other night and are toying with putting the central heating back on timer...

Joan Lennon said...

Definitely suffering from lens envy here!

Eryl said...

799It's freezing! I've been in Scotland since 1984 (with a 5 year hiatus in the 90s) and am still not used to the way August snaps into winter here.

I love the first image, if I had wall space I'd definitely want to hang it and look at it every day. I don't think I'd tire of it for a long time.

maurcheen said...

Being in the middle of having five weeks off with no gigs I get where ye're coming from. Though it does make me mind work harder on doing more original stuff. I have to get over to ya soon & collaborate. I hate not singing.

savannah said...

Living here in Savannah where the temps are in the upper 90s, touching 100 with heat indices upwards of 110F, I am slightly jealous of your early winter! I say only slightly jealous because EVERY PLACE, EVERYWHERE is air-conditioned here. You know the saying around here is that if it wasn't for air-conditioning, the South would never have moved forward industry wise! (Culturally, socially, economically, racially, it's still as backward!) xoxox

Kateri Von Steal said...

I love these pictures. It's starting to feel like Autumn over here in NY (not the city - the state... trust me, we're cooler up here.)

We were at my son's soccer practice and I could just FEEL it in the air. I can't wait for all things FALL.. PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. SWEATERS...

But, my son, as he gets older - is refusing pictures too, or makes the lamest faces to get out of them.

My fiance says there is a "real" camera in the works for me... Because I really find so much beauty in things - but the camera phone does not capture that.

You inspire me.

hope said...

Only you could make a spiderweb looked magical. :)

Open the door and send some of that Autumn air our way! Like Sav said, we're looking at 100 heat for the rest of the week. (37 C to you..and sorry but that does not sound HOT!)

Keep giving me hope that fall air will arrive Halloween at least.

Kim Ayres said...

Joan - just zoom in as far as you can and make the aperture as wide as possible, and go and play :)

Eryl - happy to send you a copy if you want - just email me :)

Maurcheen - so when you're not gigging, do you sing in the shower more? And yes, come over whenever you can :)

Savannah - I had air conditioning in my car when I bought it, and in the 2nd year it was great when we went to France and it was upper 80sF. However, since then we've only had a handful of days where it's got into the 70s. I think the air con stopped working a few years ago, but I never noticed because I've not needed to use it since.

Kateri VS - In the fall, doesn't most of your state turn bright red with the leaves? I'd love to see that one day :)

Hope - spiderwebs are magical! I don't think I could create such amazing structures with silk coming out my arse... ;)

Tom Langlands said...

Love these photographs Kim. The third one down is my favourite. It reminds me of the Celtic Rainforests found on the west coast of Scotland with their thick dense coverings of ancient twisted trees, ferns and lichens. These are truly magical and mysterious landscapes inhabited by my Celtic ancestors.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Love these photos, Kim. Actually, I love all of your nature shots!

It is starting to cool off a bit here in Central Canada but because it is still August, we could very well have another heat wave in September or October. I have great memories of going on trail rides mid October in a t-shirt. The beautiful thing about what we call "Indian Summer" here is that we've had some frost so the bugs are gone, but then it can warm right up to Hot again and be glorious for a while before the winter sets in!

Then, of course, we are in for about 6 months of snow and bitter cold. And I mean bitter ~ when the daytime highs can be in the -30C range, you wonder why we live here. It's a dry cold, though, so you can dress for it and be comfortable outside as long as there isn't a howling gale of a north wind. Dampness in winter (like in Vancouver on the west coast) makes even +1C much more horrible because the cold seeps right through your bones. I hated that. Spent 3 1/2 years there and moved back to the Prairies.

Hindsfeet said...

brambles......the first I ever read of you, you were talking about brambles......five years can that be?

.....and here we are again...after so much change, convulsions, ups, downs, transmutation, beginnings endings......

yet through it all, the brambles have endured, and quietly remain.

kriss said...

I love your work and these are more stunning examples of your talent.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Time's passing, the children are growing (they'll come back walking with you as they get older), and you've captured it all so beautifully with these photos, the beginnings of autumn - time passing.

Pat said...

The chill is here. I put an extra blanket on last night'
The photos are lovely but I especially like the second one.

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful, Kim!
I feel fidgety if I hadn't drawn for a while too.

Michelle said...


I followed you from G~G. :)

Hey, I'm from Africa now living in Morayshire - you want to talk distinct chill shock??? LOL

I still think fresh mown grass smells like Christmas. I still get excited when it snows... but some days I'd kill for a hot sea and January is DISGUSTING. can't we just rip it out of the year?

Your photos are stunning. i've had a few lucky moments with photographs, but most times i'm just a rambling snapper of curious things.

Kim Ayres said...

Tom - thank you! My wife, Maggie, also likes the fern one the best :)

Ponita - I spent a year in Nova Scotia on a Student Exchange programme a couple of decades ago. Although the temperatures were so much colder, I preferred the Canadian Winter to the Scottish one for the reason you mention - the dry cold is much easier to cope with than the damp cold, which you get here, and gets into the bones. I also love snow, which is rare (didn't get any last winter), and because of it, there is so much more light. :)

Liz - Hopefully I'll be able to put up a post about another bramble crumble (my favourite dessert in the whole world) in the next few weeks :)

Kriss - thank you :)

Guyana-Gyal - have you found with your illness that time is passing at a different rate? It's something that affected me

Pat - we've had the heating on each evening for the past week or so too

Allen - thank you. I can imagine you would. I'm itching to get back to the life drawing class which will hopefully be starting up again in the next month :)

Michelle - welcome to my blog and thank you for taking the time to comment. I can imagine from Africa to North Scotland would be one hell of a shock to the system!

A random snapper of curious things is a lovely phrase. I also describes how I was until about 5 years ago when I became really attached to faces and discovered a love for portraiture and photographing people. This has now extended out into staged narrative - storytelling photography. Nature shots are something I do when I don't have any people to photograph :)

maurcheen said...

I'm off for now, feel free to write actual letters, cards etc. :-)

Kim Ayres said...

Maurcheen - you'll need to send me an address then :)

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