Autumn Water Trio

Three quiet creekside scenes from October in the Wallowa Mountains…

I often wonder whether these subdued images please anyone besides myself. But they do please me. All three of these images were shot within a couple hundred yards of each other. I was attracted by the combination of the subtle but pretty autumn foliage above the gentle turquoise water. The fallen wood was ubiquitous in this area, and I quickly realized that rather than avoid it, I would need to embrace it and build my compositions around it. The scruffy untidiness of all the deadfall was a big element of the place’s character, and deadfall is an important ecological factor in these subalpine forests. Again, it may not work for many viewers, but for me the symbolism of downfallen trees underpinning the texture of the woods and offering new life played well with the seasonal melancholy of the leaves and the introspection of the cold stream.

4 thoughts on “Autumn Water Trio

  1. Jackson, I love those quiet water ones-my first thought was how you hadn’t left out the deadfall-and that really moved me. I’ve tried often to find the things I’ve seen that have felt like orphans, ones that I’m pretty sure no one else wants. For me that’s an act of possession, a way to say no-and keep off. A way to say plain vanilla is deepest. (Though actually I like busier ice creams.) And it’s why your photos are the best I’ve ever seen. You’re right-deadfall matters. And land that doesn’t get bruised by all the eyes hitting it is simply more independent. It means that you’ve unfiltered yourself, that your gaze isn’t at yourself. A secretary not a star. Even being a realist already isms too much. I may have sent this image, but it’s one of my most recent-and I love it so much I wouldn’t think of putting it up for sale. I realize that my ideas about this edge into the romantic, not someone who seeks and makes idealizations. But the kind of romantic who seeks oblivion and not being. As Flaubert would say in his youth-“le grand neant”. Different lights light differently about this-supreme egotism or the greatest act of anonymous service. Thanks so much. Susu

  2. Subdued can be a relief and it’s often more original than grand vistas. Certainly more thoughtful. These make a nice triptych and I like the progression from one to the next.
    The ovate yellow leaves may not be as flashy as New England Sugar maples but I love them, especially with that turquoise water. We have a tree here – Bitter cherry – Prunus emarginata – with small, oval leaves that turn yellow in late fall. Those trees add so much to the landscape here – little pointillist dots of gold against a mostly dark background, as in your photos. You described the scene so well – scruffy untidiness, seasonal melancholy – your words and images are equally strong. (Lots of deadfall here, too, and my eastern upbringing made me a little dismayed by the amount of it at first. Now there’s no question of embracing it, for many reasons).
    Thanks for posting this, I enjoyed it.

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