About Me

My photo
Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer had been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

October Therapy : Autumn Glory, Part 1

Forest Pillars Chesterfield, NH

November Excitement

It is mid November and without any snow in sight I am in the middle of my usual November malaise. I know that, photographically, November provides the opportunity to focus on the intricate bare patterns and textures of the season. It is a great challenge to find things to shoot in the grip of this unrelenting gray "stick" time of year, but It is nevertheless all too easy to sink into despair.  When I finally run out of creative ways to make dead leaves and other lawn liter appear artistic, there is a blessed source of relief from this malady, October Therapy.

October Therapy
Madame Sherri's Arches, Chesterfield, NH

There is no greater contrast in the moods of our seasonal journey than that from October to November. We reveal in the brief riotous colors of the peak October foliage and then, almost overnight, the trampled earth jealously reaches up to claim the leaves. November is upon us, but we can still call forth the glory of October's brilliance.

Autumn Shadows, Westmoreland, NH

October is always a frantic time, trying to get out to capture the autumn colors at there best. With luck, the result is a pile of RAW images begging to be processed to there full warmth and brilliance. In November I warm the cold damp weather with a fire in the stove and with the opportunity to immerse myself in the images of fall's spectacle.

Two in Pasture, Walpole, NH

A Very Good Season

Wind Vane, Chesterfield, NH

This year's foliage seemed more brilliant and long lasting than during many recent seasons. After the fact, It is seems easy to explain the character of each fall season.  Perhaps the richness of this year's color was related to the warm dry summer.  This autumn's longevity was likely related to the lack of major rain and wind driven storms.  For me each fall is a mysterious surprise and my goal is always the same, to get out to shoot as often as I can, in as many conditions of light and weather as possible. 

This year the range of my explorations were more limited than usual. I found myself tied to home by a list of projects and demands including my digital photography class at Keene Community Education, the Columbus weekend Fall Foliage Studio Art Tour and a couple of lovely trips to New England's southern coast. Happily there was plenty of color nearby in my local region and, as the last leaves gave up their struggle, I was left with my usual pile of images begging for attention.

Roadside Ferns, Chesterfield, NH

Dealing with the Pile

Holding On, Guilford, Vt

As I process this year's color, I have tried to be more organized than usual. It is always tempting to jump around my collection of images, latching on to whichever picture grabs my attention, but I am trying to work through the images in a more chronological order. Lightroom is a great help, allowing me to identify and label each set of images and then flag the most promising for closer attention.  

Feathery Retreat, Weathersfield, Vt

 In this weeks article/album I concentrate on images from the first half of October. In the Monadnock Region peak color tends to occur in the middle of October, around the Columbus Day weekend and a division of the month down the middle results in a fair distribution of the color.  There are limits to how many images I can show in one or two blog articles and I am dealing with that frustration by placing more pictures from the season in an Autumn 2016 Gallery on my web site.




Downers Bridge, Weathersfield, Vt   

Perkinsville Green
In early October I headed north to look for the best color, before it descended closer to home. One of my favorite route is up Route 106 from Springfield Vermont wandering through Perkinsville, Weathersfield and Reading. In a short distance is found the Perkinsville Community Church with it compact green, the Downer Covered Bridge over the Black River and of course the Jenne Farm.  Reading is famous for the classic and over popular Jenne Farm but the town
Jenne Farm, Reading Vt
has many other attractions which do not require a fight with fifty other photographers to find a place for your tripod. On the opposite side of 106 up Caper Hill Road is the Springbrook Farm. Along the road are lovely pastures, one of my favorite birch groves and a classic sugar shack. On the top is a view to Mount Ascutney.  If you find it absolutely necessary, some of the pastures open to a vista across the valley back to the over photographed Jenne Farm. Route 106 continues north through beautiful countryside to Woodstock, but on this day I had to head home and responsibilities.

Black River cascade, Weathersfield, Vt

Close to Home

Chesterfield, NH
The countryside around our home in the southwest New Hampshire is resplendent in classic rural New England charm. No towering mountains or large masses of water, but soft rolling hills, snuggly settled farms and calm restful lakes that perfectly accent the warm tones of our New England autumn. Even our isolated Mount Monadnock has a settled inviting feel that compliments the surrounding, rather than dominating the bucolic settings.

Fencing the Color, Dublin, NH

Leading up to the Columbus Day weekend the color was building and I was able to find plenty of early and mid-season foliage within easy range of home. I hit many of my favorite locations Chesterfield, Westmoreland and Keene, including the Roads End and Hubner Farms, the Madame Sherri Forest, Spofford Lake, and the Poocham Road.

Roads End Bend, Chesterfield, NH

Class Work
Flight Risk Keene, NH
By the middle of the month I was finishing up my Basics of Digital
Photography Class. One the best parts of the course was the chance to bring the students out for a couple of shoots. The first was at Ashuelot River Park in Keene NH and the second was around Keene's classic Central Square. The conditions were challenging in the center of Keene, but that provided some important teaching opportunities. My friend and great photographer, Steve Hooper was kind enough to help out on my field trips. At the same time, Steve was teaching his own advanced landscape photography course at Keene State College's Cheshire Academy for Lifelong Learning, and I had the chance to reciprocate by joining one of his shoots in a wetland area around the Ashuelot River.

Ashuelot Floaters, Keene, NH

More Color to Come

Eden Run Autumn, Dublin, N\H

By mid and late October we saw more beautiful color, especially around the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont. I'm still working my way through many of those images and will save them for the second part of my October Gallery posting. In the meantime I will be uploading many more images to the Autumn 2016 Gallery on my web site.   Now get back to work on your Autumn images and if you get tired you can always go outside and take some more pictures of dead leaves and twigs!
Barn at the Bend, Keene, NH

1 comment: