Sunset: Autumn Wetland

Beyond my backyard is a wetland preserve. While an El Niño summer rages into fall in the rest of my town, the wetlands show that growth is disintegrating on schedule. I have let my camera lie fallow for months, and I now I am surrendering to the urgency to document this season. Every fall I hope to capture the subtle changes until it all reaches a peak with frost-covered red leaves.

Capturing the wetlands in fall challenges me to value the small details of the natural world. If I overlook the glory of a lone grass flower or a long-brown thistle, what I hope do I have with a blazing sugar maple in October? The easy subjects yield better when you’ve taken time to illuminate the things that most regard with indifference: the ugly, the boring, the ignored. With a camera, you can discover that excitement and indifference say more about the viewer than the scene depicted. A rusted wheel can be as beautiful as the Grand Canyon. A withered patch of wetlands matters no less than an orchid in bloom.

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