Photographing, south of Calistoga • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls
You might wonder why I haven't been posting many new paintings lately. The reason is that, this time of year, once Open Studios have passed, I and the squirrels are busy preparing for winter.
Grapes hanging on the vines, south of Calistoga • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls
Like squirrels gathering nuts for the winter, I'm busy gathering images. This time of year is, for me, heaven on earth. Last year, our first frosts came in late October, and I'd missed the most beautiful colors. This year, with our weird combination of early rains and a cooler autumn (but no frost yet) is hard on growers and winemakers, but it is giving me beautiful images to photograph. I'm racing against time, though.
Photographing, south of Calistoga, looking towards Sterling Winery • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls
The green grass is coming up, and the leaves really only began turning colors in earnest last week. Now they are proceeding apace – more yellow, more red, more glorious each day. But the rains have come, and they drive the leaves to the ground. I have to squeeze in as much time for photographing as I can, before the leaves have fallen. The days are short, I need to catch the light when it's just right, and I need to be in the right spot at the right time.
Photographing, west of Calistoga • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls
Gathering the images is only the beginning. Then I sort through everything – hundreds of photos (thank heavens for digital cards!), and choose, label, and resort my favorites. Later will come cropping and adjusting the colors and values in each photograph, and printing out the versions I like best, all before I get back to my empty and waiting canvases.